I hope this message finds you well as we approach the last few weeks of the semester. Certainly, this has been a fall like no other, and I think we all have a new appreciation for academic experiences, time with friends, and sporting events on the Hilltop. Most of you have worked hard to keep our campus and one another safe and healthy during the past two months, and I sincerely thank you for the self-discipline you have shown and the sacrifices you have made. While Halloween is this weekend and the Thanksgiving break is in sight, now is not the time to let down our guard. We must remain vigilant and be especially mindful of making good decisions to help get us through these last few weeks of the fall semester.
The best and safest way to celebrate Halloween this year is by continuing to exhibit the responsible behavior you have been demonstrating all fall – wearing masks, remaining socially distant as recommended, and staying home if you’re not feeling well. That being said, if you do choose to venture out this weekend, please remember the following:
- Travel with your close friend(s), stay alert, and remember that not all people in costumes are friendly. Be aware of who is around you.
- If you see something, say something. Report suspicious people or activities to SMU Police at 214-768-3333, or to police in your jurisdiction at 911.
- Avoid high-risk behaviors involving alcohol. If you choose to drink, be responsible and understand the health risks. If you are under 21, understand the consequences of fake IDs and underage drinking.
- Respect the decisions of your peers not to drink.
- Call for Help: If you or another person is in danger due to alcohol or substance use, call 911 or 214-768-3333 immediately. Students who seek medical help for themselves or others typically will be exempt from discipline for alcohol and drug violations under SMU’s Medical Amnesty and Good Samaritan policies.
- If dressing up for Halloween or planning a virtual theme party, consider your costume choices and how they may affect others. Opt for showing care and respect for others.
- Be respectful of our neighbors and neighborhood, and please keep in mind municipal ordinances that are more restrictive now than during non-COVID times. Even if you are hosting a small gathering at an off-campus residence that meets all guidelines, be a good neighbor and responsible host. Please remember it is illegal to supply alcohol to those under 21 years of age as well.
- As always, remember the SMU Student Values Statement: “I, as a citizen of the SMU community, commit myself to upholding the values of intellectual integrity, academic honesty, personal responsibility, and sincere regard and respect for all SMU students, faculty, and staff.”
The SMU community has come together like never before this fall to help keep Mustangs safe and healthy. Don’t stop now. Continue to be a responsible community member this weekend so we can finish the semester Mustang Strong!
Melinda J. Sutton, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
and Dean of Students