As a new school year begins at SMU, it is a particularly exciting time to be here — the University is commemorating the 100th anniversary of its founding and opening with The Second Century Celebration.
Classes started Monday, August 20, and it’s a good time for first-year students to consider their first lesson — college is different. And for more experienced students to remind themselves that each new school year brings a new beginning.
High school students typically study outside of class as little as two hours a week for frequent, small tests. In college, they need to study at least two to three hours outside of class for each hour in class, for just a few big tests each term. And in high school, students could count on parents and teachers to remind them of their responsibilities. In college, they must set their own priorities.
SMU’s Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center offers free tutoring and workshops throughout the academic year, including time management, learning styles and test preparation. The center offers 10 study tips for new college students; read more.
“Certain times in the academic year tend to be more challenging than others,” says Kepler. “Parents who understand the ‘ups and downs’ of their student’s first year will be better equipped to help them negotiate the challenges they will face.” See a month-by-month list of what to expect the first semester.
Mosquito spraying update, August 20: As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, there will be a second aerial spraying today, August 20, of University Park – including SMU – to kill mosquito larvae that have hatched since the first spraying last week. Aerial spraying is expected to begin about 8:30 p.m. and could continue into the early morning hours, depending on weather conditions. As a precaution, the city recommends that you avoid being outside during spraying, close windows and keep pets inside. Read more from SMU News.
Because mosquitoes are common in North Texas this time of year, the City of University Park has been spraying for mosquitoes to diminish the threat of West Nile virus. SMU is working with area authorities in addressing the mosquito problem.
The SMU Health Center is prepared to test and provide immediate care for anyone in the SMU community who suspects he or she is infected with West Nile. The SMU Health Center also has the recommended DEET insect repellent available while supplies last.
Use insect repellents that contain DEET or any other EPA-approved insect repellent.
Wear long sleeves/pants, loose and light-colored clothing when outdoors.
Protect yourself especially if you go outside during dusk and dawn hours.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. SMU monitors the campus daily for standing water, removes it and treats the area. Avoid stagnant water. If you see stagnant water on campus, please report it to SMU Facility Services at 214-768-3494.
Those with questions about the West Nile virus should contact the SMU Health Center at 214-768-2141.
Click to read more about health considerations during the dog days of summer:
This year, the Health Center will offer both the new needle-free flu shot and the conventional needle shot. The cost is $25; students who have SMU Aetna health insurance pay $5. Students may charge their SMU account, or the Health Center accepts cash (exact change) and checks.
Flu shot clinics are scheduled for:
• 2-4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at the Health Center
• 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Health Center
• 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Health Center
• 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Hughes-Trigg Student Center
• 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in Building 3 at SMU-in-Plano
SMU is committed to fostering a safe learning and working environment for our campus community. As part of that commitment, the SMU Police Department prepares and distributes an annual security report for the University’s main campus, the SMU-in-Plano campus and the SMU-in-Taos campus.
The SMU reports contain three calendar years of crime statistics, including incidents occurring on campus, at public areas adjacent to campus and at certain non-campus facilities, including Greek houses and remote classrooms.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and its accompanying regulations (HEOA) established new requirements for colleges and universities in the areas of personal safety and crime reporting, and also require for the first time that institutions issue an Annual Fire Report, similar to the crime and incident reporting in the Clery Annual Security Report.
To request a paper copy of the University’s annual security report, call the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail Officer Linda Perez.
The Texas Department of Public Safety acknowledges that many travel to Mexico without incident, but the risks cannot be ignored. Travelers are encouraged to carefully research any planned trips. U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Other spring break safety tips from Texas DPS:
• Don’t text while driving.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Don’t drink and drive.
• Find a sober friend to do the driving.
• Don’t leave your drink unattended, and don’t accept drinks from strangers.
• Keep a fresh driver behind the wheel, or stop every couple of hours to rest and walk around.
• Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.
• Keep your friends close.
Cases of influenza have been reported at SMU and are expected to rise during the flu season. SMU’s Health Center encourages students, faculty and staff to remember these important precautions:
• Get vaccinated.Flu shots are available at Health Center immunization clinics Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and Wednesdays 9 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for $25; for students insured with SMU Aetna, the cost is $5. No appointment is necessary during clinic hours; shots also are available by appointment during other Health Center hours. Flu shots also are available at many local pharmacies and physician’s offices.
• Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces (door handles, railings, etc.). Cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing with either a disposable tissue or a sleeve. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Get plenty of rest to keep the immune system working at its best.
• Know the flu symptoms: fever with cough or sore throat, and sometimes runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea.
• Students, faculty and staff with flu symptoms should stay home. Ill students should limit contact with others who are not sick. Those with flu-like symptoms should not return to class until they have not had fever (temp < 100.5 degrees F) for 24 hours without taking ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Students should seek medical attention if they have acute symptoms such as body aches, cough or a fever of more than 100.5. They must bring their health insurance cards to Health Center appointments; otherwise, they will be charged full price for any prescriptions.
It is the goal of SMU to remain open and hold classes as scheduled. However, if conditions warrant closing, the President in consultation with the SMU Police and the Provost will make that decision.
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 and via SMU’s Twitter feed.
In its commitment to students’ health and well-being, the University requires all domestic students taking nine credit hours or more and all international students taking one credit hour or more to maintain health insurance as a condition of enrollment.
If your student maintains private coverage in Access.SMU, he or she must waive SHIP coverage for spring 2011 before January 24 in order to avoid automatic enrollment into SHIP and have a $715 semiannual premium charge applied to his or her student account.
When students have enrolled for spring courses, a “Health Insurance” button will appear in their Student Center in Access.SMU. Clicking on this button will start the process by which students will be able to either elect or waive SHIP.
The waiver process must be done in Access.SMU and must be completed by the student; parents do not have access to this process.
Seasonal flu vaccinations will be available for students through the SMU Memorial Health CenterOctober 27 and November 3 and 10, 2010.
Shots will be offered at the SMU-in-Plano campus in Building 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. October 27. They also will be offered at the Health Center from 2 to 4:30 p.m. November 3 and from 2 to 4:30 p.m. November 10.
More clinics will be scheduled for students, as well as faculty and staff. The 2010-11 vaccine provides protection against A/H1N1 (pandemic) influenza and two other viruses, A/H3N2 and Influenza B. It will not prevent illnesses caused by other viruses.
Students will be charged $25 for flu shots. Students with Aetna Student Health Insurance will be charged $5.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs for the U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for Europe because of heightened concerns about potential terrorist attacks and a travel warning for Mexico because of drug-related violence, particularly in the northern border regions.
SMU students participating in programs in Europe have been informed of the alert and asked to take appropriate precautions. SMU Abroad is not operating programs in Mexico this fall.
“SMU Abroad and the Office of Risk Management continue to monitor the situation,” says Susan Kress, director of SMU Abroad. “Should additional actions become necessary, students will be notified by their program directors.”
If your student is planning to travel to Europe, or is currently in Europe, he or she should consult the travel alert, the regularly updated Worldwide Caution and the country-specific information found through the State Department.
Health and Safety: Learn about substance abuse prevention and sexual misconduct policies and procedures, and find important campus resources to support students, including the SMU Health Center.
SMU Aware: Learn about campus emergency preparedness efforts. In the event of an emergency, call the SMU Parent Info Line at 214-SMU-PARENTS (214-768-7273 or toll free 1-888-768-7273) for updated campus alerts. Contact SMU Police at 214-768-3333.