Smoke-free campus?


Smoke-Free Campus

Tobacco, vapor legislation still in limbo

The proposed smoking legislation passed by students in spring 2014 is still up in the air while faculty and staff are given time to review and vote on the item.

The proposal passed by Missouri Southern students in the spring would prevent any student or employee from smoking or chewing tobacco on campus property, as well as outlawing vapor. It received overwhelming support from students, with more than 70 percent of students voting to ban the products (401-159).

Originally expected to have come to a conclusion by this time, the legislation has been pushed back to ensure every Southern employee receives the chance to give an opinion, according to Staff Senate representative and Southern employee Heather Arnold.

“They are trying to give it time, and if they don’t get some results back, they will put out a paper ballot,” said Arnold. “Employees with the physical plant don’t have access to their emails very often because of the nature of their job, and we want to make sure they have the opportunity to have their opinion heard.”

Student Senate President Jake Messer understands that implementing something like this can’t happen overnight, but still hopes the legislation is approved.

“Policy takes awhile to sculpt and change, so Student Senate is understanding of the date being pushed back,” said Messer. “I think most want what is best for the school in the end, but hopefully we can get some momentum going.”

Arnold hopes results will be available shortly after students and employees return from Thanksgiving break.

If the legislation is approved, a group of employees and students will work to reach an agreement on the wording before it is taken to the Board of Governors.

“I would hate to see all this effort put into the tobacco-free campus policy for it to end up dead in the water,” said Messer. “We’re hoping for the best outcome and will do our jobs to make sure the students’ voices are continually heard at each stage of the development.”

UPDATED 11/21/14:

Seventy Six percent of faculty voted in favor of the smoking ban on campus.