SMU students stand up for Texas Tuition Equalization Grants

Save TEG table in Hughes-Trigg Student CenterSMU students who receive Texas state tuition assistance are speaking up against proposed budget cuts that could jeopardize the grant program that provides the funds.

The Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) program provides financial aid to students attending 42 private Texas colleges and universities. It awards grants averaging $3,400 to about 28,000 Texans with financial need each year, nearly half of whom are minorities.

The TEG program faces cuts of more than 40 percent; the proposed budget cuts would eliminate about 10,000 students from the grant program. More than 1,500 SMU students received the grant for the 2010-11 academic year.

Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White encouraged the University’s TEG recipients “to contact your Texas legislators and express your opinion about this issue” in an e-mail sent earlier this week.

A group of students met with state legislators at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 to express their support for the TEG program. They included senior and student body president Jake Torres; seniors Laura Baez, Daniela Balderas and Brian Quarles; junior Bethany Mackingtee; sophomore Erin Hoya; and first-year Ryan Swick. Fernando Salazar, coordinator of Latina/o Student Services in Student Activities & Multicultural Student Affairs, joined them on the trip.

“This was an opportunity to make our voices heard,” Torres said. “We were able to emphasize the importance of these grants to the SMU community and to Texas.”

Students are gathering in support of the TEG program in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons through 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 9. The students will have postcards and addresses to allow fellow TEG recipients to write to their representatives in the Texas Legislature.

(Above, SMU students and staff members at the Save TEG table in Hughes-Trigg Student Center include Gordon Brannon, Financial Aid; Fernando Salazar, SAMSA; senior Jake Torres, student body president; and junior Bethany Mackingtee. Photo by Isaac Cotherman.)

> Learn more from SMU News
> Read the students’ letter to the editor of The Dallas Morning News
> Read the students’ op-ed in The Austin American-Statesman
> Find coverage of the students’ Austin trip in the DMN’s Politics section
> More about SMU and TEG from the DMN Trailblazers blog
> Read and listen to coverage from KERA Public Radio audio

SMU celebrates 2010 MLK Week

Dr. Martin Luther King at SMU in 1966SMU officially kicked off its 2010 MLK Week with a celebration in the Hughes-Trigg Commons Jan. 19. Make plans to participate in this week’s events:

Jan. 20: Unity Walk – The annual Unity Walk down Bishop Boulevard honors the strength and sacrifice of the soldiers of the civil rights movement. Starts at noon on the steps of Dallas Hall and ends in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons.

Jan. 21: The Trumpet Call: Faith in Action – An interactive discussion about answering the call led by local interfaith leaders. Begins at noon in the Hughes-Trigg Varsity. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain.

Jan. 22: Unity Mixer – Celebrate the culmination of MLK Week with food, fun and fellowship, beginning at 8 p.m. in SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Varsity.

All events are co-sponsored by SMU Student Activities & Multicultural Student Affairs and the Paul Quinn College Office of Student Affairs, unless otherwise noted.

Hear Dr. King’s 1966 speech at SMU audio
Download Dr. King’s speech to your iPod download
Read a Daily Campus account of the speech
Read excerpts from the speech

(Above, Dr. King speaks in SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium in 1966.)

SMU celebrates Black History Month through March 2

As part of its Black History Month celebration, SMU will host a variety of activities, most of which are free or inexpensive and open to the public.

“Education is Freedom” is the theme for the week of Feb. 9. Events include:

  • an African American History Quiz Bowl, sponsored by Black Men Emerging, at 7 p.m. Feb 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom
  • a community discussion of “The State of Black American Success,” sponsored by the Association of Black Students, at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Hughes-Trigg Forum
  • performances of The Vagina Monologues, sponsored by Women’s Interest Network, to raise money and awareness to end violence against women and girls with a spotlight on women of the Democratic Republic of Congo – at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, tickets $5 for students, $10 for non-students

More events are scheduled throughout the month of February. For more information, contact Student Activities and Multicultural Student Affairs at 214-768-4583 or Ke’Ana Hardy.

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