Safety and Security Information

Safety on the Hilltop

Your safety is our chief concern during your stay with us. SMU has a fully-functional police department on campus. The department has officers that patrol campus 24/7. Additionally, you can request specific police coverage or escort for your conference through the Office of Conference Services if you foresee the need for an increased level of security. Highly-visible emergency call boxes are located throughout campus for emergency assistance. SMU’s Department of Emergency Management coordinates closely with the Police Department and the Office of Conference Services to alert conference guests of any emergency situations that might arise as well as provide appropriate protocol for such emergencies. The SMU residence halls are all access controlled with access cards that each conference guest 18 or over will have for entry into only the appropriate hall for that conference. Individuals are all issued keys for their specific rooms.

Dr. Bob Smith Health Center

SMU has an on-campus health center that is open from 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday (except for University holidays). If anyone suffers from injury or illness during those hours, they should be taken to the health center for diagnosis and treatment. If injury or illness occurs outside those hours, or if the health center is not equipped to remedy the situation, then the SMU Police Department, person in question, or conference staff responsible for the conference attendee in question can make arrangements to have the person taken to the nearest hospital or clinic of their choice. Several major hospitals and smaller clinics are within a very close distance to campus. Please click here for location and contact information about local health providers.

SMU Alcohol and Drug Policy

Alcohol is prohibited in all public areas including residence hall lobbies, hallways, and anywhere outside. Alcohol is permitted in guest’s rooms who are of legal drinking age (21) for the state of Texas. Guests under the age of 21 caught drinking anywhere on campus will be punished according to Texas state law and will be asked to leave the conference. Kegs are not permitted anywhere on campus. Illegal drugs are not allowed anywhere on campus. Those found in possession of such substances will also be prosecuted according to Texas state law and asked to leave the conference.

Permission to serve/consume beer and wine may be requested for adult functions or special events held in certain areas of the campus. Requests for such permission must be made at least 30 business days in advance of the event to the Office of Conference Services.

Handicap Accessibility

Many of the buildings, including certain residence halls, on the SMU campus are accessible to those with special considerations. It is the responsibility of the Conference Organizer to communicate any such considerations to the Office of Conference Services during the planning phase of the conference so that the proper steps can be taken to ensure that conference guests are accommodated.

Supervision Policy and Procedures for Minors on Campus

 All participants under the age of 18, must be accompanied by an adult chaperone/advisor from the conference at all times, this includes all “free time.” To ensure the personal safety of the participants, the University requires a minimum of one counselor for every twelve (12) youth participants.


Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to reside in the traditional residence halls, and there are a limited number of spaces for guests and their children who are under the age of 8. Notification that a child needing accommodation in the residence hall must be made in advance with Conference Services; any exceptions to this policy must be discussed in advance with OCS.


There must be at least one adult (over the age of 18) counselor for every twelve youth participants (or one adult for every ten youth if camp includes 10 or 11 year-old children staying overnight on campus) present with the group at all times; this includes “free time”. Counselors must reside in the residence hall to enforce curfews and ensure good behavior; practicing and roughhousing are not permitted in the residence halls. Any problems or emergencies should be reported to the Guest Housing Assistant on call or at the Area Desk. Youth participants are not given Conference Guest Card access to the residence halls and Guest Housing Staff will not let youth into the buildings without supervision. The counselor is responsible for directing youth to designated practice areas on campus. Therefore, again, it is important that youth participants are accompanied by an adult from their group at all times while on campus. The counselor must have the participants remove all belongings from the rooms and should complete room and floor checks upon check out. Any items that are left in a room by a participant will be held for one week after the group's check out date.