Linda Smith, News Editor
Survey results from the recent proposal for creating smoking zones on campus have been calculated by Student Government, which has passed on recommendations to the administration based on the results.
According to the results compiled in SG’s resolution, 696 surveys were submitted. According to Smoking Investigatory Committee chairman Luke Hollomon, although a glitch allowed students to take the survey more than once, SG and the academic computing department found that fewer than 15 students, both for and against the zones, took it multiple times.
According to the results, 20 percent of respondents identified as regular smokers, while the remaining 80 percent claimed otherwise. When it came to the question of implementing smoking zones on campus, 42 percent voted pro-zones, while 48 percent of students voted against them. Broken down into the three possible responses on the survey, 58 percent said “I do not think it is a big deal,” 13 percent said “I do not personally like smoking on campus, but I do not think anything should be done about it” and 29 percent said “I do not like it and I think the visibility of smoking should be reduced on campus.”
Many students also included concerns in their responses that the resolution paraphrased. Those in favor of the zones said that smoking is offensive to nonsmokers and expressed concern about the many negative consequences of smoking, such as smoke being blown unintentionally into buildings. Those against zones felt that they would separate a portion of the student body; that since the Irving city ordinance is not currently enforced, the zones would fail; and that prospective students would get a false sense of the student culture if current students were dissuaded from smoking.
The resolution states that “the overwhelming majority of students felt that enforcement of current Irving city ordinances, banning smoking within a 25-foot radius of buildings and building entrances, would be the best way to address concerns about smoking.”
“We do not prompt the university to take any action, but if they do, we urge them to first simply enforce the city ordinance,” said SG president Renee Davis.
While the enforcement of the Irving city ordinance was the primary proposition of the SG resolution, it was also suggested that if any action further than the Irving city ordinance were taken, multiple zones with receptacles should be instituted around major buildings (including Braniff, Carpenter, Haggar, Gorman and Haggerty).
“The resolution has been given to both President Keefe and [Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs] Dr. Plotts,” Davis said. “Because it is a recommendation, we do not plan to take any further formal action at this time. However, I certainly will be discussing it with the president to see what the plan is, going forward.”
A report from the University of Dallas Fraternity Investigatory Committee (FIC) was ratified on Nov. 13, concluding the full survey and hearing process on the proposed formation of Alpha Delta Gamma (ADG). The “FIC ADG Report” is 15 pages and almost entirely composed of charts, graphs and quotes detailing the content of online student surveys, town hall meetings, reports made by SG senators on a shared document, and comments made at the Student Relations Committee’s table on the Mall.
The stated purpose of the report is “at the request of the Student Government Senate at the University of Dallas … to educate and inform several distinct groups: the Administration, the Senate and the student body.” The report then quotes several students, both for and against the formation of ADG on campus. In each class, under 30 percent of the class actually responded. With 28 percent responding, the seniors had the highest turnout, and with 22 percent responding, the freshmen had the lowest turnout. In each class, a majority of students responded “no” to the question, “Would you like to have ADG on campus?” When averaged, 60 percent of respondents answered that they would not.
However, when asked, “How would the presence of Greek life on campus have affected your original decision to attend UD?” 53 percent of respondents answered that it would have either encouraged their decision or would not have affected it, while the remaining 47 percent said that it would have discouraged it.
The report will presumably precipitate a response from the Student Government and the university’s administration in the near future. Though the report is purely advisory, the results that the FIC has gathered will doubtless inform the final decision.
“So far, Student Government has not proposed or voted on any resolution,” said senior Patrick Brehany, a member of the FIC. “The vote taken by Student Government will be based on the official constitution of ADG. The ADG constitution is not yet complete, but Student Government has been working closely with ADG leadership to facilitate a vote as soon as possible. … However, since ADG is a unique organization that brings with it certain complexities, such as a connection to the national organization, the university’s administration will be taking an active role in the ultimate decision.”