Student Senate discusses smoke-free campus proposal, reflection rooms

Eastern Michigan University’s Student Senate met on Tuesday at the Student Center to discuss various agenda items including a proposal for a smoke-free campus, core values for the student body and the inclusion of various reflection rooms across campus.

EMU President Susan Martin talked about next year’s budget for EMU and keeping college tuition at EMU affordable. Martin also spoke about the core values involved in EMU’s mission statement, which include: excellence, respect, inclusiveness, responsibility and integrity.

According to Martin, EMU has hired several new advisers for students to go to, and Martin briefly mentioned the successful inclusion of the physician assistant’s program.

She also said EMU wants to hire faculty who have a good attitude and are positively engaged with the students and can help them with their college careers and support all students in any other ways necessary.

Adviser to Student Government, Leigh Greden, spoke during the Business and Finance portion of the meeting, including a concern that if SG doesn’t use all of the money allocated to it, they might lose it or have future funding lowered.

“Managing a prudent budget and find opportunities to do more with student organizations, we can have a conversation about increasing money,” Greden said.

He also said that the funding should definitely not decrease for SG in the future.

Student Body Vice President Nino Monea mentioned other agenda items, which included the upcoming election, the hiring of new police officers at EMU’s Department of Public Safety and open seats for next year’s student government.

Shifting into event information, Director of Communications Adam Reid said he was pleased with the outcome of the Safety Week events, which were primarily sponsored by the SG.

“Safety Week was awesome and was a success,” Reid said.

Senator Fatma Jaber discussed the reflection room resolution. The proposal itself states that the resolution seeks to “urge the university to create additional quiet reflection rooms on campus that are adequately sized and conveniently located.”

There is only one reflection room on campus, which is located in McKenny. With various reflection rooms, according to the resolution, students can go to compose themselves, meditate, pray or relax. The resolution also made the case that these rooms will benefit nonreligious and religious students and faculty alike.

The resolution for the inclusion of various reflection rooms on campus passed 20 to 0.

When it came to the discussion about the smoke-free campus proposal, the room was divided.
Some senators felt like subjecting smokers to such a bill would not be fair, while others held to the
ideal that the health of nonsmokers on campus is being compromised.

The resolution was then voted on and was passed 13 in favor and 8 opposed to the bill.

Both proposals will eventually go in front of the Board of Regents for further discussion.

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