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UPUA Receives $20,000 Grant To Work On Smoke-Free Initiative At Penn State

The CVS Health Foundation and American Cancer Society awarded UPUA a $20,000 grant this morning to further develop and explore the possibility of making Penn State a smoke-free campus.

The grant is part of the Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI) to support student-led efforts to make schools across the country smoke-free. UPUA is one of 20 universities to receive such an award in the first round of fundings from the American Cancer Society, which will continue to hand out awards over the next three years.

“UPUA remains committed to exploring a smoke-free university policy,” UPUA President Terry Ford said in a press release. “Our efforts thus far include formalizing the stance of the student body through a resolution that was approved last year by our General Assembly, compiling information on previous smoking-related initiatives at Penn State, and comparing our policies against those of other Big Ten institutions. We are excited to be moving forward and are grateful ACS has selected UPUA for this grant opportunity.”

Penn State student governments have been exploring the idea of banning smoking on Penn State’s campuses since even before the creation of UPUA, but the last few assemblies have really taken a commanding charge on the issue. The 9th Assembly tasked the university with studying smoking on campus with the hope of eventually going smoke-free. The 10th Assembly then voted in March to support the initiative at Penn State in one of its last meetings and just last month the Faculty Senate voted to support the creation of a smoke-free task force, which will be President Barron’s third task force since taking office.

“Penn State is proud to be included among the first recipients of this grant, and our students should be recognized for leading this cause and showing significant leadership and dedication,” President Barron said in a press release. “Smoke-free initiatives have been supported more and more nationwide, and the results of student-led efforts here demonstrate the need to evaluate our own policies. The health of our faculty, staff, and students is a top priority for the university.”

This is a very exciting opportunity and recognition for UPUA and the first time the organization has ever received a grant of any kind. The American Cancer Society will provide resources, support, and other assistance for UPUA as it works to further its efforts at both the University Park and Commonwealth campuses.

The TFGCI grants are part of a $3.6 million effort from the American Cancer Society and the award coincides with the foundation’s Great American Smokeout on Thursday, which is a national effort to encourage smokers to quit.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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