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Williston State College Announces Plans for a Tobacco-Free Campus

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Williston State College Announces Plans for a Tobacco-Free Campus

Posted: Sep 09 2013

September 9, 2013
For Immediate release
For more information, contact Kayla McKeil at 701.774.4222
Williston State College announces plans for a tobacco-free campus

WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College has announced a major change to policy that will affect students, staff and faculty, as well as visitors to the campus.

In an announcement made on Monday, Aug. 26, WSC President Dr. Raymond Nadolny stated, "I am pleased to report that as of today, Williston State College is a tobacco-free campus. Enforcement of the policy will begin November 1, 2013."

Following approval by the Staff Senate and the Faculty Senate, the WSC Executive Cabinet approved the policy on Monday, Aug. 26. The tobacco-free policy will be forwarded to an implementation committee to be made up of the WSC counselor, who will identify cessation support; a Department of Health representative to both advise and consult with the committee; the WSC Director for Human Resources; Director for Marketing to help with signage on campus; Facilities Director, to help develop campus security protocol; and a representative from WSC Student Services.

According to a notice from Dr. Nadolny which was emailed to WSC faculty and staff, "The term 'tobacco products' includes e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices, but does not include any cessation product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use as a medical treatment to reduce and eliminate nicotine or tobacco dependence."

The proposed policy states that "The use of tobacco is prohibited within college buildings, parking structures, walkways, arenas, in college or state fleet vehicles, and on college owned property, not otherwise leased to another organization. ... Otherwise, this policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, and visitors at all WSC sites."

The WSC Student Senate has been in favor of a tobacco-free campus for the last 2-3 years. While this year's officers of Student Senate have not yet been elected, Tara Weltikol, WSC Student Life Coordinator, believes that it will be good for the WSC student body.

"This will definitely make for a healthier campus," she said. "I think it will be huge for our student body to not only be smoke-free, but tobacco free. Obviously if you can't smoke or chew on campus, it will hopefully prompt our students to live a healthier life (by quitting)."

WSC will do all it can to assist students, faculty and staff who wish to stop using tobacco products by offering information and support. Students and employees of the college are welcome to stop at the Counselor's office where they will receive a free QuitSmoking Kit or QuitSpit Kit.

 "Upper Missouri District Health Unit and health advocates have been looking forward to seeing this positive change at Williston State College. For the past few years we have supported the community, faculty and students in their desire to have a tobacco-free campus," said Javayne Oyloe, Executive Officer, Health Promotion Team Leader at the UMDHU in Williston. "North Dakota voters passed a measure to establish the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (the Center) which provides funding for UMDHU and all ND local public health units to reduce harms caused by tobacco use. We think this move will have a positive public health impact".

Another benefit of the policy will be a cleaner campus.

"I think people will be able to walk around campus and not feel like their walking through a cloud of smoke," said Kimberly Weismann, WSC faculty member and Faculty Senate Chair. "Hopefully it will also clean up the areas where people are throwing their cigarette butts, etc. I think it will definitely help in these areas."

Michelle Remus, chair of the Implementation Committee and WSC Director of Human Resources, does not believe there will be any problem adjusting to the change.

"Prior to this, I talked with faculty and staff who are smokers, and we are all OK with it. It is a reality of the times we live in right now," she said, adding that those she talked with support the change as WSC was the only one of 11 North Dakota campuses which had not yet become tobacco free.

For more information about the policy, contact Kayla McKeil at WSC, 701.774.4222 or kayla.mckeil@willistonstate.edu. For other information regarding Williston State, visit willistonstate.edu, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND. 

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