SG smoking resolution still pending final approval

The student government senate passed a quiet meeting on Wednesday, the second meeting following the recent student elections.

The bill to place a non-smoking buffer around the residence halls, passed by the Senate on Sept.18th, is still pending.

The bill states that a 25-foot non-smoking buffer will be placed around the five University of Miami residence halls, and also provides for covered seating areas around the buffers, which will be designed by a special committee to be created by Dr. Whitely, vice president for student affairs, who will decide the fate of the bill.

“I can either say yes, no, or send it back to the Senate with my suggestions,” Whitely commented, suggesting that the third alternative is the most likely.

Although President Donna Shalala believes that “second hand smoke is dangerous,” she ultimately thinks the issue is “up to the students.”

She doesn’t feel, however, that it is the right of students to endanger the health of other students. “It’s unhealthy,” Shalala asserted.

“I walked by someone at a Harvard Commencement and told him it was unhealthy, and a year later he wrote me telling me that he quit, that what I said was what he needed to get the motivation,” Shalala said.

A bill to incorporate free disposable ponchos at food kiosks surrounding major University buildings was also laid on the table pending further discussion and approval.

Senators felt that the issue should be brought to Dr. Pat Whitely, vice president for student affairs, before funding is allocated.

Also, questions about whether such ponchos could be recycled or collected properly were addressed.

A bill to implement an additional drainage system around the Rock and UC was laid on the table pending further revisions, and two students missed ratification as Supreme Court Justices because they failed to show up.

Bills authored by Senators Gutierrez, Jr., and Wilson, to allocate $250 each to the College Republicans and Young Democrats, were overwhelmingly passed with little dissent.

The funding will sponsor a bipartisan event, “Week On Politics,” from Oct. 20 through Oct. 30, a series of debates and open forums on current events such as the War on Iraq.

Although money questions were raised, the senators defended their bills on grounds of lack of other sources of funding.

They petitioned local and state politicians for their funds, but, as they are in the middle of elections season, were strapped for cash, they said.

Organizational fundraising was unsuccessful as well:

“Car washes don’t accumulate $800,” Senator Gutierrez, Jr. said.

Mike Johnston, SG President, who did not attend the Senate session on Wednesday, is developing a bill to create a UM parking decal specifically for the University Village, a group of on-campus apartments to be located between San Amaro Drive and Red Road.

“I don’t think it’s feasible for people to get in their cars and drive around campus just to go to class,” Johnston said.

He suggested that, instead, University Village students should be encouraged to ride the free and highly accessible Hurry ‘Canes shuttles to classroom buildings.