Sep 302009
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

In response to an incident where an improperly discarded cigarette caused an evacuation of the Lory Student Center on Monday, student government raised the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act to emergency status and passed it unanimously via voice vote Wednesday night.

The act is intended to raise awareness of CSU’s smoking ordinance — prohibiting anyone from smoking within 20 feet of any university building, passageway, operable window or ventilation system/– by placing information cards in the dining halls and encouraging other student organizations to increase their awareness efforts.

“(Monday’s incident) is a perfect example of the ways smoking within the boundaries can be harmful,” said Jesse Jankowski, associate senator for the College of Engineering.

Alex Higgins, a senator from the College of Business who drafted the resolution, said its focus is on the residence halls, and that the idea came into play last year while he was living in the dorms and received complaints about smoking violations from his peers.

“It came from the students. It was written by the students. It is ultimately for the students,” Higgins said.

Jankowski said a similar bill was introduced to the Associated Students of CSU Senate floor last year, but the bill never made it to vote because of a “conflict of interest.” Now that the act has been passed, ASCSU is looking to Residence Life and Housing and Dining Services to join the initiative.

“By us starting this movement, we hope to get other organizations committed to educating students about the ordinance,” he said.

ASCSU hopes to eventually fix other areas of the smoking ordinance such as moving the smoking boxes away from buildings and outside of the 20-foot jurisdiction Higgins said. However, when he consulted maintenance last year, it said the estimated cost of the project exceeded $26,000.

“CSU is out of code,” Higgins said during floor discussion. “I’d like CSU to promote education and then focus on fixing other areas.”

ASCSU Beat Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at

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