A health and safety message from President Turner

SMU President R. Gerald Turner sent the following message to students, faculty and staff on August 25, 2014:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to the start of what promises to be a memorable Centennial year on the Hilltop. I wish each of you success as you pursue your academic, professional and personal goals.

Toward that end, it’s imperative that every member of our community play a role in maintaining a healthy and caring campus environment. All of us must be familiar with SMU policies, procedures and resources supporting that environment.

For this reason, I ask every student, faculty and staff member to read the online booklet “Live Responsibly,” which you can access on the SMU Live Responsibly website, smu.edu/LiveResponsibly. It addresses sexual misconduct and alcohol and substance abuse, which are serious health and safety issues at universities across the country, including SMU. Undergraduates also will be receiving a printed copy of this booklet in the mail to review and keep during their time at SMU.

Please carefully read the information provided about SMU’s Title IX (Sexual Misconduct) policy, and contact Title IX Coordinator Samantha Thomas in the Office of Institutional Access and Equity with any questions at 214-768-3601. It should be understood that SMU will vigorously pursue its policies and support state and federal laws. The federal law, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault. Sexual assault also is a crime under Texas law punishable by imprisonment. SMU will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form.

In the event of an emergency, including sexual assault or a medical emergency due to alcohol or drugs, SMU community members are urged to immediately call police and seek medical care for themselves and others. Please find more information about SMU and community resources available to help students in the Live Responsibly booklet and online.

In addition to SMU Police and the Title IX Coordinator, other SMU resources include trained confidential counselors at Counseling and Psychiatric Services and the Chaplain’s Office. The Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, the Office of the Dean of Student Life and the Women & LGBT Center also are here to support you. I encourage you to contact these resources to learn more about efforts to prevent sexual misconduct and substance abuse, and to attend the training and education programs offered throughout the year.

If faculty or staff members receive reports of sexual misconduct from students, please follow the procedures outlined on the Live Responsibly website, including notifying SMU’s Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible. If faculty and staff have non-emergency concerns about a student’s health or well-being, they can be shared confidentially through the Dean of Students’ Caring Community Connections online form.

To “Live Responsibly” at SMU means treating one another with care and respect and knowing how to get help in times of need. As the academic year begins, I urge each of you to be informed about health and safety, and to Live Responsibly.

R. Gerald Turner
SMU President

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