About the Task Force
on Substance Abuse Prevention
SMU is committed to doing all that it can to help its students live responsibly.
On June 11, 2007,
SMU President R. Gerald Turner appointed a Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention to examine the University’s programs focused on education, prevention, enforcement and assistance related to drug and alcohol abuse.
Composed of faculty members, staff, students, and a trustee, the Task Force was chaired by Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Life Dee Siscoe and Associate Provost Tom Tunks. It
made recommendations to President Turner in January 2008.
The Task Force represented an effort “to keep our programs up to date with best practices and procedures,” Turner said. Although the University has for several years offered comprehensive programs of drug and alcohol education, “we are re-examining everything out of deep concern for the recent tragic deaths of three students in the past year,” he said.
In addition to reviewing existing programs for possible updates or enhancements, the Task Force looked at University policies and practices that could have an impact on student behavior outside of class, such as academic scheduling, attendance policies, and regulations governing campus and Greek housing. The Task Force also considered the broader context of external forces that can influence student behavior, such as habits developed pre-college, social norms, the surrounding environs and national trends in substance abuse.
Along with the co-chairs, the Task Force included:
- Patricia Alvey
- Dennis Foster
- Gary Moskowitz
- Dennis Simon
- Laura Steinberg
- Josh Camp, Interfraternity Council president
- Abbie Steffler, Panhellenic Association president
- Katherine Tullos, student body president
- Sherri Taylor, Mustang Corral student director
- Daniel Liu, member of the Student Affairs Committee of the SMU Board of Trustees
- Doug Hallenbeck, Residence Life and Student Housing
- John Sanger, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention
- Tony Tillman, Enrollment Services (Retention)
- John Kalb, Institutional Research
- Patti LaSalle, Public Affairs
- SMU Chief of Police Rick Shafer
- SMU Board of Trustees
- Jeanne Tower Cox, SMU alumna, parent and chair of the Student Affairs Committee of the SMU Board of Trustees.
“Substance abuse is a complex and serious problem nationwide that requires a focused commitment and continual vigilance,” Turner said. “The considerable benefits of an SMU education and the entire collegiate experience should be enjoyed without the destructive influence of illegal and dangerous lifestyle habits. Prevention requires a partnership involving the institution, parents and students themselves, as well as external law enforcement agencies and community leadership. All of us must do more, and more often, to make an impact.”
Charge to the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention:
- Review the University’s alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs and services to determine if modifications or additions are needed to strengthen SMU’s efforts.
- Examine University policies and practices that may have an impact on student behavior outside of class, such as academic scheduling, attendance policies, and regulations governing campus and Greek housing.
- Consider the broader context of external forces to the University that can influence student behavior, such as habits developed pre-college, social norms, the surrounding environs and national trends in substance abuse.
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