The debate came to a close foras the controversial smoking ban was extinguished by a decisive vote of 17 to 33, effectively killing the senate’s proposal.
Emotions ran high at Monday’s ASG meeting, which had the largest attendance of the year.
Tommy Luna, ASG vice president, attempted to close the floor for public comment after a single speaker. The dozens in attendance reacted in an uproar. Ultimately, five students were allowed time to speak. Dr. Emilio Carranco, Student Health Center director, presented facts and figures supporting a ban.
A recent National College Health Assessment study found 67 percent of Texas State students favored becoming a completely smoke-free campus. However, 68 percent of the senate voted against the resolution.
“If the senate is truly representative of the students, they would pass this,” said Sen. Dallen Terrell, political science sophomore and co-author of the bill.
Sen. Will Fox, political science sophomore, echoed similar sentiments, asking senators to look at the data presented in the study as a representative sample of the students and not play into what he called the vocal minority.
Sen. Shanna Schultz, political science junior, attempted the first filibuster of the year by speaking for approximately 11 minutes about a PowerPoint presentation she prepared showing her reasons against the ban.
“I think it is important to present this information in opposition to the ban just as the proponents have been able to extensively, very extensively, share information on their side,” Schultz said.
Schultz said the purpose of her presentation was to clarify facts and statistics given by proponents, which she called “inflated.”
Schultz conducted her own poll of approximately 250 students she questioned in The Quad. Roughly 50 percent of students surveyed in the unofficial poll wanted to keep the existing policy, which prohibits smoking in The Quad, breezeways and within 20 feet of university buildings.
Informal polling was not limited to Schultz.
Sen. Tommy Aguilar, exercise and sport science senior, said he spoke with freshmen, who said they were already accustomed to high school smoking bans.
“I quote one freshman who said, ‘My high school was smoke-free, why can’t college be the same?’” Aguilar said.
Sen. Graham Hillhouse, economics senior, said he opposed the resolution because of feasibility. He said there was not substantial information given to justify the ban.
Hillhouse said one of the studies cited was not pertinent to the resolution because it did not affect health or nuisance factors. He also questioned the validity of using a study showing the affects of second-hand smoke taken from studies conducted indoors.
Sen. Brice Loving, co-author of the bill, maintained the ban supporters’ stance that second-hand smoke in any capacity is dangerous.
“We have to put the health of our students above the convenience of the smokers,” said Loving, marking senior.
Although ASG’s initiative failed, the President’s Cabinet has the final vote. However, they would not have the student body’s formal endorsement.