Fall Birthday Bash!

Don’t miss out! This Sunday, November 6 from 8 to 9 p.m., Commons Council is throwing a Fall Birthday Bash, celebrating our MHPS residents’  birthdays from September through December! It’s going to be awesome, complete with yummy snacks and treats to celebrate all the birthday people out there. Come to celebrate your birthday and those of your friends. We can’t wait to see you there… and Happy Birthday!


Blog by Commons Council

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Secret’s Out: Best Study Spots

Inhale. Exhale. Midterms are OVER!

But that doesn’t mean tests and term papers aren’t still around the corner.

As a senior here at SMU, I’ve gotten the chance to struggle, but finally find (hashtag blessed) the best study spots on campus. Become a book nerd and delve deep into my favorite study spots!

Favorite Study Spots:

  • Hamon Arts Library

I love love love Hamon Library, located on the West side of Meadows. Hammon is great because there is plenty of natural sunlight coming through the windows and always a spot for you to study. Each floor is separated into private study rooms, tables for one person or a group of 4, and individual desks. If you’re art junkie, like myself, Hammon has an array of books on dance styles, art history, graphic design and advertising, and pretty much any artsy thing you can think of!

  • Fondren Library, First Floor

Let’s be real: Fondren Library is the social library! You don’t have to worry about being shushed for talking too much or being too loud. One of my favorite things about Fondren Library is that it’s 24/7 – that means nonstop studying, well at least until your next class. During finals, Fondren Library hands out yummy snacks, like popcorn, and hot drinks, like coffee and tea. Speaking of coffee and tea, have you checked out the NEW Starbucks IN the library? It’s like they knew exactly what we needed.

  • The Lounge!

MHPS has more than 15 lounges just in our common alone. If you’re looking for a way to study and get to know some of the people on your lounge, head into any of the MHPS lounges. If you have a big study group or meeting, I would recommend Shuttles third floor lounge! For a smaller study group, hop into any of the lounges in Mary Hay or Peyton. This is a great way to be social, yet get your studying on!

  • Dallas Hall, Third Floor

Okay, this is more for if you’re indulging in a good book, but a great study spot nonetheless. If you’re wanting to submerge yourself in your favorite literary work and a good view, go to the third floor of Dallas Hall. You’ll be welcomed by an inviting bench and an amazing view of campus and a peek at the beautiful city of Dallas. The view is definitely great an awesome Instagram-worthy pic!

Time to hit the books! Finals will be here before you even know it.

Blog by RA Idara 

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Getting Ready for Spring Class Sign Up!

It’s almost time to sign up for Spring classes! Make sure that you make an appointment with your advisor to plan out your spring semester here at SMU. Advisors are here to help you and so is your Peer Academic Leader, Hailee Browne. In fact, Hailee is putting on an event Monday, October 24th from 8-10 p.m. in the Mary Hay Lobby. Here, Hailee will serve you up some doughnuts and you can drop in to ask your enrollment questions and learn to read your Degree Progress Report. Hailee’s such a PAL!


If you miss out on this event, never fear. You can always reach out to Hailee at hbrowne@smu.edu and she can help you choose classes that will get your requirements done! Making sure that you take all the right classes is essential to having a great semester and graduating on time.

One thing that I might suggest is taking a class that is “out of the box.” Sometimes you find things you are good at in random places. I, myself, have always been artistic and took a chance on a video art class. It was one of the strangest classes that I have ever encountered, and although it was not my favorite, I wound up being very good at it and I learned how to edit videos. This really proved to me that I could go for my major and helped me when I applied in the following semester. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Make sure that you look at your requirements when signing up for classes and never be afraid to ask for help!

Blog by RA Eric 

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October Events to Get Pumped For!

MHPS Commons Council is super excited to announce all our upcoming events. October is going to be a very busy month and we want everyone to be involved.

First off, we have paired with the best FiR out there, Liljana, and changed Sunday Night Snacks to Ice Cream Sundae on Sunday on October 16th.


Then we kick off Halloweek on Monday, October 24th with reverse trick-or-treating starting at 9 p.m. Tuesday, we’ll have pumpkin carving out on the Quad at 7 p.m.  Thursday, October 27th get pumped for our annual haunted house. The haunted house will be hosted in Mary Hay first floor so don’t forget to stop by to get in the scary mood for Halloween.


While our residents are getting in the Halloween spirit with Halloweek, MHPS will also be getting in the Homecoming Spirit as that same week we will be painting our Peruna model and our banner while also preparing our Homecoming picture for all the fun Homecoming events. Painting will happen Friday, October 28.

Sign up here to PAINT PERUNA:

One more upcoming Homecoming event: Amazing Race Field Day! If you’re interested in competing for MHPS, contact Eva, our Spirit and Competitions Chair, at eravenel@smu.edu. 

October 29th our amazing FiR, Liljana, will be hosting “Downtown Dallas.” If you have ever wanted to explore downtown and all the wonderful museums it has to offer, this is the event for you.


Don’t worry MHPS residents, because October isn’t our only busy month. Here is a brief calendar to look forward to for November:

  • November 6th  – Celebration of 1st Semester Birthdays at Sunday Snacks
  • November 10th – Movie on the Green
  • November 13th – Make Cupcake Turkeys at Sunday Snacks
  • November 15th – R.C. Dinner (Waffles & Wisdom)

Blog by Commons Council’s Chief of Staff, Sam 

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Taste of Diversity… and Defense


Exam Week

What a week MHPS just had! Many of our residents were undergoing their first set of exams this past week, however, they still made it a point to make it to MHPS events this past week, both educational and social.

On Wednesday, September 28th, MHPS hosted a Sexual Violence Prevention program in the Peyton Parlor. We were graced by the presence of Mr. Piotr Chelstowski, from the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. He is also the self-defense instructor for Personal Responsibility and Wellness classes at SMU. Mr. C taught us the importance of learning simple self-defense moves in the case we are faced with unwelcoming stranger.

Stop Sexual Violence

Useful for both men and women, these simple combat moves will help an individual evade a potential threat and allow one to escape the face of danger. Residents were able to pair up with one another, and with special protective equipment, were able to practice moves against each other. It was a very interactive way to learn self-defense and crucial tool to prevent sexual violence.

For more information on sexual violence prevention, please utilize the following resources:


On Saturday, October 1st,  MHPS hosted its annual Taste of Diversity program on the North Quad lawn. A tradition in this commons, Taste of Diversity highlights the cultural aspects of different regions of the world, in a way that’s both educational and delicious. There was a large turnout from both residents and non-residents from the SMU community. While listening to music of various languages, having fun on the lawn, and getting to know fellow students and community members, attendees of the event learned about many cultures and about each other.

T.O.D.Participation from SMU faculty should also be noted. With help from our awesome FiR, Lilijana Elverskog, she was able to gain interest from fellow SMU faculty to bring in dishes from their respective cultures to share to students. As students walked from table to table to receive various dishes, they were informed with facts about the respective nations where the food was from. With these facts they are able to be more educated themselves and are now have the opportunity to educate others about various cultures.

Here at MHPS Commons, we strive for our residents to empower themselves through education. After one week, our residents can feel empowered in the face of danger, and through open discussion about culture and diversity.

Blog by RA Christo 

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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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