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USD Issues Campus-Wide Smoke Ban

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It’s a brand new year for the Coyotes at the University of South Dakota, and with a new year comes new policies.


However, there’s one in particular that not only affects the students, faculty, and staff, but anyone who may step foot on campus. For years, smoking has only been prohibited indoors and within 25 feet of all buildings; but this new campus-wide ban went into effect Wednesday, January 9.


“It was endorsed by the university senate, and then ultimately the executive council approved it. Really, what it does, is it just provides fresh air around the campus,” says Dr. Kim Grieve, Dean of Students at the University of South Dakota.


As students and faculty return to campus for the spring semester, those who smoke will have to step off campus if they feel the urge to light up.


“We really want to keep our students healthy, and we really want to keep our environment looking as beautiful as possible; so I think this is a really good idea for USD to move in this direction,” says Grieve.


It's a direction the university's Student Government Association has been steering into ever since the resolution was passed two years ago.


“We surveyed the students and got results overwhelmingly in favor of stronger smoking restrictions, and the majority wanted a full-out ban,” says Lexy Schuman of USD’s Student Government Association.


As for the majority of parents, they’re also in favor while some students are not.


“I like that it’s a smoke free campus, that if they have to smoke; they have to go off campus in order to smoke. It makes them work a little bit for it,” says Barbara Nyhammer, a parent of one USD student.


“I think it’s kind of putting a limit on their rights. This is where they go to school. This is what they pay for. This is where they’re teaching,” says Alyssa Wendt, a student from Spearfish.


Either way, it’s a new policy that university leaders hope all students respect and take seriously.


“If a student sees a fellow student or professor smoking, we would hope they would just go up to them and say, ‘Hey, this is a smoke free campus. I’d really appreciate if you would stop smoking,” says Schuman.


At this point, there are a few issues that still need to be ironed out when it comes to this new policy, such as enforcement and communicating with neighboring businesses that may see more smokers on their property.
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