An important message from President Turner

The following message from President R. Gerald Turner was posted October 29, 2015, for the SMU community:

Dear SMU community members:

I am deeply concerned about the recent actions of two campus fraternities in planning and promoting an off-campus party with racially offensive themes and images. This party was not sanctioned by SMU, and this incident is under review by the University.

Although the offensive party has been cancelled, and the inappropriate Facebook promotions have been removed, the key point is that SMU students should know better than to engage in such irresponsible and insensitive conduct. It is simply unacceptable for any campus group or individual to employ images and language that promote negative stereotypes and are demeaning to the dignity of any member of our campus community. If students choose to create themes based on their ideas of popular culture, they should be aware of the potential impact and always keep in mind respect for others.

As you may recall, SMU last spring launched a Greek Life Diversity Task Force in response to national events. The task force has been gathering feedback from campus focus groups. I encourage you to provide input if you have not yet done so; please contact task force co-chair and Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Creston Lynch at Students who have concerns or questions also may contact any of the campus resources listed at the end of this letter.

We as a campus must remain aware of issues or actions that can undermine our commitment to a nurturing and welcoming environment for all students. We must continue discussions in our classrooms, student organizations, fraternities and sororities, and Residential Commons. The Division of Student Affairs is developing an intercultural center that will further these discussions, with plans to launch this spring.

I am proud of the many students who have provided leadership on these important issues, including student senators, who last week sponsored the first SMU Values Week to raise awareness of the student Values Statement. I ask all campus community members to join me in recommitting to this statement – not as an empty recitation, but as an absolute pledge to uphold these values:

“I, as a citizen of the SMU community, commit myself to upholding the values of intellectual integrity, academic honesty, personal responsibility, and sincere regard and respect for all SMU students, faculty, and staff.”

Thank you for your commitment to an inclusive and welcoming living and learning environment.


R. Gerald Turner

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SMU JanTerm moves to main campus in 2016

SMU JanTerm is moving from SMU-in-Plano to the University’s main campus in January 2016 – a move designed to make it even more convenient for undergraduates to add three credit hours during Winter Break.

The 2016 Jan Term is scheduled for Jan. 4-13, and enrollment opens Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. JanTerm courses are available for registration through My.SMU. Students should meet with an adviser to select appropriate courses before they enroll.

The accelerated interterm session offers more than 50 courses at a reduced tuition rate; students can complete one three-credit-hour course in eight concentrated days.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; the priority enrollment deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. After this date, some courses may be cancelled due to low enrollment. Enrollment after the priority deadline is still possible, depending on course availability.

Since 2010, the University has offered the January interterm program at its SMU-in-Plano campus. SMU-in-Taos began offering JanTerm (short for January Term) courses in 2014. In 2015, SMU JanTerm posted its first online offering, “Introduction to Markets and Culture” (SOCI 2377). This year, the online course will be taught by Sheri Kunovich of the Department of Sociology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

> Course description for “Introduction to Markets and Culture” online

Continuing SMU students who live on the main campus may remain in their current campus housing during JanTerm 2016 at no additional charge. Students must register with Residence Life and Student Housing no later than Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 if they plan to stay in their current campus residence during JanTerm 2016.

Main campus housing for students enrolling in JanTerm is limited to students who are currently assigned to a Residential Commons for the Fall and Spring semesters.

The SMU JanTerm allows students to complete one three-credit-hour course at a discounted tuition rate before the start of the spring semester. For Jan Term 2016, regular undergraduate students will pay a reduced tuition rate of $1,270 per credit hour ($3,810 per course), with no other fees assessed. To avoid a late fee, payment is due by Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Financial aid is available for JanTerm students. Visit the SMU JanTerm homepage for more information.

Watch a video about Jan Term from SMU News’ Myles Taylor

The JanTerm program allows students to use the time between the fall and spring terms to focus on a course of interest or stay on track for graduation. Students also can fulfill General Education or University Curriculum requirements.

This year’s offerings include courses from the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts and Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

For more information, e-mail the SMU Jan Term program or call 214-768-3657. For information on the housing registration process, including important deadlines, please send an inquiry to Residence Life and Student Housing.

Information about JanTerm courses at SMU-in-Taos is available here.

> Learn more from the Jan Term homepage at

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Family Weekend 2015: Haunted on the Hilltop

Athletics Football Family Weekend SMU vs Memphis Boulevard

SMU Mothers’ and Dads’ Clubs

SMU family members from across the country are invited to join their students in celebrating a longtime Hilltop tradition Oct. 30-Nov. 1. Family Weekend is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee.

Registration for several events closed Oct. 18. However, Boulevard BBQ tickets will be on sale at the event from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 on the Clements Hall south lawn. Football tickets for the 3 p.m. game against Tulsa Oct. 31 may be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department websiteLearn more in these FAQs on the SMU Student Foundation website and in the schedule below.

For the third year, Student Foundation is partnering with Genesis Women’s Shelter, a Dallas organization devoted to ending domestic violence against women and children. Families and students are encouraged to bring household items to donate. Collection boxes will be available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and at other locations.

Ticket pickup: Tickets ordered in advance can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 30 at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Crossing, and from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Boulevard BBQ.

Family Weekend T-shirts: T-shirts will be sold in limited quantities on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Crossing during ticket pickup. T-shirts are $10.

Parking:  Campus maps are available online. On Friday, Oct. 30, parking is available at no cost at Airline Parking Center (Airline Road and Daniel Avenue), Moody Parking Center (SMU Boulevard and Airline Road) and Binkley Parking Center (Airline Road and Binkley Avenue). On Saturday, Oct. 31, Game Day parking is in effect. Refer to for a map. Please plan ahead as parking is highly restricted.

Below are weekend highlights. Find the full schedule here.

FAQs are posted on the Student Foundation website. If you have additional questions, please contact Student Foundation at 214-768-4400 or email

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‘World-changing service, life-changing experience’ during Fall Break

Alternative Breaks took students to Costa Rica during Spring Break 2015.

Alternative Breaks took students to Costa Rica during Spring Break 2015.

Students, faculty and staff are making the most of Fall Break, October 10-13, to engage in service, travel and learning.

SMU Alternative Breaks, in partnership with the Community Engagement & Leadership Center, is taking 70 students, as well as faculty and staff advisers, to seven locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida. Over the course of four days, SMU volunteers are working alongside nonprofit organizations that address issues including hunger, child abuse, homelessness, women’s rights and environmental restoration.

“Alternative Breaks is about making an impact in communities, while providing a transformative experience for participants,” says junior Gloria Yi, one of two student directors of SMU Alternative Breaks. “We want participants to grow during the trips and think about how they fit into the social issue and what they can do to address it. It’s world-changing service, life-changing experience.”

This year’s Alternative Breaks trips are:

  • Waco, Texas, where students are working on a farm and learning about sustainable agriculture, environmental responsibility and world hunger issues.
  • Hartshorne, Oklahoma, where students are partnering with the nonprofit Rebuilding Together Kiamichi Country to work on critical home repairs for low-income homeowners.
  • Austin, where students are assisting children in foster care with homework and will engage in fun activities, in partnership with the organization Helping Hand Home.
  • Houston, where students are working at the Women’s Home, a community that helps women in crisis. Another group in Houston is helping build playgrounds with the Collaborative for Children.
  • Dallas, where students are serving at three organizations to learn about the complex issue of poverty, including Trinity River Mission, Brighter Bites and Habitat for Humanity.
  • Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida, where students are clearing trails and learning about the environment near the Big Cypress Swamp.

Also, on Saturday, October 24, SMU Alternative Breaks is offering its first day trip. Students will assist with food distribution and the children’s program at The Stewpot, a Dallas organization serving the homeless.

For more information about this and upcoming Winter Break and Spring Break trips, visit

Follow Alternative Breaks on Instagram @smualternativebreaks, Twitter #SMUAB and Facebook at SMU Alternative Breaks. Students also will blog at

Also during Fall Break

Hilltop on the Hill

Eleven students are traveling to Washington, D.C., with SMU’s Hilltop on the Hill program. The program is led by Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility and professor of Communication Studies in Meadows School of the Arts; Stephanie Ann Martin, assistant professor of Communication Studies; and Candy Crespo, assistant director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility and lecturer at the Center for Nonprofit Management.

During the program, students meet with SMU alumni, talk with communication staffers on the Hill, learn from lobbyists about their advocacy functions, assess the role and function of the news media, and investigate the role of political parties as representatives for constituent concerns.

“Through interactions with SMU’s strong D.C. alumni base, students consider the range of communication careers in our nation’s capital,” Kirk says. “That adds a certain immediacy to their studies that sets the bar higher when they return to campus.”

Endowed by the Bauer Foundation, the Hilltop on the Hill program also takes students studying political communication to political party conventions, the presidential Inauguration and the G8 Economic Summit.

Follow Hilltop on the Hill on the SMU blog

Outdoor Adventures

SMU Outdoor Adventures is taking students to the Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area near Port O’Connor, Texas. Students will explore the offshore barrier island and bayside marshes on kayaks.

Outdoor Adventures is a leadership development program within the Department of Recreational Sports. Upcoming trips include a day trip to Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown, Texas, and a fall backpacking trip to Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas.

For the full trip and workshop schedule, visit

– By Emily Hooper, SMU News

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SMU Video: Highlights from the Centennial Celebration

Watch highlights from SMU’s Centennial Celebration, including the Centennial Homecoming Parade and fireworks, in this video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.

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Free flu shots available during SMU’s Fall 2015 clinics

Stock photo of man receiving shotThe SMU Health Center has scheduled several free flu shot clinics for October and November 2015.

Clinics will take place at various places around the main campus, as well as the East Campus and SMU-in-Plano. All clinics are open to students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, SMU retirees and retiree spouses.

> Keep up with the latest flu information at

Update your vaccination during the following days and times at these locations:

  • Monday, Oct. 5 – 2-6 p.m., Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports lobby
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m., Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports lobby
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14 (HR Fair) – 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Monday, Oct. 19 – 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Expressway Tower, East Campus
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20 – 2-6 p.m., Law School Pit, Underwood Law Library
  • Thursday, Nov. 5 – 4-6 p.m., SMU-in-Plano

> Dallas County influenza resources and updates available at

The University offers free flu shots for all SMU students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses. To keep your clinic visit as short as possible, take these steps:

> Find statewide resources at

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SMU publishes Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

The following message from President R. Gerald Turner was sent to the campus community on October 1, 2015, regarding SMU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report:

SMU is committed to maintaining an educational environment that supports safety and well-being through University policies, resources, education and prevention programs. Resources dedicated to campus safety include the SMU Police Department, which every year prepares and distributes a security report for the main SMU campus, SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos.

The annual security report is published in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The security report includes SMU’s annual fire report, in keeping with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and its accompanying regulations.

The University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at If you would like a paper copy, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail

The report contains three calendar years of crime statistics, including incidents occurring on SMU campuses, at public areas adjacent to campuses and at certain non-campus facilities, including Greek houses and remote classrooms. Information also is gathered from the University Park Police Department, Highland Park Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department, Plano Police Department, Taos County Sheriff’s Department and SMU officials who serve as campus security authorities.

Read more below:
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SMU reaches $1 billion campaign goal

SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign has reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule, raising unprecedented funding for scholarships, academic positions and programs, facilities and other enhancements to campus life.

The campaign’s official completion date is Dec. 31, 2015; campaign gifts will continue to be counted to that date.

The campaign announcement was made Thursday, Sept. 24, at a gathering of volunteers, donors, alumni, civic leaders and other members of the campus and Dallas communities. The event in McFarlin Auditorium was the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening on Sept. 24, 1915 – and a rally for its future. The centennial is being celebrated during a weekend of Homecoming and other special events.

“This is a doubly historic day for us,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening, we are pleased to announce unprecedented new support for our future. Our founders were forward-looking leaders, and they’d be pleased to see that today’s supporters are generously investing in our next century of achievement. These donors are truly the founders of our second century.”

SMU joins 34 private universities nationwide to conduct a campaign to raise $1 billion or more through major gifts campaigns. The institutions range from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame to Emory and Vanderbilt universities.

“By raising $1 billion to support academic excellence, SMU joins distinguished company within the higher education community,” said Gerald J. Ford, SMU trustee and convening co-chair of the campaign. “This stature underscores the reality of our growth in quality and reputation. SMU is proving to be a wise and worthy investment, not only among donors, but also among the young people who will invest their futures with us as students.”

Read more below and from SMU News.

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SMU to celebrate 100th birthday during Homecoming

IMG_2-710SMU’s opening on Sept. 28, 1915, was proclaimed a “day of jubilation.” This year’s “Hundredth on the Hilltop” Homecoming celebration, Sept. 23-26, also will draw a jubilant crowd to “Pony Up!” and party down at history-making events.

“This promises to be the biggest Homecoming ever,” says Peter Lodwick ’77, ’80, chair of the SMU Alumni Board. “Please join us for what is certain to be an unforgettable celebration at a unique time in SMU history. Highlights will include the new tradition of festively lighting Dallas Hall, lots of pregame family fun, special exhibits for the entire community, alumni activities galore and a fireworks extravaganza after the football game in Gerald J. Ford Stadium.”

Read more below about events for the whole community and especially for students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni.

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‘Station Eleven’ author to present lecture at SMU

Station-Eleven-North-American-coverEmily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, the 2015 SMU Reads selection, will present a free lecture at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at McFarlin Auditorium. The community is invited to attend.

SMU students are reading the book as part of the common reading program, an academic initiative, which includes small-group discussions about the book before classes begin.

Station Eleven is set in year 20 after a virus has killed almost all humanity. The main characters are a traveling troupe of actors and musicians who bring performances of Shakespeare to the small and struggling human settlements that remain. The novel tells the story of the global disaster in real time and of its survivors 20 years later.

Community members, alumni, book lovers and book clubs are invited to join SMU Reads and take part in other events planned by the University’s SMU Reads partner, the Dallas Public Library. Events include survivalist training at REI, urban emergency preparedness from Dallas County health leaders at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and a pop-up performance of King Lear performed by Shakespeare Dallas. For more details about events and to preregister for Mandel’s lecture, visit

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