Objection: SMU Mock Trial is WAYY Too Cool!

Mock trial

I compete on the SMU Mock Trial team, a group that travels all over the nation simulating law proceedings and gaining both legal and theatrical experience. As a drama and speech enthusiast in high school, I pounced on the chance to join this nationally ranked team the second that I stepped foot on SMU’s campus as a sophomore. Why? Because it is just way too fun to pass up.

SMU Mock Trial competes with hundreds of universities across the nation. A team of witnesses and  attorneys (all students) are given a legal case, with all relevant  case law, rules of evidence, evidentiary exhibits, and witness affidavits. This year, our criminal case involves two men, a politician and a businessman, each being tried for bribery.

My team travels across the nation—this semester we’ve competed at the College of William and Mary and the University of Pennsylvania. In past semesters, we’ve traveled to Berkeley, Tucson, St. Louis, Tallahassee, Des Moines, Chicago, and New York. Annually, our Open Round Championships take place in Memphis, where we compete in the Shelby County Courthouse (which, interestingly enough is featured in Silence of the Lambs). Our weekends are full of both hard work and great fun— between sweeping the court room in our trial rounds, the Mock Trial team has toured Alcatraz, the United States Capitol, and the St. Louis Arch.

No matter what your interests are, getting involved with an incredible group like the SMU Mock Trial team is one of the key components to having a successful university experience.

Getting involved will help you find your home away from home: I can readily attest that the other Mockers on my team formed my first family here on campus.

-Blair Betik

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A Short Guide to Lower Greenville

When I hear from students that apply to SMU, one thing is always at the top of their mind: Dallas.  Our students love being in Dallas.  Proximity to all four major sports teams, incredible business opportunities, and a lively social scene are only a few of the many factors that make Dallas and SMU the obvious choice for college students.  Although there is plenty to do on campus, one of my favorite neighborhoods around SMU is Lower Greenville.  Here’s a quick list to get you to try out some cool spots right the next time you’re around!

Mudsmith – 2114 Greenville Ave.  This spacious coffee shop imudsmiths a hippie hunting lodge with a great study atmosphere.  Whether you’re looking for some inspiration for a 15-page paper or you want to hang out with your friends for an open-mic night, Mudsmith is the place to be.


truck yardTruck Yard – 5624 Sears St.  A large patch of lawn chairs, picnic tables, modified pickup trucks-turned-picnic tables, three bars (one of them is in a tree house) a Carnival Barker’s Ice Creams stand, a permanent kitchen that makes nothing but Philly cheesesteaks (appropriately named “Steak Me Home Tonight”), live music, and a rotating cast of local food trucks makes Truck Yard an SMU favorite.

Good Records – 1808 Greenville Ave.  Other than my educgood recordsation, the best investment I’ve ever made was in a record player (they sell them in store or grab one off Amazon).  Good Records is a two story audiophile’s wonderland with thousands of records, CDs, posters and more.  There’s always room in your life for Spotify, but nothing beats finding a great new sound on sale.


hg supply coHG Supply Co. – 2008 Greenville Ave.  Eat like a gourmet caveman “Hunter-Gatherer” style off a menu with paleo-inspired dishes from the best grass-fed meats and veggies.  Don’t be alarmed if you run into an hour long wait to be seated, because the real gem of this joint is the 9000 square foot patio upstairs stocked with a full bar and a picturesque view of the Dallas skyline.

Steel City Pops – 2012 Greenville Ave.  A hop and a skip from HG Supply is a dessert steel city popsshop that has the Dallas community buzzing.  Steel City Pops is a gourmet popsicle store that features some of the best treats you will ever taste.  Made from fresh all-natural or organic ingredients and sweetened with raw, organic cane sugar, these vegan-friendly pops range from fruity to creamy flavors.   Whether it’s an after-class study snack or a post-dinner dessert, Steel City has your sweet-tooth needs covered.


Honorable Mentions:

Trader Joe’s – 2001 Greenville Ave.  With over 450 locations around the country, you’ve hopefully heard of this organic grocery store so I won’t go into too much detail.  I know that my addiction to cookie butter on my toast can continue as long as I’m around a TJ’s.

Pints & Quarts – Corner of Ross and Greenville.  From the people who brought us Mudsmith, this gas station-turned-burger joint should be your next lunch stop.

Dude, Sweet Chocolate -1925 Greenville Ave. Chocoholics beware, you can’t shake the craving when you walk past this shop.  With their chocolate bark, fudge, truffles, and potions, they’ve got me hooked.

Granada Theater – 3524 Greenville Ave.  Built as a theater in 1946, the Granada has since become a popular concert hall.   Along with great music, their sister restaurant “Sundown at Granada” features Lower Greenville’s largest patio.

This is only a fraction of the cool things to do and places to go on Lower Greenville, so use these places as a starting point and do a little exploring yourself.  Hope to see you down there soon!

-Jack Murphy

Note: All pictures from the respective restaurant’s websites.

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My Experience in the Cox School of Business

I study marketing within the Cox School of Business along with an advertising minor from the Meadows School of the Arts. I’m really enjoying the business curriculum! Now I am starting to focus more on my Marketing degree. I am taking really interesting classes in which I am learning more and more about my field. It really helps to have fantastic professors who take the time to ensure that I understand everything they are teaching to us.
In one of my favorite classes, I am learning about how pricing affects the consumer’s opinion of a product or brand. It is incredibly important for companies to be able to calculate the right price to sell a product or service. If you don’t do this correctly, then the product might be considered under or overvalued by consumers. I am also learning how to use marketing surveys which can help figure out what consumers desire. This can be very helpful to companies because they can then use this information to predict the needs of the consumers and adjust their business plans accordingly.
All of these classes that I am taking within the Cox School of Business has given me the tools that I need to ensure that I will be successful with the companies I work for. I have just received an offer to intern with Strop Insights this summer which is just down the road from SMU! I’m incredibly excited to work for such a fast growing company within Dallas. I know that the lessons that my marketing professors have taught to me will be extremely useful while working in my internship this summer. I will be working under other SMU graduates and with current SMU students who happen to be some of my really good friends. It should be an amazing summer!
-Alex Porter
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J-Ice and Alternative Breaks

One of my favorite organizations at SMU is Alternative Breaks, which send students on community service trips over Fall, Winter and Spring breaks. It has provided me with not only eye-opening and perspective-expanding opportunities in Austin, New Orleans, and Quito, but also with extremely valuable leadership experience, planning, budgeting for, and leading trips. Hopefully it’s easy to see why I am passionate about this organization.Will O'Connor

While I have been able to use my time and leadership skills to support the organization, last night Jayce “J-Ice” Miller did the organization an incredibly fun service. The current president of the organization, riding momentum that the organization has with members having returned from their Fall Break trips a couple of weeks ago, took advantage an open mic night at Poor David’s Pub in South Dallas to put on quite a rap show. Not only was the show a blast for everyone who attended, but all of the proceeds went directly to Alternative Breaks to make the trips that much more affordable for students. The crowd was comprised of a mix of Jayce’s friends and supportive members of Alternative Breaks, in addition to those who just happened to be there at the time.

The show was a great success! Of the four shows that we saw (two before, one after J-Ice), Jayce had the largest number of supporters, and really got the crowd moving. He got a shout out in the show immediately following his for having such great fans. The show provided excellent entertainment and supported a worthy cause, two things that I and many other SMU students are all about. SMU students support their community, at SMU and otherwise, in a number of ways, and the J-Ice show on Thursday is just one example of the extraordinary ways that we put our abilities to great use.

-Will O’Connor

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Family Weekend on the Hilltop

This past weekend was family weekend at SMU. Parents and siblings descended upon Dallas from all corners of the globe, including my own parents who made the 30-minute trek from my hometown of Plano, Texas.

There were a number of events to attend starting almost as soon as I finished class that ranged from meet-and-greets in the commons to receptions for scholar communities. Luckily, between all the handshakes and comments about how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my parents and I snuck off to get some dinner.

My mom & me during Family Weekend!

My mom & me during Family Weekend!

On a normal Friday night on campus, a few of my friends and I would coordinate dinner somewhere off campus in Snider Plaza or on SMU Boulevard, but this weekend I had to leave my friends hanging. To my surprise, when I arrived at Bandito’s Tex-Mex Cantina, it was packed with those same friends that I normally perform my weekly ritual with. Most of them are from out of state and they all had various reasons for their parents not being present on that evening. However, the thing that really struck me was how indifferent they were to the fact that their parents weren’t there. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I was someone who was excited to have a weekend dedicated to spending time with my family, and they seemed perfectly content with our group of friends.

The next day, I asked one of my friends who was an “orphan” for the weekend if he was upset that his parents couldn’t come and he explained it better than I could’ve possibly imagined. He explained that while he does love his parents dearly, he has a second family here at SMU, so to him every weekend is family weekend. Personally, I couldn’t agree more. I thank my parents for everything they have done for me (especially after they buy me Mexican food) but now that I’m here at SMU, my family has grown from a family of 3 to a family of roughly 11,000.

-Michael Carlisi


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Reflections of a Grad Student

Today marks exactly five months and eight days since I walked across the stage in Moody Coliseum to receive my bachelor’s degree from SMU. Not that I’m counting or anything. I always shrugged off all the “it goes by so fast” warnings from people slightly older than me. Man, were they spot on or what?

However, I consider myself lucky to have the chance to stick around one extra year to get my master’s degree. Special thanks to Mom and Dad for allowing me to prolong, if only for one more year, my transition into the real world! I’ll be honest. I get a little nostalgic when walking amongst undergrads discussing their plans for the Boulevard, Brown Bag dance series, and the Annual On-Campus Concert to name only a few of our traditions during the fall semester.

Observing how much younger students are enjoying their experience brings back waves of personal memories from when I was in their shoes and makes me proud to call myself an alumni of this great university. In my four plus years I’ve seen so much growth and improvement of our campus facilities as well as the quality of each successive incoming class. Construction seems to never end, and the test scores of our incoming students continues to creep upwards. Constant improvement has become core to SMU’s culture, and makes me excited to watch what happens next during SMU’s second century.

-John Morrow



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Heading Down Under

I am super excited about going abroad next semester! I will be studying at the University of Sydney in Australia! This will be my second time studying abroad. My freshmen year I studied abroad in Paris, France, Oxford, England and Cambridge, England. I loved my summer abroad and I knew I had to go abroad again! Next summer I will be interning in Brazil (Rio), so I decided Australia was the next place to go.

Picture From: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/The_Main_Quadrangle_of_the_University_of_Sydney.png

Picture From: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/The_Main_Quadrangle_of_the_University_of_Sydney.png

I will be leaving for Sydney in February 2016 and will be staying there until June. I plan on traveling quite a bit around the surrounding countries. I have already purchased tickets to Vietnam, Bali, Fiji, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand! Next semester is sure to be an adventure. I would love to pick up surfing while living in Sydney and I have to go hang-gliding in New Zealand.
The University of Sydney has a very prominent business school and it was super easy to get classes approved through SMU’s Cox School of Business as transfer credits. I will be taking a few accounting classes and cultural classes while in Sydney. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the endless plane ride.
More than 50% of SMU’s students study abroad during their undergraduate experience and I think it is vital in order to have an all-encompassing undergraduate experience. Because I am working in Rio next summer, I will not be back in the states until August so it will be a stretch. I could not be more excited, I guess all that’s left to do…. is pack!
-Kaleb Lee
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The Life of an SMU Accounting Major

Although finance is the most popular major within Cox, as well as the most popular major on campus, I personally believe majoring in accounting is the way to go. Let me explain.

Recruiting season for accounting majors in Texas begins at the start of second semester for all juniors who wish to go through formal accounting recruitment. About a dozen public accounting firms, ranging in size from the “Big Four” to middle market and smaller firms, come to campus to start recruiting all interested juniors majoring in accounting. After many information sessions, interviews, dinners, etc., most, if not all, accounting majors walk away with an internship for the spring semester of their senior year.

For those who know they are interested in accounting by the spring of their sophomore year, they can apply to the summer leadership conferences that the public accounting firms offer between the summer of one’s sophomore year and the start of junior year. These all expense paid, two to three day conferences, can and often result in an internship offer for one’s senior year. This way, students can avoid the formal recruitment process.

For those interested in the audit track, the internship starts in January and goes until the end of March, with two accelerated accounting courses taking place during the month of April. For those interested in the tax track, the accelerated accounting courses happen in the month of January and the internship subsequently begins in February and runs until the end of April. Both internships fall within the “busy season” of their respective fields, thus keeping the interns quite busy as the name suggests!

The “Big Four” accounting firms even have a global rotational program as an option for one’s internship. Thus you can apply to spend half of your internship abroad. This all expense paid opportunity not only gives you global work experience before you have even graduated college, but it also gives you an opportunity to get exposure to a different culture. This opportunity is unique to the accounting industry and something I am currently in the process of applying for.

Upon successful completion of the internship, it is likely you could walk away with a full-time offer. Students who accept this offer and go on to work where they have interned love knowing their environment and colleagues before they begin work on their first official day.

This spring I will be interning with KPMG here in Dallas in their Audit Department. I am looking forward to applying the outstanding education SMU has afforded me to real life experiences, as well as learning even more from working full-time in a professional setting for over ten weeks. SMU’s Accounting Department has provided me and my classmates such unique and amazing opportunities!

-Maggie Poxon

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The Next Best Hogwarts

In my perfect world, Hogwarts would exist. However, this is not a perfect world and as such, my dream of attending Hogwarts died when I was 11 and September 1st came and passed with no acknowledgement from Hogwarts. Quincy Schurr

Luckily, the next best thing to studying at Hogwarts is studying at Oxford. This past summer, I had the opportunity to study abroad at University College at Oxford University in England for five weeks as part of the SMU-in-Oxford program. This program invites about 40 SMU students to spend the second half of the summer exploring the charm and history of one of the oldest college towns in the world.

During this program I took two history classes. There is something to be said about studying history thousands of years older than the United States itself in the place in which those historical events actually took place. I was able to take one of my two classes from an SMU professor and another from an Oxford tutor so that I was really able to experience the cultural differences between education in the U.S. and in England.

Quincy Schurr 2From the quiet afternoons spent reading at Turl Street Kitchen, to walking around Christchurch Meadow, to seeing the entire town of Edinburgh spread out below me from the top of Arthur’s Seat, to seeing a performance of Measure for Measure at the famed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, to eating Belgian waffles in Brussels, I can truly say that my experience abroad was one of the best. I know that most everyone who goes abroad says that, but my experience was truly amazing and I am so happy I made the choices I did.

Your abroad experience is what you make it. Had I not made the decision to leave my comfort zone, I would not have had such amazing experiences. I put my fears aside and took to traveling and exploring on my own. I got to travel to 4 different cities and took it upon myself to explore the museums and cultural sites that are in abundance in Oxford. I reached out and made new friends on the program – friends I don’t know if I would have met on campus otherwise – friends who still meet for a cup of tea in order to catch up and reminisce about our Oxford days.

Even though my Oxford education didn’t include learning how to cast spells or fly on a broomstick, my experience was more than magical. I would encourage everyone to take part in an SMU Abroad experience if they can. Whether or not you travel to Oxford, I know that the friendships I made and the learning that took place during those five weeks will last long beyond the attraction of the world of Harry Potter.

-Quincy Schurr


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Getting Coffee with a Professor?!?

One of my favorite times at SMU is the fall. The leaves are changing colors, the boulevards, and the pumpkins are out. However, my fall has been spent with the Strategy Brand Management track of Advertising. So far, I have loved getting to know the 15 people that I will be spending the rest of my college experience with! It is refreshing to be in classes that allow me to view concepts more openly and be surrounded by people who are equally as passionate.

Additionally, with new classes come new professors. My professors this fall have been some of the most engaging people I have ever met. Not only do they have a passion for the field of advertising, but also a passion for student development.

Picture from: http://uniondallas.net

Picture from: http://uniondallas.net

Last week I went to Union coffee, which is an SMU crowd favorite.  There is truly nothing better than Union coffee as the days get cooler! Besides the coffee, I was there to meet a professor. Professor Baldwin teaches Strategic Management. She thought it would be a cool place to meet outside of the classroom. She asked me the progress on my project, but further, Professor Baldwin asked me about what I was passionate about. She asked my what I see myself doing and what I ponder about.  Our conversation went far beyond the classroom. I left feeling encouraged about my future and affirmed in my studies.  It was very encouraging to hear about what she does besides teaching, and how she found her love for the industry. She explained the importance of contentment in this life stage. She challenged me to be more focused on the blessings that I have, than the fleeting stresses of everyday life.  This is one of those conversations that you truly feel that you could concur the world.  It was truly refreshing.

-Anna Scott Phillips

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