The school year is about to start . . . are you ready?

Mustang Corral. Move-In Day. Convocation. First day of classes. All signs the school year is about to start. Are you ready?

SMU Spirit

By Deanie Kepler
SMU Director of Parent and Family Programs

The beginning of school is right around the corner. Is your student ready? Are you as a parent ready? Here are a few friendly reminders:

Safe and Well

• Familiarize yourself with health requirements: All students must provide proof of meningitis vaccinations before moving into campus housing. In addition, SMU's mandatory health insurance policy requires students to either provide documentation of private insurance coverage or to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan each term - for fall 2010, by August 27.

• Remind your student to take the AlcoholEdu tutorial online. It is required.

• Be sure to check out the Residence Life and Student Housing website regarding prohibited items in the residence hall. Help us keep your student safe!

• Remind your student about safety on campus as well as in the city of Dallas. Role-play different situations they might find themselves in and see how they respond.

• Don't forget a thermometer and hints on how to use over-the-counter medications should your student get a headache, fever, runny nose or upset stomach. Make sure your students have the numbers for Memorial Health Center's nurse advice lines: 214-768-3194 (during regular office hours) and 214-768-2141 (24-hour nurse response line).

• Stay informed about the flu, its symptoms and prevention.

• Did you fully complete your student's Health History Form?

College Smarts

• Remind your student to take the Academic Honesty tutorial online. It is also required.

• Have a discussion about this year's Common Reading assignment. Students will discuss it together and will be expected to come prepared.

• Remind your student: "If you didn't wear it last year, don't bring it!" and "If you didn't use it last year, don't bring it!" Here are tips from Residence Life and Student Housing on room decor.

• Talk to your student about having a roommate and about the importance of the Roommate Agreement they will fill out during the first week of school.

Taking Care of Business

• Did your student set you up as an Authorized Payer? (Parents can call 214-768-3417 for help once they've been authorized.)
Also, did your student fill out the Student Release of Education Records through Access.SMU? After students grant access, parents will need to set up their own Access account to view the records.

• Be sure your student knows how to separate clothes for the washer and dryer, which are free of charge in residence halls.

• Discourage your student from bringing expensive jewelry that cannot be replaced.

For the Family

• Make reservations for Family Weekend September 24-26. Mail your reservation or register online.

• Have you told your student that you love him or her, and that he or she has your utmost confidence? Discuss common expectations concerning issues such as behavior, grades, and money as well as your expectations that he or she can (and you hope will) confide in you should things not go as planned.

Question for Deanie? Ask Deanie at or 214-768-4797.