Ask Deanie: A Spring Break message to SMU families

ask-deanie-sm.jpg Dr. Deanie Kepler is director of Parent & Family Programs at SMU:

Spring Break is nearly upon us! Whether your student is staying on campus next week, traveling home to sleep in their own bed, or heading out for parts unknown, Spring Break is a great time to check in with your student.

For students planning to stay on campus during the break, there are plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation on campus and in Dallas. Options include exercising at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, visits to the Meadows Museum at SMU or Dallas museums, and movies at nearby theaters. I encourage all students to take a walk or bike ride near campus. The trees are starting to bud and are gorgeous! For those wanting to catch up on studies, Fondren Library will be open March 12-17 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If your student is traveling in the United States or abroad, it can be helpful to have the contact information for the location where your student is visiting, as well as the names and cell numbers of the people with whom they’re traveling. Travel is always a good opportunity to discuss safety with your student, including the health and legal risks of using alcohol or illicit drugs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide health and safety information about spring break travel.

As always, students with safety questions or concerns can call SMU Police 24/7 at 214-768-3333 or anonymously at 214-768-2TIP. SMU Police urge all campus community members: If you see something, say something.

For all students, this break from classes at the midpoint of the semester can provide time to assess progress toward academic, personal and professional goals. This can be a good time to remind students of the resources here to support them, including tutors at the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center, confidential counselors at Counseling Services and the Chaplain’s Office, and career counselors at the Hegi Family Career Development Center.

Many lasting memories can be made over Spring Break. Students can catch up on lost sleep and home cooking, or bond with friends during a trip. A grade in a class can be “pulled up” through hard work and extra effort. The opportunity to serve in the community can be life-changing. Regardless of what your student has chosen to do, we wish them a healthy and safe break, and we look forward to seeing them back in class March 19!

Question for Deanie? Ask Deanie at or 214-768-4797.