Moody Coliseum clear-bag policy for SMU May Commencement: A guide for guests

As SMU gears up for the 103rd May Commencement Convocation, don’t forget that the Moody Coliseum clear-bag policy is in effect for the ceremony. The policy’s safety rules restrict items that may be carried into the venue.

The only bags permitted in Moody will fit these specifications:

  • those made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches,
  • one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar), or
  • small clutch bags (about the size of a hand) with or without a strap. The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag.

The Office of the Registrar has distributed reminders about the policy to graduating seniors and their families. Items that are medically necessary and do not fit the clear-bag policy will be evaluated individually.

Things that visitors normally carry in pockets can still come into the coliseum in pockets – such as keys and cell phones.

The following items are prohibited from entering Moody Coliseum:

  • Animals (except licensed service animals)
  • Backpacks
  • Banners
  • Binocular cases
  • Briefcases
  • Camera bags
  • Cans
  • Cinch bags
  • Computer bags
  • Coolers
  • Diaper bags
  • Fanny packs
  • Firearms
  • Flags
  • Glass items
  • Guns
  • Inflated balloons
  • Knives of any size and type
  • Laser pointers
  • Luggage
  • Noisemakers
  • Purses larger than a small clutch
  • Radios
  • Seat cushions with zippers, pockets or compartments
  • Selfie sticks
  • Signs
  • Stun guns
  • Throwing objects
  • Umbrellas (unless threat of rain or raining)
  • Weapons

No outside food or drink is permitted in Moody Coliseum.

Note: Graduation candidates are not allowed to bring clear bags, food or drinks into Moody Coliseum, Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, or the Crum Executive Education Center. A small clutch is permissible.

> Find more information on guest security, prohibited items and May Commencement

Campus Alert: Possible gas leak on main campus

LAST UPDATE, 11:05 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11: Evacuation lifted for northeast area of main campus near Airline and Dyer. Normal operations, including all classes, are being resumed following a report of a possible gas leak.

UPDATE, 10:15 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11: Buildings in the NE quadrant of campus near Airline & Dyer, including fraternity houses as well as neighborhood residences, have been evacuated as a precaution. Please avoid the area.

There is a possible gas leak near the 3000 block of Dyer Street at Airline Road on the main campus. Dawson Service Center, the Service House and Embrey Engineering Building are being evacuated.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors are asked to avoid the area.

Texas DPS issues 2012 spring break travel warning for Mexico

Stock photo of travel warning signThe Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) 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.

SMU News has posted the official notice from TxDPS, which was e-mailed to all SMU faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, March 6. Read the full alert.

Texas DPS warns spring break travelers to avoid Mexico

Stock photo of road warning signThe Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) 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.

The official notice from TxDPS:

March 1, 2011

DPS discourages Spring Break travel to Mexico
Reminds boaters of dangers on Falcon Lake

The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging Spring Breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico because of continued violence – and reminding boaters to stay on the U.S. side of Falcon Lake.

Falcon Lake has been the scene of several robberies and a U.S. citizen’s murder, and DPS is again warning boaters to steer clear of the Mexican side of the lake. Cartel activity remains high in that area.

“While drug cartel violence is most severe in northern Mexico, it is prominent in other parts of the country as well,” said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw. “Various crime problems also exist in many popular resort areas, such as Acapulco and Cancun, and crimes against U.S citizens often go unpunished.”

So far this year, an ICE agent was killed and another injured in a suspected ambush near San Luis Potosi February 15. Two El Paso teens were gunned down February 5 in Ciudad Juarez. In January, a Texas missionary was shot in the head when she and her husband ran an illegal road block in Nuevo León.

In addition to U.S citizens killed so far this year, preliminary figures show as many as 65 Americans were killed in Mexico in 2010. Kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery and carjacking also are threats in parts of Mexico. Suspects have not been prosecuted in many of the cases. Meanwhile, more than 30,000 Mexican citizens have died in drug-related violence since 2006, and the violence shows no signs of abating.

“Drug violence has not discriminated – innocent bystanders and people who may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time are among the casualties. Underestimating the violence in Mexico would be a mistake for parents and students,” said McCraw. “Our safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive.”

DPS acknowledges that many travel to Mexico without incident, but the risks cannot be ignored. Travelers are encouraged to carefully research any planned trips.

Travelers should always check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico. (See or

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through their website at

> Read more, including safe spring break tips, from SMU News

State Department urges caution for travel to Mexico, Europe

Stock photo of travelers in an airportThe Bureau of Consular Affairs for the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Mexico because of drug-related violence, particularly in the northern border regions, and a travel alert for Europe because of heightened concerns about potential terrorist attacks.

If you are planning to travel to Mexico, or are currently in Mexico, please consult the travel warning and the U.S. Embassy’s Mexico Security Update.

If you are planning to travel to Europe, or are currently in Europe, please consult the travel alert, the regularly updated Worldwide Caution and the country-specific information found through the Department’s homepage.

State Department Tips for Those Traveling in Mexico include:

  • If you believe you are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes, notify Mexican law enforcement officials and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or the nearest U.S. consulate as soon as possible.
  • Make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll (“cuota”) roads, which generally are more secure.
  • Stay in the well-known tourist areas. Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member not traveling with you and avoid traveling alone.
  • Check with your cellular provider prior to departure to confirm that your cell phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G international networks.
  • Do not display expensive-looking jewelry or large amounts of money.
  • Be alert to pickpockets and general street crime throughout Mexico, but especially in large cities.
  • Monitor local media for information about fast-breaking situations that could affect their security.

State Department Tips for Those Traveling Abroad include:

  • Register so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency.
  • Sign your passport, and fill in the emergency information.
  • Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  • Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation.
  • Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws.
  • To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money.
  • In case of emergency, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

If you need more information or have additional questions, call 214-768-4475.

Dublin Street and SMU Boulevard to be temporarily closed

2010 campus street closings mapCampus construction activities in the coming months will require the closing of two streets on the east side of the main SMU campus. Dublin Street (indicated in blue on the map at right) from SMU Boulevard to the Airline/Dublin curve will be closed from June 8 to early August 2010. This closure will include the sidewalks on both sides of Dublin.

In addition, SMU Boulevard (indicated in red) will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from Dublin Street to the southbound access road of North Central Expressway from late December or early January through June 2011. This closure also will include the sidewalks on both sides of the street.

An alternative pedestrian route from the East Campus to the Main Campus is being considered. More details on this will be provided later.

Mustang Express service will not be interrupted during construction. However, during the closure of SMU Boulevard, the Mustang Express shuttle route will be temporarily detoured to University Boulevard. More detailed information will be provided as the closing date approaches.

Please observe all warning signs in the construction area.

In the wake of the snowfall, travel with care

Broken and downed limbs have created safety problems in many North Texas neighborhoods after last week’s record snowfall. SMU’s main campus is no exception. University Emergency Management personnel cautioned drivers and walkers to be careful in the following e-mail sent Feb. 15, 2010:

SMU urges caution this week as crews work to remove tree limbs and debris from last week’s snowstorm. Please avoid areas where cleanup is underway and avoid low-hanging tree limbs. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Visit the Emergency Management homepage at

H1N1 flu shots now available from SMU Health Center

Vaccination syringe stock photoA limited supply of H1N1 vaccine is now available to SMU faculty and staff. H1N1 vaccination clinics will be offered in the west wing of the Health Center during the following times:

Dec. 10 – 2-6 p.m.
Dec. 11 – 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Students, faculty and staff will be vaccinated on a first-come, first-served basis as supplies last. Bring your SMU ID card to the vaccine clinics. The administration fee is $15 and must be paid in cash.

If you are unable to receive an H1N1 vaccine during these clinic times, please consider getting the vaccine over the holiday break.

The vaccines are provided by Texas Department of State Health Services. For more information, visit

SMU observes Emergency Preparedness Day Sept. 16

SMU campus cinematic shot

September is National Preparedness Month, and SMU has joined in its observation by scheduling Emergency Preparedness Day for Sept. 16. The details were shared in the following e-mail sent to students, faculty and staff members on Sept. 14-15:

As a part of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Month, SMU has designated September 16, 2009 as Emergency Preparedness Day.

We encourage SMU students, faculty and staff to do the following:

  • Orient yourself to Lockdown procedures by viewing the video, “Shots Fired on Campus.”
  • Update your personal contact information, especially your cell phone number, in Access.SMU so you can be notified in the event of an emergency.*
  • Know What to Do in emergencies on campus by reviewing the safety actions: evacuation, shelter-in-place and lockdown. Look for posters in classrooms or review them online.

* Please Note: A test of the SMU Emergency Notification System will be conducted on September 16. The test will consist of cell phone messages, text messages and e-mails that read: “This is a test of the SMU Emergency Notification System.” No action on your part will be necessary.

President Turner outlines SMU flu procedures

SMU President R. Gerald Turner provided details of the University’s response to cases of flu and flu-like illnesses on campus in an e-mail to the entire community dated Sept. 4, 2009. The e-mail listed procedures for faculty, staff and students and included links to more information.

Read the entire text at the SMU News site
Visit the SMU flu site