Garden City college students propose campus tobacco ban

GARDEN CITY — Complaints about chewed tobacco and used snuff being left in sinks and water fountains have spurred student leaders at Garden City Community College to propose a campus-wide tobacco ban at the southwestern Kansas school.

Garden City would not be the first Kansas college to adopt a tobacco-free campus.

But Ashley Nielsen, president of the school's Student Government Association, says the initiatives at most colleges in Kansas and elsewhere have originated with administrators.

"This is one of the few in the country brought about by the students," Nielsen told the Garden City Telegram. "This is really special."

Micah Kasriel, faculty adviser to the Student Government Association, agreed.

"This is a grassroots campaign from the students," Kasriel said.

Nielsen is scheduled to present the tobacco-free campus proposal Wednesday to the college's Board of Trustees, which has indicated it favors the idea.

Smoking is already prohibited inside Garden City Community College buildings and within 50 feet of any primary building entrance, in compliance with Kansas law and a city ordinance.

But questions raised through an internal campus communications system alerted the Student Government Association to tobacco-related problems that go beyond smoking.

Some opposition to the proposal has surfaced, including an editorial in the student newspaper.