Faculty, staff consider campus smoking ban

Last April, students at Missouri Southern voted heavily in favor of a campus-wide smoke, tobacco and vapor ban, passing it 401-159. Now, six months later, the staff and faculty senates are trying to find where the majority of employees stand on the issue.

According to Darren Fullerton, vice president of student affairs, an email will be sent — ideally within the next week — to all university employees regarding their stance on the Student Senate resolution. Campus departments have also been asked to take informal votes on the question.

“The survey will be very similar to the one the students voted on in the spring,” said Fullerton. “What I think it is important for people to look at is that the survey will ask ‘do you support the resolution?’ The resolution is not a policy.”

If the majority of Southern employees vote to ban all tobacco and vapor use from campus, an ad hoc committee of administrators, faculty, staff and students will work together to develop a feasible policy.

The Board of Governors will have the final say on whether the policy will be implemented.

Currently, tobacco use is banned indoors at Southern, but employees and students are allowed to smoke or chew in designated areas around campus.

When the proposal was brought up by Student Senate in the spring, Senators said the main reason for the policy was that students and faculty smoke outside the doorways of many of the buildings.

While there is no timetable for a decision, Fullerton hopes to make steady progress on the issue.

“We would like to wrap this up as quickly as possible, but again, we want to make sure we have ample time for input from the campus community,” said Fullerton. “If we can get a survey out by next Tuesday and allow it to run until Friday, it should allow everyone time to voice their opinion.”

The issue is also on the agenda for the upcoming Faculty Senate meeting.