April 29, 2008
SMU PRESIDENT ACTS ON RECOMMENDATIONS
OF TASK FORCE ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION
SMU President R. Gerald Turner has
accepted 36 of 38 recommendations made by the Task Force on
Substance Abuse Prevention.
- Establish permanent Commission on Substance
Health and Medical Services
- Expand campus health center hours to 3:00 a.m.
Thursday-Saturday, staffed by nurse with on-call physicians;
evaluate providers of 24/7 call-line.
- Continue education tools but seek new vendor
for a program on alcohol abuse.
- More study required to determine need
for improved support services for recovering students.
- Eliminate Passive Participation Policy from
residence hall guidelines.
- Review judicial procedures; consider community
service in lieu of fines.
- Establish Good Samaritan Policy and Medical
Amnesty Program (accepted with limitations);
any police agency will have the ability to cite/arrest
individuals for public intoxication or use of illegal drugs.
- Form SMU group, including Texas Alcohol
Beverage Commission members, to meet with local bar owners
on underage drinking and promotions.
- Strengthen partnership between SMU Police and
University Park Police; both will share an officer assigned
to the North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
(HIDTA) Task Force.
- Establish a central source for gathering and
acting on reports of students in distress.
- Call on faculty to announce and utilize class
- Increase the number of Friday classes.
- Provide mid-term grade reports during
students’ first two years, early reports for first-year
- Limit the number of course drops during a
student’s academic career.
- Give final comprehensive assessments during
exam period for every lower-division course.
- Revise course curricula to increase students’
time spent on academics outside class.
- Increase campus activity by extending Student
Center hours to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and 2:00
a.m. on Thursday through Saturday; expand programming.
- Include campus ministries and faith-based
organizations in expanded activities.
- Establish and maintain a Web-based calendar of
all campus events.
- Emphasize the use of venues such as Meadows,
Dedman Center, Ford Stadium, and Boulevard for late-night
events on weekends.
- Encourage student groups to sponsor more
late-night campus events on weekends.
- Make all Greek recruitment events
alcohol-free, including off-campus weekend events.
- Discourage all organized parties, including
the use of buses, on school nights. All organized parties
will be registered with the Dean of Student Life Office.
- Establish a game/recreation room in or near
the Student Center (accepted with modifications;
facility could be for relaxing, TV watching, visiting).
- Increase campus lighting (accepted with
limitations: student leaders and campus officials will
walk the campus to identify problem areas).
- Reconsider the timing of Greek recruitment
activities (partially accepted: timing will remain the same, between fall and spring semester, but
other components of rush will be re-examined, such as length
of pledge period, rules of contact, possibility of hazing;
grade averages required for membership).
- Consider funding informal dinners for faculty
and staff interaction (accepted with reservations:
method of implementation to be reviewed by a campus task
Two social life recommendations are not accepted, as follows:
- SMU will not permit organizations to
sponsor parties and to serve beer on campus to those of
drinking age, and SMU will create a Social Event
Registration Process for all social organizations to
register their events.
- SMU also will not establish a pub on
campus because most students living on campus are
first-year, underage students; upper-division students using
the pub would then have to drive home to off-campus
- Consolidate substance abuse regulations and
resources into one handbook.
- Develop ongoing communications plan.
- Clarify Family Educational Rights and Privacy
Act (FERPA) for sharing of information.
- Avoid use of images in communications and
products that seemingly promote drinking.
- Commit the SMU administration to continued
involvement in substance abuse prevention communications.
Parent Partnership Recommendations
- Encourage students and parents to discuss FERPA and HIPPA and waivers.
- Set aside time during orientation for parents
and students to discuss substance abuse.
- Continue to evaluate: recommendation to
work with parents to identify students entering SMU with
substance abuse problems.
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