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Letter: University Senate restricts land usage in Tempe

If you’re familiar with the local political scene, you may know that voters in Arizona, along with Tempe residents, recently voted against a 1 percent tax hike. In the grand scheme of things, 1 percent may not seem significant, but as economists and accountants can attest, 1 percent can make a big difference.

This is why students belonging to Students for Liberty protested yesterday, in response to a ban on smoking enacted by the University Senate. The University Senate has effectively restricted land usage for 1 percent of Tempe’s land.

To put the issue of smoking bans in perspective, I’ve compiled some data with regards to college campuses, their campus size, and their proposed smoking bans. Below is a table with a few universities who are interested in or already have banned tobacco on their campus.


School Acres Student Pop. Current Policy
University of Missouri 1,250 33,000 Designated Areas
Arizona State University 1,550 70,000 Building Distance
The City University of New York system 400 480,000 Building Distance
University of Nevada-Las Vegas 337 28,000 Building Distance
Mesa Community College 80 28,000 Tobacco-Free

As you can see, Missouri State University is currently on schedule to become tobacco-free. Their current policy consists of designated smoking areas and they hope to be completely tobacco-free by July 2013.

However, one difference with Missouri is how they arrived at the decision. The undergraduate senate voted on the ban. To my knowledge, the undergraduate government at ASU has not been involved with this decision.

Please get in touch with your undergraduate student government, and express your opinion on this crucial policy. In my sight, this issue is one of the most significant milestones at ASU ever since that Irish kid became Student Body President for the second time.


Ryan Hartwig


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