10-16-carlyle-riedSMU has over 180 different student organizations to get involved in, which became perfectly clear when I attended SMU’s student involvement fair, “Night at the Club” my freshman year. During that fateful night, I signed my name on probably 20 different organizations that I was interested in. However, although I would like to, I don’t have infinite time, so I took my four years to get involved in a few organizations. One of my favorite experiences at SMU is getting involved in various service organizations. Although I’ve been able to get involved in service through the classroom and in other organizations, I’ve also been involved in exclusively service organizations. Particularly, I am a member of SMU’s largest service organization, Mustang Heroes, which hosts over 20 different weekly, bi-weekly and monthly trips around the Dallas community and have gotten very involved in my sorority’s philanthropy.

This year, I have the pleasure to be the Extended Service Committee Chair for Mustang Heroes. My co-chair, Brandon, and I plan monthly Saturday trips to different organizations around the Dallas area. Although this is only once per month, we have over 40 different members, which means that we get to see how awesome the Mustangs are at giving back. This semester, we are going on trips to serve at The Special Olympics, CitySquare, a Dallas food pantry, and Mosaic Family Services, an organization that helps to serve immigrants, refugees, at-risk youths, and those at risk of HIV or AIDS. In addition, the Executive Board goes on monthly trips to bond with one another, and our organization holds monthly awareness meetings. Awareness meetings host a speaker from a nonprofit organization around the Dallas area to come help students learn how they can help change an important social or health issue.

I am also Fundraising Director for my sorority’s philanthropy. Our philanthropy is Service for Sight, which benefits the blind and visually impaired. This year, I had the pleasure to lead a group of my sorority sisters to get donations for our various philanthropy events and helped lead a letter campaign. Although this has been a rewarding experience, the best part of my entire sorority experience isn’t just fundraising; it’s actually volunteering. Every month, I’ve been attending Friday night Bingo, where we bond with the blind and visually impaired in the Dallas area and play some Bingo. Additionally, I’ve been able to help out with schooling events for the blind and visually impaired children in the Dallas community.

No matter what issue you are interested in, SMU has a plethora of service organizations for you to get involved in. Many student organizations that don’t have to do with service add a service element inside of them; whether that be a donation drive, donating profits from events or planning bonding trips to volunteer. So when you come to SMU, it’s very easy to Pony Up and do some good!

-Carlyle Reid