2019-2020 University Policies

Student groups may include alcoholic beverages at official functions of the University provided the following guidelines are explicitly followed:

  1. The Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services must approve the “Request to Serve Alcoholic Beverage” form, which is submitted no later than three working days prior to any event where serving of alcoholic beverage is planned.

  2. All existing state laws are followed, including the authorized drinking age.

  3. Each event must have a faculty or professional staff person responsible for and in attendance for the duration of the event.  If event is a student run event, a student coordinator must also be responsible for and in attendance for the duration of the event.

  4. Alcohol cannot be consumed or distributed after midnight (12 AM).

  5. Persons wishing to drink alcohol must show ID.

  6. Only wine and beer may be served at functions. Food and non-alcoholic drinks, appealing and in amounts equal to alcohol, must be provided. No alcohol may be sold at any Samuel Merritt University function, either on or off-campus.

  7. The University’s guidelines for serving alcohol are as follows:

    1. For catered events, the caterer must serve the beer and wine and must show proof of liability coverage.

    2. For non-catered events, a contracted bartending service must serve the beer and wine (please see below). 

  8. Security may be required (about one guard per 100 participants), depending on the nature of the event. The group is responsible for paying for the guard. The Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services will determine if security is needed.

  9. Samuel Merritt University and/or the person serving alcoholic beverages reserve the right to refuse to serve alcoholic beverages to anyone.


  • Student-Organized Event:  All student-organized events must be approved in advance by the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services.  In order to obtain approval, please complete the request form that can be found on SMU Pulse and it will be routed for approvals.  

  • Employee Organized Event:  Please contact the Contract Specialist, who will assist in determining what is needed for all employee-organized event(s) where alcoholic beverages will be served. 

Authorization to purchase within established signature authority is limited to administrative officers of the University, the chief administrative officer of each academic program, and designated program and administrative directors.

Designated members of the Student Body Association (SBA), such as class representatives, presidents of recognized clubs and organizations, and executive board members may represent the SBA; however, cannot represent or obligate Samuel Merritt University.


Numerous bulletin boards are located in each University building.  Students will be notified of policy changes and updates via email.  These updates will also be posted on the website.  Students are responsible for reading their SMU email for information regarding courses and registration. Bulletin boards are designated for specific purposes, i.e., Student Government activities, CNSA, and Financial Aid/Job Opportunities notices. Bulletin boards in the stairways and in the Peralta Pavilion Student Lounge are for students’ use to post any notices. Notices posted on walls, doors or other than on bulletin boards will be removed and discarded.  The University’s electronic bulletin boards also serve these purposes.

It is the intent of Samuel Merritt University to comply with the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code, Sect. 101, et seq.).  The University directs faculty, staff, and students to refrain from copying copyrighted works unless the action is authorized by: (a) specific exemptions in the copyright law, (b) the principle of Fair Use, or (c) licenses or written permission from the copyright owner.

The Director of the John A. Graziano Memorial Library shall provide guidelines to ensure compliance with the law.

The University encourages intellectual and personal development through student inquiry and continuing communication. Students are encouraged to engage in informal and formal dialogue, committees and meetings. All public assemblies must be peaceful and orderly, allow for freedom of expression, and not interfere with the continued performance of the functions of others. Students wishing to organize political or other meetings that directly or indirectly solicit students must consult with the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services.


Fundraising by students must be for student-centered projects that are tied to education and/or student life such as ceremonies and learning experiences beyond the classroom.  Fundraising that benefits external non-profit organizations must be approved by the advisor to the student group and the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services.  When fundraising occurs through a third party or off University property, the Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs and the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services must approve the activity. These approvals must be in place a minimum of 30 days prior to the fundraising event.

Student organizations may engage in activities to raise funds for such things as class social events, ceremonies, conference fees, and scholarships.  

Other members of the Samuel Merritt University community, and off-campus groups may make arrangements with the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs to conduct charitable fundraising activities.


  1. All student fundraising events must be approved by a faculty or staff advisor. 

  2. The Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services shall consult the Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs to establish charitable intent, if needed.   

  3. All fundraising events to be held off campus must have special approval by the Vice President of Enrollment Services and the Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs. 

  4. Additional approvals may be required and if so, students will be informed by their event advisor. 

  5. If a student group wants donor contributions to be acknowledged: 

  • Contributions must come directly to the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. Such checks need to be payable to Samuel Merritt University and have clear notation as to which student organization is the intended recipient. 

  • No goods or services are to be offered in exchange for or in recognition of contributions. 

  • The event/project must meet a charitable standard as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. Written IRS guidelines are available in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. 

Access to the University facilities is limited to current faculty, staff and students, and is maintained through swipe card access via campus identification badges.  Faculty, staff and students must wear their University ID (and campus identification badges if separate) while on campus and have it visible, above the waist, at all times.  During business hours, faculty, staff and students have access to University facilities via their swipe card.  During holidays, after business hours and weekends, access is limited or not permitted.  The Director of Facilities will provide updates prior to holidays on what access is available.  The University is closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and special permission is required to be on campus during that time.

Please note that emergencies or extenuating circumstances may necessitate changes to any posted schedules.

Also please note that because the University shares facilities with various medical centers and office parks, some overlap of access by the public and medical center staff will happen.  In these areas, the public can use the space as a part of visiting the medical center, and the security team will take responsibility for security and access.

It is a violation to give an ID badge to another person for any reason.  Report lost badges immediately to Facilities.  The lost card will be deleted from the system and a new card will be issued.  There is a $5 charge for a new badge.  Please complete a New ID Request Form, which is available on the website, www.samuelmerritt.edu or in the badging office, 400 Hawthorne Avenue, #217.

Samuel Merritt University operates under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for the Protection of Human Research Subjects (Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46).   The Samuel Merritt University Institutional Review Board (SMUIRB) assumes full responsibility for review of research proposals involving human subjects and generated by Samuel Merritt University faculty, staff, and students.  The SMUIRB facilitates ethical research and ensures that research at SMU is conducted in full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of regulations designed to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in research conducted under the auspices of SMU.  Operating Policies and Procedures for the Samuel Merritt University Institutional Review Board are available from the Institutional Review Board Administrator.


The possession, sale, or the furnishing of alcohol on the University campus is governed by California state law.  Samuel Merritt University has been designated as “drug and alcohol free” and only under certain circumstances is the consumption of alcohol permitted.  The possession, sale, manufacture or distribution of any controlled substance is illegal under both state and federal laws.  Violators are subject to university disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fine and imprisonment.  It is unlawful to sell, furnish or provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21.  The possession of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21 in a public place or place open to the public is illegal.  It is also a violation of Samuel Merritt University policy for anyone to consume or possess alcohol in any public or private area of campus without prior University approval.

Samuel Merritt University (SMU) recognizes that many persons use first names other than their legal names to identify themselves.  As long as the use of this preferred first name does not violate the University’s codes of conduct and ethics, is not restricted by state or federal law, and does not have an impact on the ability of the University to comply with state or federal law, the University will use the "preferred first name" when possible in the course of University activities.


Therefore, it is the policy of the University that any current or former student may choose a preferred first name in addition to the legal name listed for that person within the University’s information systems.  The person's preferred first name shall be used in University communications and reporting, except where the use of the legal name is required (described below).

The University reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used improperly, such as, to avoid legal obligations or misrepresentation.

 Display of the Preferred First Name

Once established, the preferred name will be used throughout University systems, where possible.  The legal name will continue to be used for those University records, documents, and business processes where the use of the legal name is required by law or University policy.

 A student’s preferred name is used solely for SMU’s internal systems; external systems (such as licensure paperwork, official transcripts, enrollment verifications, timecards, etc.) will continue to use the student’s legal name.

Places Where the Preferred First Name is Used: 

  • ID Badge 

  • Email Account and Active Directory Authentication 

  • Canvas 

  • Directory Listing (unless a student has requested a FERPA Exclusion)

 Places Where the Legal First Name is Used: 

  • Background Check 

  • Financial Aid 

  • Responses to enrollment inquiries such as verification requests (unless a student has requested a FERPA Exclusion) 

  • Official Transcripts 

  • Licensure Paperwork

In consideration of the philosophical obligations inherent in being a University dedicated to the preparation of health care professionals and with concern for the effects of second-hand smoke, Samuel Merritt University is a non-smoking facility in all of its buildings and grounds.

Email is the official form of communication at the University, and students are required to access and manage their SMU email on a frequent and regular basis. Students are encouraged to communicate to SMU faculty and staff from their SMU email account. For help accessing email, students should contact the ITS Helpdesk at service@samuelmerritt.edu

Students, alumni, and other members of the Samuel Merritt University community may make arrangements with the Office of the President to provide goods and services to the Samuel Merritt University community (e.g. symphony ticket sales). All solicitation and sales by non-campus individuals and groups must be registered and approved by the Office of the President.


Travel experiences are best undertaken by well-informed travelers. The University strongly encourages all students and faculty who are planning travel for educational or other purposes to review thoroughly the political, health, crime, and other safety-related conditions prevailing in any country or domestic locale to which travel is contemplated.  

Faculty participation is not required for student travel unless university credit is being awarded.  Since travel can present formidable logistical challenges, especially for the first time traveler to a remote destination, the University requires that students undertake travel as part of a recognized and experienced medical mission agency with well defined safety policies and procedures as well as relationships with local medical, social, housing authorities.  Agencies of this type include Global Medical Brigades, and the Center for Health Leadership and Practice.  If other similar groups are being considered, the University can assist in evaluating their services for approval.  If students choose to travel on their own, they cannot use the University’s name on materials, websites, fundraising posters, etc.  

All University students are responsible for their own safety when traveling.  SMU will not fund, award credit for, or otherwise sponsor or support travel to any country where the U.S. State Department has issued a warning that recommends U.S. citizens depart the country; advises U.S. citizens against all travel to the country; or recommends that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to the country, or (very high) level threat. This restriction will apply through the date of departure. 

When applicable, all students must sign a Travel Abroad Release acknowledging their understanding of the risks of such travel, affirming that they have reviewed and understand relevant safety-related materials, and assume the risks related to their travel.  It is the responsibility of the student to submit the signed waiver to the program director/chair or dean who will, in turn submit the waiver to the Office of Academic Affairs.

What to do in an Emergency
If you encounter an emergency while traveling where serious injury or illness has occurred, immediately seek medical treatment at the closest medical facility. If medical service is not available, contact the nearest U.S. Consular service or Embassy.

Student Fundraising Associated with Your Trip

The University will not participate in any student travel fund-raising activity that is not sponsored by an approved group who provides students access to a modicum of safety related services such as health care and access to evacuation services.  Student fundraising, either through the University or approved sponsoring agency is managed by the Office of Development at the University.  Please refer to the Student Fundraising Policy.


In the interest of the safety and security of all faculty, staff, students, guests and visitors to the University, and in maintaining compliance with applicable Penal and Education Codes, the possession of:

1. firearms

2. weapons

3. any device, instrument, or item deemed to be a firearm or weapon or used in a threatening manner

4. fireworks and other devices of an explosive nature

is strictly prohibited on the Samuel Merritt University and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center properties.  Exceptions to this policy are members of federal, state, county, and local agencies authorized by specific law to possess firearms/weapons in the performance of their duties.  Persons found guilty of violating this policy are subject to suspension or dismissal from the University.