USD to prohibit smoking on campus beginning in January

VERMILLION, S.D. -- After reviewing the smoking ban resolution passed by the University of South Dakota Student Government Association and endorsed by the Faculty Senate, the USD Executive Committee voted to ban smoking on campus effective Jan. 9, 2013.

“We listened to students who overwhelmingly supported further limitations of smoking on campus,” said James W. Abbott, president of the University of South Dakota. “While we want to be fair to everyone, this is a health issue and it’s our responsibility to ensure that our campus promotes a healthy lifestyle for everyone.”

In requesting the ban, students cited the health hazards related to smoking and second-hand smoke. Student Government Association President Alissa VanMeeteren noted that the initiative to make USD a smoke-free campus began almost a decade ago and that recent student response helped fuel a positive process to enacting the resolution – a Feb. 8, 2011 campus poll concluded that 62 percent of students wanted more smoking restrictions on campus. Currently smoking is not allowed indoors or within 25 feet of university buildings.

“This is an example of USD truly moving onward,” said VanMeeteren, a political science and economics major from Yankton, S.D. “I think it’s so important for students to get behind an issue like this and it’s a credit to the administration. This decision shows that our administration has students’ interests at heart.”

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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