SGB announces continued support for tobacco-free campus


SGB Board member Albert Tanjaya discusses Hillman Library’s hot-food policy at Tuesday night’s public meeting. (Photo by Knox Coulter | Staff Photographer)

By Emily Wolfe, For The Pitt News

West Virginia University implemented a tobacco-free policy in 2013, and in the past two years, Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania have followed suit. Now, Pitt may join them. At Tuesday’s Student Government Board meeting, Wellness Committee Chair Eric Macadangdang said the committee hopes to make Pitt the next campus to ban tobacco products.

Macadangdang described the tobacco-free initiative as “following in the footsteps” of those other universities.

“We believe that Pitt and Pittsburgh as a city should be on the forefront of leading a progressive and healthy lifestyle for students,” he said. “We’re not condemning smoking, we’re not condemning smokers, we’re just saying that on University property we want to maintain the most healthy environment we can.”

Macadangdang and board member Zechariah Brown met with Student Health Advisory Board President Chris DeHaven on Tuesday to craft a plan to garner student and faculty support to go tobacco-free. Their plan involves collecting letters of support and a survey, which they plan to share on social media this week. Participants will be entered in a drawing for a Fitbit.

Board member Pooja Humar spoke about a partnership between the University and McGraw-Hill Education that would offer students heavily discounted access to online textbooks. The program is already in use in the College of Business Administration and Humar said the goal is to implement it across Pitt’s other schools as well.

During the first open floor session of the night, a senior student rose to voice frustration with the enforcement of Hillman Library’s no hot food policy. She said she worries specifically about the Cup & Chaucer Cafe, located in the basement of Hillman Library, which the University no longer permits to use a microwave.

“There’s some concern on [the cafe’s] end that it’s affecting their business,” she said, “and we want to keep that business. It also creates a hostile environment not to be able to eat while we’re studying.”

Although Facilities, Technology and Transportation Committee Chair Caroline Unger clarified that the rule in question was not an SGB initiative, she said she and board member Albert Tanjaya will be working together to “find a compromise” with Hillman.

The board also confirmed new members to three committees Tuesday, adding a total of seven new members to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Allocations Committee and the Elections Committee. Other committees are in the process of selecting new members.

SGB wasn’t the only organization on campus to welcome new representatives. Resident Student Association President Sam Smallwood announced that this year’s new hall councils — elected from each residence hall by its student residents— were sworn in and trained this Sunday, Sept. 16.

“It’s important for us to make sure people are really loving where they live on campus,” Smallwood said.

A representative from Pitt Program Council also appeared at the meeting to promote the council’s upcoming events, including this Sunday’s Fall Fest on Bigelow Boulevard featuring Young the Giant and a planned October visit from journalist and “Fear: Trump in the White House” author Bob Woodward, famous for his 1970s coverage of the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post.

The board also introduced a bill to add alternates to the structure of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which it will vote on next week.

The Chinese American Student Association requested $2,125.65 to bring guest speakers to campus. The board approved in full.
Club Football requested $1,400 to pay its NCFA dues. The board approved in full.