Campus EMTs and LGBT Senate Seat in Question

March 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By: Stephanie Collins

The student senate held its second ever Town Hall meeting, which is intended to allow students to voice their opinions and closely interact with student senators, Thursday.

Although this kind of meeting was used by SMU student senators long ago to directly address the needs of students, it has not been used in the past 10 or 15 years, according to first year Dedman I Senator Parminder Deo.

“This is a much more open, casual setting,” said Deo.

The meeting, which was held in the Umphrey Lee dining room, focused on the recently discussed issue of adding an LGBT seat to the student senate, as well as an initiative to create a student-run emergency medical system program on campus.

Student Zac Friske presented the idea of a student EMS system, a proposal the student senate has been working on for over a year.

Because of SMU’s location, both the Highland Park and University Park fire stations respond to emergencies on the campus. According to Friske, however, there has been concern that emergency response teams are not always able to make it to campus within the promised five-minute window.

Because a heart attack, for example, requires emergency attention within three minutes, Friske said, it is essential that emergency response teams are more available to the SMU campus.

The student EMS system would be a volunteer organization of SMU students or members of the surrounding community who are EMT trained and would be able to provide emergency assistance immediately from on-campus locations.

“We want it to be open to every major, not just pre-med students,” said Friske, who said that any student could be trained and volunteer for the program.

The cost of EMT training, however, is around $1,000. Although EMT certification would last up to 10 years, the price may be steep for students looking to volunteer.

“We are working on finding a way to lower the cost. We want it to be open for everyone,” said Friske.

The other major topic discussed at the meeting was the question of whether or not to form an LGBT seat for the student senate.

Dedman II Senator Harvey Luna discussed the issue, who said that if the seat is created, only students who identify themselves as members of the LGBT community will be able to vote for the senator who takes the position. This does not include students who have been trained by SMU’s Allies program.

According to Luna, the LGBT community specifically has needs that should be addressed on campus, which is why a student senate position would be beneficial.

The next Student Senate Town Hall meeting will be held Wednesday, March 30 at 4 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg commons.

VIDEO: Women’s Symposium Concludes With Heroine Addiction

March 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Briana Darensburg

Heroine Addiction is an all-women's improv comedy group based in Dallas. Put on by SMU's Women's Symposium, the four women performed on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at Hughes-Trigg's Theater. (PHOTO BY GRACE ROBERTS/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The 2011 46th Annual Women’s Symposium, themed, “Happiness Is…” ended with laughs at the improvisational comedy show featuring Heroine Addiction Wednesday night at the Hughes-Trigg Student Theater.

The all-female comedy group entertained the audience with improvisational games, using audience participation to act out scenes on the spot.

SMU freshman Amanda Presmyk decided to attend the show because she is a big fan of improvisational comedy and admires that the group is exclusively women.

“We are crushing the stereotype that women aren’t funny,” said Linsey Hale, a member from Heroine Addiction.

“I think it’s unique and sets us apart; no one else is doing this,” said group member, Christa Haberstock about the advantages of the all-female cast. “We don’t have to leave when we’re dressing in the green room too.”

In 2009, the four-member comedy group formed after they joined the improvisational comedy troupe, “Ad-Libs,” in Deep Ellum.

Although the main purpose of the comedy group is to make people laugh, Heroine Addiction member, Laura Williamson believes that improvisational exercises can be helpful in the corporate world or every day life.

Williamson explained that principles and lessons learned from improvisational exercises can help people become better listeners and appreciate different perspectives.

Heroine Addiction offered an improvisational workshop which consisted of acting games, warm-ups and beginner skills to SMU students at the Women’s Symposium interest session Wednesday afternoon.

For more picture of the Women’s Symposium click here!

VIDEO: Cupid Strikes at SMU

February 14, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Video and Editing by Daily Mustang Staff

People on Hilltop reveal what they think about Valentine’s Day.

Cupid Strikes at SMU from on Vimeo.

Students in Shuttles Hall talk about what the day dedicated to love means to them.

Valentines Day Part One from on Vimeo.

SMU Legend Craig James Encourages Students to Get Involved

October 19, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Hayley Bosch

A big crowd gathered in Hughes-Trigg Monday night to hear from one half of the legendary Pony Express duo, Craig James.

As part of the Craig James Tour, the alum visited his alma mater to encourage his audience to get involved in democracy.

Jo Jensen, a member of the Craig James Tour team, said, “the whole point of this event is that we can hear from you.”

Whether through Twitter or texting a question via “ASKCRAIG,” the tour kept close to its slogan “Getting students off the sidelines and into the game.”

Liz Healy, an SMU graduate, took the stage to introduce Craig James.

“One of first things that I always tell people is to get involved, make a difference and leave a legacy. And today we’re here to hear from someone who did just that,” Healy said.

Healy continued to share the Craig James legacy at SMU. She read an excerpt from a book, which James was featured on the back cover.

James began the night by making the crowd comfortable, cracking a couple jokes and urging each person to ask questions.

“Notice on that book that I was on the back. I wasn’t quite good enough to be on the front of the cover,” James said.

Craig James went on to share an anecdote about his first business venture. He started his first company, Mustang Car Sales & Leasing, when he was a student at SMU. It was this venture that really got him interested in the business world.

“[I] learned a lot in those first few years because I had to be disciplined,” James explained.

Live polls were taken throughout the night. The first one asked the audience where they got their news. The majority answered that they got their news online. James went on to discuss the journalistic side of this trend.

Jordan Hamilton, an SMU senior, responded, “On my iPhone, I have all different apps, Wall Street Journal, CNN.”

Another student said she gets all of her news from Twitter.

The “conversation,” as James chose to refer to the event as, continued with the discussion of democracy and the importance of involvement.

“It’s a passion that I have to have a chance to visit and communicate with you guys. I know you’re busy. There’s a reason that we’re coming out and trying to visit with young Americans. It’s not just about young Americans; it’s all Americans. But I have a passion right now to help get you guys involved. And to encourage you to help you understand the importance that you have.”

James, a Texas Public Policy board member, discussed the Texas economy and why it is doing well.

SMU student Cameron Skreden gave his reason. “[It’s] probably the deregulation of government and the fact that there’s no income taxes…I believe in the economy report they put out last month they said that their main objective is to get California businesses to move to Texas.”

Craig James ended with an anecdote. The moral of the story was that people have to be passionate about whatever they do and it is vital to stand out.

The SMU Libertarian Club sponsored this event.

ISA Mixes, Kicks Off Fall Semester

September 9, 2010 by · Comments Off 

SMU’s Indian Student Association hosted their first mixer of the year at the Varsity in Hughes Trigg. There was food, friends, and even a little dancing.

Students mingle at the ISA mixer, greeting old and meeting new friends. (PHOTO BY LOLA OBAMEHINTI / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Farha Fhuja and Parminder Deo, both first-year students, bust a moved during the ISA mixer. (PHOTO BY LOLA OBAMEHINTI / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Career Center Prep Students for Job Fair

September 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Kwynn Kirkhuff

The Hegi Career Development Center is hosting a career fair prep day Wednesday in the Hughes-Trigg Student Theater. (PHOTO BY FELICIA LOGAN / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The Hegi Family Career Development Center is hosting a prep day Wednesday, Sept. 1. There will be five different workshops throughout the day that will prepare students for the Career and Internship Fair on Sept. 16. These workshops will focus around resume building, job searching and networking.

There are five different workshops that will all be held in the lower level of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center from 1-4 p.m. There will be a résumé class that will help students make their résumé stand out to employers. There is also a job search prep for international students from 1-2 p.m.
Want to learn how to succeed at the actual Career and Internship Fair? From 2-3 p.m. students can prepare for what to expect, and from 3-4 p.m. there will be a workshop on how to dress for success. If students want to practice professional networking skills with employers from a wide variety of businesses, there will be a speed networking session from 4- 7 p.m. Please not that students must RSVP for this workshop.

The Career and Internship Fair will feature companies such as, Neiman Marcus, American Airlines, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Frito Lay,, US Air Force and many more.

For a complete list and more info about the Career Internship Fair Prep Day click here.

The Fantastic Four Fight for Freedom

April 21, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Katherine Bruce

SMU’s Libertarians hosted a panel discussion in front of a small crowd Monday night in the Hughes-Trigg Forum at 8 p.m. The panel discussed the four personal freedoms Americans face today: marijuana, firearms, health care and gay marriage.

Larry Talley, of University at North Texas, spoke about drug legalization on behalf of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). Talley said the most deadly and addictive substance in the world is a cigarette, because it gives you nothing and takes away everything.

Talley wants to end the prohibition on drugs and marijuana. He says it’s all about rights, liberties and freedoms. It’s about supporting harm reduction. He also believes we should take people with drug problems and turn them into patients.

“When you can treat the patient, you can treat the person,” Talley said.

Brandon Luter, a 2003 college graduate, was second to take the podium in a discussion of firearms legislation. Luter said the founding fathers of this country viewed firearms as tools: a way to defend oneself. In the turn of the 20th century, the United States saw a re-interest in the growth of big government systems. The first initiative many presidents have taken after election into office is the ban on firearms ownership.

Luter believes defense against tyrannical government is of upmost importance and that government shouldn’t be able to tell citizens what to do.

“Firearms have become tools that are individual threats,” Luter said. “In actuality, they’re defensive tools.”

Professor Frost, an entrepreneur and economics professor at SMU, took a stab at health care. Frost explained that an exciting thing libertarians ought to feel is that for one of the first times in political history, left-wing democrats and right-wing republicans are finding issues they agree upon. This has created an opportunity to have some peaceful change by forming coalitions.

Frost emphasized that if you have a right to something, somebody else has a duty to provision that right for you. He said he doesn’t have a moral obligation to sacrifice his life to take care of others. For a government to force people to do that is oppressive.

“When the government gets oppressive, people have a choice. Do they become sheep, or do they fight back?” Frost asked.

To close the discussion, Beau Haten discussed the importance of marriage equality on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. There are countless LGBT couples living together without legally being married. Haten said that with marriage comes a discrepancy in terms of their own protection.

He also stressed the issue of well-qualified, experienced individuals being fired from jobs because of their sexual preference.

“We’re fighting ten hundred battles at one time,” Haten said.

He also feels the battle of the LGBT community is of a larger scale, and marriage is among the first battles to come up.

The discussion ended with a question and answer portion between the panel and the audience.

Stephen Ceccon, an SMU student and audience member, stressed the importance of getting the libertarians’ message out to students.

“A lot of college kids feel the same way we do,” Ceccon said. “They want the government out of their pocket and out of their personal life.”

Frost believes what helps more people is more important than minority needs.

“Whatever is good for the majority, the hell with minority,” Frost said. “I would like to say that I see hope.”

Traffic Flow to Change This Week

March 15, 2010 by · Comments Off 

by Kathryn Sharkey

In case you missed the e-mail that was sent during spring break, the roads around Fondren Library will be changing.

Starting Wednesday, Hilltop Lane, the street between Fondren Library and Dallas Hall, and McFarlin Boulevard, the street between Fondren Library and Hughes-Trigg, are changing directions so that the traffic flow will go towards Airline Road, instead of away from it. The section of University Boulevard, the street between Hyer Hall and the Dedman Life Sciences building, will be closed temporarily. The section of Fondren Drive, the street by the new fountain in front of the Dedman Life Sciences building and the new education building under construction, will be permanently closed to traffic.

The changes don’t stop there. Starting in August, the traffic flow of McFarlin Boulevard and Hilltop Lane will change back so that the traffic will go away from Airline Road. University Boulevard will reopen and connect to Airline Road with traffic flowing towards Airline. Check out the SMU map and this Google map to help you see the changes.


Muslim Students Aim to Educate About Religions

March 5, 2010 by · Comments Off 

by Nicolle Keogh

SMU’s Muslim Student Association tried to increase students’ understanding of other religions by pointing out the similarities between three prominent religions in America: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism with displays in the Hughes-Trigg commons on Thursday, March 4.

Posters were on display from 10 a.m-2 p.m. informing students of the fundamentals of each religion, stating their places of origin, Holy Books, and prophets. Members of the MSA were active at the event, serving traditional Middle Eastern foods like hummus and pitas, and speaking with interested students about the importance of increasing people’s understanding of other religions.

“It’s important to talk about religions like Islam and Judaism to help unify our country,” sophomore Sarah Anwar said. Though a lot of people do not know it, “the roots of all three religions are almost identical,” said Aisha Salman. For example, one poster on display was dedicated to presenting prophets valued and shared among Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. “The names differ, but they refer to the same people,” Salman said.

One poster compared Islam’s and Christianity’s beliefs in Jesus. Many similarities were found among both religions regarding Jesus, including that they both believe God raised Jesus up to Heaven and that Jesus will return in a Second Coming. Islam and Christianity also share the ideas that the Disciples followed Jesus and preached Gospel and that Jesus was born to Mary by the command of God in a virgin birth.

Another display brought attention to the three Holy Books: the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. These three texts have more in common than most people think. All three share the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and the Sacrifice, Moses and the Egyptians, and finally, the destruction of the Koran.

“These days, people only hear about Islam and Judaism because of current events, which focus on the differences between those religions and Christianity,” freshman Yumna Ham said. Just as the MSA wants to spread an understanding of the similarities of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, “all the prophets wanted to spread the same ideas,” junior Zainab Farzal said.

The MSA has about 40 active members, not including alumni, who still come to meetings to participate and help. Events were held in Hughes-Trigg until Friday March 5, providing information about Islam and other religions for the entire SMU community.

Hundreds of Petty Thefts Go Unnoticed on College Campuses

March 4, 2010 by · Comments Off 

by Aida Ahmed

Zemanuel Araya walked out of his afternoon class at the University of Texas at Dallas and headed to his car. The Texas summer heat was in full effect and all he wanted to do was crank up the air-conditioning and head home.

As he reached his faded maroon 1997 Camry, he noticed that something was missing besides the fuel tank cover that had fallen off on Interstate 635 last week. For the second time in one week, some jokester thought it would be funny to make matters worse by stealing the screw-on gas cap.

“The first time was kind of funny, and then I was just mad,” said the senior math major. “I had to go buy a cap with a lock and key.”

Hundreds of thefts from chicken salads to license plates go unaccounted for at universities around the country, often because they are so minor people do not want to report them. Typically these thefts go unnoticed or are forgiven if the property is returned.

Lt. Jerry Norris of the Southern Methodist University Police Department said most thefts of public property on campus are pranks and usually involve alcohol. He has seen an array of strange items stolen on campus over the years.

“With a little liquid courage, students sometimes even feel brave enough to steal in plain sight,” Norris said.

He remembers a few months ago when some intoxicated students stole rolling chairs, posters and office supplies from the common area of a residential house and ran across the main quad with the loot.

“If they had returned the items then maybe they would have just gotten a ticket,” Norris said.

The students decided to make a run for it instead, and in the process of chasing them an officer was injured, taking the crime from petty theft to felony evading, resisting arrest and injuring a police officer.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s campus security data, robberies of public property on college campuses in Texas doubled in 2008 compared to 2006 or 2007. All other on campus robberies increased as well.

The cost of theft on campuses can add up. According to SMU PD, the university has lost nearly $265,000 to theft in the past six months, with 130 reported burglaries, robberies and larceny theft.

David Hayden, assistant director of Hughes-Trigg Student Center, said Hughes-Trigg is a target of “campus collectors” because they have two entrances open 24 hours a day. He has worked in the student center for 12 years and says thefts seem to come in a rash, with a few stolen items at a time, then nothing for a while.

Last semester a young man came in the middle of the day and cut down one of the Hawaii Bowl banners hanging in the main commons and just walked out with it. A couple of years ago, someone stole an imitation Oscar statue during an Oscar watch party in Hughes-Trigg Theater. It was later recovered by SMU PD.

Among one of the recent stolen items from the student center is an $800 red and blue SMU rug someone rolled up and walked out with a couple of weeks ago. Hayden said he doesn’t know why people steal from Hughes-Trigg because most of the things they take cannot be shown off in public.

Still, the majority of campus theft around the country is comprised of more common items, say law enforcement officials.

Christina Kirchner, a junior at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., said her roommate regularly steals toilet paper on her way to her 8:30 a.m. class. She grabs it out of the custodial closet every couple weeks and stuffs several rolls in her backpack.

According to the Web site, iPods, bicycles, laptops, credit and debit cards and cell phones are on the list of the top ten items stolen on college campuses. Other high traffic areas where students congregate are also susceptible to on-campus crime, like residential halls. Many students become victims of crime as a result of having their dorm rooms burglarized for cash, books and class related supplies.

The SMU police department advises students to never leave valuables unattended or in plain view in their car. Also, never let strangers without a card follow you into a residential hall or the library.

The student center, which is in the process of getting cameras in four locations around the building, is not taking any chances.

“When we get cameras, we’ll start talking about replacing the stolen items,” Hayden said.

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