There’s a new SWAT team on the IU Northwest campus and they don’t wear badges. They are members of the student organization “Students Working Against Tobacco” and will be featured in a halftime program broadcast on ESPN during the Tuesday, Dec. 23 Indiana University’s Men’s Basketball game against Morehead State.
The program followed SWAT members during a meeting and as members went out on campus to talk with students. SWAT’s goal is to educate the community about the risks associated with smoking and provide incentives to quit. The organization was formed through a grant awarded to the IU Northwest Office of Student Life and Athletics from Smoke-Free Indiana.
Thanks to the ongoing support, the group has been very active on and off campus. Member Christina Alexander, a senior majoring in sociology, said SWAT gave away more than 250 t-shirts during its "T-shirts for Cigarettes" program held this fall. Also, two members were able to attend one of the Baccus and Gamma national conferences in Washington D.C., which is an international association of college and university based peer education programs dedicated to alcohol abuse prevention and related student health and safety issues. SWAT has plans to sponsor an upcoming basketball game as well as conduct a campus wide survey. This survey will evaluate student opinions about tobacco use and Alexander hopes it will lead to an ordinance, similar to one in Bloomington, that prohibits smoking to 30-feet away from buildings.
To learn more about SWAT, visit the smoke-free resource center open to anyone on campus in the Savannah Center across from the weight room. Books can be read onsite and numerous informational pamphlets are available to take home.
After December 23, the halftime program featuring SWAT can be viewed at www.broadcast.iu.edu.