The decision of whether to impose a
campus-wide tobacco ban at WKU has become a “waiting
President Gary Ransdell said he is waiting for a
consensus among the University Senate, Staff Council and Student
Government Association before proceeding any further. Currently,
all three governing bodies have a different stance on the
However, Ransdell also said he doesn’t think a
campus-wide smoking ban is a realistic plan.
“I go back to Saturday — it was Homecoming, thousands
of visitors — how are you going to police someone who chooses to
smoke a cigarette while tailgating?” he said. “You have to be
According to a University Senate resolution to
Ransdell in Dec. 2010, the senate supports a tobacco-free campus by
The resolution states that the senate believes a
tobacco-free campus would be “in the best interest of the health,
safety and welfare of the WKU faculty, staff and students.”
University Senate chair Kelly Madole said this is
currently the only official senate position on the matter.
In order for the issue to be reevaluated, Madole said
a committee or individual senate member would have to bring it
“If no one is interested in taking up the issue
again, I don’t think the senate will have another resolution,”
Following the resolution from the senate, Ransdell
said he requested a recommendation from the Staff Council and the
Staff Council chair Diane Carver said the council
voted in February against a smoke-free campus.
Carver said they have continued to
talk about the issue, but no other motions have been brought forth
Many members of the staff smoke, Carver said, and the
council felt it would be going against their rights to ban smoking
on campus, especially those who work from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and
can’t get away from campus.
“I don’t see us changing it until possibly when SGA
changes their views,” Carver said. “But each year we vote new
members in and members go out. It could change.”
SGA passed a resolution in September that would make
WKU a tobacco-free campus only if WKU lifts the requirement for
freshmen and sophomores to live on campus.
Ransdell said if all three groups ever come together
on a shared recommendation, he would be “happy to receive it.”
However, Ransdell said he didn’t know whether or not
the issue would go before the Board of Regents.
“I’m not sure I want the Board
approving a policy that is not enforceable,” Ransdell said. “I
would have to see the recommendation and go from there.”
Ransdell emphasized that WKU already has a smoking
ban in all campus buildings.
There is no timeline on the issue, he said, and he is
just waiting for an agreement from the three groups.
“It could be next month, or it could be five years,”