Live Responsibly

April 29, 2008



SMU President R. Gerald Turner has accepted 36 of 38 recommendations made by the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention.

Recommendations Accepted:


  • Establish permanent Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention.

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.

Academic Recommendations

  • Call on faculty to announce and utilize class attendance policy.
  • Increase the number of Friday classes.
  • Provide mid-term grade reports during students’ first two years, early reports for first-year students.
  • 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.

Social Recommendations

  • 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 force).

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 apartments.

Communication Recommendations

  • 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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