SGA analyze smoking ban

Whitney Saporito

Managing Editor

Members of the Student Government Association used a list of ten questions from John Maxwell’s book “Developing the Leader Within You” to analyze a potential campus wide smoking ban at the Student Government Association meeting Wednesday night.

Kathleen Engelland, senator, uses the book for a leadership class and said she thought it could help SGA to approach the smoking-ban issue effectively. The “Checklist for Change” consisted of ten yes or no questions. If the answer to the question was yes, that meant change would be easy, while no meant change would be difficult.

“Maybe the head of the smoking committee can mark down the ones that we say no to, so they can work on those,” Engelland said.

Throughout the discussion, several members of SGA expressed support for the potential ban.

Thomas Gregory, vice president, said he believes the desired change is compatible with the purpose of SGA.

“I feel like speaking for the majority of students and also, to an extent in that, also looking out for their well being, I would say that it is,” Gregory said.

Gregory said he believes in the ban because Student Government is meant to represent everyone. He said most of the smoking feedback he has heard on campus have been complaints. Gregory said many of those complaints stem from smokers not complying with the Kansas law that says they must stand at least ten feet from building entrances.

“More people are complaining about it rather than celebrating the fact that they can smoke on campus,” Gregory said.

In response to whether the desired change is clear or not, Senator Austin Osborn, member of the smoking ban committee, said it is in the process.

“No, it’s not clear right now, but we’re working toward yes,” Osborn said.

Gregory said there will be more outreach and a more broad committee addressing the smoking ban in the fall semester.

“I also think it’s definitely a good time because other universities are doing it, they’re quadrupling, they’re exponentially growing, not to mention that our state legislature’s also taken a stance,” Gregory said.

Brandon Mills, president, said he believes the time is right for the ban.  Mills, who is a student ambassador, says a smoking ban could help differentiate PSU’s campus from other universities.

“I would love to be able to tell students ‘You know what? We have the only tobacco free campus in the state of Kansas’,” Mills said.

Steve Erwin, SGA advisor and associate vice president of campus life and auxiliary services, said a bill concerning conceal and carry law has been brought up in the Kansas state legislature.

Gregory said when the bill was brought up in the state legislature last year members of SGA took a stance against the bill.

Mills said he has not read the current bill, and SGA does not yet have an official stance.

SGA also filled two senate vacancies, welcoming new senators, Sydney Ward and Jordan Garbin.




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