By Brittany Weatherspoon
Student Senate is evaluating a complete ban of tobacco use on campus
In an open forum on Jan. 29, students raised the issue about Tyler Junior College possibly becoming a tobacco-free campus. Smoking is currently not allowed on campus and if TJC becomes tobacco free no type of tobacco can be on campus.
The administrators want to determine student’s attitudes about this issue by bringing it to the Student Senate. Students can weigh in this issue by taking a survey on Students Senate’s Facebook page.
When school officials made TJC a non-smoking campus they considered having designated smoking areas, but they didn’t think it was right.
“Designated areas were ruled out by the administration,” Chief of Campus Police Randy Melton said. “How can you outlaw it, but you’re condoning it [with] you having these certain areas?”
Although the administrator opted not to create designated smoking areas, some students believe the college shouldn’t take it completely away. Because students are able to smoke off campus, like on Baxter Avenue, they feel that the college should create areas for them on campus to keep everyone happy.
“I do think that [smoking] is good for the students, but there needs to be accommodations for the students that do smoke,” Keaton Monier, a Freshman Student Senate member said.
The students who spoke at the forum on the tobacco issue want the school to somehow make accommodations for those who smoke. The issue that administrators are concerned about are that these areas may cause problems such as cigarette butts being discarded around campus, and going into the drains in the street, which harms the environment.
The students and teachers who are for banning all tobacco want to eliminate any harm caused by second hand smoke and what to keep TJC as clean and presentable as possible.
While the Student Senate presents the issue to the students, the administration is beginning to conduct its own meetings on this issue.
“The Student Senate, based on recommendation from the organizations on campus, will make a resolution about what the majority…wants on campus. That resolution will be passed on the Faculty Senate. Then they will make a joint resolution then they pass to the executive body of the school decision,” said Phillip Bruno, a student involved in Student Senate.
The tobacco-free decision should be made by April and will go in effect by fall semester . For students to voice their opinions, Student Senate meetings are every other Tuesday in Jenkins Room 1109. To see the surveys on this issue, go to tjc.edu. For details call the Student Affairs office at 903-510-3151.