SGA promotes campus-wide smoking ban

(Jonathon Napiorkowski / Web Editor) John Doctor, junior, smokes a cigar in front of a no smoking sign located behind Fell Hall.

(Jonathon Napiorkowski / Web Editor)
John Doctor, junior, smokes a cigar in front of a no smoking sign located behind Fell Hall.

The Student Government Association (SGA) originally passed the smoking ban in fall of 2012, and it took effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

Students showed strong support for a smoking ban during student surveys, and the passing of the ban among SGA members was nearly unanimous.

SGA President Freddie Alvarado said that the initiative was student driven, but gained faculty support quickly.

“The idea was to create a more healthy and walking-friendly atmosphere on the quad, that was a middle ground agreement between smokers and non-smokers,” Alvarado said.

SGA Vice President Emily Gibbons feels it is important on our campus because students expressed the want and need for it in surveys, and constituent contact data proved overwhelmingly in favor of the ban.

However, the law currently only prevents students from smoking in high-traffic areas of campus, such as the Quad, Milner Plaza, the College of Business courtyard, the College Avenue bridge and Schroeder Plaza, but does not cover the entire campus.

In the past, SGA has publicized and promoted the smoking ban by placing signs on the quad, having student senators contact their constituents and by passing out fliers.

SGA also uses Preview as an opportunity to tell freshmen about the policy.

This year, SGA has more ideas on how they would like to communicate the policy, as well as its importance, to students. In the past, SGA has also worked with the Health Promotion and Wellness Office to promote the ban.

“We’ll be looking to collaborate with them on new ideas to promote a smoke-free quad,” Alvarado said.

Gibbons also discussed new methods that SGA will implement to reach out to students, such as social media posts and new posters.

However, SGA continues to realize the importance of direct communication.

“We expect all of our senators to communicate with their constituents about the ban and all that it implies,” Gibbons said.

According to the institution’s website, the University of Illinois officially became a smoke-free campus on Jan. 1. In addition to banning smoking on all campus property, the policy also prohibits the littering of tobacco products or remnants on campus property.

Gibbons acknowledged that other universities are completely smoke free.

“A smoke-free campus is what we need to keep up with other state universities and with trends towards a smoke-free society,” Gibbons said.

With CVS’ recent announcement to eliminate the sale of tobacco products at all of their stores, the trend she speaks of is becoming increasingly apparent.

For now, the smoking ban only takes effect in the aforementioned high-traffic areas, but with more publicity of the current ban, increased societal pressures and an updated survey, students may soon request a completely smoke-free campus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *