Alex Schlee | Staff Writer | 1-18-12
Bemidji State University students returned to campus for the spring semester of 2012 to find a series of new stickers adorning the doors of the school’s buildings. These new decals, found in the windows of most of BSU’s building entrances, remind students of BSU’s 100% tobacco-free policy enacted last spring.
Until this semester, there used to be decals on the doors reading “No smoking within 15 feet of entrance.” These old decals were out of date and did not match up with the newly-adopted policy, and had to be taken down. The new stickers, which read “Welcome to our tobacco-free campus,” have now taken the place of the old ones, bringing campus up-to-date with its policy.
In addition to these stickers, several signs have been posted around campus reading the same thing. These new signs are replacing a set of old signs, which used to warn about the old policy against smoking within 15 feet of building entrances. The old signs were originally put up in 1975.
The complete ban against on-campus smoking took place during April of 2011. Phase two of the ban began later in August when the fall semester began. At that point, a soft enforcement began on students who disregarded the new policy. Beginning this semester, a stricter enforcement will be enacted. There is now a zero-tolerance policy towards tobacco use on campus.
“It is the responsibility of everyone on campus to engage policy violators,” said Jay Passa, Health Education Coordinator for BSU’s health and counseling services.