Effective today, tobacco products are outlawed at Texas State University. The use of any tobacco products is prohibited on all university properties and in vehicles owned or leased by the university.
This may not stop the school from holding a student referendum on the ban. During an emergency meeting on May 2, Texas State Associated Student Government (ASG) senators voted unanimously to hold a student referendum on the new tobacco policy in October.
ASG senators said the university first announced the tobacco ban on April 26, one day after ASG’s last regular meeting and on the student newspaper’s final day of normal publishing. On April 28, ASG President Melanie Ferrari called a special session of the ASG Senate to vote on the student referendum.
In the spring, Texas State Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Margarita Arellano said students could have a referendum, though the university would not be bound by the outcome of the election.
According to ASG Senator Adam French, ASG President Albert James DeGarmo is responsible for making sure the university holds the referendum. Neither Degarmo or ASG’s faculty advisor were immediately available for comment.
In her announcement of the university’s new tobacco policy, Texas State President Denise Trauth cited a 2010 survey in which 67 percent of student respondents and 75 percent of faculty and staff respondents support banning tobacco products at Texas State.
Texas State became smoke-free inside all university buildings and vehicles in 2000, and several outside smoke-free zones were established in 2005. The Round Rock campus opened in 2005 as a tobacco-free campus.
The university’s new tobacco policy, UPPS 04.05.02, can be read here.