The smoke has been cleared when it comes to vaping at USD.
Special guest USD General Counsel AJ Franken spoke at the first Student Government Association (SGA) meeting to discuss the South Dakota laws regarding e-cigarettes. These policies, Franken said, were updated during the 2019 legislative session.
Franken said South Dakota legislature added e-cigarettes to its smoking policies, meaning vaping products are banned on campus. If a student uses such a product at USD, the offense would be a violation of the student code of conduct, resulting in “corrective and/or disciplinary action,” according to the student handbook.
Carson Zubke, SGA President, said this new policy will answer issues brought up by USD students.
“I think the policy change is kind of reflective of the more broad usage of vaping on campus. I know there’s been some concerns students have raised about others doing that on campus,” Zubke said.
Informing students on the e-cigarette ban was part of the larger discussion on increasing communication between SGA and students. Saeed Dabbour, Director of Communications, shared his plans to help students contact SGA members more effectively.
He discussed an idea for an SGA Instagram account, which would include “Meet Your Senator” videos for students to learn more about the SGA senators.
“I think the Instagram account is going to be a really cool tool. I think there’s a lot of students who are using Instagram more than other social media platforms,” Zubke said.
Along with the upgraded social media, Dabbour browsed price options for SGA members to get headshots taken so students can put names to faces.
“This is just something that we’re kind of trying to push for as an opportunity, sort of for personal development in the organization. I think it’s definitely important,” Zubke said.
Headshots will cost a photographer $53 per hour.
Another idea discussed was the Campus Leaders Mixer. This would be an informal, sit-down conversation between student organizations and SGA. Kevin Huizenga, SGA senator, hopes these efforts enhance SGA’s relationship with student organizations. Huizenga said that SGA offers office hours and he hopes they will participate in MUC tabling in the future.
“I really hope this kind of bridges the gap between student orgs and SGA because it seems like currently most organizations only really deal with SGA in sort of a transactional sense,” Huizenga said. “And so it would be really cool to get to see them.”