Town hall set to discuss new health policy


Graphic by Tyler Herron

Trinity Progressives and SGA will co-sponsor a town hall discussion on the implementation of the Tobacco Free Trinity initiative in October. The meeting will aim to inform the Trinity community about the status of the anti-tobacco initiative and will serve as an opportunity for students to voice their questions and concerns.

“The town hall will serve many purposes. [It will] update the campus community on the progress of the ongoing Tobacco Free Trinity campaign and our timeline (past and present), and educate attendees about the benefits of becoming a tobacco-free campus, discuss draft policy, seek additional champions of the campaign, address FAQs with our panel and address any questions from the audience,” said Katherine Hewitt, coordinator of Wellness Services for Trinity.

While there is not currently an official date for when the policy will be implemented, the administration says the town hall should help clarify and finalize the matter.

“The desired result is education and advocacy for a tobacco-free campus. The campus will be going tobacco-free. However, we aim to walk out of the meeting with a solid idea of when the draft policy will be formally implemented,” Hewitt said.

Samy Abdallah, a junior history major and SGA senator, says that the town hall should help clarify the initiative to students.

“I specifically hope that students will learn where the administration is coming from and what they’re pushing because I feel like, as of right now, it seems that a lot of students are fairly in the dark about what the administration is trying to do,” Abdallah said.

The Tobacco Free Trinity initiative was first introduced to SGA in the spring semester.

“We heard from the wellness coordinator last semester. She came and talked to the senate about why they’re trying to roll out this new agenda. For the most part, it seemed like most of the senators didn’t see the benefit to this proposal,” Abdallah said.

While the policy itself is unavoidable, students who attend the town hall and voice their concerns will be able to influence the implementation of the plan.

“I think it’s important to allow the students to have a say in the matter. Hopefully the administration will take this as a chance to hear the students and listen, and hopefully they’ll take into account the concerns people might have for the policy,” said Sara Calvo, logistics coordinator for Trinity Progressives.

The town hall on tobacco is an opportunity for the Trinity community to come together and they are on the same page.

“I hope the administration gets to hear from both the students who do smoke and the students who don’t because I do think the administration is being hasty about this proposed idea. Through the polls we’ve given out to the student body, it doesn’t really seem like smoking is a problem on campus, and it doesn’t seem like most people on campus are bothered by it. Hopefully the administration can clear the air about what they’re trying to do,” Abdallah said.

The town hall will only discuss what that will mean and when the change will take place.

“The thing with the town hall is that this policy will be implemented eventually, there’s already agreement among the administration and it’s pretty much already been decided. So we want this town hall to be a forum where students can ask questions and give feedback and learn more about the policies. So, basically, this is a chance for administrators to learn about students’ attitudes about the policy, inform them about the policy, and from there I think that that will affect the implementation of the policy,” said Nick Santulli, a junior political science major and president of Trinity Progressives.

Trinity Progressives is hosting the event in the hopes of providing a medium to convey information about the imminent policy.

“Progressives doesn’t necessarily endorse this policy, but we think it’s important for students to have the opportunity to hear the full policy, what it’s going to look like after being implemented and voice their concerns. It’s happening. It’s going to go into effect eventually,” Santulli said.