In a report to SMU President R. Gerald Turner on Jan. 31, SMU’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention offered 30 recommendations intended to strengthen programs of awareness, enforcement and assistance and to address related campus issues.
While noting that SMU’s existing programs are consistent with the best national practices, the Task Force calls for a “course correction.” Increased vigilance and proactive measures are especially important “as the University attracts higher-achieving students with expectations of a vigorous intellectual life on campus,” the report noted.
The report suggests additional steps that can be taken to foster an environment that encourages good decision-making, provides resources for prevention and assistance, offers positive alternatives for social life, emphasizes academic rigor, and maintains consistent and clearly understood policies.
“The Task Force recognizes that the national issue of substance abuse carries with it complexities that are beyond the influence of a single university, such as societal trends toward pre-college experimentation with drugs or alcohol, the availability of illegal substances in the surrounding community, the new freedoms and responsibilities inherent in college life, and students’ expectations that they will be treated as adults responsible for their own actions,” the report said. “Nevertheless, an individual institution must do all that is possible…to address substance abuse issues.”