From Deanie Kepler: a message to smu parents
These past months have been difficult for the entire SMU community. We are truly saddened by the deaths of young adults who had their whole lives ahead of them. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.
As I write the word “community,” I cannot help but think of what the word means. Your students will be arriving at SMU ready to experience the freedoms that come with college. They will be experiencing new things as they grow into mature, responsible adults. But that won’t happen for a while. In the meantime, everyone’s assistance and support are needed to help students make the kinds of decisions that will enable them to reach their goals. It is not the “same ol’ college campus” that it was back in our day. Times have changed; cities have changed. New theories put college students in an “Emerging Adulthood” stage of development — a kind of “under construction category” on their way to responsible citizenship.
SMU is like a microcosm of society-at-large. While we have many freedoms here, there are also responsibilities. Learning to respect others who are different, upholding the rules and regulations of the University, abiding by city and state laws, contributing to campus life, watching out for our friends and neighbors, and being the kind of citizen one has been brought up to be are important parts of living in a community.
SMU is a community, and there are many resources available on campus for your sons and daughters. Do not hesitate to contact us about any existing issues that could impact their success. Confidentiality will be maintained.
Please know that SMU takes seriously any violation of state and local policies pertaining to illegal use of alcohol and other drugs. Students are held accountable for the decisions they make, and in an effort to help them act more responsibly, judicial sanctions are often levied. We ask for your support should your student be involved in a violation.
You are all proud parents of successful high school students, and the college years will provide new opportunities to watch them develop. Your support and influence are still very important. Make time before your student leaves for college to talk openly and honestly about their thoughts regarding alcohol and drug use and abuse. Role-play different scenarios they might face in college. Conversations about your expectations for your student and their expectations for themselves can be quite revealing. Do not worry if your student appears to tune you out — as Dr. Phil says, “They can’t turn their ears off!”
If you have any questions or concerns while on this journey toward graduation, do not hesitate to call. We all want the same thing for your student! After all, we are all family now.
Deanie Kepler is SMU Parent Liaison. She can be reached