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

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Alcohol and advising on Senate agenda

A Student Senate meeting held yesterday discussed two different, yet important, topics of student life and education: alcohol and advising.

Police Chief Richard Shafer spoke to members of the senate about his job, the emergency alert system and the current attitude toward alcohol violations on campus. Shafer encouraged senators to tell students to enter their cell phone numbers on Access in order to receive emergency alerts.

The number of alcohol violations was also discussed. According to Shafer, there were 155 alcohol violations in the first three weeks of school and 55 during the same time last year. There are things to factor into this number, such as the amount of home football games, Shafer said. One difference this year is the cooperation from students that the police department is receiving.

According to Shafer, there has been increased support from students, telling the police department where minors are receiving alcohol. This allows police officers to charge 10 or 12 alcohol violations, instead of one or two. Shafer said that the police department has nothing against the Greek community either.

“Greek houses are no different than the residence halls,” Shafer told the senate. “But most of the time when we go there we were called there for some reason.”

Shafer and the Senate also discussed ways to decrease alcohol abuse and create a trusting relationship between students and the police.

One thing Shafer mentioned was the proposal of a Good Samaritan Law. In this case, students who may have been drinking, but call the police to save a friend that may be experiencing alcohol poisoning would not be officially charged as well. This makes students feel more comfortable about reporting possibly dangerous situations. This is on a list of proposals being submitted to President Turner in December. The Student Senate is also holding a Town Hall Forum on Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater to hear students’ opinions regarding drug and alcohol abuse, and to answer questions on the Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force.

Another guest speaker, Associate Dean for Student Advising for Dedman College Robert Pocklington, spoke to senators about the advising program’s ambitions and wanted to receive suggestions as well.

“We’re interested in eliminating the problems that stand in our way from being the best in advising,” Pocklington said.

According to Pocklington, SMU is currently in the top five percent of advising for colleges, but there are still ways to improve according to retention rates.

“We lost 11 percent of our students from last year,” Shafer told the senators, “and part of that has to do with advising.”

The senate also heard from student Dane Brannan, who is looking to start a satirical newspaper on campus called “The Muddler.” Brennan said this is something that the SMU campus is missing. Indian Student Association President Shakeel Mehdi also spoke to senators about their need for more money to pay for events that they put on for the SMU community.

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