SMU is committed to providing an educational environment that supports students’ health and well-being while they pursue their academic and personal goals.
The Live Responsibly Health and Safety website contains important information about SMU policies, procedures and resources that foster a secure environment that is free of misconduct and that upholds our community’s shared values and standards of behavior.
On the site, you will find information about substance abuse and sexual misconduct, which are serious issues at universities and colleges across the country. At SMU, a permanent Presidential Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention meets regularly to assess the University’s efforts and outcomes. The Commission’s 2011-12 report and previous reports are available on the website.
In addition, President R. Gerald Turner this fall established the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures, which is examining SMU’s programs in comparison with benchmark practices to determine if changes are needed, taking into account state and federal laws. Colleges and universities nationwide are reviewing their procedures for handling allegations of sexual misconduct in light of new guidelines issued by the federal government under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX requires universities and colleges to investigate reports of sexual assault and to provide internal grievance procedures.
More information about the Task Force and Title IX is on the website, as well as information about getting help in case of a sexual assault; reporting an assault to police, campus officials and confidential counselors; pursuing criminal charges and the University conduct review process; and campus and community resources that provide support and education. Because these are important, sensitive and complex issues, all community members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these policies, procedures and resources.
The University Commission on Substance Abuse Education and Prevention has released its 2008-09 report, which is posted on the Live Responsibly site.
The ongoing commission – composed of students, faculty, and staff – is continuing the work of the President’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention. In their new report, the commission members assess the University’s implementation of the more than 30 recommendations made by the task force.
The new initiatives include the Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty Programs that encourage students to call for emergency help for themselves or friends due to substance abuse. In 2008-09, 34 students applied for and received amnesty.
• Read more about the report on the Live Responsibly site
A Dallas federal jury has convicted James McDaniel of causing the May 2007 overdose death of SMU student Meaghan Bosch.
The University released the following statement on June 5, 2009, the day the verdict was announced:
Our thoughts have been with the family of Meaghan Bosch during this trial, and we hope that its completion gives a measure of closure to the family.
SMU representatives have attended the trial so that we can continue to learn as much as possible about the issue of substance abuse among young people, about how best to extend our efforts to educate students and prevent such future tragedies, and to help students who already have substance abuse issues. Our many education and prevention programs will continue, we will remain vigilant to needed changes, and we will persist in raising awareness among students and parents of the dangers and consequences of substance abuse.
What we have heard at the trial will allow us to examine whether we need to make additional changes to our programs aimed at preventing substance abuse.
• Dallas Morning News: Accused drug dealer guilty in SMU student’s overdose death
• Learn more about the University’s permanent Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention