Category Archives: Health and Safety

Annual Campus Night-Lighting Tour Scheduled for October 5

Dallas Hall at nightSMU’s 2010 tour of its nighttime lighting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the flagpole on the Main Quad. All interested faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

The University sponsors the tour each year to help educate campus community members about the best after-dark travel paths, as well as to look for lighting deficiencies.

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New Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Now Online

Students on campus with bikes, fallSMU 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.

This report is published by Oct. 1 each year in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Under this federal law, colleges and universities must disclose specific information about campus crime and security policies.

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.

Information also is gathered from the University Park Police Department, Highland Park Police Department, Dallas Police Department, Plano Police Department, Taos County Sheriff’s Department in New Mexico and other University officials who have significant responsibility for students and campus activities.

The report is available online at the SMU Police Department website.

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.

“As you know, safety awareness and practices are a major focus of student orientation programs each year, complementing ongoing educational programming throughout the year. We encourage students, faculty and staff to be partners with us in enhancing security on campus and to share responsibility for their safety by heeding laws and regulations, taking safety precautions and avoiding behavior that puts them at risk,” wrote SMU President R. Gerald Turner in an e-mail dated Oct. 1, 2010. “We must remain mindful, for example, that while SMU’s campus engenders a comfort level one would expect of a collegiate setting, our location in a major metropolitan area brings with it challenges as well as opportunities.”

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.

Read more about SMU’s campus security and safety programs, as well as highlights of the new requirements under the HEOA, after the jump.

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Reminder: Health Insurance ‘Appeal’ Due September 22

In its commitment to students’ health and well-being, the University requires all domestic students taking nine credit hours or more to maintain health insurance through either an individual/family plan or the plan offered by SMU. In addition, all international students taking one or more credit hours must enroll in the University-offered plan unless they have a waiver granted by SMU’s Memorial Health Center.

SMU’s mandatory health insurance policy requires students to either provide documentation of private insurance coverage or to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) each term.

Students who missed the fall 2010 deadline of August 27 to provide documentation were automatically enrolled into SHIP and had a $715 semiannual premium charge applied to their student accounts. These students may submit a “late waiver appeal” form to the Health Center before September 22 to be released from the charge if they can provide proof of private insurance. No changes can be made to student accounts after September 22.

The “late waiver appeal” form can be found online here; students should return the form and required documentation to the Health Center or fax it to 214-768-2151 (attention: Krista Pruitt).

For the spring term, students must again either elect or waive SHIP in Access.SMU after they have enrolled in courses and before the deadline of January 24, 2011. Documentation must be done in Access.SMU to be considered for a waiver. Parents do not have access to this process; it must be completed by students.

Learn more about how to waive or elect coverage each term through Access.SMU.
• Learn about health education programs offered by the Health Center.
• Learn about flu preparedness at SMU.

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Health requirements: Insurance, immunizations and meningitis vaccination

In its commitment to students’ health and well-being, the University requires all domestic students taking nine credit hours or more to maintain health insurance through either an individual/family plan or the plan offered by SMU. In addition, all international students taking one or more credit hours must enroll in the University-offered plan unless they have a waiver granted by SMU’s Memorial Health Center.

In addition, as of January 2010, all students must provide proof of meningitis vaccination at least 10 days before moving into campus housing. Read more about required immunizations and vaccinations below.

SMU’s mandatory health insurance policy requires students to either provide documentation of private insurance coverage or to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) each term – for fall 2010, by August 27. After students enroll for 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. Documentation must be done in Access.SMU to be considered for a waiver.

If your student maintains private coverage, he or she must waive SHIP coverage for fall 2010 before August 27 in order to avoid automatic enrollment into SHIP and have a $715 semiannual premium charge applied to his or her student account.

Should your student miss the August 27 deadline and become auto-enrolled in SHIP, he or she may submit a “late appeal form” to the Health Center before September 22. No changes can be made to students accounts after September 22.

Learn more about how to waive or elect coverage.

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Health Insurance Required for Spring 2010

SMU is committed 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.

SMU’s mandatory health insurance policy requires undergraduate and graduate students to either provide documentation of private insurance coverage or to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

Students who do not elect or waive SHIP by January 25, 2010, will be enrolled automatically in the plan, and their student account will be billed a $669 spring premium.

To elect or waive coverage: When students enroll for Spring 2010, 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.

For more information on how to waive or elect coverage, please visit smu.edu/healthinsurance.

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Staying Healthy for the Spring Term

As students, faculty and staff return from winter break, the SMU Health Center encourages them to stay healthy, avoid catching the flu and remember these important precautions:

Get vaccinated with both seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines.
• 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.
• If you become sick, stay home to avoid spreading the flu. Seek medical attention, and find more recommendations below.

For 24-hour medical advice, students can call SMU’s Health Center at 214-768-2141.

Stock shot of single-use syringe A limited supply of vaccines for seasonal flu and H1N1 flu is available to SMU students at the Health Center. Students will be vaccinated on a first-come, first-served basis as supplies last.

Students may go to the Health Center during immunization vaccine hours (1:30-3 p.m. Tuesdays; 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesdays). No appointment is necessary. Announcements about upcoming spring vaccine clinics will be posted at smu.edu/flu and sent through campus email messages.

The H1N1 vaccine has an administration fee of $15 and can be paid in cash or charged to students’ Access.SMU account. The vaccines are provided by Texas Department of State Health Services. The cost for a seasonal flu vaccine is $25; for students insured with Aetna student insurance program, the cost is $5.

Seasonal and H1N1 vaccines also are available from local pharmacies and physicians. The Dallas County Health Department has an updated list of local pharmacies that have received supplies of the H1N1 vaccine, including the Tom Thumb at 7000 Snider Plaza near campus.

Novel H1N1 flu and seasonal flu are different; it is possible to catch both this season. Both vaccines are recommended by the Health Center and other health agencies. In addition, seasonal flu vaccines administered before September 2009 will not provide protection for the upcoming flu season.

• Learn about SMU’s new mandatory health insurance requirement for students and premium charges.

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Mustangs Who Care: A wristband for responsibility

mustangs-who-care-wristband.ashx.jpgStudent leaders are seeking “Mustangs Who Care.”

The program, launching Thursday, October 1, encourages students to act responsibly in social settings and trains them to intervene when someone is misusing alcohol or drugs and needs help.

” ‘Mustangs Who Care’ is about students watching out for their fellow students,” says Patrick Kobler, student body president. “It’s a way for SMU students to show that we can be responsible for ourselves.”

Kobler, a senior political science major, developed the program with Student Senate members and the SMU Circle of Trust chapter, a partner of the Gordie Foundation.

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Clery Act Security Reports Now Available

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 in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

These reports, published by October 1 each year and posted online at smu.edu/pd, 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.

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Preventing Substance Abuse at SMU

The University’s Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention and Education has issued its first annual report, based on the recommendations of the 2007-2008 President’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention.

The report focuses on the implementation of programs and efforts in the areas of health, enforcement, academics, social life, communication and parent partnerships.

In its report, the Commission, which meets monthly to assess the progress of the various efforts, provided an analysis of the implementation of the Task Force recommendations and recommended new efforts for the 2009-10 academic year.

SMU is committed to providing its students with an educational environment in which healthy lifestyle choices can be made. As part of its ongoing efforts to foster substance abuse education and prevention, SMU President R. Gerald Turner created the permanent Commission on Substance Abuse Prevent, an outgrowth of its Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention.

Read more about the report, and find resources for students and parents, on the Live Responsibly site.

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Monitoring the Flu

Cases of influenza continue to be reported in North Texas this summer, and the Dallas County Health Department has confirmed one case of H1N1 flu in a middle school student who recently attended a summer camp at SMU. There are no known H1N1 cases among other SMU summer campers or among SMU students, faculty or staff.

As it did this spring when flu-like symptoms were reported on campus, SMU has increased the frequency of sanitation procedures and encourages vigilance regarding personal hygiene and health habits. Students, faculty and staff should:

• 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.

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