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MUSG will vote on tobacco-free campus, recognizes World Pancreatic Cancer Day

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Photo by Maryam Tunio /maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Photo by Maryam Tunio /maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Maryam Tunio /maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Sophia Boyd, Student government & politics reporter

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Most of Marquette Student Government’s Monday senate meeting centered around health.

Before the MUSG Senate voted to participate in World Pancreatic Cancer Day on Nov. 13, they introduced legislature to make Marquette a tobacco-free campus.

Tobacco-free campus

Marquette is considered a smoke-free campus, meaning that the public is not allowed to smoke within 10 feet of any university-owned buildings.

Five students: Joseph Fuchs, a senior in the College of Engineering; Ricky Krajewski, a junior in the College of Health Sciences; Sarah Nisivaco, a senior in the College of Health Sciences; Michaela Bear, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and Alex Miller, a senior in the College of Nursing, recommend that Marquette take the policy a step further and prohibit the use of all tobacco products on campus.

“We are looking to improve the health of all students – that includes people who smoke,” Nisivaco said.

Students and faculty have been collaborating since 2012 to put this policy in effect. Fuchs said more than 1,600 faculty and students have signed the tobacco-free campus petition since November 2013.

“This is more than cigarettes,” Fuchs said. “This is greater than that.”

He added that cigarette butts are not biodegradable and are considered a biohazard.

MUSG Senator Adam Kouhel, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, mentioned cultural conflicts with international students that the policy could create.

Fuchs and Bear confirmed that they talked with cultural organizations about possible resources MUSG could provide to have a positive impact on those students.

“MUSG is going to give cultural groups resources to have programming that has alternatives to smoking,” Bear said.

Krajewski said he is meeting with Global Village next week to discuss and address international student concerns. Global Village is a housing option for international exchange students to live in community-based spaces with student ambassadors and other exchange students.

Before a tobacco-free policy can be enacted, a temporary committee of faculty, administration and students will work to decide what the policy’s specifics would be. This includes whether or not fines will be set and if vaping will be prohibited.

The potential committee is expected to write and implement a policy around Aug. 1 next year.

Without the support of MUSG, Fuchs said there is no way to make Marquette a tobacco-free campus.

“This is very much becoming the norm across the United States, but especially in Milwaukee,” Bear said. “We’re kind of at the butt end of passing legislation like this.”

The MUSG Senate plans to vote on the legislation next week on Monday, Nov. 9.

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Sarah Gorczany, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, lost her father to pancreatic cancer in high school.

“Ever since then I have made a vow to continue waging hope in his memory,” Gorczany said during her presentation to the MUSG Senate about World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

The MUSG Senate passed a unanimous vote to officially recognize the national event at Marquette on Nov. 13.

World Pancreatic Cancer Day raises awareness to gather more support for research on the “unknown and underfunded cancer,” Gorczany said.

Gorczany said a person diagnosed with pancreatic cancer has a seven percent chance of survival. She volunteers with Marquette’s Colleges against Cancer chapter and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Milwaukee Affiliate to bring awareness and raise funds.

“Along with the proclamation, we are asking as many people as possible to wear purple on Nov. 13 so that others may take notice and learn more about pancreatic cancer,” Gorczany said. “We cannot afford to continue letting this disease go unnoticed as it takes thousands of precious lives.”

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