Campus Life Blog: Study Breaks

March 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Elena Harding

After the fun and sun of spring break, concentrating on school work can be difficult. When you feel your mind start to wander, take a small break and then renew your efforts. I think that method is more effective than trying to force yourself to stay on track until your task is finished.

Here are some suggestions that are the perfect amount of time for that break. They are long enough to let your mind wander and short enough that they don’t really cut into your study time, as long as you don’t watch too many.

1. YouTube: Videos are usually about 3-5 minutes long.
2. Articles are a fun, easy read which take about 5-8 minutes to read.
3. Strip Generator: Take a few minutes to create a comic strip of your very own.
4. Text Twist: This two-minute timed game is a fun way to improve your vocabulary.

SMU Students Share Their Spring Break Experiences

March 22, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Posted By E’Lyn Taylor

Through the course spring break, SMU journalism students shared their expeditions via twitter. Look below to see what experiences they have encountered via twitpic.

VIDEO: What To Do In Dallas Over Spring Break, Without Breaking The Bank

March 11, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

By Anne McCaslin Parker

VIDEO: Spring Break In Dallas from on Vimeo.

For students who plan on staying in Dallas for Spring Break, SMU TV’s Anne McCaslin Parker has five places to go within a 20 mile radius of campus that won’t burn a whole in your pocket.

Saying in town over the break and need something to do? There are plenty of options in Dallas that will take you for an adventure.

If you like animals, the Dallas Zoo is an option. It is almost like taking a safari just a few miles from Downtown Dallas.

Susan Eckert, the Director of Communications for Dallas Zoo says, “We have a variety of animals in the new Giants of the Savannah habitat. It’s a wonderful place for students because it’s affordable and it’s just a great day to get away.”

SMU Student Sean Casa said, “I’m staying in Dallas for Spring Break there’s so many things I have always wanted to do… like visit the aquarium.”

Just a few miles away from the zoo, the Dallas World Aquarium is home to Marine Species from around the world. The Indoor Adventure begins with a Rainforest Exhibit and ends with the Mundo Maya filled with sharks and rays.

For those of you who want to hit the links but can’t afford to go to Pebble Beach, right down Park Lane there is Top Golf.

“Full restaurant service, full bar, we have got caddies at each spot they’ll bring it all out to you,” Sean Manning, a Top Golf Employee explains. “Not, not really too pricey at all, get your playing cards once you got your cards just basically six bucks a game for all your golf balls that you want out there.”

If you are in the mood to enjoy nature, the Dallas Arboretum features 66 acres of display gardens that showcase seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees and plant collections on White Rock Lake.

Studio Movie Grille is literally “Dinner and a Movie.” You can go here and see a first run blockbuster movie while you eat your dinner.

If you are going to be in town for Spring Break, make sure to take advantage of all that Dallas has to offer.



Campus News Blog: Texas DPS Warns Spring Breakers Not to Travel to Mexico

March 1, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Aida Ahmed

Just a heads up for students who delete SMU mass e-mails without reading them: the Texas Department of Safety urges all Texas spring breakers to avoid all travel to Mexico. SMU forwarded students the official notice from the DPS Tuesday afternoon, with spring break less than two weeks away.

According to the Texas DPS, continued violence, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery and carjacking are the causes of the warning. Preliminary figures show 65 Americans were killed in Mexico in 2010. Falcon Lake should especially be avoided, as it has been the scene of several robberies and a U.S. citizen’s murder. The DPS warns cartel activity remains high in that area.

Travelers can check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through their website.

DPS tips for a safe Spring Break:

Don’t text while driving.
Wear your seat belt.
Don’t drink and drive.
Find a sober friend to do the driving.
Don’t leave your drink unattended, and don’t accept drinks from strangers.
Keep a fresh driver behind the wheel, or stop every couple of hours to rest and walk around.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.
Keep your friends close.

Big D Blog: Two Spring Break Must-Have Trends

March 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Sarah Pottharst

With Spring Break just a few days away, students are invading the NorthPark hallways to find the perfect spring outfit. While springtime fashion can occasionally be predictable with breezy materials and floral patterns, this year has proved to be a bit trickier.

Though many trends invaded Spring 2010 Ready to Wear fashion shows, two in particular reign as the designer favorites.

Balmain and Marc Jacobs are just a few of the labels that executed their own version of a military jacket in their Spring 2010 collections. Many others followed suit with deviations in shades of green, but little differentiation in the basics of oversized pockets and masculine seams.

The pastoral look will be the other popular variation in spring wear. Oscar de la Renta successfully demonstrated the folk-side to this trend with a canary yellow and ocean blue embroidered tank dress overlaying a white collared shirtdress. Other forms of this trend include dainty ruffles and lace in whites and tans.

Finding these trends to fit a college budget is not an easy feat, but here are a few places to start:

For military jackets, check out J.Crew and American Eagle.

To find a dress that fits the effortless pastoral look, visit or

Get in Shape by Spring Break

February 15, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Aida Ahmed

If you want to get a spring break body by March, then check out the RecSports Boot Camp from February 16 to March 25. Head to the basketball courts in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. for a five-week indoor/outdoor workout program. No workout experience is needed.

For more information on the boot camp contact Gina Garcia at (214) 768-4818 or

Students Change Lives on Trip to Honduras

April 18, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Alex Meaker

The beauty of Central Honduras is not just seen in the landscape, but also in the love and happiness of the Honduran villagers. A group of 11 SMU students experienced this first hand over spring break this past March.

Students who spoke little Spanish felt the power of non-verbal communication as they dug a trench with Hondurans to bring river water into the village. Even though the students and Hondurans could not communicate verbally, they both understood the task before them and worked together as a team. The language barrier became insignificant.

The students spent their days mixing cement, building latrines, digging trenches, and teaching vacation Bible school to the village children.

The goal of the four-day stay in the Agalta Valley in mid-March was to help improve the quality of life of the villagers of Olancho. The trip was coordinated through a senior SMU student, David Luttrell, whose home church in Tampa regularly volunteers for the Honduras Outreach Inc. program.

“The overall mission of the trip was to improve the quality of life and living conditions physically, but it was also focused on building positive relationships with the people there,” said Whitney Bartels, a junior who participated in the trip.

Beyond the volunteer work, the trip was a chance for the students to grow individually. “In a phrase, we spent a week seeing Christ in the people we served and each other, ” Luttrell said.

Along with the 11 students, 15 adults from the Tampa church attended the trip. Two of the adults were fluent in Spanish, along with a few students and adults who could communicate in conversational Spanish with the villagers.

Those who could speak Spanish got to interact on a more personal level with the villagers. But according to Rachel Pierson, a freshman at SMU, “we had no problem communicating with smiles, gestures and touch.”

Upon arrival to the Honduran village, the children held signs and sang a song welcoming the group to the village. Some of the children remembered those adults who had been on the trip previously, proving that the Honduras Outreach groups have made a lasting impact.

Luttrell attended the trip four times before deciding to organize a group of students to join him this year.

“It’s been a dream of mine to experience a week in Honduras serving with friends since I came to college,” said Luttrell. “It surpassed even my highest expectations – we got to spend a week serving along side each other, loving Honduran villagers and growing in how God wants us to treat one another.”
The group stayed at a ranch run by Honduras Outreach Inc., which houses volunteers and provides shelter for nearby villagers.

Often, three generations of family live in tiny houses with walls made of scrapings and dirt floors. The group helped to pour six cement floors in villagers’ houses, which is a luxury to them.

“Even though the people lived in such poverty, it was incredible to see how happy they were,” said Pierson. “They had their family and that’s all that mattered.”

The students confronted difficulties with the afternoon vacation bible school. Sometimes there were too few supplies for the children, and the chaos of the language barrier created confusion. Also, the group did not confront the children on their faith or beliefs.

“The people saw the love of Jesus through our actions,” Bartels said.

The children’s happiness and love reminded the students about the simplicity of life.

“Life is so simple in Honduras – love God by loving others as He has loved us,” said Luttrell.

One particular 14-year-old girl in the village affected Bartels. The girl was one of only three children in the village who got the opportunity to continue her education past the sixth grade. She loved going to school so much that Bartels began to appreciate her own education.

“It made me hurt for her because I knew that she would never have the same opportunities I have,” said Bartels. “It’s hard not to feel guilty about it.”

Many of the group members agreed that it was difficult to leave the Hondurans knowing that they would probably live their entire life in the village with little opportunity. However, the rewards of volunteering were priceless.

“Being in Honduras reminded me of how lucky and fortunate I am,” Bartels said. “It was rewarding to be able to come back knowing that we did a little bit to make a small improvement. Even if it was only in one village, it was still one step toward the greater good.”

Returning to SMU, the students realized how easy it is to lose sight of “life’s true purpose and rhythm,” said Luttrell. “Life is more simple than we make it – all we really need to do is ‘make everyday a Honduras day.’”

Global News Blog: Drugs in Mexico Causing Changes in Spring Break Plans

March 18, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

Posted by Ashley Warmack

As a result of drug violence in Mexico, it has set off bad publicity for Mexico. According to The Guadalajara Reporter, “Over the coming weeks, a joint strategy among the Mexican presidency, Foreign Relations Department, Tourism Secretariat and Preventive Police Force will seek to lessen the negative impact that daily news reports of violence have on Mexico’s image internationally.”

This drug violence and drug trafficking has caused a scare not only in Mexico but here in the United States. Many students that were planning on traveling to Mexico for Spring Break have had to make a quick change of plans and not head over the border. “The media has magnified the violent and desperate acts of drug gangs, Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa said at press conference Monday.”

I think that controlling the media as much as Mexico can is good, however; it is what it is and it’s important to be aware of the dangerous acts of violence that are going on in the country as a result of drug trafficking.

Campus News Blog: Greek Life Kicking into Gear

March 17, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Lauren Atkinson

Spring Break is over and SMU students are getting back into the swing of things. Remembering papers, pages to be read, and other work that fell by the wayside while soaking up the sun on break is the worst.

But Greek students also have to gear up to finish out their events calendar. Though the Greek calendar reports only one more function in March (NPHC Service Project), April boasts an event every week.

Raising money for charities and non-profit organizations is a passion that the Greeks continue to do well in.

Arts Beat: March Dish Deals

March 6, 2009 by · Comments Off 

With the month of March comes a lengthy trail of awesomeness: Warmer weather, Spring Break,” green” food and drinks, a Greenville St. Patty’s Day Parade …

But if you’re not too keen on the Greenville Irish festivities and you aren’t going anywhere exotic for Spring Break, you can still have a grand time in the Big D during March with some sweet dining deals.

You can start your morning off with Jamba Juice’s all-organic oatmeal topped with fresh fruit, which is only $1 throughout this month. Take that, Starbucks’ $2.45 “Perfect Oatmeal.”

Go to Ferrari’s Italian Villa in Addison on Tuesdays during March for “Italy on a Budget”: entree, foccaccia, and a glass of wine for $15. The Tuesday entrees are as follows:

March 10 – pappardelle al basilica
March 17 – rigatoni with sausage
March 24 – fettuccine quattro formaggi (I will definitely be present for this one.)

Other great deals for Tuesdays that extend past March are half-price pizzas from 5-10 p.m. at Frankie’s on McKinney and Monica’s Aca y Alla half-price food from 5-10 p.m. as well.

If you’re in need of a nightcap, late-night Pokey O’s on Mockingbird (by the SMU Barnes & Noble bookstore). Getcha some Pokey O ice cream sandwiches or a Blue Bell milkshake and go to bed happy.

–Posted by Jaimie Siegle

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