Opportunites Abound in PR

prssaBy Kelsey Buttrell

PRSSA is one of the many amazing academic organizations on campus and one that I have the pleasure to be a member of. This past week at SMU, PRSSA hosted Mark Hass as a guest lecturer for all PRSSA students. Mark Hass is the President & CEO for Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world.

hassHe gave the students insight on his company’s research. One campaign Edelman is working on right now is the rebranding of AXE. Their research concluded that AXE is a very dominant product for ages 12-15, but older men find it immature and childish. As a result, Edelman has conducted research observing the interaction between relations of men and women since previously that has been the campaign for AXE. They still want to use this relationship idea but mature the nature of the brand.

This is just one of the many perks of being a member of SMU PRSSA. This program continues to amaze me with the remarkable career fairs and the experience to engage with amazing PR professionals.

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I Met the President…

bushBy Jack Murphy

I met the president.  No, let me rephrase.  I had a memorable five-minute conversation with the former Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush and his wife, talking about how great SMU’s students were, my red hair, and our favorite topic: SMU Basketball.  But let me back up, you may be wondering how I met the president?  A few days ago I was chosen to represent the SMU student body to attend “Dining with Decision Makers,” a dinner held for the SMU Board of Trustees and for students to connect with them.  The Board is doing a phenomenal job with our university from completing the new Residential Commons in the southeast quad to hiring the great Larry Brown as our head basketball coach.  In attendance to this event was former First Lady Laura Bush, one of our Trustee members, and her “plus one” President Bush.  After finishing the George W. Bush Presidential Center, students are used to seeing the presidential couple around campus, but this was my opportunity to officially meet them.  After the dinner I walked up to George but before I could introduce myself, he exclaims “Big Red!”  Taken aback, I began to chat with him about SMU’s basketball season and the game that previous night where he spotted me in the halftime free-throw competition (being 6’3” with red hair, I’m not hard to miss).  We ended our conversation with a few good laughs and his remarks on our amazing student body of leaders and world changers.  That night I left the dinner looking back to the day I first arrived at SMU as a student less than two years ago.  With all the things SMU has allowed me to accomplish, I cannot be more excited for what is about to happen in the next two years.

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Live at the American Airlines Center

aacBy Kelsey Buttrell

One of the best attributes of going to school at SMU is being in the amazing city of Dallas. One of the amazing things about Dallas is the American Airlines Center. It is the home of the Dallas Stars and The Mavericks. It also hosts many amazing concerts. This month, I got discounted tickets for Imagine Dragons through the ticket office at SMU! My best friend at SMU is obsessed with the Imagine Dragons, and so I decided to attend the concert with her because we received a really good deal. During the whole concert the band never ceased to amaze me. If you are not a fan of their music, I suggest seeing them live. Its 2X better than on the radio! I love the fact that I can witness and experience such amazing talent and shows just by being in Dallas.

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Magic in Moody

larry browBy Courtney Quinn

I have been attending SMU Men’s Basketball games since freshman year and I never thought I would find myself camping out for tickets my Senior year. Since gaining Larry Brown as our head coach last season, Brown has completely changed our basketball program; the team has done a full 180. Brown worked hard last year to recruit a great incoming class for the 2013-2014 season and he succeeded. This season the team caught everyone’s attention. SMU basketball games are now the hottest ticket in Dallas! This season we have had Mark Cuban, Tony Romo, Jason Garrett, Laura Bush, and President Bush grace our coliseum, as well as numerous recruits. We are even fighting contenders for March Madness!

Last Monday was the ticket pickup for the big Louisville game on March 5th, which is another sold out game! I found myself on Sunday afternoon pitching a tent with my friends outside the ticket office in order to score a ticket to the best seat in the house; center court student section. There were over 20 tents lined up! It is really cool how dedicated and enthusiastic the student body has become about our team! Larry Brown and the team even came to the “campsite” that night right after they got off a place from being out of town for an away game. They wanted to show their appreciation that n, but we are the ones that are thankful. Also the next morning when we had to wake up bright and early at 5am, Mr. Brown was there with donuts for us! Larry Brown is without say an excellent coach with any amazing work ethic and we are very lucky to him as a Mustang! Our team is so exciting to watch and I can’t wait for the rest of the season! Pony up!

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The Dallas Music Scene

blog1 By Daniel Brock

One of my favorite parts about SMU is being connected to the Dallas Music Community. A big city offers a wide variety of opportunities that I would not be able to get in a small town. My favorite music event in Dallas is Sofar Sounds.

Basically, Sofar Sounds are these secret concerts from artist and bands that perform in a local’s living room. The whole organization is volunteer based, who plan and run the concerts. What you do is sign up on the Sofar website and if you get selected you and a friend get to attend the event for free. Sofar sounds is international and almost in every major big city in the US and England. The concerts are extremely exclusive, because they only have room for about 40-60 people each time. And once the doors close on the starting time, no one is aloud in or out and if you are late you are banned from being invited back.

blog2Now I know that sounds intense, but the experience during the concert is unlike anything else in the world. By having the concerts in a local’s house, the music feels intimate and personal. The first 30 minutes you get to mingle with the guest and the bands. Afterwards the bands perform a 2 hour show. And you never know who is going to show up. The first Sofar Sounds I ever went to, Marcus Foster (from Foster the People) performed a solo set.

Just last November, I was extremely lucky because my friend and I got involved with the Sofar Sounds Dallas community, so she got to be in charge of the guest list and I got the host the event in my duplex. I never would have imagined when I moved to Dallas for SMU that I would be hosting a private concert in my house.

Sofar Sounds wanted to promote themselves with SMU students, so my friend and I were able invite up to 20 SMU students to spread the word. The show was amazing and performed everything from rock, alternative, and folk music. The O’s, the Roomsounds, and the Friendly Savages all performed about 4-5 songs each. Sometimes you might not be familiar with the bands, but this is the best way to discover up and coming artist. Each band has a unique sound and put on performances with stellar energy.

When I graduate this spring, I am glad I am able to leave a little SMU in the Sofar Sounds community and that SMU students will be going to Dallas Sofar Sounds concerts for years to come. By having SMU in Dallas, you get the best of both worlds of having the college experience and getting involved in the Dallas community.

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Moody Madness

By Katelyn Hall

It’s a good time to be an SMU student and a Mustang basketball fan. Over the past few weeks, I have watched the Mustangs win every home game at our renovated Moody Coliseum.

It was so fun to cheer on the Mustangs with all the SMU students. I joined the MOB, the student fan group, so we sit at center court and cheer extra loudly. The ambiance at the games is incredible, with the student section packed and all of Moody sold out.

But one of my favorite parts about SMU basketball may surprise you: getting my tickets.  Every few games, SMU students line up extra early to pick up free tickets to the game. The ticket window opens at 7 a.m., so everyone lines up even earlier.

Last time, I woke up at 5 a.m. and headed down to Ford Stadium with my friends to wait in line with our fellow Mustang fans. We brought blankets and homework and chatted about our recent win over ranked team Cincinnati.

Right before the ticket office opened, Larry Brown and several basketball players came out to greet the waiting fans. The Hall of Fame coach even brought us donuts and coffee and shook everyone’s hands.

It’s so fun to see our campus united and proud to be Mustangs.

Pony Up!

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Someone Pinch Me…

By John Morrow

At 7AM this morning I found myself waiting in line outside in near freezing temperatures with hundreds of other students. I wasn’t there to pick up the latest Apple iPhone. No, I was there with numb feet and frozen hands that could barely text for SMU Men’s Basketball tickets. Crazy right? Not if you want to get into the game. Tickets sold out roughly three hours after the box office opened.

This past Saturday, the Mustangs faced their biggest test of the season. The Cincinnati Bearcats, ranked #7 in the nation in the AP Poll, came into Moody Coliseum for a chance to tame our Mustangs and put an end to our undefeated home record. The Mustangs, an unranked team prior to the game, took the court in front of a raucous, sellout crowd.  Moody was rocking for the full 40 minutes from tipoff to the final horn. When that horn sounded, the final score read 76-55 in favor of SMU. blog3That’s a 21-point beat down over the #7 team in the nation. Students swarmed the court, lifting players on their shoulders and crowded around head coach Larry Brown to sing the alma mater.

Following the game, a close friend of mine said he bumped into an SMU alumni on the court who said he’d been waiting 30 years for a basketball team like this. With that win, SMU received enough votes today in the AP Poll to be ranked #23 in the nation. Needless to say, if the sports world hadn’t already heard of the Mustangs from SMU, they have now. Watch out, because the Mustangs are looking to shake things up come Tournament time in March. It might be a coincidence the Final Four games are going to be played in Dallas; but then again, maybe it’s not.

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Barney Was Created by a Pony!

By Billy Hightower

One of the many things that drew my eye about coming to SMU was the number of notable people that have attended SMU. There are accomplished former SMU in all types of different industries. In regards to politics SMU has had ten Congressmen, seven U.S. Ambassadors and two Senators. Laura Bush is one of our most connected alumni. We even have the Laura Bush Promenade, a gift given to our campus by George W. Bush as a tribute to his wife’s contribution to literacy and libraries. These close ties between the Bush Family and our campus have been immortalized through the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on campus last spring.

Over in the Business School there are CEOs and former CEOS from companies all over the world including Tom Thumb, Virgin America, Kroger, Texas Instruments and State Farm Insurance. SMU alumni have had very large impacts on science from, Willis Adcock, a chemist who helped develop the silicon transistor and James Cronin, a Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist. Mary Ellen Weber, a NASA Astronaut, did her M.B.A. at SMU.

In the performing arts there have been a plethora of former SMU students in popular culture. To all The Office fans out there Kathy Bates and Brian Baumgartner were both SMU students. The voice of Patrick on SpongeBob and Marshall Eriksen’s Father on How I Met Your Mother, Bill Fagerbakke, attended graduate school here. Barney was even created by a mustang. William Joyce, the creator of Rolie Polie Olie and creator of the conceptual characters for Toy Story, was also a SMUdent. In regards to big TV sitcoms Belita Moreno, otherwise known as Benny on the George Lopez show and Patricia Richardson, who portrayed Jill Taylor on Home Improvement, were both Mustangs.

Being a huge sports fan, the revere of SMU athletic alumni is in my opinion the coolest part about our alumni base. Jim Irsay, Owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts is a Mustang. Not only are there 5 SMU alumni in the Pro Football Hall of  Fame, the NFL record for rushing yards in a season is held by our own Eric Dickerson.

Now that you know SMU has had so many impactful students in the past, come be a part of the future. There are big shoes to feel but if anyone can do it a Mustang can!

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Moody Madness

By Kathleen Batman

Men’s Basketball has never been a sport to draw a big crowd at SMU. However, within the last year the basketball games have become the place to be. With the renovation of our basketball arena, Moody Coliseum, and the hiring of Larry Brown as our head coach, basketball has become very popular. The atmosphere at Moody is absolutely incredible. I absolutely love going to games and supporting the team. SMU upset Memphis last weekend and the feeling in the student section was electric. It was amazing to see a ton of students in the crowd cheering loudly for the Mustangs! We have officially moved into the basketball era of SMU and I’m so glad to be a part of it! Pony Up!

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Real Talk: 21st Century Activism

blog1By Ashley Garner

I had the pleasure of attending the first “Real Talk” of the spring semester. The office of Student Activities and Multicultural Student Affairs hosts lunches that invite students and SMU staff to discuss challenging societal concerns.

Students are encouraged to discuss topics pertaining to the diversification of America using the Bantu discussion method. All students sit in a circle and speak one at a time to share their opinion on a topic. Their listening peers are not allowed to make comments until everyone has spoken. The purpose of this discussion method is to engage students in a culture of listening to understand not listening to attack the views of others.

Our first discussion topic was centered on the ways in which 21st century activism manifests and whether we still need activism. Student responses reflected that activism has taken a new from with the emergence of social media. Additionally, this means that we each take part in serving as activists whether in standing up for inequalities or otherwise.

The discussion was a perfect way to celebrate MLK day and kick off our “Real Talk” series for the semester. I look forward to attending more in the future!

To follow the discussion, check out highlights from their live tweets here: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RealTalkSMU&src=hash

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