GCCC trustees hear tobacco-free proposal





Garden City Community College Board of Trustees next month will decide whether to have a completely tobacco-free campus.

Moises Mora, Student Government Association president, presented SGA's recommendation forbidding all tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, Tuesday night at the regularly-scheduled Board of Trustees meeting.

Most board members seemed to agree with the SGA's stance on outlawing tobacco products on campus.

Merilyn Douglass, chair of the board, had stated in earlier meetings that the board was waiting for the SGA recommendation.

"We've been waiting on this," she said. "I'm proud of you. This takes some courage."

The recommendation, which the board will study and then consider for action at its June 18 meeting, states that "tobacco use is prohibited at all times, in all areas of Garden City Community College."

As recommended, the policy applies to all GCCC employees, students, visitors and contractors. The policy would be in effect for all GCCC-owned facilities, grounds and equipment.

Suggested disciplinary actions gradually increase from first offense warnings to final offense actions that include expulsion for students and termination for employees. Vice President of Student Services/Athletic Director Ryan Ruda assured the board that student disciplinary actions could be enforced via the GCCC Student Code of Conduct.

Mora said students had reviewed tobacco-free policies that are in effect at other Kansas community colleges in eastern Kansas. He pointed out that GCCC is leading the way to tobacco-free campuses in western Kansas.

Linda Morgan, Faculty Senate president, said the faculty has not discussed the tobacco-free topic this year. She said faculty would review the SGA recommendation, so the Faculty Senate can comment on it at the June 18 meeting as well.

In other business, trustees approved a request from Holcomb Mayor Gary Newman to contribute the amount of the increase in the ad valorem tax revenues from the Holcomb Plaza project via mill levy. Once the agreement is approved by all public entities, it will go into effect and conclude July 1, 2036.

The Holcomb Plaza Project could include hotels and gas stations, Newman said.

Trustees also:

* Approved the installation of a fire alarm system at the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts building at a cost of $31,595. The bid was awarded to low bidder Caro's Electric, LLC, Garden City.

* Approved the purchase of four Datatel servers for $44,468. The bid was awarded to CDW-Government, Vernon Hills, Ill.

* Approved personnel actions including the hiring of Melanie Hands, Student Support Services academic and retention advisor; Ryan Turner, head cross country/track and field coach; and Dennise Exstrom, nursing instructor; and the resignations of Rob Lutz, head women's volleyball coach, and Alaura Sharp, head women's basketball coach.

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