A Taste of Taste of Diversity


RA Addie answers the “Who, What, When, Where, and Why,” giving MHPS residents a taste of our event, Taste of Diversity. 


  • ALL SMU students, faculty, and staff!


  • Diverse music!
  • Free t-shirts for the first 100 attendants!


  • A ~smorgasbord~ of foods from different countries…



  • THIS Saturday, October 1st from 5-8pm


  • On the new North quad behind the Dr. Bob Memorial Health Center


  • To gain awareness of the world we live in
  • To meet faculty members who will be bringing special foods
  • To experience the new North quad
  • To make new friends
  • To leave with a full and content belly

Food Baby GIF



  • The Assembly of Residential Housing for funding
  • Faculty members who will be preparing food:
    • Dr. Liljana Elverskog
    • Dr. Johan Elverskog
    • Dr. Martine Kincaid
    • Teresa Brentegani
    • Damiano Bonuomo
    • Omar Al-Rashdan
  • Our vendors who will be providing food:
    • Urban Taco
    • Lola’s African Kitchen
    • Luna’s Tortillas
    • Kuby’s
    • Roll N Go
    • Jeng Chi
    • Infinity Cuisine by Sean
    • Paciugo

Blog by RA Addie 



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Be Happy & Be Healthy: Wellness Tips

In case you missed the “Wellness Wednesday” program last week, RAs Dillon Chapman and Addie White have some wellness tips for you to stay happy and healthy this semester!

  • Eat healthy – Your body needs fuel, and the better you eat, the better you’ll feel!
  • Don’t stress eat – That can turn into an unhealthy habit, but it’s okay to treat yourself from time to time! Reward yourself for doing well on a test with a cookie or another sweet treat!
  • Get exercise – Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, and it just makes you feel better. Ask our FiR, Liljana about walking Ziggy! That’s animal therapy too!
  • Get a massage – Massages are available for SMU students at the Dedman REC Center! Book your appointment today!
  • Make time for yourself – It’s fun to go out and explore! But sometimes you might need a night in. There are a lot of things to juggle in college, but don’t forget to relax. Watch a movie in one night, or take a trip downtown to see the museums or go for a walk in the park. Your personal time will help you improve your mental health, which will help your grades and your relationships with your friends.
  • Get enough sleep – It may seem like there are never enough hours in the day, but you’re never too busy to sleep! It’s better to get a good night’s rest than stay up to 4:00 a.m. doing homework or cramming for a test.
  • Plan ahead – Time management is the most important thing you can learn during your time here at SMU. Learn to prioritize and not procrastinate, and you’ll be well on your way to success!
  • Lastly, don’t forget about your support network – your friends, family, and RAs/RCD/ARCD/FiR are all rooting for you! We’re here to make sure you’re happy and healthy!

Here is a final gift for you – the relaxing guided meditation that we listened to during the program and a serene picture! Check out the meditation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHEavN7b0OA


Blog by RA Dillon 

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A Recap: The Culture POP Tour

Culture POP group

Two Saturdays ago, September 12th, our FiR, Liljana, hosted a “Culture POP” Tour where MHPS residents had the opportunity to visit the Frank Stella Retrospective at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art and the Japanese Botanic Gardens.

The day started at 9 a.m., and it was rainy. Luckily, by the time the bus arrived to Fort Worth at 10 a.m., the bad weather had cleared up and left a coolness in its place.

First stop was the Fort Worth Museum where MHPS residents saw a variety of modern artworks pieces, including pieces from artists in the museum’s private collection, and admired the architecture of the building.


Liljana and Madyson







After their visit to the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, the students enjoyed catered lunch from Jimmy John’s – plus Liljana’s homemade cookies – in the garden of the Kimbell Museum.  During lunch, students socialized with one another and discussed the different art pieces they observed.


Following lunch, MHPS traveled five minutes down the road to the Japanese Botanic Gardens. There, they were immersed into a beautiful environment with blossoming cherry trees, zen gardens, the moon bridge, and bright koi fish in ponds.


After exploring the Japanese Garden, students returned to SMU with a broader scope on modern art and Japanese Botanic Garden design, plus many memories from the “Culture POP” Tour.

A special thanks to our FiR, Liljana, and our Faculty Affiliate, Johan, for organizing the trip and providing educational commentary along the way! Missed it? Jokes on you, cause the group had a blast! But, hey, sign up for our next Trip in October!

Blog Post by Sean Nierat (Communications Coordinator) and Leah Hudson (RA) 

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Adulting 101: Microwave Edt.

If you missed RA Idara’s floor program this week, here’s the highlights from “Adulting 101” as reported by RA Raven. 

Ahh College! A time of newfound freedom, opportunities, and ADULTING (dun dun dunnnn). Adulting can be anything from being more accountable for your actions, to doing laundry, to learning how to cook – well effectively use a microwave. Some of us take a little longer than others to learn how to adult, but it’s okay – cause “WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!”


To help us take a step forward into the wonderful world of adulthood, RA Idara Akpan (2nd Floor Mary Hay) decided to host a floor program called “Adulting 101”. This program was geared towards residents learning how to use the floor microwave without burning the food…or the lounge. Idara really thought it would be useful to do this program because not only does no one want to live in a space that smells like burnt food, it really does impact community living. During her freshman year, Idara said “someone burned down the lounge over burnt popcorn”. Here are some common College eats that RA Idara educated her residents on how to prepare properly:

    1. Volunteer Resident Microwave Chef – Tre Rose
    2. Tips for Popcorn Success:
      • DO NOT PRESS POPCORN BUTTON (we have strong and sensitive microwaves).
      • Instead, only cook it the specified time on packaging.
      • Don’t leave the microwaving station – if you do, you will burn down the lounge.
      • LISTEN to the popcorn sounds so you’ll know when it’s done.
      • After opening the microwave door, wait 5 seconds so nothing pops in your face.
      • If it smells burnt, it probably is.

Idara 1

    1. Volunteer Resident Microwave Chef – Parker Bryant
    2. Tips for Easy Mac ‘n Cheese Success:
      • Follow instructions on packaging.
      • ADD WATER.
      • Cook for 3:30 – that’s minutes, not hours.
      • Watch for boiling water, and be sure to clean up any spillage when you’re done.

Idara 2

    1. Volunteer Resident Assistant Microwave Chef – Raven Harding (that’s ME)
      • Follow instructions.
      • ADD CORRECT AMOUNT OF WATER – not too much.
      • Cook for 3 minutes – again, not hours.
      • Be careful handling – the water will be HOT.

These 3 college classic dinners are super easy to make, but super easy to destroy. HOWEVER, if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming MasterChef: Microwave Edt. and a wonderful addition to the Adulting Community of MHPS.

Idara 3

HOORAY!! #MHPSisthebest

Blog by Raven Harding (4th Floor Shuttles RA)

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Culture POP!!! Our FiR + Free Food + Free Fun + Fort Worth

Save the Date!!! 

This is one MHPS event you don’t want to miss… Our FiR, Liljana, is taking us on a FREE trip to explore the “Arts & Cultural” scene in Fort Worth, TX on Saturday, September 10. Buses load at 9 a.m. and will return at 5 p.m. after a full fun-packed day.

“Culture POP” Trip Highlights AKA Reasons You Want to Go:

Link to Sign Up: www.tinyurl.com/culturetour 

Deadline to Sign Up: Thursday, Sept. 1 at 11:59 p.m.! Only 50 students can go, so sign up fast!!!

Culture Pop Flyer


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MHPS Commons Council AKA “Cool Kids” Applications Out

Meredith with flag

Hi everyone! My name is Meredith McBee and I am so excited to serve as your Commons Council President this year.

(I hope you’ll read all of this, but if you read anything, this is it: APPLY TO COMMONS COUNCIL HERE.  APPLICATION CLOSES SEPTEMBER 6 AT 11:59 P.M.)

Now that we all have a week of classes over and done with (congratulations!), it’s time to start thinking about becoming involved in our MHPS community… Maybe you’ve seen our “Cool Kids” signs around the Commons?

Recruitment Flyer

During the second week of my first year, I joined Commons Council on a whim. To be completely frank, I happened to be in the common room at the same time as the meeting. Lucky for me, I enjoyed Commons Council so much I decided to come back this year!

Commons Council is a great way to connect with your peers in the commons. Last year, the council celebrated Halloween with a week of fun events like a haunted house, reverse trick-or-treating, movie nights and a snapchat geofilter! We also boulevard on game days and represent our commons in campus-wide events like intramurals and Commons Cup Opening Day Games. And let’s not forget one of our most important jobs- to submit Hall Improvement Funds to the Assembly.

I’ve met wonderful people in Commons Council. Whether we’re complaining about inedible food or busily planning study breaks before finals, Commons Council is a place for community bonding. Joining Commons Council gives you a close-knit family within MHPS.

Meredith 2

Now I am sure you all want to join the #MHPSCCFAM. We had our first interest meeting tonight and it was great, complete with cookies. If you missed it, don’t worry. We’re hosting two more interest meetings so you can learn more about Commons Council.

Please come to one of our next interest meetings listed below:

  • Tuesday, August 30th at 8pm- 1st floor Shuttles
  • Thursday, September 1st at 8pm- 1st floor Peyton

Commons Council is what you make it. We have roles for every type of commitment, passion and skill-set. Here are some of the roles we would like to YOU to fill this year:

  • Floor Rep- A floor rep is in charge of raising morale on his/her floor. This includes planning and personally inviting all your hall-mates (aka besties) to events and keeping an eye out for ways we can enhance your floor through Hall Improvement Funds.
  • Photographer(s)- A photographer is pretty self-explanatory. I am looking for some instagram wizards to help us keep our insta on point.
  • Videographer(s)- A videographer will shoot footage at all of our events to compile into a blockbuster short film about MHPS for one of the Commons Cup competitions at the end of the year.
  • Of-the-Month Chair- Everyone loves being celebrated, right? An of-the-month chair has the difficult task of selecting the best resident-of-the-month, suite-mates of the month, best dorm-of-the-month. Really anything! To be honest, I’m kind of jealous of this job; it sounds so fun!
  • Graphic Design Chair- A graphic design chair will assist the Communications Coordinator in creating graphics for posters, instagram and maybe even painting a Peruna at homecoming.
  • Birthday Chair- A personal favorite of pretty much everyone with a Birthday (oh wait…that’s everyone), the Birthday Chair celebrates everyone’s birthday with door decs, cards, whatever your heart desires! I’ll be looking forward to when the Birthday Chair celebrates mine. 🙂
  • Other- If you have any ideas for a position, feel free to write us a proposal on the Google application coming out today! We are looking for passionate people to create traditions they are passionate about.

I know this year Mary Hay/Peyton/Shuttles is going to come together as one beautiful commons. Joining Commons Council is one way you can make this dream a reality.

If you have any questions about Commons Council, do not hesitate to contact me at mkmcbee@smu.edu.

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A Note From Our Faculty-in-Residence

Dear MHPS students,

Welcome to SMU!!! Most of you are freshmen and new to SMU and Mary Hay Peyton Shuttles Commons, and I am sure you have already gotten a lot of advice from your parents.

As a parent who just sent my son off to college, I know the feeling: your parents are proud of you and they want you to succeed in college.

Thus they have no doubt already sent you off to SMU with a lot of good advice; namely, the “don’ts”: don’t sleep too late, don’t play video games all night, don’t miss class, don’t drink too much…

As a faculty member I would like to sound a little more optimistic and tell you that it is really easy to succeed in college. What you need to do is be engaged, which should make everything more fun.

Otherwise, if I can give you one piece of advice as a faculty member, it would be: go to class, no matter what; moreover, do the readings, be prepared. And while there, ask questions, talk to your professors. If you are too shy to ask questions in class, go to their office hours. For me, that is my favorite part, because that informal setting is when students get to know me and I get to know them much better.

As a Faculty-in-Residence at MHPS I would also like to invite and encourage you to be involved in our Commons’ activities. Come over to my apartment for Sunday Night Snacks; visit the Fort Worth Modern Museum and the Japanese Garden with us on September 10; come and explore Dallas downtown on October 29; stop by and talk to me.

My husband Johan, who is also an SMU professor, and I are always happy to talk to you. We are a great resource for all kinds of academic advice. And last but not least, our dog Ziggy loves company and is always grateful if someone pets him or gives him a walk. Here is a picture of him… (Look at those eyes!)



Have a great academic year,

Liljana Elverskog




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Welcome Home Mustangs!

MHPS Pro Staff

Why hello there! Our names are Madyson Smith, Rena Gore, and Liljana Elverskog (left to right). We, the MHPS Professional Staff or “Pro Staff,” along with the RA Student Staff, would like to send a warm welcome to our new students in Mary Hay Peyton Shuttles (MHPS) Residential Commons at SMU. We are SO GLAD you are finally joining our MHPS family here.

To welcome you in properly, we’re inviting you to our first Commons-wide event of the year: Home Sweet SMU, on Wednesday, August 17 at 9:15 p.m. After you’ve spent the day moving in and getting settled, you’ll get the chance to kick back and enjoy some yummy Pokey O’s. And if you don’t yet know what that is, you’ll find out soon enough.

The event will be very casual and will be a great chance to meet your hall neighbors, greet your RAs, reconnect with old friends, and say hi to us “Pro-Staff” people. We encourage every MHPS Mustang to show up, because Home Sweet SMU is truly sweet.

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Twas The Friday before Finals…

and all through the RC’s, students were studying and trying to get their degrees…

Next week is finals week, are you ready?? Here are some tips on how to stay motivated during your finals week. Good luck!



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Study Hacks Part 2

Hey Family,

Finals are almost here, make sure you are getting enough sleep while you prepare for the close of the semester!

sleepin college

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