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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published April 04 2010

Higher Education Notebook: People complying with new NDSU smoking ban

Campus leaders say the first month of a new smoking ban at North Dakota State University went well, but the education process will be ongoing.

“For the most part, people have been very respectful,” said Amber Altstadt, NDSU student body president.

NDSU implemented a new policy on March 1 that prohibits smoking on all university property, including outdoor areas of campus. Previously, smoking was banned within 50 feet of buildings.

Members of the University Senate who opposed the policy had concerns about how it would be enforced.

Currently, there is no enforcement of the policy, other than people giving each other friendly reminders.

President Dick Hanson said he’s seen a few violations, but for the most part, people have been complying with the new rules.

“To make something like this work, it really requires a cultural shift, and that takes time,” Hanson said.

NDSU is forming a task force to address how to further educate the campus about the new policy and potentially add an enforcement phase, Altstadt said.

Other universities have spent a year on education and then implemented a way to enforce it, she said.

“It will be an ongoing project to make sure that it’s a success on our campus for smokers and non-smokers,” Altstadt said.

UND nickname

The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux nickname will likely get little discussion at this week’s State Board of Higher Education meeting.

Unless the state Supreme Court issues a ruling before Thursday’s meeting at Mayville State University, the nickname will not be brought up for action, said Board President Richie Smith.

The board is waiting for an appeal to the Supreme Court by nickname supporters from the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe to be resolved. The plaintiffs sued the board, arguing the board must wait until Nov. 30 to retire the nickname.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on March 23 but has not issued a ruling.

The meeting agenda calls for Smith to give an update on the issue, but the nickname is not listed as an action item.

The focus of the meeting will be the 2011-13 budget request and presentations from campus presidents on proposals for major building projects.

China trade mission

NDSU and Dickinson State University were part of a recent North Dakota trade mission to China led by Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

NDSU officials built on their relationship with China Agriculture University in Beijing to develop exchange programs.

Dickinson signed an agreement with Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangling, China, to foster student and faculty exchanges with a focus on agricultural studies.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590 or adalrymple@forumcomm.com