Category Archives: Health and Safety

SMU publishes Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

The following message from President R. Gerald Turner was sent to the campus community on September 30, 2016, regarding SMU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report:

SMU is committed to maintaining an educational environment that supports safety and well-being through University policies, resources, education and prevention programs. Resources dedicated to campus safety include the SMU Police Department, which every year prepares and distributes a security report for the main SMU campus, SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos.

SMU’s annual security report is published in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The security report, which includes SMU’s annual fire safety report, is available online at smu.edu/CleryReport. If you would like a paper copy, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail lindaperez@smu.edu.

The report contains three calendar years of crime statistics, including incidents occurring on SMU 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 Department, Highland Park Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department, Plano Police Department, Taos County Sheriff’s Department and SMU officials who serve as campus security authorities.

I encourage you to participate in campus security programs, including the SMU Police Department’s crime prevention training and the fire safety and emergency preparedness drills coordinated by the Office of Risk Management. During the past year on campus, digital security camera coverage has continued to expand, and enhanced access controls have been installed on all parking areas. In addition, all SMU Police officers have been equipped with body cameras, and work is in progress to enhance campus lockdown measures.

Two serious national health and safety concerns are sexual misconduct and substance abuse. Please carefully review the information provided. In addition to SMU Police, important resources are the SMU Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators, Counseling Services, the Chaplain’s Office, the Office of the Dean of Student Life, the Office of Violence Prevention & Support Services, and the Women & LGBT Center. SMU strictly prohibits sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. In case of sexual misconduct, all campus community members are urged to immediately call police. More information is online at smu.edu/LiveResponsibly.

Thank you for the important role you play in campus security. All students, faculty and staff members can contribute by being aware of University policies and security measures. I hope you are able to participate in SMU’s National Night Out, which is from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4 on the Main Quad. You will have the opportunity to participate in safety exercises and talk with SMU Police and other officials.

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Dr. Bob Smith Health Center opens Monday, August 8

SMU is pleased to announce that the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, located at 6211 Bishop Boulevard, will open to begin serving students Monday, August 8.

The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center’s physicians, registered nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists and other staff members provide comprehensive outpatient care, including:

Beginning Monday, the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. To make an appointment, call 214-768-2141 or visit studenthealth.smu.edu. Same-day appointments for medical services are available.

For after-hours care, visit the Health Center website for area clinics, hospitals and emergency resources. In case of an emergency, call 911 or SMU Police at 214-768-3333.

Through Friday, August 5, health care services will continue to be provided at the Health Center’s temporary location at Perkins Hall, 6004 Hillcrest Ave. Call 214-768-2141.

The new facility will be dedicated at 11:45 a.m. September 16, followed by an open house.

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SMU remains weapons-free under ‘campus carry’ law

SMU prohibits the possession of any dangerous weapon (either openly or in a concealed manner), or facsimiles of dangerous weapons such as water guns or toy guns and knives, on all University property, athletic venues, passenger transportation vehicles and any groups or building on which University activities are conducted.

Student-owned sporting firearms or other weapons (including all BB and pellet guns) are the responsibility of the owner and must be stored at an appropriate location off campus.

SMU has been a weapons-free campus since at least 1994. See smu.edu/policy for the full policy.

Any violation of this policy is considered a serious offense. If you have questions about this policy, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3388.

SMU has opted out of “campus carry,” Texas Senate Bill 11

In accordance with Texas Senate Bill 11, also known as the “campus carry” law, SMU opted to ban concealed handguns on campus after discussion with the campus community.

When the law goes into effect August 1, 2016, SMU will remain a weapons-free campus.

The open carry of handguns or other firearms on Texas university campuses continues to be prohibited.

Read more about SMU’s decision to opt-out of Texas Senate Bill 11 online here.

signConcealed handguns prohibited

Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (Trespass by License Holder With a Concealed Handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (Handgun Licensing Law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.

Prohibidas las armas de fuego ocultas

Conforme a la sección 30.06, de código penal (traspasar portando armas de fuego ocultas), personas con licencia bajo del sub-capítulo h, capítulo 411, código de gobierno (ley de licencia de armas), no deben entrar a esta propiedad portando armas de fuego ocultas.

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Police report arrest in April 23 robbery, announce increased patrols

The following message was sent to the campus community May 5.

We’d like to update you that a suspect has been arrested in the April 23 robbery at CVS Pharmacy on the east edge of campus near Central Expressway. SMU Police were notified today that Dallas Police made the arrest May 5.

This report follows the April 22 arrest by Dallas Police of a suspect in the April 17 robbery on SMU Boulevard. SMU thanks our neighboring police departments for their work on these two cases.

In regard to the crime alert sent May 6, SMU Police are continuing to investigate a robbery reported at 11:30 p.m. May 5 near Owen Arts Center and Mary Hay and Peyton halls, as well as an attempted robbery reported at 3 a.m. April 21 in this area. SMU Police had increased patrols in this area and now are adding a patrol unit dedicated to this location at night, in addition to other security measures.

Anyone with information about these two cases is asked to call SMU Police at 214-768-3333 or report anonymously through the SMU Police Department’s Silent Witness Program by calling 214-SMU-2TIP or online at www.smu.edu/2tip.

Increased patrols and other security measures

In response to these cases, SMU Police have been conducting extra car and bike patrols at night throughout campus, in addition to their normal 24/7 patrols. Campus community members are urged to be aware of their surroundings and call police immediately if they see or hear anything suspicious. Because the SMU campus sits at the intersection of several police jurisdictions, 911 calls made from a cell phone can reach any one of them, depending on the caller’s location. For this reason, campus community members are asked to program the SMU Police Department’s direct line, 214-768-3333, into their cell phones.

Please also take note of the location of blue-light emergency phones, which connect directly to SMU Police, across campus and in parking lots and garages. Security cameras also are located across campus and in buildings, and are equipped to digitally record activity.

Campus community members are urged to call for a security escort at night:

  • Giddy-Up, 214-768-1111, offers free rides on campus from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.
  • SMU Police, 214-768-3333, can provide campus rides when Giddy-Up is not available.
  • SMU Rides, 214-768-7433, provides service 24 hours a day with an SMU ID; the full cost of the ride is charged to the rider’s SMU account.

SMU Police are available to provide crime prevention education and self-defense training to student groups. Call 214-768-3333 for information.

Campus resources

In addition to SMU Police, resources available to support students who may have concerns or questions include:

  • SMU Counseling Services for confidential counseling, 214-768-2277 (an emergency contact is available 24/7)
  • SMU Chaplain’s Office for confidential counseling, 214-768-4502
  • Office of the Dean of Student Life, 214-768-4564
  • Residence Life and Student Housing, 214-768-2407

Students, faculty and staff may submit confidential concerns about any student’s well-being to the Caring Community Connections program, through which students will be connected with campus resources. Information about that program is posted here: http://www.smu.edu/StudentAffairs/StudentLife/CCC

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SMU Aware: Increased police patrols throughout campus

Updated April 23, 2016:

SMU would like to make parents aware of two recent robberies and another attempted robbery on campus, and the University’s response to those incidents.

Posted at the bottom of this update are the campus alerts that were distributed via email to students and the rest of the campus community after each incident.

In the first case, which occurred at approximately 2 a.m. on April 17 on SMU Boulevard, a suspect was arrested April 22 in East Dallas by Dallas Police and was booked into the University Park jail, with more arrest warrants pending. Detectives from Dallas, SMU Police and the Richardson Police Department assisted in the University Park Police investigation.

The attempted robbery of a student at 3 a.m. April 21 near Hillcrest Avenue on the west edge of campus remains under investigation by SMU Police.

University Park Police are investigating a 2 a.m. April 23 robbery at a CVS Pharmacy on the east edge of campus near Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway. No students were involved in this case.

The safety of the SMU community always is the University’s first concern. These cases are unusual for our community, with three robberies previously reported on campus in the last six years. Earlier this week SMU Police, who patrol campus 24/7, added additional car and bike patrols at night throughout the campus to provide extra security for the University community in the wake of these incidents.

Campus community members are urged to be aware of their surroundings and call police immediately if they see or hear anything suspicious. Because the SMU campus sits at the intersection of several police jurisdictions, 911 calls made from a cell phone can reach any one of them, depending on the caller’s location. For this reason, we ask students to program the SMU Police Department’s direct line, 214-768-3333, into their cell phones.

Blue-light emergency phones that connect directly to SMU Police are located throughout campus, including in parking garages and parking lots. In addition, security cameras are located across campus and in buildings, and are equipped to digitally record activity.

Students are urged to call for a security escort at night:

  • Giddy-Up, 214-768-1111, offers free rides on campus from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the fall and spring terms.
  • SMU Police, 214-768-3333, can provide campus rides when Giddy-Up is not available.
  • SMU Rides, 214-768-7433, provides service 24 hours a day with an SMU ID; the full cost of the ride is charged to the rider’s SMU account.

SMU Police also provide crime prevention education and self-defense training to student groups, and are available upon request. Call 214-768-3333.

In addition to SMU Police, resources available to support students who may have concerns or questions include:

  • SMU Counseling Services for confidential counseling, 214-768-2277 (an emergency contact is available 24/7)
  • SMU Chaplain’s Office for confidential counseling, 214-768-4502
  • Office of the Dean of Student Life, 214-768-4564
  • Residence Life and Student Housing, 214-768-2407

Students, parents, faculty and staff also may submit confidential concerns about any student’s well-being online to the Caring Community Connections program, through which students will be connected with campus resources.

We ask that SMU students remember that information may be reported anonymously through the SMU Police Department’s Silent Witness Program by calling 214-SMU-2TIP or online at www.smu.edu/2tip.

Please see, below, the text of the campus alerts that were distributed via email to the campus community after each incident.

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Supporting students during final exams

With the end of the fall term quickly approaching, Deanie Kepler, the Director of Parent and Family Programs, and Christi Contreras, the Director of Parent Giving, share information from SMU resources about ways to support students during final exams and as they prepare for the spring semester:

Learning specialists at SMU’s Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC) encourage students to develop a plan for the end of the term, including setting realistic short-term goals, creating a daily study schedule, using library resources and meeting with professors during office hours.

If parents would like to show support for students during exams, the A-LEC suggests sending encouraging messages and a reminder of your student’s strengths and past successes. At the A-LEC, students can obtain free tutoring, take workshops and review essays with English faculty members.

Winter break is a good time to plan for learning experiences beyond the classroom, such as Engaged Learning projects, internships through the Hegi Family Career Development Center and SMU Abroad programs. The winter and summer breaks also offer opportunities to earn credits through SMU JanTerm, MayTerm and other Summer Studies courses, both on the main Dallas campus and at SMU-in-Taos. The University Advising Center can help students plan ahead.

Find more information from campus resources below:

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U.S. Department of State issues Worldwide Travel Alert

The U.S. Department of State has issued a Worldwide Travel Alert through February 24, 2016, that alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats.

If students, faculty or staff are planning to travel internationally, please consult the travel alert and country-specific information.

The State Department says U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation; be aware of immediate surroundings; avoid large crowds or crowded places; and exercise particular caution at holiday festivals or events.

State Department security tips include:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

Follow updates from the U.S. Department of State on Twitter at twitter.com/travelgov or on Facebook.

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SMU students in Paris report they are safe; SMU monitoring situation

SMU has heard from all 11 of its students studying in Paris that they are safe. The SMU Travel Oversight Committee is closely monitoring the situation and is receiving updates from the U.S. State Department and International SOS.

SMU community members abroad are asked to be aware that France has declared a national state of emergency and has tightened its borders. On Saturday, November 14, the U.S. Embassy in France issued a security message regarding the terrorist attacks: “Further incidents are possible. We strongly urge U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security, including limiting their movements to essential activity. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.” While airports and train stations remain open, travelers may expect delays due to heightened security measures.

All SMU Abroad students are covered by emergency travel assistance through I-SOS and may use the services of I-SOS worldwide during their term of study abroad. During SMU Abroad orientation, students received laminated cards with emergency phone numbers for I-SOS. I-SOS contact information also is available online at www.internationalsos.com. In addition, every SMU-approved study abroad program has its own emergency preparedness plan and protocols.

Students with concerns or questions are asked to contact the SMU Abroad Director, Dr. Cathy Winnie, at cwinnie@smu.edu (214-768-4904) or SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters at jwalters@smu.edu (214-768-1586). Student safety is the highest priority of SMU and our partner study abroad programs.

Students abroad are asked to review these personal security steps:

  • Register your travel with the State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP;
  • Make sure you register all independent travel with your program director so staff can reach you immediately in an emergency; remember to confirm and update any changes to your emergency contact information in your my.SMU account online;
  • Follow news reports closely;
  • Remain alert to your surroundings at all times;
  • Walk away from the first sign of trouble, and report any suspicious persons, packages or activities;
  • Avoid loud conversations and discussions that identify you as foreign, and avoid wearing clothing such as football jerseys or university sweatshirts, or T-shirts with American logos;
  • Keep your international cellphone with you, fully charged and turned on at all times, and respond immediately to any calls or messages from program staff.
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Free flu shots available during SMU’s Fall 2015 clinics

Stock photo of man receiving shotThe SMU Health Center has scheduled several free flu shot clinics for October and November 2015.

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

> Keep up with the latest flu information at smu.edu/flu

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

  • Monday, Oct. 5 – 2-6 p.m., Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports lobby
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m., Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports lobby
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14 (HR Fair) – 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Monday, Oct. 19 – 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Expressway Tower, East Campus
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20 – 2-6 p.m., Law School Pit, Underwood Law Library
  • Thursday, Nov. 5 – 4-6 p.m., SMU-in-Plano

> Dallas County influenza resources and updates available at dallascounty.org

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:

> Find statewide resources at TexasFlu.org

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SMU publishes Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

The following message from President R. Gerald Turner was sent to the campus community on October 1, 2015, regarding SMU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report:

SMU is committed to maintaining an educational environment that supports safety and well-being through University policies, resources, education and prevention programs. Resources dedicated to campus safety include the SMU Police Department, which every year prepares and distributes a security report for the main SMU campus, SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos.

The annual security report is published in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The security report includes SMU’s annual fire report, in keeping with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and its accompanying regulations.

The University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at smu.edu/CleryReport. If you would like a paper copy, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail lindaperez@smu.edu.

The report contains three calendar years of crime statistics, including incidents occurring on SMU 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 Department, Highland Park Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department, Plano Police Department, Taos County Sheriff’s Department and SMU officials who serve as campus security authorities.

Read more below:
Continue reading

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