Category Archives: Health and Safety

Parents Asked to Be Aware of Potential Phone Scam

SMU parents and grandparents are asked to be aware that a nationwide phone and email scam has been targeting grandparents for several years. An SMU Mothers’ Club member has reported that her parents recently received a call seeking money, supposedly to help their grandson, a college student in Louisiana.

The FBI provides helpful information about this so-called “grandparent scam” online. The FBI recommends that anyone who receives a call seeking money should:

  • Resist the pressure to act quickly
  • Try to contact your grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.
  • Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email, especially overseas. Wiring money is like giving cash, once you send it, you can’t get it back.

 

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Weather Update: SMU Is Open Friday, February 7

The University is open today, February 7, for normal business operations and classes are being held as scheduled.

Following is information from the SMU Weather Policy:

When conditions warrant closing or delays, SMU has procedures in place to ensure that students, faculty and staff know where to go for information. As soon as a decision is made, the following steps are taken to notify the University community:

  • An e-mail message will be sent to all students, faculty and staff.
  • A recorded message will be available at 214-SMU-INFO (214-768-4636). Please do not call the SMU Police Department.
  • Closing announcements will be posted on the SMU website, via SMU’s Twitter feed at twitter.com/smu and at facebook.com/smudallas.

The Office of News and Communications will attempt to contact the news media by 6 a.m. if day classes must be cancelled.

SMU’s goal is to maintain the normal operations and educational processes of the University while remaining sensitive to safety concerns. Therefore, if SMU remains open, faculty, students and staff should report to their classrooms or offices as usual.

However, if someone lives in an area that is affected by bad weather and feels that travel to campus would be an unreasonable safety risk, that individual should contact his or her supervisor or department head to discuss possible options, and students should contact their professors in advance.

Emergency service personnel are expected to report to work in any case to keep essential services and operations functioning.

Visit SMU’s Inclement Weather Policy page

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SMU Urges Flu Shots and Other Preventive Measures

With the arrival of flu season across the country and in North Texas, SMU health officials are urging students, faculty and staff to take preventive measures to protect their health.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, cases of influenza are expected to increase. Because flu can spread by contact with people who are ill, SMU health officials recommend that students get a flu shot if they have not yet done so.

Before the spring term begins, all students, including those participating in fraternity and sorority recruitment and other activities, are urged to get a flu shot from their local pharmacy, clinic or physician’s office. Students should get vaccinated as soon as possible to allow time to develop protection against the flu.

Flu shots also are available at no cost from the SMU Health Center, while supplies last. The Health Center is offering flu shots from 1 to 2:30 p.m. January 8, 9 and 10.

Students are asked to bring their SMU IDs to the Health Center and complete the online Flu Vaccine Form and bring it with them.

Beginning January 13, when the Health Center resumes normal operating hours, flu shots will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; students without an appointment may experience a wait. Flu shots also will be offered during immunization clinics Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 to 11 a.m.

Please contact the Health Center at 214-768-2141 for more information, or visit smu.edu/flu.

Read below for more precautions students should take against the flu:

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SMU Weather Update: Classes to Resume Monday, Dec. 9

SMU will resume normal operations and class schedules Monday morning, Dec. 9, at both its main Dallas campus and at SMU-in-Plano.

SMU asks our community to continue to exercise caution and heed safety warnings. While SMU Facilities Services personnel are working to clear ice from campus walkways, students, faculty and staff should be prepared to seek an alternative path if unsure of their footing. They also should continue to avoid walking under trees as accumulated ice melts.

Students, faculty and staff are asked to observe the following precautions:

  • Please use extreme caution. Don’t try to carry anything that isn’t necessary while walking.
  • Avoid inclines and ramps where possible.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks: If you think you may need assistance in getting from your car to your building, consider reaching out to someone in your work area prior to, or as you arrive, on campus.
  • Be aware that ice may still fall from trees and slide from roofs of SMU buildings. Use caution.
  • Report unsafe conditions to the Facilities Services Service Request Center at 214-768-3494; after hours, call SMU Police dispatch at 214-768-3333.)

Students should contact their professors in advance if they feel travel to campus Monday morning would be an unreasonable safety risk.

Please also see the SMU Inclement Weather Policy.

 

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SMU Is Monitoring Weather; Weekend Classes Cancelled

SMU Update, Sunday, December 8: All classes and exams are cancelled this weekend on the main SMU campus and at SMU-in-Plano due to inclement weather.

SMU continues to monitor the weather situation in consultation with safety officials and will post updates at smu.edu and on Twitter and Facebook.

SMU students are asked to be aware that heavy ice accumulation has compromised the strength of tree branches on the main campus. Students should use extreme caution when approaching or passing under overhanging branches. Students should use alternate routes to avoid passing under trees, and refrain from parking under or near any trees close to parking areas.

Dining Services on the main SMU campus
Dining services will be available even when the University closes because of inclement weather.  RFoC at Umphrey Lee will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. All other on-campus dining locations will be closed Saturday. Find the most current information about hours of operation for SMU Dining Services online and on Facebook.

Fondren Library on the main SMU campus
When the University closes for inclement weather, Fondren Library expects to be open. Hours of operation will be posted on the CUL homepage.

Meadows School of the Arts events
For the latest information on Meadows School of the Arts events, including cancellations, see the Events area of their homepage at www.smu.edu/meadows.

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Health Center Offers Fall 2013 Flu Shot Clinics

Stock photo of man receiving shotSMU’s Memorial Health Center has scheduled several Fall 2013 flu shot clinics for September, October and November.

Update: Additional clinics offered Nov. 6 and Nov. 20 (more information below)

Clinics will take place at various places around the main campus, as well as at the East Campus and SMU-in-Plano. All clinics are open to students, faculty and staff as well as to SMU retirees and retiree spouses.

Update your vaccination during the following days and times at these locations:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 25 – 2-6 p.m., Dedman Center Lobby
  • Thursday, Sept. 26 – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m., Dedman Center Lobby
  • Monday, Sept. 30 – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m., Underwood Law Library Pit
  • Wednesday, Oct. 2 – 2-6 p.m., Memorial Health Center
  • Wednesday, Oct. 9 – 1:30-4 p.m., Memorial Health Center
  • Tuesday, Oct. 15 (HR Fair) – 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 – 1:30-4 p.m., Expressway Tower, East Campus
  • Thursday, Oct. 24 – 4-6 p.m., SMU-in-Plano
  • Wednesday, Nov. 6 – 1:30-4 p.m., Memorial Health Center
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20 – 1:30-4 p.m., Memorial Health Center

The University offers free flu shots for all SMU students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses.

To keep your clinic visit as short as possible, take these steps:

Keep up with the latest flu information at smu.edu/flu
Dallas County influenza resources and updates available at dallascounty.org

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Annual Clery Act Report Now Available Online

SMU students on McFarlin Auditorium steps at duskSMU is committed to fostering a secure learning and working environment for our campus community.  As part of that commitment, the SMU Police Department prepares and distributes an annual security report (pdf) for the University’s main campus, the SMU-in-Plano campus and the SMU-in-Taos campus.

This report is published in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and its accompanying regulations also require that institutions issue an annual fire report, which is included in the security report.

Read SMU’s Annual Security Report (pdf)

The SMU report covers three calendar years, including incidents occurring on its campuses, at public areas adjacent to campuses and at certain non-campus facilities, including Greek houses and remote classrooms.  Information also is gathered from the University Park Police DepartmentHighland Park Police DepartmentDallas Police DepartmentPlano Police DepartmentTaos County Sheriff’s Department in New Mexico and University officials with significant responsibility for students and campus activities.

In addition, the report contains policies and procedures for enhancing campus security and individual safety, including the Giddy UpSafe Rides, Security Escort and awareness programs; methods by which the campus is alerted to crimes; the anonymous reporting system; and assistance for victims of sex offenses.

If you would like a paper copy of the University’s annual security report, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail Officer Linda Perez.

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SMU Alert Update: Information regarding Campus Lockdown

SMU was locked down briefly the morning of Friday, May 10, in response to a potential threat.

After learning at approximately 8:35 a.m. about a potentially armed man in the vicinity, near Greenville Avenue and SMU Boulevard, the SMU campus began emergency actions. As the suspect’s location was being tracked via cellphone signal, SMU began locking exterior doors to campus facilities and notifying building managers of the possible threat.

At 9:06 a.m., the campus locked down. Students, faculty and staff were notified by alerts via text, phone, e-mail, social media and website. The lockdown ended at 9:16 a.m. after Dallas Police arrested the man on Mockingbird Lane east of US 75 (Central Expressway). The campus was informed to return to normal activities.

There is no indication that the suspect ever entered the SMU campus, west of Central Expressway. The University acted out of an abundance of caution based on information provided regarding the possible proximity of the suspect to campus. SMU appreciates the fast action of Dallas Police in apprehending the suspect.

Classes have ended for the semester, but final exams are in progress. SMU is making arrangements for students whose exams were interrupted to have them rescheduled.

SMU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers students access to round-the-clock psychological counseling. Students may call 214-768-2277 for information or visit the SMU Health Center, 6211 Bishop Blvd., during clinic hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). After clinic hours, a mental health professional will be on call.

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SMU Accepts Sexual Misconduct Task Force Report

SMU President R. Gerald Turner announced May 8 that he has accepted the recommendations of the SMU Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures for maintaining and improving programs related to sexual misconduct. The recommendations address areas including sexual misconduct reporting procedures, requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the student conduct process, education programs for students, enhanced training for staff and communications to parents.

Turner established the Task Force in September 2012 to re-examine the University’s procedures and policies related to sexual misconduct to determine what changes are needed. Among the 20 members of the Task Force were external experts, including a representative of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and the executive director of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Initiative, as well as SMU students, faculty and staff members.

“Sexual misconduct is a serious issue at universities and colleges nationwide, which are required by the federal government to investigate allegations and hold violators accountable through an internal grievance procedure,” Turner said. “Even without such requirements, SMU is committed to policies and procedures that uphold community standards and foster a healthy learning environment based on mutual respect, responsible behavior and fair treatment of all students. I am grateful to the Task Force for its careful deliberations and recommendations. SMU is committed to implementing these changes and monitoring our practices.”

The Task Force made 41 recommendations, some of which address policies and procedures in place at SMU that the group felt should be continued but strengthened. Among these are procedures related to student reporting of sexual misconduct and the process for dealing with sexual misconduct allegations under the Student Code of Conduct. New initiatives recommended include new and more extensive education programs for students, as well as student mentoring and bystander intervention programs. Several Task Force recommendations were implemented during the past year, such as expanding information on SMU’s website. The full report is available online.

“Through our research and meetings, we learned that SMU has in place policies and procedures that align with national benchmarks,” said Task Force chair Kelly Compton, SMU trustee and chair of the Board’s committee on Student Affairs. “We also found areas that should be improved or more effectively addressed with new measures, particularly programs promoting education, training and communication. We are united in our commitment to the well-being of students through effective procedures, helpful resources and the support of a caring community.”

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New Health Services Fee to Take Effect in Fall 2013

Beginning in Fall 2013, SMU tuition and fees will include a new fee for health services. The mandatory fee of $100 for full-time undergraduate students and $50 for graduate and part-time undergraduate students will support enhancements to health care services and increased access to specialists and mental health counselors. The establishment of the fee has been endorsed by SMU Student Senate.

SMU is preparing for a major renovation to modernize facilities and augment services at the Memorial Health Center. The renovation includes plans for improved patient amenities, additional patient procedure rooms and counseling offices, and upgrades to medical equipment and technology. The plans also allow for expanded Health Center hours during evenings and on weekends.

During the past 18 months, the Health Center has gathered recommendations on desired improvements from the campus community, including through a student survey and meetings with student leadership. The new fee will help support these improvements, including additional mental health counselors, access to online scheduling and electronic health records, and expanded space for peer support groups and student health education.

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