SGA rejects smoking ban with close vote

A divided Student Government Association House of Representatives rejected a resolution Tuesday to ban tobacco smoking in the Campus Commons.

The House voted 22 to 16 to defeat the resolution to prohibit students from smoking in the Campus Commons and the nearby buildings.

Science and Engineering representatives Zach Basich and Jay Waxse and Neeley School of Business representative Marlon Figueroa introduced “A Resolution to Support the Ban of Smoking Tobacco on the Campus Commons Premises” in Tuesday’s meeting. Within the resolution, the representatives proposed to ban smoking and install “No Smoking” signs in the Campus Commons and surrounding buildings.

The House members debated the motivation and purpose for writing the resolution. The resolution authors consented the term “ban” might have been too severe to add in the title. A motion was made to table the resolution permanently but failed to get enough votes, which sent the resolution to a vote in the House. Three representatives abstained from voting.

In addition, the House passed “A Bill to Allow Student Organizations to Endorse Candidates,” which would open student groups campuswide to endorse an SGA candidate. This bill passed in the House with one abstention and takes effect immediately.

The fine arts representatives introduced another resolution that also passed. “A Resolution to Request 24-Hour Access to Fine Arts Facilities” states support of students in the Fine Arts department being allowed access to store equipment in and use Ed Landreth Auditorium and the Walsh Center 24 hours a day with the students’ ID cards.

The House added an amendment to this resolution that stated theatre majors would also be granted this 24-hour access. The resolution passed unanimously with the amendment.

The House ended Tuesday’s meeting by sending two bills to be voted on in their committees. “A Bill to Assign Responsibility for Updating the Student Body Code” and “A Bill to Delineate the Duties of the Student Relations Committee” were both sent to the executive committee.