Staff Council, SGA discuss timeline of smoke-free campus

Student Government Association members hope to soon raise awareness of potential renovations to Downing University Center. The renovations would cost about $49 million, some of which would come from a $70 per semester student fee.

Caitlin Carter

Though the University Senate is the only one of WKU’s three main representative bodies to pass a smoke free-resolution for campus, the issue has been discussed among the other bodies as well.

President Gary Ransdell said he still needs input from the Staff Council and the Student Government Association before he sends a recommendation to WKU’s Board of Regents.


The University Senate passed a resolution in December, 39-13, that would eventually stop tobacco use on campus.

Ransdell said that making WKU smoke-free would affect many people, so it should be carefully considered.

“We have a lot of people who smoke on this campus — students and faculty and staff,” Ransdell said. “So it’s not an insignificant matter.”

Staff Council has discussed a potential campus smoking ban, Staff Council Chair Diane Carver said.

Chester McNulty, designated smoking area committee member, started working with SGA President Colton Jessie last year, she said.

A resolution could possibly be drafted at next month’s Staff Council meeting after more discussion, she said.

During January’s Staff Council meeting, it was announced that McNulty had started working with Anita Britt, health and safety specialist for Environmental Health and Safety, to relocate smoking areas around Grise Hall.

Their air tests showed that several smoking areas around the building needed to be moved, according to minutes from the meeting.

The areas have been relocated and the air will be retested, while other buildings, such as Mass Media and Technology Hall and Gary Ransdell Hall, will be evaluated.

Carver said that these areas are being tested only to determine the appropriate smoking area signage on buildings.

Jessie said that although plans are not immediate, SGA hopes to soon talk about the possibility of a smoke-free resolution.

At Tuesday’s SGA meeting, Charlie Harris, chief of staff, put the issue on the table to be discussed. He told the senate that other representative bodies had already discussed it.

“I’d encourage this body to do so in the near future,” Harris said. “I know we have a lot on our plate with the DUC renovation.”

Jessie said that once the issue is discussed, the senate will come up with its own resolution either supporting the smoking ban or dismissing it.

Jessie said the issue is very sensitive because WKU requires students to live on campus for a minimum of two years.

“There are students that come to campus as smokers and the smoke-ban wouldn’t allow them to smoke here for those years,” Jessie said.

Jessie said that this is a pressing issue, especially since the city of Bowling Green just passed an ordinance regulating smoking in indoor businesses on Monday.