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UND goes smoke free?

The UND Student Senate passed a bill Sunday night to support President Kupchella's decision to make the entire UND campus smoke-free, inside and outside.

The UND Student Senate passed a bill Sunday night to support President Kupchella's decision to make the entire UND campus smoke-free, inside and outside.

"The focus is a very positive one," said Haylee Cripe, Student Senate government affairs.

Kupchella announced at the opening ceremonies of the UND Wellness Center in October, he'd like to ultimately see the entire UND campus go smoke free.

He said the plan was spurred by his academic work as a cancer researcher and by his experiences as an administrator watching healthcare costs skyrocket. He said he had several discussions with his President's Cabinet and with Healthy UND officials before announcing the plan and was putting together a task force to look at details of implementing the plan.

The bill passed with 14 yes votes, seven no and one abstention, according to Cripe.

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Similar policies are in place at Bismarck State College and Minot State University.

Soon after the announcement, Kupchella described implementing the policy as a slow and deliberate process and said he didn't want to impose the policy without buy-in from the community and plenty of warning.

That means full implementation likely wouldn't come until after Kupchella's planned retirement in January, 2008, leaving much of the work to his successor.

"It's a long-term goal," Cripe said.

She added that a certain timeline is not yet known.

"We are moving toward a healthier campus," Cripe said.

Reach Gibson at (701) 787-6754, or lgibson@gfherald.com .

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