(Editor’s Note: The following is the third and final part of a series of stories that looks at the state of tobacco at WCU.)
The smoking experience at Western Carolina University will remain the same. On Wednesday, March 17, the SGA voted on resolution 1080. This resolution stated simply that the school should enforce the current policy, rather than creating a new one.
The legislation was authored by Nicole Jesserer and introduced into the SGA by Vanessa Olson. The full text of the resolution can be found in the sidebar accompanied with this story. Resolution 1080 tells smokers on campus that they can smoke, but the SGA is watching.
Lower campus senator Brian Graham, a senior communications major and non-smoker doesn’t agree with an outright ban.
“I think that in a health conscious world this is a good idea in theory. People who don’t want to be subject to cigarette smoke shouldn’t have to, but it is not as if they cannot simply walk around or avoid smokers. It’s not hard. I feel like this is a dead issue and I will not be supporting it. While it does have health benefits to it, smokers want to smoke, and we have that freedom in this country,” Graham said.
The vote on Resolution 1080 made everything clear. It seems the SGA has the best interests of students at heart. Professionally, instead of jumping the gun and passing legislation without hearing students, they are creating a committee to review campus smoking policy annually.
“We want to get as much valuable information from as many parties as we can. This includes students, faculty, staff, police, and special interest groups such as the Cherokee nation, to whom smoking is a piece of their culture. We plan on having more smoking forums to collect this data, and the dates of those forums can be found in the SGA offices,” Graham says.
There was supposed to be a smoking forum on March 17, but it was canceled.