WKU SGA passes no-tobacco resolution

Taylor Harrison

The Student Government Association’s tobacco-free resolution passed Tuesday night at the SGA’s regular weekly meeting.

The vote was unanimous without abstentions.

Kaylee Egerer, Speaker of the Student Senate, said that when the resolution was first brought up last semester, the information available to the SGA was not thorough enough, so voting was delayed until this semester.

Voting was further delayed by a week to give the new student senators time to review the resolution, which would ban all tobacco products from campus if enacted.

As the resolution states, SGA will only support the tobacco ban if the requirement for WKU students to live on campus for at least two years is lifted.

“We all agreed that it doesn’t make sense at all to have a tobacco ban, to force students to live on campus, and then tell them they can’t smoke if that’s their preference,” Egerer said.

Egerer also said she does not know whether WKU would lift the housing requirement, even though there has been overcrowding in dorms the past few years.

Public Relations Chairperson Cody Murphy said SGA had “robust discussion” about the resolution, which led to a unanimous vote.

“After gathering opinions of students, we think that we formatted the best solution to the issues presented to us,” Murphy said.

Keyana Boka, campus improvements committee head, said she thinks the bill’s stipulations are fair.

However, Boka thinks that the ban will need to be better enforced than the current rule of smoking at least 30 feet from a building.

While the Staff Council and University Senate have also reviewed the tobacco ban resolution, SGA is the only one to add the housing stipulation.

University Senate and SGA both passed the resolution, but Staff Council has not. President Gary Ransdell has said the Board of Regents won’t support the resolution until all three campus governing bodies first do so.

University Senate President Kelly Madole said as far as she knows, there are no plans to bring up the issue again because it has already been voted on, so the housing clause will not be not be addressed by the senate.

Students on campus, both smokers and non-smokers, have differing opinions about the smoking ban.

Louisville freshman Kelly Del Grosso said she supports the resolution.

“I think the ban is a good step towards making the campus cleaner and healthier,” Del Grosso said.

Louisville sophomore Alexa Holloway, who lives on campus, disagrees.

“I don’t really think that’s fair because smokers already have to deal with not being able to smoke indoors any more, so we should have the right to smoke outside,” Holloway said.