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SGA ignites a smoking ban survey

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SGA Internal Vice President Dane Vincent and Parliamentarian Kyle Noland said the smoking ban task force is almost ready to submit a survey to students and faculty to see what they think about a potential smoking ban on campus.

“It’s a toss-up right now about whether it will be a tobacco-free campus or just a smoke free campus,” said Vincent.

“The smoking task force is going very well,” Noland said. “It’s going faster than I think we all expected. We’ve gotten a pretty solid draft of the survey. We are still looking at refining that. It looks to be ready, I hope, in a month.”

Noland hopes the survey will be out by the end of the semester.

“I would expect it’s maybe a couple weeks out from approval from the task force, four weeks at most,” Noland said. “Then it’s just the technical aspects of it.”

Vincent has voiced his opposition to the smoking ban since it came up in an August SGA meeting.

“I’m very against any type of smoking ban, any type of tobacco ban. But it’s nice to have Kyle (Noland), who is the polar opposite,” Vincent said. “We represent both sides of the spectrum.”

Noland said he would like to see the ban, he doesn’t want to implement something right away. He prefers a “tiered” system, where a ban would slowly be introduced to campus and monitored each step of the way, as opposed to starting the ban and leaving it alone.

But Noland and Vincent’s opinions aside, they want student and faculty opinions to make sure they’re making the right decision for campus. And that’s just what they hope this survey yields.

“As we start getting more feedback and it is refined, I think we will get a good survey that does not swing one way or the other,” Vincent said.

Noland said it will ask questions like “Would you be in favor of a smoking ban? Would you be in favor of a tobacco ban?” He also said it will look into whether or not e-cigarettes should be included in a potential ban.

According to the two SGA members, the survey itself isn’t finished yet though, and still needs editing.

“I think it needs more tweaking,” Vincent said. “Upon first glance, I thought it was more tailored to people who were against smoking.”

Noland said a representative from the Urbana-Champaign campus came to explain their smoking ban and how it was implemented. However, he also said though they are getting feedback from both sister schools, UIS won’t be “copying and pasting” the other universities’ programs onto the Springfield campus.

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