Category Archives: Health and Safety

SMU Health Center Schedules Fall 2012 Flu Shot Clinics

Stock photo of inoculation syringeThe SMU Health Center has scheduled nine flu shot clinics for Fall 2012 on the University’s main campus and East Campus, and at SMU-in-Plano.

The University offers free flu shots for all SMU students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses. Other faculty and staff members, as well as spouses, may purchase shots for $25.

Students, faculty and staff can update their inoculations during the following days and times at these locations:

Tuesday, Sept. 25 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dedman Center Students
Tuesday, Sept. 25 3-6 p.m. Dedman Center Students/Faculty/Staff
Thursday, Sept. 27 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Health Center Students/Faculty/Staff
Thursday, Sept. 27 2-4 p.m. Health Center Students
Friday, Oct. 5 1:30-4:30 p.m. Expressway Tower Faculty/Staff
Monday, Oct. 8 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Law School Quad Students/Faculty/Staff
Monday, Oct. 8 4-7 p.m. Law School Quad Students/Faculty/Staff
Tuesday, Oct. 23 10 a.m.-2 p.m. HR Fair/Hughes-Trigg Student Center Faculty/Staff
Mon. Oct. 29 3-6 p.m. Plano Campus, Building 2 Students/Faculty/Staff

This year, a single shot will protect against H1N1, or the swine flu, and two other widespread flu strains that affected the Southern Hemisphere during the last flu season. Health officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated.

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

Keep up with the latest flu information, including upcoming clinic schedules, at

Dallas County influenza resources and updates are available at

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SMU Highlights Readiness During National Preparedness Month

September is the Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Month, and SMU is asking the campus community to take an active role in learning how best to respond to potential campus emergencies. Information will be shared through email, web and social media messages focused on recommended emergency responses to different threats.

Quick Response Codes printed on table tents in Umphrey Lee’s Real Food On Campus will make it easy for students, faculty and staff to use their smart phones to link directly to videos that teach when to Evacuate, Seek Shelter or Lockdown. The “Know What to Do” videos also are located at

As an extra incentive for watching the videos during National Preparedness Month, the University will Tweet (via @SMU) contest questions drawn from the three “Know What to Do” videos. Winners will earn $25 Starbucks gift cards for the first correct answers.

“Preparedness is a partnership,” said Anita Ingram, SMU associate vice president and chief risk officer.  “The world we live in demands that students, faculty and staff take an active role in learning the best possible responses to emergencies ranging from police actions to weather emergencies.

“First, I recommend that you update your contact information in access.smu so we can reach you in an emergency.  Then, I encourage you to watch the videos that explain when to EvacuateSeek Shelter or Lockdown.   These simple steps could save your life,” Ingram said.

Here’s what to expect this month:

  • Testing of the emergency notification system at various times, including outdoor sirens, internal fire panels and mass notification systems
  • Drills conducted by building managers
  • Email, web and social media messages focused on different emergency responses

Read important SMU dates below:  Continue reading

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SMU Issues Campus Crime Alert

SMU is taking additional steps to promote safety in light of the recent assault of a student on campus. Awareness and resources are essential in keeping our campus as safe as possible and supporting anyone who is a crime victim.

The University is taking these steps:

Read the campus crime alert and safety tips issued by SMU on Tuesday, August 28. Parents with questions, please call Student Affairs at 214-768-4564.

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SMU Welcomes the Class of 2016 as the School Year Begins

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.

SMU Director of Parent and Family Programs Deanie Kepler regularly offers advice for both parents and students.

“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.

Don’t miss Kepler’s list of friendly reminders for the start of school.

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Taking Precautions Against Mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus

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.

beware of mosquitoesThe 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.

To protect yourself against West Nile and other diseases carried by mosquitoes, the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you:

  • 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:

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Flu Shot Clinics Scheduled for Fall 2011

SMU’s Memorial Health Center has scheduled several Fall 2011 flu shot clinics for September and October.

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

> Visit the SMU Health Center online

To shorten your wait at the flu clinic, take these steps:

Keep up with the latest flu information, including upcoming clinic schedules, at

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2011 Clery Act Report Available Online

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.

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.

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 SMU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report online

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Spring Break Travel Alert Issued for Mexico

The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging all Texas spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico.

The U.S. State Department website lists several travel alerts related to violence in Mexico. Travelers should always check that website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico. Read the official notice and learn more from SMU News.

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.

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Monitoring the Flu: SMU Urges Preventive Measures

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:

Stock shot of single-use syringeGet 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.

Read more recommendations for students who have the flu below.

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Winter Weather: What to Do

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.

Learn more at the University’s Weather Policy page.

• Watch a video from SMU News on Snow Days 2011. video

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