Timely Warnings/Crime Alerts

In accordance with the published guidelines used to interpret 34 CFR 668(e), the decision to issue a timely warning is made on a case-by-case basis in light of all facts surrounding the crime, including factors such as the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts.  Neither the Clery Act nor the Department of Education define "timely". The warning should be issued as soon as the pertinent information is available. 


Timely warnings may be issued for other offenses not covered by this regulation if a determination is made that the warning will aid in preventing similar offenses from occurring. 


The method of delivery will be determined on a case-by-case basis, in light of all the facts. Various methods of delivery will be employed, including e-mail, crime alert posters, text messages, voice mail, website, and/or social media to inform students and employees on campus.


SMU issues three types of timely warnings, to get more information on each, you can visit https://www.smu.edu/aware.

  • SMU Alert
  • SMU Warning
  • SMU Advisory


SMU Alert

An SMU Alert is an emergency notification of an incident that is currently occurring on, or imminently threatening the campus.


SMU Warning*

An SMU Warning is issued when a Clery Act crime is reported to the SMU Police or to a campus security authority, the crime occurred on campus, and the crime is considered to be a serious or continuing threat to the campus community.  These crimes must have occurred within those areas of the campus that are specifically defined in 34 CFR 668.46(a). These areas are broken down into four categories:

  • On Campus Property
  • Residential Facilities       
  • Non-Campus Property       
  • Public Property

Definitions for these categories can be viewed by visiting www.clerycenter.org.


SMU Advisory

SMU Advisory may be issued for certain Clery Act crimes when timely notification is received by the SMU Police and the offense is considered to represent a serious or continuing threat to the students and employees of SMU due to the nature of the crime, and/or proximity to the main campus, or the SMU at Taos campus in Taos, New Mexico.  Even though this action is not required by law, SMU strongly believes in supporting the spirit of the Clery Act by informing the community about certain crimes that are reported in the areas immediately surrounding our campuses; but outside the normal police patrol area. 


* SMU will not necessarily issue SMU Warnings for every Clery Act criminal incident that is reported since that specific incident may not pose a continuing threat to the community.  Certain Clery Act crimes like burglary or motor vehicle theft, for example, occur frequently on the campus at random locations.  Suspect information is often never provided or determined.  This is also true of the Dallas/Ft Worth area. Individuals should exercise due care and caution to avoid being victimized.  Check out the crime prevention tips posted by the SMU Police to deter these crimes.