The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Student Government votes to make campus tobacco-free
Photo by Maryam Tunio
Photo by Maryam Tunio /[email protected]

The Marquette Student Government Senate voted 16-3 tonight to implement a campus tobacco-free policy that will be sent to University President Michael Lovell for final approval.

The legislation approves creating a temporary committee of students, faculty and staff who will be responsible for writing Marquette’s tobacco-free campus policy by Aug. 1, 2016.

The Board of Trustees will be presented with the legislation in December but will not vote on it. If Lovell approves it, MUSG hopes to have the committee formed by the end of the semester.

Before the vote passed, Adam Kouhel, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, motioned to amend the legislation so that a MUSG representative is required to be on the committee. His amendment passed.

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The tobacco-free legislation lists three Jesuit universities that have implemented a tobacco-free policy: Creighton University, Santa Clara University and Loyola University New Orleans.

Michaela Bear, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, emphasized that Marquette is behind in the movement toward tobacco-free campuses. “If we do not go tobacco-free, it makes us look terrible,” she said.

“With almost 1,000 students sponsoring this legislation,” Kouhel said, referring to the tobacco-free campus petition with over 1,600 signatures. “I think we need to do our due diligence and make sure we represent our constituents.”

Addressing concerns that going tobacco-free would be a cultural conflict for international students, Ricky Krajewski, a junior in the College of Health Sciences and one of the legislation’s authors, said he talked to Global Village – the housing option for international exchange students to live in community-based spaces with student ambassadors and other exchange students.

Krajewski said the member of Global Village he talked to said that international students come to Marquette prepared to respect a culture that they’re not used to, and that going tobacco-free could be a good learning experience for them.

Blake Hartman, a freshman in the College of Business Administration; Phil Parisi, a freshman in the College of Engineering; and Roberto Santos, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences voted against the legislation.

“The biggest reason I was against it was because I felt it disproportionately hurt the people who smoke compared to helping the people who don’t,” Hartman said. “My hope is to lobby with the people on the committee to maybe get it to where the students’ safety concerns are taken into account.”

Hartman added that students may have trouble finding a safe space off campus to smoke since Marquette is an urban campus, especially between 18th St. and 21st St.

Clayton Keefe, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, was one of the four senators who abstained from voting on the legislation. He said he supports Marquette as a tobacco-free campus but was concerned about the implementation of the committee and its policy.

“I would like to see the committee (form) before the campus became tobacco-free completely,” Keefe said.

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