Live Responsibly

September 24, 2007

TASK FORCE ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION
BEGINS STUDY OF CAMPUS POLICIES AND ATTITUDES

At its meeting September 21 the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention heard a report on policies at selected other campuses intended to facilitate peer intervention among students. Such policies aim to encourage students to call for emergency medical assistance when another student’s health is at serious risk due to substance abuse. The discussion was part of the task force’s ongoing examination of policies at other institutions that might be replicated at SMU.

The Task Force also discussed SMU residence hall policies on alcohol compared with differing policies elsewhere on campus, such as those outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.  At issue is whether different polices cause confusion among students that deters compliance and/or peer intervention.

The Task Force also discussed plans for focus group discussions to be held involving students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni. The goal is to learn more about awareness of policies, the campus culture as it relates to substance abuse, and possible new preventive measures.

To collect similar information from the campus at large, the Student Senate, in cooperation with the Task Force, will sponsor a town hall meeting Monday in October. To encourage other input, a “comments” link will be posted on the SMU home page, accompanying the “Live Responsibly” and Task Force links.  In addition, a survey will be distributed among the student body.

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SMU News & Communications, 214-768-7650, smunews@smu.edu