TCU’s smoking policy could change after the Student Government Association’s decision Tuesday to support a smoking ban on all TCU property.
According to the TCU student handbook, “smoking, including use of e-cigarettes, is not allowed in any University housing facility. Smoking must take place at least twenty-five (25) feet away from an entrance/exit to a building.”
The passed resolution says SGA “supports TCU becoming a smoke-free campus, and supports banning all smoking by any persons on TCU-owned facilities, properties, and grounds.”
Ryker Thompson, SGA Neeley School of Business representative, introduced the resolution. He conducted a smoking survey for students on Facebook to prepare for his presentation to SGA.
“I started this resolution because I am semi-allergic to smoke and, once I became [a resident assistant], I noticed it becoming a big problem when we had to keep telling students to move away from the buildings,” Thompson said.
Thompson isn’t the only one with allergies.
”I support the resolution because I am allergic to smoke and this would protect students who don’t have a choice but to breath in secondhand smoke,” said Cody Cox, SGA College of Fine Arts representative.
According to the resolution, a smoking ban on campus would reduce secondhand smoke, benefit enforcement of smoking rules on campus, reduce litter and align TCU’s smoking rules with those of the majority of the Big 12 Conference and peer universities.
“Making TCU smoke free would align us with our peer schools such as Baylor, Vanderbilt and the University of Texas,” Thompson said.
Thompson said reducing the amount of cigarette buds and cigarette-related litter would help keep the university clean.
According to Thompson’s survey, 98 percent of students who took the survey do not smoke. Another 36 percent answered incorrectly when asked about TCU’s smoking policy.
Thompson’s survey also found that 70 percent of resident assistants want TCU to be a smoke-free campus.
But not everyone supports the resolution.
“If they ban smoking, what’s to stop them from banning other privileges?” said Niko Posinski, first-year computer science major. “Some people enjoy smoking too, and SGA is trying to take that away. I thought SGA was supposed to allow students to do more not less.”
Thompson said the Board of Trustees still has to discuss implementing the new policy.