Name: Raven Battles

Classification: Junior, Class of 2019

Major: Philosophy with an emphasis on Ethics, Law and Security with a minor in Law and Legal Reasoning

Why SMU? While SMU was not my immediate first choice, I quickly fell in love with the campus when I visited for an Admitted Student Reception day in late April. I chose to attend SMU because of the degree programs available, beautiful campus with easy access to downtown Dallas, the options to study abroad, the multiple organizations established on campus, and finally the financial incentives.

Favorite thing about SMU? My favorite things about SMU are the faculty and staff. I have had the opportunity, through running an organization and work study, to meet many individuals from administrators and assistants to dining staff and groundskeepers. They have made me feel not only welcomed but also have offered encouragement and pointed me to the resources that I needed to succeed throughout my time here. 

Favorite place on campus? My favorite spot on campus is the third floor of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. It is the hub for student organizations and houses resources for these organizations to thrive. I find I spend a lot of time in this building, particularly on the third floor, in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Student Activities Office, which among other orgs, houses Greek life.

Perspective about diversity on campus. Diversity on SMU’s campus is one of those areas that I did not see a lot of as I stepped onto campus my freshman year. However, in the short time that I have been here (3 years), it’s the area in my opinion most improved. I have had the privilege of working closely with individuals who have and are continuing to implement tools necessary in the building of diversity in student body numbers, faculty and staff hires, and the inclusion of courses made available to students who seek to learn more about diversity and cultural sensitivity. 

Words of Advice to Diverse Applicants: SMU is not the place for those who are comfortable with sitting back and coasting for the next four years. However, if you are the type who likes to see and make change happen, then this campus is a great space to do. There are active communities here fully stocked with resources and support to help you in your journey here at SMU. My advice is to find them, get involved, and don’t be afraid to redefine the labels of this school. It will not only help SMU grow, but you just might find at the end of your time here that you have grown as well.