The smoke-free campus initiative from last year is starting to light up with plans set for student debate.
Those involved with the initiative are pushing for Dixie State College to become a smoke-free campus by banning smoking on campus grounds.
Members of the DSC Student Association held the inaugural Voice of Dixie meeting on Sept. 28 to announce and discuss various topics, including the smoking issue.
The meeting was scarcely attended with three to four students who were not on student government.
Jimmy Seely, DSCSA health science senator and a senior nursing major from Morgan, answered questions on the current status of the smoking initiative.
“We are working on writing a policy draft and we would like to see it implemented as soon as next semester,” Seely said. “It has to be voted on by the board of trustees and we have to hear back from the students first. That is our goal at this time, but I can’t say exactly (when it will be implemented) at this time.”
Seely said the forum will be held in three different ways: one part in person, one part online, and one part on the radio.
“We feel this covers all the different demographics and allows everyone’s voice to be heard,” said Brandon Price, DSCSA vice president of academics and a senior communication and theater major from Brigham City. “We want to hear the students’ voice on this matter. We want to know what everyone is thinking.”
Seely said the live forum is planned for Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“We split the forum into two sessions during the day to try and work around people’s schedules,” he said. “Some sort of food or snack should be provided.”
Seely said the radio forum will be held on Nov. 5. Also, information will pop up in two weeks on DSC’s Website banner, with links to DSCSA’s Web page, where students can leave comments.
Seely said Brigham Young University is the only college in Utah to have a smoke-free campus, and Dixie would be the first public higher education institution in Utah to implement a policy aside from an honor code like the one BYU enforces.
The details on how such a policy, if embraced, will be enforced are still in question.
“We have explored different options as far as enforcing a new policy, but we are still working on those,” Seely said. “We will address those issues at the forums.”
Joe Pate, last year’s health science senator and a senior nursing major from Provo, explained the fire behind the initiative.
“The whole idea behind the smoke-free initiative is health,” he said. “It’s not just for people who are affected by secondhand smoke…but to help those who want to quit.”
DSCSA leaders are welcoming all student and faculty opinions.
“If you have questions or problems, then come to the forums,” Seely said. “Please write to us. Let us know what you are thinking, and let us tell you about the research we have done and what the statistics have shown.”