USG 9/30

Undergraduate Student Government is revisiting the possibility of a tobacco-free policy at BGSU with a resolution presented at Monday’s general assembly.

The resolution supports prohibiting the use of all tobacco products campus-wide. According to Sen. Gil Lutz, author of the bill, it would apply to students and faculty alike.

If passed, Sen. Raegen Shull said the policy will directly coincide with the new state law effective Oct. 17, where Ohio residents under 21 will be unable to purchase tobacco and vaping products. She also stated any use of tobacco would be classified as a code of conduct violation.

According to the resolution, “An Act as so passed would present a backing to the Office of Recreation and Wellness’s university wide initiative to promote healthy living habits. … A tobacco free campus will support the health and well being of the campus and the environment,” stating that BGSU is the only public university in Ohio to have not implemented tobacco-free policies.

Faith DeNardo, director of the BGSU Wellness Connection, commented on the resolution during open forum, expressing support of a tobacco-free campus.

“All the data tells us it’s the right thing to do,” she said. “I am, of course, going to keep advocating for it, but I am not the only voice here on this campus.”

She said the policy would be important to combating recent health concerns related to vaping.

“It’s just concerning because we don’t have a lot of information on that. This is happening very quickly, and this is happening to young folks,” she said.

A similar bill was proposed to USG in February 2018 but failed in its final vote. Later in the year, the BGSU Wellness Connection’s Tobacco Free Initiative was revised for discussion, receiving mixed responses from students.

The resolution will receive a final reading and vote at the Oct. 7 assembly.

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