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SMU Daily Campus

SMU lost to TCU in Saturdays Iron Skillet game 34-17. Next years matchup is the last scheduled game in the longstanding rivalry.
SMU falls short at TCU
September 26, 2023

SMU’s Active Threat Policy: Avoid, Deny, Defend

SMU has emergency resources like SMU Aware and the SMU campus safety app that keep students informed about potential threats.

SMU is working to update its campus policies and patrols in order to keep students safe as college campuses confront the danger of mass shootings.

SMU’s active threat policy is “avoid, deny, defend” which is similar to “run, hide, fight” which has been adopted by schools all over the country.

There have been over 470 mass shootings to date in 2023, including a shooting Monday at UNC-Chapel Hill that left a faculty member dead.


SMU PD has a strong presence on campus, with 24 hour patrols and increased personnel at large gatherings or events. 

But many students feel less safe after mass shootings like the one at Michigan State University earlier this year.

Meighan Ashford worries about the openness of SMU’s campus, specifically in places like Dallas Hall lawn and Fondren library.

“I do try my best to go out to events, but always in the back of my mind, I think to myself, ‘Anything could happen at any given time and place,’” she said.

SMU has emergency resources like SMU Aware and the SMU campus safety app that keep students informed about potential threats. 

There are also emergency call boxes across campus that have a direct phone line to the police.

“You never truly think ‘Oh it could happen to me,’ unless you’re in that predicament yourself,” Ashford said.

SMU Lieutenant Juan Vasquez said all police vehicles are equipped with the tools to handle active shooter incidents. 

Each vehicle’s trunk contains a shield, a rifle and a battering ram to pry doors open.

SMU Police Chief Jim Walters said if students see suspicious activity, report it. 

“We equip our law enforcement officers and our neighboring officers to immediately respond if there is an active threat,” Walters said. “SMU has a lot of resources. We have the SMU Aware webpage that talks about resources. We have a safety app for your phone.”

With an open college campus, Walters said it’s important for students to have situational awareness to stay safe.

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