Campus News Blog:Texas Education Board Considers Banning Textbooks with ‘Pro-Islamic’ Views

October 4, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Caroline Arbaugh

Did your world history textbooks support “pro-Islamic, anti-Christian” sentiments? The Dallas Morning News reported the Texas Board of Education will explore a resolution next week to censor any books promoting Islam or opposing Christianity.

The initial draft of the resolution states that “diverse reviewers have repeatedly documented gross pro-Islamic, anti-Christian distortions in social studies texts” throughout the nation, and that previous Texas textbooks have held these “tainted” views.

Examples brought up included more lines in the textbooks devoted to Islamic beliefs and practice than to Christian beliefs. However, the previous textbooks the Board is referring to are no longer in use in Texas. Sort of a moot point, then, perhaps?

Some supporters of the resolution say more and more Middle Easterners are buying into companies that publish textbooks. There was, of course, no evidence produced by the ultra-conservative supporters for this claim.

As for now, political culture wars continue to wage on.

Dallas Morning News: SMU Football Player Arrested for Sexual Assault

October 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

SMU linebacker Brandon Henderson was being held at the Dallas County Jail on Friday. (DALLAS COUNTY JAIL BOOKING PHOTO)

By Mustang Staff

A sophomore SMU football player has been arrested on allegations of a sexual assault of a minor in his home town of Abilene, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The paper reported that Brandon Henderson, a linebacker for the SMU football team, was arrested on Thursday. On Friday afternoon the paper quoted an Abilene police lieutenant who said the alleged incident involved a 15-year-old acquaintance in April 2009, when Henderson was a high school senior.

In an e-mail to the Daily Mustang, Brad Sutton, SMU’s associate athletic director, released this statement: “SMU does not comment on student conduct matters because of federal student privacy laws and university policy.”

A spokesman for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Henderson was being held in the North Tower Jail on Friday afternoon.

For the full story, visit

Eddie Bernice Johnson No Longer Receiving Distinguished Alumni Award

September 27, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Aida Ahmed

Southern Methodist University’s Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony will have one less honoree this year.

Missing from the lineup will be U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas), who is no longer receiving the 2010 SMU Distinguished Alumni Award at the ceremony on Oct. 21.

Congresswoman Johnson, who in the past month has been surrounded by a scandal stemming from a Dallas Morning News investigation into her handling of scholarship funds, plans to postpone the award until next year.

According to Dena Craig, director of communications for the congresswoman, it was a matter of timing.

“She is going to receive the award, just next year,” Craig said. “It was a scheduling conflict and she has just finished surgery. It’s better for her recovery.”

Craig said the award ceremony comes at an inconvenient time for the congresswoman but that she still plans to receive the 2011 distinguished alumni award.

Kent Best, executive director of news and communications at SMU, said that Johnson’s scheduling conflict made it impossible for her to be a recipient of this year’s award.

“She notified us that she had a scheduling conflict, and presence is necessary to receive the award,” Best said. “She will be honored at a future date and that date has yet to be determined.”

This news comes after a whirlwind of controversy stemming from her office’s handling of scholarship funds from the congresswoman’s office. Johnson awarded thousands of dollars in college scholarships to four relatives and a top aide’s two children using money from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, one of which is an SMU student. Although she claims to have unknowingly misused the funds, the congresswoman has since paid back the funds to the CBCF.

Allegations Brought Against McNutt Following Campus Arrest

March 23, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Bill McNutt was arrested by campus police Feb. 15 after violating a criminal trespass warning. (PHOTO FROM DALLAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT)

By Nate Regan

More than a month after his arrest for criminal trespassing on the SMU campus, The Dallas Morning News has published some of the alleged misconduct which led the university to issue a trespass warning against local businessman Lee William “Bill” McNutt III in the first place.

The newspaper cites allegations from anonymous female students and their parents that McNutt made them uncomfortable with invitations to dinner parties where liquor and personal massages were offered.

McNutt, a University Park resident and SMU alumnus, was issued a criminal trespass warning by the university on Nov. 7, 2008, though he informed Police Chief Richard A. Shafer that he would be attending basketball games on campus the following January.

That month, according to the Morning News, Shafer wrote back, in part, “The Criminal Trespass Warning is not a request for you to let me know of events you wish to attend on campus; it is a warning to you in accordance with SMU policy on trespassing that you are not welcome on the SMU campus for any reason whatsoever.”

Two SMU officers arrested the 54-year-old McNutt Feb. 15 in a workout room at Ford Stadium, and he was later released on $500 bond.

Less than two weeks after the arrest was made public, the Morning News reported that McNutt quit his post as a deacon at Highland Park Presbyterian Church

The McNutt family is best known for the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, though Bill is not a member of the board, as had previously been reported.

His sister, Katherine McNutt, would not speak on the record but wanted to clarify that it is her brother Bob, not Bill, who is president and CEO of Collin Street Bakery.

Big D Blog: Dallas Morning News Simplifies H1N1

November 13, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Estela Nunez

So Dallas County has confirmed two more H1N1 related deaths earlier this week, which brings the total to 19.

As the number of swine flu related deaths continues to rise in the Dallas area, people may begin to grow weary if they have yet to get their vaccine.

But don’t fret! Thanks to the Dallas Morning News’s H1N1 shot database finding out if your local doctor is offering the vaccine is only a mouse click away.

The database provides quick and accessible information such as address, and number of shipments offered at that clinic.

So no more excuses for those who have yet to get their vaccine, it is urged that you do so.

Campus News Blog: Digital Media Pros Give Out Advice (and Hope) for Future Journalists

November 9, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Jaimie Siegle

So I was enjoying a veggie wrap and a Diet Coke with Anthony Moor and Linda Leavell, editors at The Dallas Morning News who were guest speakers at the Meadows School of the Arts’ third annual Digital Threads symposium. (Linda also happens to sign off on my check as a DMN intern so, natch, I wanted to visit/schmooze with her a bit.)

Linda spoke earlier at Digital Threads about how newspapers (specifically the DMN) have used Twitter to break news, although it has yet to replace stories in the actual, physical paper. She referenced the recent Fort Hood shooting, and how the Morning News tweeted any and all information they had, as well as re-tweeted information from the Austin American-Statesman – even though some of the information floating throughout cyberspace turned out to be inaccurate.

Moor commented about this during our chat over lunch, saying that Twitter was an excellent way to provide the public with information – accurate or not – but that the next-day newspaper was still necessary to provide people with a cohesive, truthful account of events. He said a newspaper story should “synthesize” the information rather than blast headlines that make readers piece together stories themselves.

This is wonderful, wonderful thing for us fledgling journalists. It is one more testimony that says newspapers may not be defunct once we fly the college coop.

Campus News Blog: Alcohol Citations and Overdoses Going Up

November 3, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Maria A. Prato

As university’s authorities and members of the student body are making the effort to fight alcohol and substance abuse on campus the number of alcohol citations and overdoses keep going up.

After the first five weeks of school passed there were 11 students hospitalized with alcohol intoxication or overdose; and the SMU police department arrested 178 students for alcohol violations.

This numbers are alarming when compared to last year’s when, by the same period of time, there were 7 hospitalizations and 70 students cited by the police.

Dr. Lori White, vice president for student affairs, said to the Dallas Morning News that this issue is happening all across the country and what is happening in SMU “is typical.”

Since February 2008, after the task force on substance abuse called for a “culture shift,” the university developed several programs to prevent alcohol and substance abuse on campus.

One of these programs is “call for help.” Dr. White believes that this is the cause why the numbers of hospitalizations is going up, since most students do not hesitate to call authorities for help if they believe a friend might be suffering from alcohol intoxication.

One of the biggest issues this year is underage drinking; nine out of the 11 students hospitalized this year are freshmen.

Click here to check the SMU Police Department crime logs and statistics.

Campus News Blog: Stop Smoking

October 8, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Emily Kogan

Would you want to live forever? How about living to 100? In this day there are so many opportunities to better our lifestyle and ourselves. But sometimes we are too lazy to take advantage of these opportunities. The Dallas Morning News gives readers 30 ways to live to 100. Wouldn’t that be great to just implement those recommendations and poof you’re there!

The recommendation that really hits home to the college age student is number 12. Quit Smoking. But really you need to. I am outraged every time I see a college age kid lighting up. Were you not in the same health classes as I was? Did you not see all those Truth advertisements growing up?

At SMU we are some of the most educated young adults, but we choose to live lifestyles that far exceed most adult lifestyles. We live in a dream world where we think nothing can harm us, but one of these days reality will come crashing down. And I know I want to be prepared for when that happens.

Big D Blog: Technology and Internet Access for All US Citizens

October 5, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Kathryn Garvie

Should the US government provided internet access to all citizens  in the same sense that the Eisenhower administration built and provided an interstate system?

The internet is a two-way street, according to The Dallas Morning News Editor and Producer, Travis Hudson, and co-worker Jason Sickles, and is important because people can communicate and build a relationship with the media and it’s reporters.  However, not all US citizens have the access to communicate through broadband internet to the media.

According to David Bauder’s article  on The Dallas Morning New’s Web site, Get everyone in US online, high-level panel says, The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy released a report stating that access to the internet is vital.

The commissions’s conclusion states that news and media coverage free flowing through broadband “is as vital to the healthy functioning of communities as clean air, safe streets, good schools and public health,” and needs to become our nation’s leaders top priority.

The lack of access to technology or broadband is defined as the digital divide, and it can be classified by race, gender, income, and is closely related to the knowledge divide.  Consequently, people without fair access cannot recieve breaking news from the media nor communicate.

Hudson describes one instant when the commenting section on the paper’s Web site was temporarily unavailable, and site visitors were outraged: they felt as is their 1st Amendment rights had been violate, and thair voiced had been taken away.

If one group of people consider this a constitutuional right to be able to communicate with the media, than broadband internet access should not be a luxury if the freedom of speech is a necessity.

Not everyone can afford a monthly fee for fast internet access, and in some counties, including places in Tarrant County, broadband services is not even an option.  I called Roadrunner, Grande, and other broadband companies asking if broadband services were available in Tarrant County, and found out dial-up is the only option companies are willing to provide.

It was not until last spring, April 2008, that broadband internet made it’s debut in Carnelian Bay, CA, which is located on Lake Tahoe, after locals petitioned internet companise to provide services for the area.

Lake Tahoe economy depends on tourist and works of a hospitality economy, and many people would have a hard time agreeing that one of the world’s top destinations could compete at the same level as Las Vegas resorts without the ability to access high-speed internet.

It is time to build a two-way street: a two-way street that everyone can use.  The broadband system is like a toll-road, and a toll-road is a luxury for those who can afford it.

Campus News Blog: DMN Reports on Bush and Rice Meeting

April 15, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Morgan Maddox

By now the majority of SMU students have heard of George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice’s visit to SMU on Tuesday. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the two, along with Laura Bush and other former White House advisers, were having a meeting to discuss how to organize and present Bush’s policy institute.

No public statements were made after the meeting. However, Mark Langdale, president of the Bush Foundation was quoted in the article stating, “there was a strong desire on the part of President Bush and Laura to marry academic research and study with some sort of real-world application.” My questions is: Aren’t we already suppose to be doing this? This idea is nothing new.

In all of our classes we are supposed to be learning material and then applying it to the real-world. That is why we are in college, to prepare for the real-world. If the policy institute was not using academic research and study and applying it to real-world situations, then it would be failing to prepare students for the future.

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