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  • Letter to the President

Alcohol and Other Drugs

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  • Letter to the President from the Chair of the Alcohol and College Life Committee

    (this letter accompanied the committee's recommendation on tobacco/smoking policy).
    April 18, 2007

    President Barden
    Minnesota State University Moorhead

    Dear President Barden:
    On Feb. 19, 2007, you issued a charge to the Alcohol and College Life Committee, which addresses alcohol and other drug issues on campus, to review the campus' current tobacco/smoking policy and provide you with a recommendation. On behalf of that committee, I am pleased to forward you the results of our recent work on tobacco and smoking.

    From February to April, our committee met five times, engaging in a thorough, detailed, and deliberative process:

    • We reviewed and considered the important findings from the Fall 2006 tobacco/secondhand smoke study of our students and employees, and the U.S. Surgeon General's recent report regarding secondhand smoke.
    • We interviewed representatives from other campuses that have moved to policies prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco on campus property. We even found a campus that bears remarkable similarity to MSUM—The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. A campus of the same size as MSUM and located in a residential neighborhood, UAFS went smoke free and tobacco free but did not experience significant problems that we have feared. Most notably, they did not experience problems with members of their campus smoking in the surrounding neighborhoods. I spoke at length to Ken Pyle, the vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life (he happens to be from Casselton, N.D.).
    • We interviewed several of the neighbors who live next to campus.
    • We consulted with Clay County Public Health.
    • We assembled a comprehensive collection of cessation resources.
    • We developed a list of "Frequently Asked Questions" to provide background and context for our recommendation.

    The committee thoroughly discussed all aspects of policy change. Ultimately, two conclusions rose to the forefront:

    1. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and,
    2. The campus community is ready to completely free itself of the mess and litter associated with smoking.

    Therefore, the Alcohol and College Life Committee unanimously recommends that MSUM move to a policy prohibiting smoking and the use or sale of tobacco products.

    The materials included with this letter are all posted on the MSUM Alcohol and Other Drugs website at Tobacco Free MSUM.

    Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the important process of campus policy evaluation. And, thank you for your consideration of our recommendation. We look forward to your decision.


    Susanne L. Williams, Ph.D.
    Chair, MSUM Alcohol and College Life Committee (which addresses Alcohol and Other Drugs)
    Assistant to the President


    Tobacco/Smoking Use and Sale Policy Recommendation
    President's Charge to the MSUM Alcohol and College Life Committee (which addresses alcohol and other drug issues)
    Tobacco/Smoking Policy Recommendation: Frequently Asked Questions
    Smoking/Tobacco Cessation Resources