Tonight Student Senate will be voting on a resolution that would ban smoking from the Gizmo patio. If passed, anyone smoking will have to stay away from the whole Gizmo patio area, a popular meeting place for all students during the warmer months.
Under Illinois state law, smokers are banned from smoking within 15 feet of an entrance to a building. Senators are asked to pass this resolution for several reasons, including the creation of a healthier atmosphere and Knox’s recent attempts to become more environmentally conscious.
“We’ve had a lot of recent sustainability resolutions,” said senior Liesl Pereira, Student Senate treasurer. “I think people who are into sustainability will [support the resolution].”
According to last week’s Senate Perspective, written by Pereira and Student Senate President senior heather kopec, the resolution will help prevent litter from cigarette butts and encourage students to go through fewer cigarettes in general. The column also argues that because “tobacco absorbs six times as much potassium as other crops and leaves soil in poor condition for farming,” using less cigarettes would be sustainable.
Additionally, the column suggests that the resolution would prevent non-smokers from having to breathe second-hand smoke. This would make the environment healthier for all students using that area.
“[Support for the resolution is] really kind of half-and-half,” said Pereira. “Even if it doesn’t pass, I think it’s a worth while discussion for Senate to have.”
At this time, the conversation about how the resolution will work is in its beginning stages and enforcement of the resolution is not yet concrete. Pereira hopes that having the whole area be smoke free would make it easier for people not to smoke there.