Campus Life General

What Do People Do at SMU?

By John Angle

Hey folks!

So you may be wondering, “what do people do at SMU?” Well one big way that a lot of people spend their time is to get involved in one of SMU’s 180+ clubs and organizations. There is literally something for everyone, ranging from multicultural organizations to campus programming to religious to community service and more. Some of the more unique organizations I would say are the Mustang Mavericks who are a group of country-western dancers who perform and compete, or the SMU Ballroom Dancing Club which has grown exponentially lately.

The organization that I am most involved in is called Student Foundation and is one of SMU’s largest and its most-selective organization. SF is charged by the university with the responsibility to plan Family Weekend, Homecoming, Celebration of Lights (our Christmas celebration), and Mane Event (spring carnival), as well as facilitating the Tate Lecture Series and Ambassadors program which sends SMU students to university functions in the community. I served as membership chair two years ago, the Family Weekend Chair last year, and am currently the President.  It has been so cool to have a hand in planning and pulling off all these important university traditions because on so many campuses they have a team of professional staff that plan these events. I’ve grown so much as a leader and had a ton of fun.

That said, SF wouldn’t be something for everyone…. but there is almost certainly some organization that would be for you here. If there isn’t, you can get a group together and charter one and Student Senate will fund it. If you’re interested in seeing if there’s something that you’re interested in here’s a list.

Until next time – Pony Up!

John Angle

Campus Life General

The First Step

By Courtney Steele

Walking up the stairs to the Hughes-Trigg Student Center that summer, a huge “Welcome New Mustangs” banner hung above the entrance, I was terrified. The time had finally arrived, AARO (academic advising registration and orientation) was here and it was time to embark on a journey I knew very little about, and a journey that would continually surprise, amaze and astound me. But I had the most incredible support system by my side for this new journey. Between the girl and her mom standing next to me and my parents who had already supported me through every happy and hard time in my life, I hope I was ready.

The day before, in the lobby of the Hilton Park Cities, I had met my new best friend who was getting ready to embark on the same journey. She immediately became the girl I cried to, the girl that my family welcomed in (I always wanted a sister), the girl whose family I joined (she always did too), the girl I went to Billy Bobs with, the girl that I went to the midnight premiere of the Justin Bieber movie with and the girl who started our pasta and rolls weekend dinner tradition. This crossing of paths taught me very early on that you never know where life will take you, who will come into your life and what you’ll learn along the way.

Walking up those stairs an instant later, it didn’t feel so scary, it felt right, more right than I could have imagined. SMU welcomed us all in with open arms and from that moment forward, we became Mustangs for life. My family immediately expanded and I was firmly planted in my home away from home. As my time at SMU winds down, I look at that moment as a pivotal moment. We learned about everything SMU, the traditions, the classes I would be taking, what to expect that first week of school, but most importantly we had reconfirmed that I had made the right decision.

As the college decision is looming and your senior year is winding down, remember a piece of advice that I had a hard time accepting (and maybe still do) – it will work out. I hope that SMU is the place for you, but moreover I hope that you have that feeling of serenity, calm and confidence in your decision that I felt standing on those stairs at AARO in 2008. Pony up!

Ambassadors Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

Elephants and Super Heroes and Narwhals, OH MY!

By Annie Bures

We all loved Halloween when we were little but in college it is Halloween all year ‘round! Now every university has its traditions about costume parties but at SMU we do it large and in style! I have been known to come up with some pretty great costumes in my time (from Minnie Mouse to the NBC Peacock to a Pizza) but this year I outdid myself with a home-made Narwhal costume! While my toothed whale costume made quite the splash (pun intended!) on the costume party scene, my fellow SMU Ambassadors had some pretty original costumes too. From Billy’s “Steve Jobs” to Ramon’s “Emo Unicorn” we definitely set the bar pretty high for this year.

Now don’t worry, I know you are all getting nervous that you aren’t ready for the intense costumes at SMU, but as soon as you are part of the Mustang family we will help you out with some brand new outfits for all of our social events. Whether it is an annual campus costume party or an organization’s event based on a theme SMU knows how to have fun with all of our crazy costumes!

The Ambassadors having fun at a costume party!

Ramon in his infamous elephant costume.

Me, in my Narwhal suit. Complete with flippers!


Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas

Weather Woman

By Lauren Lyngstad

Though it is February 2, and Punxsutawney Phil may have “seen” his shadow, it sure doesn’t seem like winter time in Dallas. The past week the highs have been around the 60s and 70s, making it easy to forget that it is the middle of winter! I have loved being able to run to and from the gym in shorts and a t-shirt and being able to walk to and from class without having to trudge through the snow. Being that I am a North Dakota native, it has been so nice going to school in a warmer climate.

It’s crazy to think that this time last year we were in the middle of a “snowpocalypse” in which school was cancelled for four days! Dallas weather really does keep you on your toes. It is great that you can show off every season of your wardrobe throughout the year, and I look forward to seeing what surprises the weather will bring us the rest of this year!

Ambassadors Careers Life Around Dallas

Nuts about Southwest!

By Lauren Cook

I have the privilege of working as an intern for Southwest Airlines this semester. I wouldn’t have gotten to application opportunity if it weren’t for the help from SMU staff and students. Not only had my professor worked with Southwest Airlines, but also one of our very own tour guides, Derek Hubbard! All of that to say–SMU networking is fantastic.

SMU students have the chance to hear about great networking opportunities including but not limited to: job shadowing, internships, work study jobs, free resume reviews, free mock job interviews, and informational interviews with top managers and recruiters. Most of the time, the professionals come to us on campus!

I am so thankful for this opportunity at Southwest Airlines. I am excited for the three months ahead of me (I just started January 17th and I go till April 18th). And I can’t help but thank SMU for getting me there. Hopefully, it will turn into a job! Fingers crossed 🙂

Until next time,


Athletics Campus Life

A Very Centered Start to the Semester

By Elizabeth Eliot
One of the great things about SMU is the opportunity that we have as students to really explore our interests through the variety of classes offered here. Whether you want to expand your horizons in terms of language, the study of history, or art, you can certainly do it! Personally, I’ve chosen to explore the practice of Yoga. Yes. That’s right, Yoga.
At SMU, we have to take a Wellness II class before we graduate. These classes range in variety from individual fitness to golf to scuba to triathlon, a great selection of classes that won’t only challenge us, but that is also very fun! I’m not actually taking Yoga as my requirement—I took self-defense Fall 2010 so don’t mess with me, but just for fun. I think that yoga is a great way to start my day every Tuesday and Thursday, and also a unique form of exercise that I will be taught by a qualified instructor rather than throwing my back out trying to follow a video.
So far we haven’t done any poses that are too extreme, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy class by any means! Every day I sweat like a pig and wake up the next morning incredibly sore! I have really gotten into the practice thanks to this class, and the Group X passes at the gym, so I’ve been looking into yoga studios in Denver for when I move home, and have been blown away by how expensive, far away, or inconvenient all of the classes are! Something that until now I have really taken for granted at SMU is how easy it is for the student to do everything that they could possibly want to do here. I will definitely miss that come May 13, 2012 (the day after graduation)!
Ambassadors Campus Life General

A Family Affair

By Greg Nelson

It was great to be home in Ohio for winter break with my family. It had been about five months since I had been home. While I was home, my brother who is a senior in high school started hearing back from some of the schools he had applied to early. One afternoon he walked in with a big, red envelope from SMU. He was all smiles and I was excited as well to hear that he had gotten in to SMU. He started asking questions about what was my favorite thing to do on campus and where to live and all those questions. I am really excited that he got in and hopes he chooses to become a Mustang. Good luck to the rest of you that are waiting to hear back, and to those of you that got in… Congratulations and welcome to the SMU family.

Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

Going Greek

By Annie Bures

We have all seen the stereotypical depictions of Greek life on TV and in movies but the media doesn’t always show what Greek life is really like on a college campus. At SMU, where roughly one third of students join a Greek organization, the days leading up to the start of spring semester classes are filled with fraternity and sorority dinners, meetings, social events  and , of course,  formal recruitment. Many schools across the country still have recruitment in August, before school starts, but SMU allows students to wait until January in order for new students to become acclimated to the campus before making the commitment of joining a Greek chapter. Recruitment can sound scary or unknown to many new students entering college for the first time but it is actually a lot of fun and a great way to find lifelong friends.

SMU hosts four different Greek councils: National Pan-Hellenic Council, Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, and Multicultural Greek Council. Each council has a unique historical background but all four are based upon the same ideals of true friendship, philanthropy, and a lifelong sister or brotherhood. Some councils have more formal rounds during recruitment where potential new members (PNMs) can visit the chapter houses for brief meet-and-greets while other councils may host social events in the evenings on campus or even conduct interviews with potential new members. All four Greek councils provide potential new members with supportive student mentors throughout the recruitment process to guide new students towards chapters that will fit them best. SMU even has religious, philanthropic, and professional Greek societies!

Now for the big question: “What is so special about being in a fraternity or sorority?” Fraternities and Sororities are an amazing way to network for internships and jobs, the all-Greek GPA is higher than the campus average, and SMU Greeks hold leadership positions on campus such as Resident Advisors, Tour Guides, club presidents, orientation leaders, and even Student Body President. Going Greek isn’t just a way to find a social connection or to meet interesting people; it is a fantastic way to grow as an intellectual and a person. Whether you choose to “Go Greek” or not the SMU Greek community welcomes you with open arms and is happy to have all students participate in its philanthropic and social events throughout the year!