PHOTOS: Bush Center Supports Afghan Women

March 31, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Sydney Giesey
sschmidt@smu.edu

The Afghan Bazaar sponsored by the George W. Bush Presidential Center, offers crafts made by Afghan women. The bazaar was held in the James M. Collins Executive Education Center on Thursday, March 31. The bazaar is part of the George W. Bush conference that focuses on advancing human rights and economic freedom for Afghan women.

Check out the slideshow from the Afghan Bazaar:

Big Crowd Flocks to Bush Library Groundbreaking

November 16, 2010 by · Comments Off 

SMU journalism students were on hand, both inside and outside the ceremonial tent, to bring you live coverage of Tuesday morning’s Bush presidential library groundbreaking. Check out the coverage on our Bush Blog as well as our live chat with the Dallas Morning News and our #bushsmu hashtag on Twitter.

The tent is ready to go for today's presidential groundbreaking ceremony. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)




(PHOTO BY SARAH BRAY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Bush Blog: Bush’s Former Press Secretary Talks With Journalism Class

November 15, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Daily Mustang Staff
mustangeditors@gmail.com

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, spoke with students and faculty in professor Carolyn Barta’s reporting class Monday morning. Fleischer is in town for Tuesday’s presidential library groundbreaking.

In the Q&A, Fleischer discussed media coverage of politics. He also mentioned protesters he saw on campus today and remarked on how he believes some members of the media take liberal protest movements more seriously than conservative protesters, such as the Tea Party.

Check back for a full recap of Fleischer’s class visit.

Ari Fleischer, Bush’s Former Press Secretary, Talks With Journalism Class from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Groundbreaking to Take Place Tuesday

November 14, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Hayley Bosch
hbosch@smu.edu

Former President George W. Bush is scheduled to break ground on his long-awaited Presidential Library this Tuesday. Thousands of guests, as well as protesters, are expected.

The invitation-only event will take over campus beginning Monday morning. Streets on the east side of campus will be closed to make way for the event.

The 24-acre site will soon boast a 225,000 square-foot building surrounded by a 3-foot retaining wall as is the federal security requirement. Beginning Tuesday, what looks like an empty dirt lot will be transformed into a facility that will put SMU on the map.

The single building on the grounds, featuring a museum, library and archives, policy institute, gift shop and cafés, will don replicas of both the White House Rose Garden and the Oval Office of George W. Bush. The building is designed to achieve Platinum Certification, the highest possible distinction under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. Regionally sourced building materials, including limestone from Midland, Texas, where the Bushes first met, and the utilization of 20 percent recycled materials are among many of features within the sustainable design of the building.

A special exhibit at Meadows Museum previews some of the historic holdings that will eventually be moved to the museum when the Presidential Center is complete. The exhibit, “Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center,” allows visitors a sneak peek into what the Bush Foundation is all about. Floor plans of the Center and the initiatives of The Bush Institute are showcased in the exhibit, which runs through February 6, 2011.

The museum within the Presidential Center plans to tell the story of the leadership of President and Mrs. Bush. It will feature artifacts from the presidency, such as Saddam Hussein’s pistol retrieved upon his capture, and handwritten notes made by Bush as he planned a statement immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Also on display will be more personal items, such as a sweatshirt worn by the president as he threw the ceremonial first pitch of the 2001 World Series at the Yankees Stadium and a baseball bat from the Hall of Fame.

The former president kicked off his book tour with a book-signing of “Decision Points” last week in Dallas. The timely release fell exactly one week before the groundbreaking ceremony and was met with anti-water boarding protests. Thousands have planned to protest at Tuesday’s groundbreaking, starting with a march from Mockingbird Station to the SMU campus.

Follow the Daily Mustang from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday as we team up with The Dallas Morning News for live coverage of the groundbreaking.

The Daily Update: Wednesday, Oct. 27

October 27, 2010 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Wednesday, Oct. 27 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Find out about how former president George W. Bush survived a death threat, the bullying headlines across America, and if Myspace is calling it quits.

President George and Laura Bush Presented with Medal of Freedom

April 21, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Andy Garcia
atgarcia@smu.edu
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Global Cyber Dissidents Meet With President Bush for Conference

April 19, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Cyber dissidents Ernesto Hernández Busto, Oscar Morales Guevara, Mohsen Sazegara, and Ahed Al Hendi pose with President George W. Bush prior to the start of the Bush Institute’s Conference, “Cyber Dissidents: Global Successes and Challenges.” (COURTESY PHOTO)

Cyber dissidents Ernesto Hernández Busto, Oscar Morales Guevara, Mohsen Sazegara, and Ahed Al Hendi pose with President George W. Bush prior to the start of the Bush Institute’s Conference, “Cyber Dissidents: Global Successes and Challenges.” (COURTESY PHOTO)

By Traci Mitchell
tmmitchell@smu.edu

Many Americans take for granted the freedom to use the Internet for personal expression. At any time, an American citizen can start a blog, create a website or update their Facebook status. Want to share your ideas? Just tweet your thoughts and feelings into the wide world via the Internet. Americans can start a group or movement protesting the government and use the Internet to promote this cause.
This is not a freedom that all people share.

The Bush Institute hosted a conference on “Cyber Dissidents: Global Successes and Challenges,” on Monday at the Collins Center in conjunction with the human rights organization, Freedom House.

Dissidents from around the world met to discuss the issue of global Internet freedom and the threat of censorship by authoritarian governments such as China, Russia and Iran.

The opening remarks, given by President George W. Bush, expressed the Institute’s objectives to protect speech and spread freedom throughout the world. Bush reminded guests of the possible danger in a post 9/11 world.

“If we allow isolationism,” said Bush, “then we forget our past.”

Freedom House Survey of Internet Freedom

Freedom House announced the findings of a survey on Internet freedom around the world. Project Director Robert Guerra and Director of Studies, Christopher Walker, said there seemed to be a decline in global freedom despite the assumptions of greater freedom in a post-cold war period.

The survey results showed traditional media to be much less effective due to pressure from oppressive regimes. Walker said the Internet is becoming an increasingly effective tool for civic activism in repressive countries.

Bloggers and Internet users have used social media, like Facebook and Twitter, as well as cell phones, as a way to mobilize. Freedom House representatives cited examples from Egypt, Moldova, Kenya and Cuba.

However, governments like China are using sophisticated methods of Internet filtering and censorship to limit access. Freedom House reported that many of the countries studied censored political content, introduced new internet-restricting legislation and imprisoned bloggers or online journalists.

De ‘Edra Williams, of Wipro Technologies, attended the conference to show her support for the protection of Internet freedom.

“Technology is important because technology drives everything,” said Williams. “It is important these countries have access to this.”

Freedom House recommends that democratic countries establish policies to protect online freedom, create new legislation to restrict technology transfers to repressive regimes, fund further research and support activists.

The Dissidents

Throughout the conference, dissidents from Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Russia and China discussed the challenges of Internet freedom and oppression. Each member of the panel shared his struggle with online activism and its ramification.

When a member of the audience asked Ahed Al Hendi, of Syria, how he managed to stay alive and out of prison, Hendi responded, “I am just happy to be here in America, believe me.”

Some of the panel members were unable to attend and were present via Skype. The conference also suggested members of the audience ask questions by way of Twitter.

“I think it is absolutely amazing,” said SMU senior Edmund Miniat. “They are already making it a global thing by using Skype.”

Some SMU students in attendance said the technology used within the conference was important to the whole theme of Internet freedom.

“They are already using the technology here,” said SMU senior Shaun Moore. “They are showing how it can have a global impact.”

Former first lady, Laura Bush, made opening remarks about her strong belief in freedom, especially among women around the world at the Cyber Dissidents: Global Successes and Challenges conference at Collins Center Monday April 19 (PHOTO BY TRACI MITCHELL/SMU DAILY MUSTANG).

Former first lady, Laura Bush, made opening remarks about her strong belief in freedom, especially among women around the world at the Cyber Dissidents: Global Successes and Challenges conference at Collins Center Monday April 19 (PHOTO BY TRACI MITCHELL/SMU DAILY MUSTANG).

Bush Surprises SMU Journalism Students

April 29, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

By Shelley Smith
smsmith@smu.edu

Former President Bush greets students during his visit to a journalism class at SMU on Wednesday, April 29, 2009. (PHOTO BY SHELLEY SMITH/ THE DAILY MUSTANG)

Former President Bush greets students during his visit to a journalism class at SMU on Wednesday, April 29, 2009. (PHOTO BY SHELLEY SMITH/ THE DAILY MUSTANG)

Swarms of SMU students were buzzing around the journalism school this morning waiting for former President George W. Bush to emerge.

The former president was visiting professor Carolyn Barta’s Reporting I class.

At about 2 p.m. the former President came out of a classroom in the Umphrey Lee Center to greet anxious students with handshakes and to sign autographs.

“I was trying to impart some knowledge,” Bush said as he exited the class, shaking hands with students and explaining that he met Barta more than 30 years ago when he ran for Congress.

“It was like Christmas!” gushed one of Barta’s students as she hugged her professor.

Mai Lyn Ngo, one of Barta’s students, said she thoroughly enjoyed the surprise visit.

“My jaw completely dropped,” Ngo said. “Everybody was awed and just very thrilled that he was there.”

Ngo said the class’ encounter with Bush was off the record, but she said he “shared some of his experiences” with the students.

As he left the building, Bush said he would be glad to come again.

“I enjoyed it and I’m going to keep doing it,” he said.

Bush Visits SMU Campus

February 24, 2009 by · 7 Comments 

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