A community commitment to health and safety

Dallas HallSMU 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.

What to do when winter strikes

SMU's Dallas Hall under heavy snow, February 2011With fall finals and holiday celebrations on the horizon, it’s also the time of year when weather conditions may cause schools and businesses to close. When conditions warrant closing or delays, the University has procedures in place to ensure that students, faculty and staff know where to go for information:

  • If a decision is made to close or delay, an e-mail message will be sent to all students, faculty and staff.
  • Closing announcements may be obtained by calling 214-SMU-INFO (214-768-4636).
  • Closing announcements will be posted on the SMU website, via SMU’s Twitter feed at twitter.com/smu and on the University Facebook page at facebook.com/smudallas.
  • SMU News will contact the news media.

Learn more at the University’s Inclement Weather Policy page

SMU urges preventive measures against flu

Hand washing helps prevent flu from spreadingCases of the flu have been recently reported in North Texas, including several at SMU.

The University has increased the frequency of sanitation procedures in University buildings and encourages vigilance regarding personal hygiene and health habits. There are things you can do to help prevent the spread of germs, including:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces (door handles, railings, etc.).
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a disposable tissue or your sleeve.
  • If you have a fever or flu-like symptoms, do not go to work or class until 24 hours after you no longer have fever. Students who miss class should contact their professors about making up any missed assignments. Human Resources is developing guidelines for employees who miss work. The Provost is developing academic guidelines for faculty and staff.
  • Regularly clean work surfaces and touch points (door handles, drawer pulls, chair arms, etc.) in your work area and home.

SMU will distribute flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available to the University.

The University remains in close contact with the Dallas County Health Department, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. The University also is monitoring the flu situation in other countries for those studying or teaching abroad. Learn more from SMU’s Flu Homepage.

What SMU is doing about the flu
Academic plans for a possible flu pandemic
Faculty and staff guidelines regarding a flu outbreak from SMU Human Resources
Flu information for parents
Cleaning and disinfecting guidelines

SMU enacts medical amnesty with “Call for Help”

UPDATE Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014: The University’s Call for Help program has been updated. Visit SMU’s Live Responsibly site for new information.

Students on Bishop BoulevardIn accordance with a recommendation put forth by SMU’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention, SMU has developed and enacted a Good Samaritan and medical amnesty policy, the “Call for Help Program.”

Under the new policy, now in effect, students who seek medical assistance for themselves or another person due to alcohol and/or drug intoxication may be exempt from the SMU disciplinary process, except when it has been determined that another violation of University policy has occurred (such as destruction of University property, fire safety violation, physical harm to another person, or other infraction).

Any exemption from the SMU discipline process granted under the policy may only apply to disciplinary action and/or sanctions under the SMU alcohol and/or drug policies in the SMU Student Code of Conduct. It does not prevent the SMU Police or another police agency from detaining a student, issuing a citation or making an arrest if they deem that action necessary.

The Task Force recommendation establishing the program is one of 36 reviewed by the Faculty Senate and accepted by President R. Gerald Turner in April 2008

Any questions or comments about the policy may be directed to the Dean of Student Life Office, 302 Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

>> Read the entire policy under the cut.

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