Burning of Sage, Candles

Policy Statement

Bemidji State University may allow for the use of sage, sweet grass, cedar and incense in non-residence hall campus facilities when a special request / facility usage form has been submitted and approved one week in advance of the activity. Candles are prohibited in all residence hall rooms and non-residence hall campus facilities unless a special use approval has been granted
by the university.

Scope and Purpose of Policy

The scope of this policy extends to all members of the university campus community and those from the external community who wish to use the university campus for meetings, conferences, and gatherings. The purpose of the policy is to honor those who practice the burning of sage, sweet grass, cedar, incense and candles because of their cultural heritage.

Definitions
  • Sage, sweet grass, cedar, and incense traditionally used by Native Americans to purify or bless people and places; most often used in smudging ceremonies.
Procedures

Approval for special use in facilities not including the AIRC and residence halls must be made by contacting the Assistant Director of the Hobson Memorial Union. Approval for special use in the American Indian Resource Center will be granted by the Director of that facility. Approval for use in the residence hall must be granted by the residence hall director in charge of that facility.
All requests for approval must also complete the Event Service Contact Form, and secure written approval from the appropriate approval source.
For safety reasons, the burning of candles is prohibited in all residence hall rooms and non-residence hall campus facilities. There may be occasions, however, when candles are felt to bean essential part of a campus activity. In those instances, special use approval may be granted by the university when requested and approved through the Facility Usage form, a minimum of
a week in advance of the event. Special use requests must be made by contacting the Assistant Director of the Hobson Memorial Union; completing the Facility Usage form, and securing written approval.

Rationale

Bemidji State University recognizes the importance of heritage and culture and seeks to honor that through this policy.