With a vote of 13-7, Whitewater Student Government decided to postpone voting on the UW-Whitewater Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Campus Committee’s campus smoking-ban proposal until next year.
“It wasn’t that we’re trying to delay the legislation, it’s that the legislation has no knuckles behind it,” WSG Vice President John Jensen said.
WSG Sen. Jeffrey Winter moved to take the proposal off the floor for the night because he said he felt it wasn’t going to pass and it would be a disservice to let it die from lack of action.
A committee was formed after the vote and given the power to draft a smoking ban proposal to bring back to WSG. At that time, the legislation would be discussed, and the coalition could take the plan to the faculty senate and eventually Chancellor Richard Telfer.
“WSG is just trying to do what [its constituents want and maybe they’re not sure at this point,” student leader of the Tobacco-Free Committee Michelle Bertucci said. “I think that they don’t want to get negative feedback from the campus.”
According to WSG, the coalition’s proposal, as is, does not include enough detail to be passed and put into place.
“The smoking coalition has not given a complete plan,” Jensen said. “All they’re trying to do is pass an idea, and that’s not how campus governments work.”
Supporters and dissenters of the issue both expect the delayed decision to help the idea possibly gain more support.
“I think it will go in a positive direction, and I think it will get passed,” Bertucci said. “I think working together will form some reassurance and we can come together to decide a way to have the ban appeal to the rest of the senators.”