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Tobacco Free BSU

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Office of Student Development & Enrollment
Deputy Hall 313

Phone: 218-755-2075
Fax: 218-755-3961

Mailing Address:
1500 Birchmont Dr. NE #20
Bemidji, MN 56601-2907

History of the Tobacco Free Campus Policy

In the 2010 Spring semester, the Bemidji State University Student Senate passed Senate Resolution 10-21.  In the resolution, the student leaders communicated to the administration their recommendation that Bemidji State University become a 100% smoke free campus.

In their memo to the BSU administration, Senator Asher Kingery wrote: "The BSUSA Student Senate would like to see Bemidji State University become a smoke-free campus by Fall of 2011. Over the [09-10] school year, Student Senate researched smoking bans on other campuses and gather data through a student survey. With the information gathered and understanding the well-documented risks of smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, it is clear that students here at BSU support the idea of a smoking ban. With hundreds of colleges across the country already implementing similar policies, there is an overwhelming amount of support for on-campus tobacco restrictions." 

The Student Senate resolution was shared in meet and confer meetings with each of the campus bargaining units in May of 2011. Two units provided feedback to the Administration, and those responses were generally in favor of the Senate resolution.

At the beginning of the Fall 2010 semester, and in response to the Student Senate resolution, President Hanson charged the Student Senate Co-Presidents (Michael Meehlhause and Kyle Moellering) and the Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment (Dr. Lisa Erwin) with creating a campus work group to provide recommendations around the issue of making Bemidji State University a tobacco-free campus.

The links on the right provide this information to our campus community, and we hope that students, faculty, staff, and community members will visit the site frequently and get involved in the process.

Student Senate Memo 5.4.2010(PDF)
Student Senate Resolution 10-21(PDF)

Tobacco Free Campus Work Group

The Tobacco Free Campus Work Group was established to work on the development of the policy. Chaired initially by Kyle Moellering and Lisa Erwin, the work continued in the spring 2011 semester with Ashley Tenney (Student Senate Co-President) as co-chair. The group reviewed policies from other campuses, literature about smoke-free and tobacco-free policies, and research concerning the effects of tobacco use. A website summarizing these efforts was published in February of 2011.

The website included several places in which feedback could be provided to the Work Group. Co-Chair Tenney responded to individuals who commented through the website, answering questions and providing information. In addition, Co-Chair Tenney identified themes in the comments and questions received, and wrote additional related "FAQ" items that were published to the website.

Beginning at the end of February, a draft Tobacco Free Campus policy was shared with campus stakeholder groups. It was shared with the Bemidji State University Student Senate on March 2, and through meet and confer meetings with each of the campus bargaining units (AFSCME - February 24, MMA, MAPE and BSUFA - March 2, MSUAASF - March 9). The Tobacco Free Campus Work Group received formal responses from MAPE, MSUAASF, and the Student Senate, all in support of the draft policy.

The Work Group engaged Mr. Ty Patterson, Director of the National Center for Tobacco Policy, to visit the campus. Mr. Patterson has worked with over 500 campuses on the development and implementation of smoke-free and tobacco free policies. Sessions were held with faculty and staff, students, the President's Cabinet, Public Safety, Student Senate, Residential Life students, and the Work Group. The purpose of the visit was for Mr. Patterson to engage the campus in conversations about the draft policy and its implementation, and to listen carefully to campus feedback. A set of comprehensive notes from those conversations provided the Work Group with additional feedback.

The Tobacco Free Campus Work Group met on April 1 to finalize the draft. The group incorporated suggestions and feedback received. The draft policy, along with a series of recommendations for implementation, was submitted to President Hanson on April 4, 2011.

Adoption of the Policy

On April 12, 2011, Dr. Richard Hanson approved the Tobacco Free Campus Policy.