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Volume 68, Issue 105, Thursday, February 27, 2003


SGA plan to clean up air for nonsmokers 

By Ray Hafner
Senior Staff Writer

Students smoking outside University buildings may soon find themselves forced to stand 25 feet from entryways if the Student Government Association finalizes a plan to clear the air on campus. 

Honors College Sen. Kim Black told the student Senate at its Wednesday night meeting that she is preparing to draft a bill that would conform to the Houston health code and force smokers to puff away from entrances.

Kim Black, the Honors College senator, presents a plan to keep smokers 25 feet from campus building entrances at the Student Government Association meeting Wednesday.

Lorrie Novosad/The Daily Cougar

"Students who are smoking within 25 feet of any classroom or building are doing so in violation of the Houston health code," Black told the Senate.

Black said she decided to address the issue after several students complained about having to walk through clouds of smoke to get to class. Black said she doesnit have a problem with people smoking, but "I do have a problem with those who are smoking affecting others."

After receiving advice from the Senate, Black said she hopes to create designated smoking areas that are not in the main walking paths.

A flurry of last-minute legislation dominated the rest of the meeting as senators scrambled to get their bills read and acted upon before Marchis elections have a chance to install new people in office.

Speaker Pro Tempore David Burkley said this way the nine new pieces of legislation presented at the meeting would be decided by the 39th administration. Only two meetings are left this session. Burkley was filling in as speaker of the Senate for the absent Jeff Hill, who missed his third consecutive meeting Wednesday.

A bill to repaint and maintain pedestrian crosswalks was passed during the meeting. College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Senator Katawna Walker authored the bill, which notes that construction has eroded many walkways, some are no longer visible.

The bill was the only piece of new legislation to pass. An old bill that would require the library to shelve textbooks for core courses also passed. 

Eight other pieces of legislation were sent to committees, most because they were filled with typographical errors.

Among those pieces of legislation were the following:

a bill to extend the filing time for parking tickets to 31 days from 21;

a bill to change the identification requirements for textbook buybacks at the UH Bookstore;

a bill to create a bus stop at The Honors College/Math Lab centers near parking lot 19E;

a bill to provide Texas Medical Center parking passes to upper-level pharmacy students.

Those bills will likely be brought up again at the next meeting March 12.

During the student comment period, two students complained that SGA does not publicize their meetings and has not been keeping its Web site ( up to date. Burkley said the administration would look into ways of alerting the student body about coming meetings.

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