The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Health Center ID policy meant to help students

SMU’s Health Center is currently promoting strict enforcement of its identification policy.

However, the first person interviewed by The Daily Campus regarding the change was not asked to present her SMU ID at the front desk, as per the health center’s own policy.

Crystal Adekunle , a first year, was asked only for her student ID number.

According to Dr. Peter Davis, the health center’s co-medical director, the policy is a long-standing rule, but the enforcement campaign is new.

The medical staff and the Office of Student Affairs jointly decided to begin requiring students to present their SMU IDs to the front desk personnel, said Dr. Davis.

“We may have one or two slip by, but I hope we get everybody,” said Karen Coffey, one of the front desk personnel.

In the past, the policy was not enforced. Dr. Davis said that a few people who were not SMU students took advantage of the situation.

“Three years ago somebody came for about six months under somebody else’s identity,” Dr. Davis said.

Other “imposters” have done the same thing, he said. They come in and give a current student’s name. That imposter then receives medical treatment under that student’s alias.

During the medical visit, the imposter has access to the medical information of the student whose identity they are “borrowing.” Thus, a student’s privacy is violated.

Also, the medical information given by the imposter during the medical visit is recorded in the actual student’s file.

“That’s dangerous from a medical standpoint,” Dr. Davis said. “Requiring students to show their SMU ID will help protect students’ health records, which are private, and it will also help with patient safety.”

The imposter also costs the student money by borrowing their identity – and student account – to receive medical treatment.

“If somebody says they’re somebody else, and they come in and receive treatment and get medication, it is charged on [the student’s] account,” Dr. Davis said.

Another first-year, Landon Owen, said he was asked for his student ID when he arrived at the front desk for his health center appointment.

Both students said they thought showing their IDs would make the health center safer.

“We’re not in the business of turning people away; we’re in the business of helping people,” Dr. Davis said.

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