Smoking ban discussion dominates most recent Staff Senate meeting
President David Boren’s proposed campuswide tobacco ban dominated Wednesday’s OU Staff Senate meeting.
Meeting attendees discussed how smoking on campus has long been a problem and noted many of the Big 12 schools have applied a restrictive or a full ban.
Staff Senate chairwoman Fran Stephens said the ban is about balancing costs with students’ health.
“Both problems have been mentioned equally,” Stephens said. “I’m sure you’ll be told that health is the major concern, but it’s a campus reform, so it’s obviously both.”
The Landscape Department spent $45,000 last year related to cleanup of discarded cigarettes and emptying ashtrays, according to statistics provided by Landscape director Allen King.
An additional cost of $12,000 was needed to clean and repaint trash receptacles too damaged by cigarettes.
“The cost of litter control keeps increasing each year approximately $20,000 as our state appropriations continue to fall,” King said.
It is still unknown if the final result will be more restrictive policies or a total ban.
Stephens said most students don’t know about any decisions yet, but that will change if a full ban goes into effect.
“If [Boren] means a 100 percent ban, then their disagreement will matter,” Stephens said.
Daniel Pullin, United Way Campaign co-chairman, also addressed the Senate to highlight the organization’s local programs and services.
The meeting also tackled the care package project for soldiers in Afghanistan and the rights and benefits for nontraditional partners.