A resolution proposing the creation of designated smoking areas on campus in order to protect the health of nonsmokers failed to pass the vote of Student Senate on Monday.
“I am disappointed because it is not about restricting smokers, it’s about the protection of Bradley students’ health,” said SONOR senator Jihan Bibb. “I think that other considerations were of higher priority when they voted on the bill.”
The death of the Clean Air Resolution, which was backed by SONOR, marked the end of a three-week-long discussion. The 14-8 vote against the resolution was a result of mixed feelings expressed toward the bill.
“The great majority of people find this to be causing more of a hassle than it is worth,” said STARS senator Danielle McMillan.
Along with creating designated smoking areas on campus, the resolution suggested that a system of financial citations, distributed by the Bradley Police, would be given to students, staff, faculty and visitors who did not follow the policy.
Heitz Senator Clay Larson said he voted against this resolution mainly because of the idea of citations. He said the resolution would cause the University Police to direct their attention to something less important than safety.
“We are having issues on this campus with trusting the police to protect us,” he said. “Why would we want the police to worry about something other than our safety to crack down on smokers.”
Student Body President Nick Swiatkowski said visitors would be unaware of a the policy like this and that the resolution is not in the best interests of students.
“Illinois state law already has made a lot of areas smoke-free and these issues already fall under state law,” Swiatkowski said. “I just don’t think putting a smoking restriction is the right route and is in the best interest of the student body.”
Internal Affairs Chairman Owen Irwin said he agreed with both Larson and Swiatkowski. He said he believes that the resolution is redundant, as rules and laws regarding this issue already exist and that he would feel safer if police were worrying about patrolling rather than issuing citations.
He also said he felt new rules such as this would be discriminating against a group of students.
“I don’t really feel like it is our job as students to make restrictions like this,” he said. “We don’t have the right to tell someone not to smoke.”
Bibb said this resolution SONOR was only trying to promote healthy habits, not to restrict students from their rights.
“We are trying to make sure that everyone is in a healthy environment,” Bibb said. “We are not telling people they can’t smoke, we are just making designated smoke-free areas.”
Although the resolution was not passed, SONOR will continue to make an effort encouraging positive social norms with both alcohol and tobacco use, Bibb said.
“I am disappointed but I respect the opinions of Student Senate,” she said. “The failing of this resolution won’t stop SONOR from getting the word out, we will continue to encourage students to make positive choices.”