Faculty senate passes two resolutions at abbreviated meeting

Carter Henman

It may not be long before the use of electronic cigarettes is banned in enclosed UW facilities, with faculty senate passing a resolution in support of just such a change to UW Regulations.

UW Faculty Senate met for an hour on Wednesday to vote on resolutions 330 and 331, supporting a ban on indoor use of e-cigarettes on campus and NSF proposal for the University of Wyoming, respectively.

Faculty Senate Resolution 330 was originally introduced in the Nov. 15 meeting as “A Resolution in Support of UW Staff Senate Resolution No. 210 and ASUW Resolution No. 2477 to Amend University of Wyoming Resolution 2-180 to include ‘Electronic Cigarette’ Language.”

UW Regulation 2-180 defines “smoke or smoking” as “the act of burning any tobacco product, weed filler or plant of any kind in a cigarette, cigar, pipe, water pipe or in any other device” and bans the act in enclosed UW facilities.

ASUW and staff senate have already passed resolutions supporting a change in the regulation to treat electronic cigarettes as traditional smoking devices. The faculty senate resolution was meant to show solidarity with the other two representative bodies.

Senator Lynne Ipina, representing the mathematics department, said her constituents were in favor of such a regulatory change.

“For the first time that we can remember, our department actually came forward and voted,” Ipina said. “Fifteen people said they approve this.”

Only one senator spoke against the resolution, suggesting vaping was not nearly as bad as standard tobacco products and a change in UW regulations unnecessarily limited individual freedom.

“I think we’re becoming too much against choice,” Senator Ali Raddoui, representing global and area studies, said. “For people who are trying to wean themselves off of smoking, we are making it difficult for them not to go back to that urge.”

Senators Linda Kidwell and Tim Slater also reported support from faculty members in their departments.

“However, there was some discomfort expressed by a member of my department about the language in the staff senate resolution that says ‘it is deemed by some to be a gateway,’” Kidwell said. “That’s a very unscientific statement for an academic enterprise, and therefore they didn’t like endorsing the staff senate resolution.”

That concern led to a number of amendments to remove language endorsing staff senate and ASUW resolutions, and instead only have the resolution express support for an e-cigarette ban in general. The amendments passed with unanimous support, and the amended resolution passed with only three senators in opposition.

Faculty senate also passed an amended resolution in support of an National Science Foundation grant proposal to review policies preventing the advancement of women in STEM education programs.



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