MU Kick Butts gets 82 signatures in support of campus tobacco free policies


Jared Casto

SGA senator Mya Linden cuts the “MU Tobacco Free” cake during Kick Butts at the Memorial Student Center, April 4, 2016.

Eighty-two people signed a petition Monday to support Marshall University’s smoking ban during MU Kick Butts day.

MU Kick Butts day is an anti-smoking event sponsored by the Student Government Association’s Campus Life and Service committee that asks students to sign a petition in support of the campus smoking ban.

To promote the event, the committee gave those who signed the petition a “Tobacco Free” sticker as well as a slice of cake emblazoned with “MU Tobacco Free.”

Junior nursing student Travis Lutz, who signed the petition, said he supports the ban because smoking is a major health risk. Lutz said more effort should be made to enforce the ban or solutions such as designated areas for smokers should be considered.

“Smoking is a nuisance to a lot of people,” Lutz said. “You don’t know who has asthma, who doesn’t or who it will affect negatively. I think it would be better if it was enforced or maybe if there were spots for smokers to smoke.”

Autumn Booton, co-chair of the SGA’s Campus Life and Service committee, said she frequently sees people smoking on campus even though it has been banned since 2013.

“When I see people smoking on campus, it truly bothers me because it’s banned,” Booton said.

Booton said although there is a ban, it is not enforced and more steps should be taken to ensure smokers comply with the ban.

“I think a way to enforce the rule would be beneficial,” Booton said. “It is a rule, but it’s not a rule that’s enforced.”

SGA senator David Crawley said he supports the ban and events like MU Kick Butts show how important it is for the student government to support campus policies.

“As a member of SGA, it’s very important that we uphold the policies of the campus,” Crawley said. “MU Kick Butts day is just a reminder that we’re a tobacco free campus, that that’s a very good thing and that we need to celebrate that.”

Rachel Rohrbach, chairwoman of the Campus Life and Service committee, said the weather was not what they hoped for, but the turnout was better than expected.

“The weather isn’t as good,” Rohrbach said. “So not as many people are on campus compared to last year when it was really warm and sunny. But there’s still been a good amount of people coming to sign it. Pretty much everyone that’s asked to sign it will sign it.”

Jared Casto can be contacted at [email protected].