HCM Tower Scholar and Student Body President David Shirzad has dedicated his time at SMU to making the school a better place. He’s been a Peruna handler, a member of the Mob (a group of high-spirited students guaranteed tickets to men’s basketball games), a student representative to the Board of Trustees and more. His latest mission is to give students more opportunities to have their voices heard.
In the Scholar Spotlight on the SMU Tower Center blog, Shirzad talked about his time at SMU and offered some advice for younger and incoming scholars.
What drove you to be so involved at SMU?
I’ve always had a drive to make the community around me as strong of a place as I possibly can. In high school I was super involved with Best Buddies. There were just awesome people in the club—everyone from the captain of the football team to all sorts of different students. So I thought that was the best avenue for me to serve and promote change and instill strong values around my high school. And at SMU I have sort of done a similar thing—it’s just been different in the topics of discussion. I’ve tried to make SMU have as strong of a campus community as I possibly can. I’ve been doing that in ways such as school spirit, being a Peruna handler, being a part of the Mob, as well as working to increase undergraduate opportunities for research by working as Student Body President with the Provost’s office and others involved in that, or working to better the student voice so that hopefully even if there are issues that come after me students at least have the opportunity to help improve the university. I love SMU, but I value the community and want to make it as strong of a place as it can be.
What do you think makes a community strong?
I think a place that people believe in. I think a place where all people have a voice, and they believe they’re being heard, is a good indication of a strong community because people buy into that. Nothing’s perfect in that sense, but in some ways I’d say we’re working toward that.