Category Archives: Health and Safety

Supporting student well-being and academic progress

The following information is provided by Deanie Kepler, director of Parent and Family Programs, and Christi Contreras, director of Parent Giving:

The end of the fall semester and the holiday season are quickly approaching. As students begin to prepare for final exams, we’d like to share information from SMU resources to provide support.

Health and well-being

We were so pleased this year to mark the opening of the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, a state-of-the-art facility that provides students with comprehensive health care. The Health Center is home to Medical Services, Counseling Services, a full-service pharmacy and SMU’s health education program (smu.edu/healthcenter; 214-768-2141).

At SMU Counseling Services, students can obtain confidential help with stress, anxiety, depression or other concerns. Dr. Cathey Soutter, director of SMU Counseling Services, encourages parents to be aware of any signs of distress when talking with their students, such as withdrawal from normal interests, crying or emotional outbursts, or changes in class attendance or in sleeping or eating routines. Parents can remind students of counseling resources on campus (smu.edu/counseling; 214-768-2277, an emergency contact number is provided 24/7). In the event of any concern about a health or safety emergency, please call SMU Police (214-768-3333, available 24/7).

We’d also like you to be aware of the SMU Dean of Student’s “Caring Community Connections,” a system for family members, faculty, staff and students to provide confidential information in order to connect students who may need support with resources. A form is online at smu.edu/deanofstudentsccc. Please also check with your student that his or her emergency contact information is kept up to date in my.SMU.edu.

Two serious health and safety issues on campuses across the country are sexual misconduct, particularly among acquaintances, and alcohol and substance abuse. On SMU’s health and safety website – smu.edu/liveresponsibly – you can find information about SMU policies, campus and community resources, education and prevention. All students are expected to “live responsibly,” upholding high standards of behavior, respecting the rights of others, and assisting others in need.

Finally, please remind your student to stop by the Health Center to get a free flu shot if he or she has not yet done so.

Academic support

At SMU’s Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC), learning specialists help students make a plan for final exams. They recommend creating a daily study schedule, using library resources and meeting with professors during office hours. At the A-LEC, students can obtain free tutoring, take workshops and review essays with English faculty members. If you would like to show support during exams, the A-LEC suggests sending encouraging messages and a reminder of your student’s strengths (smu.edu/alec; 214-768-3648).

Winter break is a good time to consider learning experiences beyond the classroom, such as Engaged Learning projects, internships through the Hegi Family Career Development Center and SMU Abroad programs. 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 (smu.edu/advising; 214-768-2291).

We hope this information helps support your student’s continued progress at SMU. Below is contact information for SMU resources, and please do not hesitate to contact either of us directly if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach Deanie Kepler at 214-768-4797, or gkepler@smu.edu, and Christi Contreras at 214-768-4746, or cshelton@smu.edu.

Continue reading

Posted in Health and Safety, News | Comments Off on Supporting student well-being and academic progress

Dr. Bob Smith Health Center offers free flu shots

Stock photo of man receiving shotThe Dr. Bob Smith Health Center has scheduled several free flu shot clinics, open to students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, SMU retirees and retiree spouses:

  • Oct. 6 – 2-6 p.m., Dedman Law School
  • Oct. 10 – 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Loyd All Sports Center
  • Oct. 17 – 1:30-3:30 p.m., Expressway Tower training room, East Campus
  • Oct. 26 – 2-6 p.m., SMU-in-Plano

Flu shots also are available at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, 6211 Bishop Blvd. Visit Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

To keep your visit as brief as possible, please:

For the 2016-2107 flu season:

  • Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use this season.
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
  • The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed.

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

> Find statewide resources at TexasFlu.org

Posted in Health and Safety, News | Comments Off on Dr. Bob Smith Health Center offers free flu shots

Touring the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center

SMU dedicated the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center for students in September. In this new video, student Raven Harding tours the 33,000-square-foot facility located in the heart of campus and speaks to the professionals who provide medical and counseling services and health education.

Posted in Health and Safety, Photo and Video Gallery | Comments Off on Touring the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center

Oct. 4 is National Night Out on SMU’s Main Quad

Tuesday, Oct. 4, is National Night Out, and SMU students, faculty and staff will gather on the Main Quad from 4-7 PM to share food, refreshments, and emergency and safety information.  This year, the observance of National Night Out will include an active shooter simulation at 5:30 p.m., in front of McFarlin Auditorium.

National Night Out LogoThe goal of the simulation is to make the campus community aware of actions they can take for their own safety in the event of an active shooter incident on our campus, and will be based on the “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol endorsed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. While SMU police and other campus emergency personnel are well-trained to respond to campus emergencies, they stress that individual knowledge and training can save lives.

SMU students, faculty and staff can view basic information about all of the University’s emergency procedures, as well as videos that explain what to do in the event of an active shooter or a weather emergency, at www.smu.edu/emergency.

SMU has organized other active shooter drills in recent years, but this will be the first produced outdoors.  The SMU Police Department hopes that hosting the active shooter simulation on National Night Out will draw larger attendance and encourage students to share what they learn.

September is National Preparedness Month, and the University has over the past few weeks shared a series of public service messages via social media encouraging students to take a few simple steps toward their own safety – such as loading the phone number for SMU police (214-768-3333) into their cell phones and visiting the smu.edu/emergency website.  You can see these video messages, and learn more about emergency preparedness, at  http://www.smu.edu/News/2016/preparedness-sept2016.

Posted in Health and Safety | Comments Off on Oct. 4 is National Night Out on SMU’s Main Quad

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.

Posted in Health and Safety, News | Comments Off on SMU publishes Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

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.

Posted in Health and Safety, News | Comments Off on Dr. Bob Smith Health Center opens Monday, August 8

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.

Posted in Health and Safety, News | Comments Off on SMU remains weapons-free under ‘campus carry’ law

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

Posted in Health and Safety, News | Comments Off on Police report arrest in April 23 robbery, announce increased patrols

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.

Continue reading

Posted in Health and Safety, News | Comments Off on SMU Aware: Increased police patrols throughout campus

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:

Continue reading

Posted in Ask Deanie, Health and Safety | Comments Off on Supporting students during final exams