The incoming class of SMU was welcomed to the Hilltop through the Stampede experience. The three scopes of the programming are the Residential Commons, SMU, and Dallas. Stampede guides, such as myself, were trained to interact with and lead a crew of twenty to thirty first-year students throughout the weekend.
This blog post will recap this experience in chronological order with the hope of providing readers with a greater sense of the weekend.
Thursday August 19th:
Kickoff: To begin the weekend, all attendees were in Moody Coliseum for the SMU version of a pep rally. President R. Gerald Turner and the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Mmeje spoke at this event. They both highlighted their belief in this class to stay safe as we all completely return to campus life. Kickoff concluded with an overview of the next few days and the Stampede guides led their crews to their first meetings in which everyone was introduced.
Home Sweet SMU: Each commons planned a social event for the students to meet more people in their commons and the other commons in the same quad.
Friday August 20th:
Stang Safety: This presentation addressed topics related to students’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Class Photo: Everyone walked out onto Dallas Hall Lawn and stood inside the markings so that the number 2025 would be created by the sea of people.
Academic Sessions: Students were able to visit one or two of the academic college information sessions to learn more about the school from professors and other relevant people. This was also a great time to walk around the campus and learn where the classes are.
Serve Your City: After dinner, everyone returned to McFarlin Auditorium to listen about the importance of community service and how being a student at SMU is tied to the responsibility of giving back to the Dallas area. We also learned about the Engage Dallas program that has specific associations with each of the eleven residential commons.
Stampede Sundown: The field of Ford Stadium became a western-themed party to celebrate the halfway point of Stampede. The event had food, games, a petting zoo, and was a great time to spend with new friends.
Saturday August 21st:
Discover Dallas: Each residential commons group was assigned to a different location in Dallas to explore, such as Cowboys Red River, Reunion Tower, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and the Dallas Arboretum.
RC Brunch: The Residential Community Director, Faculty-in-Residence, and Resident Assistants gave presentations about themselves, the commons, and its traditions.
Every Mustang Will Be Valued: This event showcased the worries, wants, stories, and communities that exist within the incoming class. In a silent McFarlin Auditorium, the flashlights would shine when students related to a certain sentence.
Candlelight: At this ceremony, students are being prepared to officially become a part of the Mustang Family. Third-year guides, such as myself, shared pieces of advice. First-year students from each commons spoke about their Stampede experience.
A Night at the Club: The Indoor Performance Center hosted this enormous club fair. All organizations had the opportunity to represent themselves at this event. The energy was electric as incoming students walked around the different booths while organizations were advertised by current members.
Live! At SMU: In Moody Coliseum, Iliza Schlesinger delivered a hilarious stand-up performance.
Sunday August 22nd:
Religious Life Live: Students were able to listen to the various ways to get involved in religious life on campus by attending this panel in the afternoon.
Commons Photo: Before walking to Dallas Hall Lawn, each commons had the incoming students stand outside their respective building for a photo.
Rotunda Passage and Convocation: Dressed in Boulevard attire, the incoming class walked with their commons into Dallas Hall from the back entrance. They were guided around the seal, out onto the lawn, and on the sidewalk that leads to McFarlin Auditorium. In McFarlin, the class of 2025 was officially welcomed to the university.
Stampede is packed with activities and opportunities to meet new faces. As a guide, it has been an honor to serve the incoming class as a resource for advice about all things SMU. It all starts with a stampede!