MSU Mankato now tobacco-free

Minnesota State University, Mankato, implements the ban of tobacco use on campus.

As of January 1, 2012 MSU has adopted the tobacco ban throughout the whole campus including university owned vehicles. The only exception is the students who live in the dormitories can smoke outside the dorms until May 15, 2012.

This has been an on-going controversy since the policy has been implemented. There are people who still use tobacco on campus, but there has been a lot more respect from the tobacco users by not smoking directly in front of building entrances.

With the way the policy is written there is no fine assessed to people who are caught smoking. The thing that can be done is to kindly approach a smoker and remind them that this is a non-smoking campus.

MSU is not the 1st campus in Minnesota to adopt the MnSCU tobacco policy. In 2010 South Central College in North Mankato were one of the first to adopt the policy. One of the reasons for the policy to take place is because of the careless smokers who ignored the previous policy, which was smoking 15 feet away by 1 of the 28 designated smoking areas. Like the saying goes, 1 bad egg spoils it for everyone else.

After some research, finding out that there are no fines assessed to smokers are caught smoking on campus. It is hard to believe that the university will become completely tobacco-free.

Lori Marti, health educator at MSU, used a couple great analogies, “Why don’t we bring our pets on campus?” Well because there is a policy that states there are no pets allowed. “Why don’t students or faculty rollerblade to class because it’s quicker?” Again, because there is a policy that states no rollerblades in the buildings.

So in essence for the people who use tobacco not bringing it with them to campus  won’t tempt them to use them on campus.

MSU security does not have anything to do do with the policy because they would spend more time trying to catch the people who do smoke and less time patrolling something more serious that could be happening on campus

Some of the downfalls of having a tobacco-free campus and having it be strictly on the honor system seems to cause more of a mess because there are no smoking poles or a place for smokers to dispose of their butts.

Peter Hausladen, community advisor in McElroy complex stated, students who live in the dorms should have a place to smoke because it is their home, and spend a lot of time there

That brings us to where the campus is at now and students who don’t live in the dorms could call that discrimination. What’s to stop off-campus students or faculty to walk over to the dorms to have a smoke break?

Tom Harrington, MSU student, believes that if he wants to go out and have a cigarette he should be able to, but if someone has a problem with it to just respect their views and dispose of the cigarette.

Kelsey Hildebrandt, MSU student said, That at first she was following the smoking policy until she noticed that over students weren’t following the policy, so every now and again she has one on campus.

In the 1970’s it was much easier to smoke on campus:

  • Professors could smoke in their office
  • Smoking lounge behind the bowling alley
  • Smoking was permitted between Armstrong an Morris Hall

That was taken care of because of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA)

Smoking indoors is and was a feasible thing to ban because more 2nd hand smoke is being consumed, but outdoors doesn’t seem to be feasible because being outdoors away from a doorway takes away from the 2nd hand smoke inhalation.

“If the honor policy is thrown out because of people not abiding by it, fines could eventually come in to play but that is last resort,” said Marti.

It’s a last resort thing to do because it could give the campus a bad image and could sway students from attending MSU, which could cause some animosity towards the people who enforce the fines.

However, there are some benefits of having a tobacco-free campus, which includes smokeless tobacco:

  • Less waste
  • Less confusion of what is and is not allowed
  • Smoke-free policy only includes cigarettes and cigars

MSU News‘ take on the the tobacco-free policy.


Guest speaker for MSU, Mankato Media Day

Joe Barden
Twitter: @joe_barden


MANKATO, Minn.- Steve  DiMeglio  Minnesota State, Mankato, alumni to speak at mass media scholarship banquet April 24.

“Mickey Mantle is on line 1. Steve” will take place  in the Ostrander Auditorium April 24 from 4-6 p.m.

During his journalism career Dimeglio has gotten the chance to interview some famous people and some included are


  • Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush


  • Derek Jeter
  • Tiger Woods
  • Jack Nicholaus
  • Peyton Maning

While in college Dimeglio worked for the university’s newspaper The Reporter and after graduation he worked for the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, CA. Currently, he works for the USA Today, while covering his passion, sports.

“His sports pages were more than scores; they were interesting, informative and consistently outstanding,” said professor of Mass Media, Ellen Mrja, “He was absolutely the most dedicated sports editor we ever had.”

This progam is free to the public thanks to the Nadine D. Andreas Foundation.


For more information please contact Joe Barden at

Using Audacity

Free software to edit audio

Mindy McAdams gives a very helpful and easy to understand tutorial on Audacity which is a free program that can be downloaded from the internet and has to have the LAME encoder for it to work correctly. The audio that is edited has to be on the hard drive and not on an external source such as a USB or external hard drive.

The interface is very basic. There is a play, pause, stop, record button to help edit the audio. The 2 buttons that I think that will be the most helpful are the skip forward |<< and the skip to the end >>| buttons especially when working on a long audio program such as a podcast.

The way deleting audio is explained in a way that any college student would understand and the metaphor McAdams uses is Microsoft Word. To delete audio all that needs to be done is highlight the part that should be deleted and simply press the delete button on the keyboard.

Just like in Microsoft Word if the wrong thing gets deleted that can be undone by simply clicking the undo button, and on the other hand what has been undone can be redone by clicking the redo button. I personally tried this and it sure came in handy because unlike Word you can’t see the physical words. I caught myself listening to the same phrase 3 or 4 times until i got it right.

When editing a file that is 1 continuous blue blob with no pauses to separate a specific word or phrase just use the magnifying tool. They look like to magnifying glasses one with a plus sign to zoom in and one with a minus sign to zoom out. The example that McAdams uses is deleting the word “uh” to make it sound natural.

Moving audio is also very simple all that needs to be done is highlight the word or phrase that needs to be moved and cut it than move the cursor where it should be placed than paste it. Just like in Microsoft Word.

One thing I found very helpful is if the pause button || is on that a lot of the editing tools are not usable, so if there is that issue be sure to see if it is clicked or no. Because it can save a lot of frustration.

Exporting audio is quite simple. Make sure that the project is saved and know where it’s saved at and click the export button under the file menu. Also when saving the exported file be sure to save the file as an mp3 for the best quality.

Overall i found this tutorial very helpful because McAdams gives a nice basic but informative on the use of Audacity. I have found out in the past that the best way to get to know a program on a computer is just spend some time with it and play around until you are comfortable with it. Lastly, have fun!