Senate Recap: Bill asks library security guards to enforce non-smoking policy

Smoking on campus has been a topic of discussion within student Senate since the non-smoking policy was enacted in 2011. However, several members of Senate feel that the enforcement of this policy is seemingly not there.

This led to the presentation of a bill that would send a recommendation for the university to enforce the smoke-free policy. Specifically, for the university to ask security guards within the Richter Library to expand their daily routes to cover the outside front patio and issue a referral to the Dean of Students Office.

“The purpose of this bill is to put more pressure on the security guards at Richter to enforce this, since past actions to reach out to them for help have not worked out,” said commuter senator, David Mejia.

Milind Khurana, author of the bill and the College of Arts and Sciences senator, views this bill as the first step to continue reminding both students and faculty about this ongoing issue.

“This [bill] shows that there is a problem,” Khurana said.

Although senators believed that the issue primarily lied within the international student’s community, Dean of Students, Ricardo Hall, made it clear that offenders were varied and that the issue is more widespread.

Furthermore, Hall cleared up two misconceptions senators had during the discussion: one being that warnings are still given, and the other being that there are many repeat offenders. The latter being false, as the university passed warnings and simply begins with fines, while the former being not entirely true as Hall has noticed that there aren’t many repeating offenders.

“It has certainly gotten better,” said Hall. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to enforce this policy. You’d be surprised how compliant they are when they know they’re in the wrong.”

After much discussion, the bill was held to a vote and passed.

Brandon Bierly, senator of the School of Business Administration, said that more work can be done on part of the guards.

“Security officers would have to step up and crack down, to really get this across,” he said.

“If we want to show our library to students and visitors, they shouldn’t have to walk through a crowd of smoke,” said Senator Alex Underwood of the School of Architecture.