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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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MSSA objects to proposed tobacco policy

by Dannie Higginbotham

Issue date: 10/09/08 Section: Senate News and Notes
The Minnesota State Student Association reaffirmed its stance against a proposed tobacco ban Wednesday, calling for better enforcement of the current policy rather than the creation of a new one.

"The university has not found a realistic solution on how to enforce the new tobacco policy," said MSSA President Ryan Anderson. "Giving out fines to offenders would be an extra burden to security personnel, and a smoking shelter would be ugly and wouldn't beautify the campus - which was one of the main goals of the smoking ban."

The senate passed a motion against the proposed policy that peer to peer enforcement of the new tobacco policy would be even less successful than peer to peer enforcement of the current policy, that pushing smoking to the edge of campus could be potentially dangerous, and that unenforceable laws are not worth the paper they are printed on.

"If we enforce the new tobacco policy just to enforce it, it will become a joke," said Vice President Murtaza Rajabali.

In response to concerns of cigarette butts littering the campus, the MSSA believes that the addition of ash receptacles, along with emptying them more frequently, could help combat the problem.

"If the ash receptacles were emptied more, people would use them," said College of Business senator Brian Leonhardi.

Off-campus senator Andrea Buecksler, who spent six months on a committee studying the tobacco policy, said she could not be happier about the plea to end the issue.

"I am so sick of hearing about this topic," Buecksler said. "This is something we should've done a long time ago."

"Hopefully this will be the last discussion on this topic," Anderson said.

The senate also opposed the idea of a flat parking fee, stating that since students had different needs for parking and that many students lived close enough to campus where they walked, it would not be fair.

"This would be like students subsidizing for parking for other students," said Off-Campus senator Andy Wilke.

MSSA also supported keeping the free lot, Lot 23, free and changing the name to the Complimentary Lot and recommended changing the signage to read the same.

Dannie Higginbotham is a Reporter staff writer