SMU celebrates MLK with Dream Week 2015 Jan. 17-22

Martin Luther King Jr.

SMU celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. during Dream Week 2015.

SMU celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during Dream Week 2015, Jan. 17-22.

Sponsored by SMU’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the annual observance features a variety of activities, including opportunities for community service and a commemorative walk.

The schedule of events:

Saturday, Jan. 17:

  • Dallas Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, 10 a.m., starting at Dallas City Hall. SMU administrators, faculty and students will participate in the City of Dallas’ parade – including SMU President R. Gerald Turner and alumnus Charles Cox, who as a student introduced King when he spoke at the University on March 17, 1966. (Listen to King’s speech at SMU or read the transcriptaudio) Alumni of SMU’s annual spring break Civil Rights pilgrimage, SMU Black Alumni members, SMU Multicultural Student Affairs representatives and SMU student athletes and coaches also will march in the parade. Find more information at MLKCelebrationDallas.org.

Sunday, Jan. 18:

  • SMU Student Coalition for Equity Meeting, 2 p.m., 243 Umphrey Lee Center. The Student Coalition for Equity is a grassroots social justice movement run by and for students. The group addresses issues of social injustice and seeks to create change from the bottom up.

Monday, Jan. 19:

  • MLK Day of Service, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., volunteer meet-up in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center at assigned times. SMU students, faculty and staff will join others across the country in a national day of service. Opportunities include preparing the Vickery Meadows Learning Center for the spring semester, building ramps at homes of those with physical disabilities and helping with landscaping at local nonprofit centers. Breakfast, lunch and transportation provided. Cosponsored by SMU’s Community Engagement and Leadership Center. Find more information at smu.edu/volunteer.
  • Free screening of “Selma” for SMU students, 7 p.m., Angelika Film Center, Mockingbird Station. SMU students can catch a free showing of this 2014 release, just nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, which explores 1965 Alabama as a battleground in the fight for suffrage for African-Americans. The screening will be followed by free pizza and a discussion with experts on the civil rights movement. Sponsored by Morrison-McGinnis Commons; register at tiny.cc/SelmaMoMac.

Tuesday, Jan. 20:

  • SMU Unity Walk, 12:30-1:30 p.m., starting at Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons. President R. Gerald Turner and student leaders lead this annual demonstration of the University’s support for MLK’s work. All members of the SMU community are invited to join the walk from the flagpole on Bishop Boulevard to Perkins Chapel.

Wednesday, Jan. 21:

  • Real Talk: Conversations Around Diversity, noon, Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom West. With a January topic of “Is Your Voice Being Heard? Social media activism: How effective is it?,” this monthly discussion is open to students and other members of the SMU community.
  • Opening reception for Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights, 4-6 p.m., Bob Hope Lobby, Owen Arts Center. This panel exhibition uses letters, speeches, political cartoons and news articles to showcase the career of the South African anti-apartheid and human rights activist. The exhibit runs in the Bob Hope Lobby, Owen Arts Center, through Feb. 20, 2015. Cosponsored by the SMU Arts + Urbanism Initiative and Embrey Human Rights Program. Find more information at the Meadows School of the Arts News and Events homepage.

Thursday, Jan. 22:

  • Film screening, “Mountains That Take Wings: A Conversation with Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama”, 6:30 p.m., Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom West. Based on exchanges in 1996 and 2008 between professor and writer Angela Davis and grassroots organizer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Yuri Kochiyama, the film showcases the scope and depth of their knowledge on topics ranging from Jim Crow laws and Japanese American internment camps, to Civil Rights, anti-war, women’s and gay liberation movements, to today’s campaigns for political prisoners and prison reform. Sponsored by SMU’s Women and LGBT Center.

For more information, contact SMU’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, 214-768-4580.

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Calendar Highlights: The Spring 2015 term at a glance

Dallas Hall steps from a 3rd-story windowWelcome back! SMU’s 2015 Spring Term begins Friday, Jan. 16 – a few important dates at a glance:

  • Friday, Jan. 16: First day of classes for the 2015 Spring Term
  • Monday, Jan. 19: Martin Luther King Day (University closed). SMU celebrates MLK Day of Service 8 a.m.-1 p.m. – learn more at smu.edu/volunteer
  • Wednesday, Jan. 21: Spring 2015 General Faculty Meeting
  • Monday-Sunday, March 9-15: Spring Break
  • Friday, April 3: Good Friday (University closed)
  • Monday, April 13: Honors Convocation and Awards Extravaganza
  • Friday, April 17: Founders’ Day
  • Monday, May 4: Last day of classes for Spring 2015
  • Tuesday, May 5: Reading Day
  • Wednesday-Tuesday, May 6-12: Final examinations (no exams scheduled on Sunday)
  • Friday, May 15: Baccalaureate
  • Saturday, May 16: All-University Commencement and school/department diploma ceremonies
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Save Wednesday, Jan. 21 for SMU’s Spring 2015 General Faculty Meeting

The Spring 2015 General Faculty Meeting will take place Wednesday, Jan. 21 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. A reception will begin at 3 p.m. in the the theater foyer, and the meeting will begin at 3:45 p.m.

Faculty Senate President Jody Magliolo will give the Senate report, and Provost Paul Ludden will deliver the Spring Faculty Address.

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Six SMU students earn invitations to 2015 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting at University of Miami March 6-8

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoSix SMU students will share their work on issues affecting their communities and the world during the 8th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at the University of Miami March 6-8, 2015.

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will host the CGI U gathering. The 2015 agenda will include sessions on topics ranging from ending illegal wildlife trade, to engaging youth as peacemakers, to harnessing big data to address global challenges.

The event will bring together more than 1,100 college students with innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to address challenges facing their campuses and communities in CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

Keep up with Clinton Global Initiative University news on Facebook: facebook.com/cgiuniversity

The SMU students who will attend the meeting, and a brief description of their CGI U Commitments to Action:

  • Colton Donica has founded Support for LGBTQ Refugees in Texas, which will provide resources and support targeted to LGBTQ refugees in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
  • Hena Rafiq has created Resources for Resolana, which provides support for women leaving the Dallas County Women’s Jail and will expand to add empowerment and work experience training.
  • Asia Rodgers has founded Art Healing, which uses art to build confidence in formerly trafficked or incarcerated women. She provides access to art classes and events where these women are able to showcase their creative work.
  • Jorawar Virk will create Kripa Care, which is designed to provide medical care to terminally ill and sick female prisoners in the Tihar Jail in New Delhi.
  • Ashley Wali and collaborator Preksha (Priya) Chowdhardy are continuing work on The Nari Project, which distributes crisis kits of clothing, supplies, information and funds to domestic abuse victims as they transition from a critical situation to a place of safety.

> Follow CGI U on Twitter @CGIU

Student attendees have the opportunity to attend plenary and working sessions, as well as other special events covering topics across CGI U’s five focus areas. In addition, they network with their peers, build skills, and identify potential partnerships. Special guests join every CGI U meeting to help student participants gain the skills and knowledge needed to take action on their commitments.

During the last day of the meeting, the students will take part in a Day of Action in the Miami community.

SMU Forum: SMU renews membership in the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

As a member of the CGI University Network of more than 60 colleges and universities that support and mentor Commitments to Action, SMU pledged $10,000 towards student projects as well as travel to the annual meeting.

SMU’s participation in the CGI University Network is a program of the Office of Engaged Learning. Most of the student Commitments to Action selected for the 2015 CGI U meeting began as Engaged Learning projects.

Find more information at the Clinton Global Initiative University homepage

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SMU Guildhall hosts free-play sessions of student-designed games during 2014 Fall Exhibition Friday, Dec. 19

The Guildhall at SMU will host a free-play day featuring games designed by graduating students at its 2014 Fall Exhibition on Friday, Dec. 19. The Exhibition will take place in Building 2 of the SMU-in-Plano campus, 5232 Tennyson Parkway.

The Exhibition honors Cohort 20, composed of 26 graduate students who specialize in art, level design, production and software development. All of the following events are open to the public:

  • 2:30 to 4 p.m. – Open play session of 2D and 3D games developed by Guildhall students
  • 4 to 5 p.m. – Cohort 20 Honors presentations and awards
  • 5 to 6 p.m. – Cohort 20 Capstone team games presentations

An invitation-only reception for Cohort 20 and their friends and family will conclude the day’s events.

Steve Nix, CEO and co-founder of Yvolver, will be the honorary keynote speaker at the Cohort 20 graduate reception. Yvolver is a Dallas-based startup that brings the science of loyalty reward programs to mobile games with a platform that focuses on player retention, engagement and monetization.

In addition to co-founding Yvolver, Nix is an adviser for Dallas Venture Partners. Previously, he was GM of Digital Distribution with GameStop, ran Business Development at id Software, served as CEO of Ritual Entertainment, and helped found the SMU Guildhall. He lives in Dallas with his wife and two daughters.

For more information about the Fall 2014 Guildhall Exhibition, contact  at Doug Darby, 972-473-3545.

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Maguire Energy Institute celebrates 40th anniversary

Cary M. Maguire

Cary M. Maguire

The Maguire Energy Institute in SMU’s Cox School of Business joined with the Institute’s founders to mark its 40th anniversary in late November, in a private celebration at the Cox School.

The event also honored the Institute’s namesake, SMU Trustee Emeritus and long-time Texas oilman Cary M. Maguire.

“Cary Maguire’s foresight in establishing this Institute has not only helped shape the energy debate and the energy industry itself, but perhaps most importantly, it has shaped the lives of thousands of students who have come through these doors and now have rewarding and productive careers in the industry,” said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute since 2007, who hosted the event.

Guided by a 30-member advisory board of energy-industry leaders, the Institute has established programs for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the industry and the community at large. They include:

  • Student-led graduate and undergraduate energy clubs – These organizations connect students to the industry via field trips, speakers and forums.
  • Academic programs – Energy concentrations are now available to both undergraduate and graduate degree candidates.
  • Career Placement – The Cox School places graduates in all sectors of the energy business, from Credit Suisse to ExxonMobil to Pioneer Natural Resources and beyond.
  • The annual L. Frank Pitts Award for Energy and Innovation – This award has been given to leaders who have exemplified innovation and leadership in the energy field. Past recipients include Ray Hunt, Larry Nichols, Mark Papa, Scott Sheffield, and this year’s winner, David Miller. Scholarships are also awarded annually in L. Frank Pitts’ name.
  • Active and ongoing research spanning all areas of the industry – The Maguire Energy Institute’s research and thought leadership has been able to significantly impact the current national and international energy debate.

“Cary Maguire’s original vision for this Institute back in the early ’70s was to create the premier university-based energy institute in the nation right here at SMU Cox,” Bullock said. “Thanks to Cary’s advice and counsel, along with that of SMU Cox Dean Al Niemi, Dr. Bobby Lyle and our other venerable advisory board members, we have been able to achieve that goal.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

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SMU-record 14 professors receive 2014-15 Sam Taylor Fellowships

UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry logoFourteen SMU faculty members – a University-record number – have received 2014-15 Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund of the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The Fellowships, funded by income from a portion of Taylor’s estate, award up to $2,000 for full-time faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas. Any full-time faculty member is eligible to apply for the Fellowships, which support research “advancing the intellectual, social or religious life of Texas and the nation.”

Applications are evaluated on the significance of the project, clarity of the proposal, professional development of the applicant, value of the project to the community or nation, and the project’s sensitivity to value questions confronting higher education and society.

The winning professors for this academic year, and their projects:

Edward Countryman, History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, for research at the Canadian National Archives for his book on Joseph Brant and colonial America.

Johan Elverskog, Religious Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, to work in the Getty Museum’s archives for his book on the history of Buddhist influence in art.

Kathleen Gallagher, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Meadows School of the Arts, to conduct interviews in Puerto Rico regarding non-profit organization life cycles.

Adam Herring, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, to include color plates in his monograph on Inca artworks.

Peter Kupfer, Music History, Meadows School of the Arts, to survey how viewers understand cultural meanings of classical music used in advertising.

Rita Linjuan Men, Communication Studies, Meadows School of the Arts, to collect survey data for analysis of transparency in organizations’ social media communications.

Rebekah Miles, Perkins School of Theology, for archival research and interviews regarding Ursula Niebuhr’s works.

Brian Molanphy, Art, Meadows School of the Arts, to support his Spring 2015 artist residency at l’Ecole de céramique de Provence in France.

Lisa Pon, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, for inclusion of illustrations in her forthcoming book.

Christopher Roos, Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, to support collaborative research in Tasmania.

Brett Story, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, for load-testing materials to study collapse resistance in buildings.

Peng Tao, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, for software to study protein-folding and unfolded protein response.

Jenia Turner, Dedman School of Law, to survey prosecutors and defense attorneys nationally regarding the U.S. criminal justice system.

Hye Jin Yoon, Temerlin Advertising Institute, Meadows School of the Arts, for a survey regarding efficacy of advertising appeals to individualism versus collectivism.

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SMU reaches resolution agreement with Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights

SMU and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have reached a resolution agreement that concludes OCR’s investigation of complaints filed against the University regarding its compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex.

The investigation involved Title IX complaints filed against the University in 2011 and 2013. SMU released the following statement on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014:

__________

SMU and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights have reached a voluntary resolution agreement, concluding the Office for Civil Rights’s investigation of complaints filed against the University in 2011 and 2013 under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The agreement resolves Office for Civil Rights’s concerns regarding the University’s compliance in these cases with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex.

“SMU applauds every effort to end sexual harassment and assault on college campuses,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “However, we dispute some of the Office for Civil Rights’s conclusions regarding these complaints, which predate the recommendations made in April 2013 by SMU’s Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures. Our campus community is committed to preventing and vigorously addressing sexual misconduct and to promptly and equitably responding to complaints.”

The Office for Civil Rights is reviewing the Title IX procedures of nearly 90 universities nationwide, including SMU. “Reviewing our policies and procedures is an ongoing commitment and responsibility as federal guidance evolves and is communicated,” Turner said. “The University looks forward to continued collaborations with the Office for Civil Rights.”

In the resolution, the Office for Civil Rights incorporated the recommendations made in April 2013 by SMU’s task force for new and revised policies and procedures, and calls upon the University to take additional steps, many of which already have been carried out by SMU during the Office for Civil Rights’s review or are in progress.

“I appreciate Southern Methodist University’s strong commitment in this agreement to provide a safe and supportive educational environment for its students,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights. “I look forward to working with Southern Methodist University in its implementation of the agreement.”

“SMU is dedicated to maintaining policies and procedures that eliminate sexual harassment and violence,” said SMU Title IX Coordinator Samantha Thomas. “SMU encourages students to report every incident involving sexual harassment and violence, and to pursue every avenue of redress available to them through the criminal justice system and under Title IX.”

The resolution stipulates that SMU has entered into the agreement voluntarily and that it does not constitute an admission by the University that it has discriminated or failed to comply with Title IX.

“We are concerned that the Office for Civil Rights letter contains some generalizations that mischaracterize the facts,” said Kent D. Talbert, special counsel to SMU and former general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education.

The Office for Civil Rights reviewed three complaints against SMU. One case involved a complaint of inappropriate language by a faculty member during spring 2010. A second case, in which the Office for Civil Rights investigated SMU’s grievance procedures and an alleged sexually hostile campus environment, was withdrawn by the complainant, who notified the Office for Civil Rights of the withdrawal on Nov. 6, 2014. In its letter, the Office for Civil Rights stated that SMU’s own investigation of the complaint did not substantiate that harassment had occurred.

The third case involved an alleged sexual assault in 2012, which was dismissed by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. In this case, the University suspended the alleged assailant three days after the complainant reported the alleged assault to the SMU Police Department. “That case is now pending in federal district court, and I am troubled that Office for Civil Rights did not follow the policies outlined in its Case Processing Manual for the review and disposition of this complaint,” Talbert said.

The Office for Civil Rights also reviewed student inquiries and allegations about sexual harassment, as well as complaints filed under Title IX from 2009 through 2012. “I am concerned that the Office for Civil Rights appears to have grouped together a broad list of inquiries and allegations with a smaller number of formal complaints filed under Title IX,” Talbert said. “When official Title IX complaints are made, SMU promptly and thoroughly carries out its duties and responsibilities under the law in pursuing them.”

In the resolution agreement, the Office for Civil Rights concluded that SMU “has implemented and commits to maintaining a number of policies and procedures to ensure that students enrolled in the University are not subjected to a hostile environment on the basis of sex; to promptly investigate all incidents of sexual harassment of which it has notice; to take appropriate disciplinary action against students, faculty and staff who violate the University’s policies and procedures addressing sexual harassment; and to take prompt and effective responsive action to end sexual harassment and prevent its recurrence, and where appropriate take steps to remedy the effects of sexual harassment on the affected students.”

The Office for Civil Rights also recognized SMU’s ongoing Task Force Implementation Group, which consists of student leaders and University officials, including SMU’s Vice President for Student Affairs and its Title IX Coordinator. The group has overseen the implementation of recommendations that address areas including sexual misconduct reporting, Title IX policies, the student conduct process and Code of Conduct, communication, accountability, education and training.

Some of the initiatives already implemented by SMU to address sexual misconduct include:

  • Policy and procedural changes, including the development of a comprehensive Title IX Policy that includes an in-depth investigation of all allegations; a review and revisions of the Student Code of Conduct; the establishment of an anonymous reporting system for sexual assault; and clarification of the definition of consent;
  • Expanded education explaining and identifying campus and community resources, including SMU’s Title IX Coordinator and seven Deputy Title IX Coordinators, as well as law enforcement officials, sexual assault nurse examiners and confidential counselors;
  • Expanded education on how to report and prevent discrimination and sexual violence, including a comprehensive online course for incoming students, continuing classroom courses for students and new online courses for faculty and staff;
  • Increased communication through multiple channels to students, parents, faculty and staff, including information on reporting sexual assaults to police and obtaining medical care as soon as possible; pursuing criminal charges through the district attorney’s office; and filing a complaint under SMU’s Title IX Policy. Communications include a website, smu.edu/LiveResponsibly; a printed and online brochure and family handbook; campus posters; and presentations to community members;
  • A new research-based sexual assault bystander intervention program, developed by SMU psychology faculty members;
  • Student-led initiatives, including the development of a student Values Statement and the “Not On My Campus” campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence, in conjunction with the SMU community’s participation in the White House’s national “It’s On Us” campaign.

“Sexual harassment and violence are serious issues at universities and colleges across the country,” Thomas said. “Our community will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our policies and procedures to combat sexual misconduct, maintain a safe and supportive environment and protect those who report sexual misconduct.”

__________

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OE2C: President Turner posts memo on media reports

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has written a clarification memo in response to recent media reports on the University’s ongoing review of finances and resources – commonly known as Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C).

The full text of the memo, posted at SMU’s OE2C site on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014:

__________

Dear SMU alumni, parents and friends,

Because recent media stories have reported SMU’s financial review for resource reallocation with a negative interpretation, we want to communicate directly with you on this matter.

Our review process aims to redirect resources to our academic mission. The majority of the reported $35 million saved will be reallocated to academic purposes. At a time when universities across the country are being questioned about the impact of administrative costs on affordability, SMU is taking the lead in examining operations, procedures and positions that can be streamlined. Elimination of some positions will be one result, and SMU is committed to working with any affected employees in a sensitive and caring way, consistent with our long-held SMU community values. A restructuring also could result in some new positions in high-priority areas, and staff can apply for these opportunities.

In addition, it is erroneous to associate SMU’s review with the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Although SMU had one-time costs for University-related events during the opening, these activities brought more than 10,000 visitors, dignitaries and five U.S. presidents to SMU and Dallas – visibility that is priceless. The Bush Library is funded by the federal government, while the Bush Institute is funded by donations to the private Bush Foundation. SMU is benefiting greatly from these resources. As noted by Moody’s in its latest rating analysis, expenditures to expand national prominence “will enhance the competitive draw of the University” going forward. Moody’s also noted SMU’s stable outlook with regard to enrollment, philanthropic support and positive operating performance. SMU’s admission applications are indeed growing every year, as is the academic quality of our students.

As you know, the $1 billion Second Century campaign is funding new faculty positions, academic programs, scholarships and facilities. Campaign gifts, however, are restricted for specific purposes and do not cover annual operating expenses. Thus, we must look at our structure and operations to see where savings can occur – to be redirected to our academic mission.

SMU’s financial stability also is reflected in its endowment growth of more than 17 percent in the last year, above the national average, for an endowment of over $1.5 billion as of November 30.

It is a sign of strength that SMU is undertaking a financial review. We want to remain responsible stewards of our resources and the investments that generous donors are making toward our progress. Our constituents – in Dallas and beyond – deserve no less.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Sincerely,

R. Gerald Turner
President

__________

> For the latest updates, visit the SMU OE2C site

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SMU Staff Association continues 2014 Holiday Toy Drive through Friday, Dec. 19

holiday-toys-stock-300Continuing its traditional holiday service project, the SMU Staff Association (SMUSA) is hosting a Holiday Toy Drive for its United Way Partner, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC).  

SMUSA is accepting new, non-violent, unwrapped toys ranging from board games to remote control cars. The Staff Association encourages participants to keep in mind that all donations must be child-appropriate.

Toys can be donated at the following collection locations through Friday, Dec. 19:dcac-logo

  • Blanton Building – 1st floor by the elevator
  • Dallas Hall – 1st floor stairwell landing
  • Expressway Tower – Parking and ID Card Services, Suite 101
  • Fondren Library Center – 1st floor near the circulation desk
  • Umphrey Lee Center – 3rd floor, Suite 301
  • 6200 N. Central Expressway – Development and External Affairs

As an added bonus for a kind gesture, the SMU Parking and ID Card Services Office offers campus community members the opportunity to pay off unpaid parking tickets by donating toys of equal or greater value. To participate in the Toys for Tickets exchange, drivers must bring their parking tickets and a receipt for the toys by Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 to the Parking and ID Card Services Office located in Expressway Tower, Suite 101, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

For more information on Toys for Tickets, email SMU Parking and ID Card Services Office or contact them via telephone at 214-768-7275.

If you have questions about the types of donations that are accepted, email Chris Milazzo.

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