The Daily Illini

Illinois Student Senate opposes punishable student code changes toward smoking ban

By Megan Jones

The Illinois Student Senate does not support any changes to the student code regarding the smoking policy, specifically regarding any reprimand or punishment from smoking on campus besides an educational course, the senate decided at its meeting Wednesday.

Senators Rachel Heller, junior in psychology, and Kevin Seymour, graduate student, submitted the resolution in opposition to any student code changes, which passed with a 19-1 vote.

“We don’t think that it is fair for students to face any reprimand,” Heller said.

A clause in the resolution stated that the senate recognizes the benefits of a smoke-free campus; however, this clause was stricken with recommendation from Brian Siegel, senior in Media and former Illini Media employee, because not all senators agree with the smoke-free campus.

Senator Nathan Hesch, junior in Engineering, mentioned that, while he agrees with the benefits of the ban, student rights need to be taken into account.

“A campus-wide ban, to me, seems extreme,” said Calvin Lear, senator and graduate student. “But it’s even a step further to say, ‘Oh, well, if you happen to be on the property then you could be ticketed or punished.’ It seems a step too far in this whole adventure.”

Student Body President Damani Bolden recommended that all senators look outside the Illini Union patio at the writing in snow on the Quad that said “Sorry Phyllis,” apologizing for recent tweets penned by a group of Twitter users in regard to the chancellor’s decision to not cancel classes on Jan. 27.

Bolden will be one of the hosts of the “#onecampus Moving Beyond Digital Hate” town hall meeting that will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Additionally, the senate approved an allocation of $3,000 to co-sponsor the Engineering Open House. The Engineering Open House brings more than 20,000 people to the campus, and sponsor, Senator Zach Bass, junior in Business, sees this as a way to extend the senate’s communication efforts.

Nominations for the Teaching Excellence Awards, which awards five instructors on behalf of the student body for their work, will end Friday. The senate approved a $195 allocation for three musicians to play during the Teaching Excellence Awards banquet.

iLove Illinois Week will be held Feb. 24 through 28. Senator Matt Hill’s resolution for the week calls for $508: $408 for cupcakes and $100 for several electronic signs. The motion passed, and “cupcakes will be had by all,” said Vice President-External Carey Ash.

“Why are we allocating money to cupcakes to hand out to students?” Hill, sophomore in LAS, rhetorically asked. “But that’s what iLove Illinois Week is all about. We’re encouraging a greater sense of community and encouraging philanthropy and giving back to our University, so we can sustain our community.”

Senator Mitch Dickey, sophomore in LAS, recommended the senate not spend money on cupcakes or promotional merchandise, as his constituents said they do not think the senate should spend its money on this. “I think we have a unique opportunity to show our leadership,” Bolden said. “This has been a longstanding tradition, and I don’t take it as a burden but as a privilege. I take it as an honor to celebrate the birthday of my university.”

Senator Joseph Moseley, junior in ACES, said that each year the senate debates on whether to buy the cupcakes; however, they always end up doing so.

Megan can be reached at [email protected] and @meganash_jones.

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