ASI passes filtered smoking resolution

Greg Kane

A watered-down version of a resolution that initially called for Sacramento State to become the first smoke-free California State University campus was approved by Associated Students, Inc. board members Sept. 26 ? though students shouldn’t be extinguishing their cigarettes anytime soon.

Board members passed the revised version of the resolution, which states ASI’s support of Sac State President Donald Gerth and the CSU Board of Trustees “in researching all issues surrounding the use of tobacco on CSU campuses,” by a vote of 7-2.

The original version, which was presented at ASI’s Sept. 12 board meeting, asked “that the sale of Smoking Tobacco products at Sacramento State University be indefinitely ended, that all ashtray bins be moved off the campus premises, and that the use of smoking products be terminated on CSUS grounds.”

“Our original proposition suggested that smoking would go into the parking structure,” said ASI Director of Arts and Letters J.J. Hurley, who, along with Director of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Luke Wood, wrote the resolution. “Right now, we’re saying that students, for health reasons, want to see smoking eliminated.”

Hurley said the issue would be brought up at an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting, though California State Student Association representative Brandon Kline said he didn’t think banning smoking was high on the CSU’s agenda.

“Currently, there’s nothing in the works to make the California State University a smoke-free environment,” Kline said. “To my knowledge, it hasn’t been a problem in the past, either.”

The basis of the resolution was a survey done in May 2001 by the Sociology Department, which said that three out of four students didn’t think the campus’ current smoking policy was enforced, Hurley said. Sac State’s current policy prohibits smoking in all buildings and university-owned vehicles, as well as within 15 feet of doorways.

The survey also determined that approximately 26 percent of the 621 students questioned had a sensitivity or allergy that is triggered by tobacco smoke, even outdoors.

“That’s (one-fourth) of our student population,” Hurley said.Wood said asking administration to take a closer look at issues surrounding how smoking affects students might help Sac State enforce its smoking policies more efficiently.

“Currently, we have our ashtray bins right next to the doors, so it’s not enforced,” Wood said.