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Changes coming to UW-Stevens Point campus under tobacco-free policy


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- UW-Stevens Point students will be seeing a different campus next year after university officials made the choice to go entirely smoke free in the fall of 2014.

Chancellor Bernie Patterson says the changes won't be all that obvious. "Probably see new signage in the parking lots. You'll see it in our literature, we wanna give the admissions office plenty of time to get it in their literature, and that's probably all that you'll see."

The change will be affecting campus property itself and will take effect in the fall semester of 2014. Patterson says there is a limit to their ban though. "Tobacco free applies to the campus per say, just the boundaries of the campus. Not the public streets or public sidewalks." The change will also not affect off-campus housing out of the control of the university.

Campus officials said on Friday that the move comes from a long term study of the campus body, staff and professors. Seventy percent of the SGA surveys returned showed that students were in favor of an entirely smoke free campus. The Faculty Senate and the University Affairs Committee also agreed with that assessment.

Patterson says that while the decision was not a unanimous one, that it was one that an overwhelming percentage of campus wanted. "It's been a conversation that's been going around the campus for many years, but it kind of bubbled up to the top in the last six months, and we promised we'd come to a conclusion on this before the end of the calendar year."