An update from Jamie, a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps and a second-year student majoring in accounting in the Cox School of Business. Jamie observed the residential commons model in Oxford first-hand.

Last week, I attended one of the events in Shuttles Hall (where I live) called “Ramen with Ramon.” Attendance wasn’t fabulous, but for the first time since I’ve been living there, I took initiative and learned the names of some hall-mates while in the lobby. Our student body president, Ramon Trespalacios, talked about how to get involved, how to promote school spirit, and about his personal life and accomplishments.

I came to visit SMU in April of last year with my friend Tommy and, being too scared to go to different Peruna Pal groups, we decided we both would go to mine. The second we met our Peruna Pal leader, Ramon, we knew we had one of the funniest and happiest leaders there and were glad we chose his group. Once we got to sit down with him on the Dallas Hall lawn, we learned more honest and helpful information about SMU than we had on the tour or even at the admission sessions. He was knowledgeable about everything at SMU and in Dallas, and it was clear that the love and spirit he felt for his school was very real. Plus, later on in the night, while we were sitting on the steps of Dallas Hall, it seemed like every person who walked by knew him. (That’s not an exaggeration; I swear literally everyone at this schools knows him. It’s incredible and also kind of scary.)

Ramon Trespalacios, SMU Student Body President

At the Shuttles event, Ramon talked about people who had mentored him, activities he had enjoyed, and plans he had for the future. It was interesting to hear about his life, but more than anything, the passion with which he talked about everything in his life here reminded me of that night on the Dallas Hall lawn. Ramon, to put it simply, is passionate about SMU. Not just excited, or a part of, or intrigued by, but passionate about everything that is happening and is going to happen on this campus.

With Residential Commons right around the corner, I took back a few lessons from this little event in the Shuttles lobby.

1. We all (specifically the RCLC) need to be as passionate about Residential Commons as Ramon is about life! We need to ooze spirit and enthusiasm for this project.

2. Events can actually make an impact. (This was the first one I attended and I am super glad I went.) In 2014, the RAs and RCLCs need to be planning programs for each commons that will help bring students out of their rooms.

3. I really don’t like Ramen noodles.