The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3

May 3, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The Dallas Love Field airport is getting a face lift. Education budget cuts may cause more students to apply for student loans, and The Daily Campus and The Daily Mustang are merging. Find out all this and more on your Daily Update.

VIDEO: Students Gather at Mane Event

April 30, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Video and editing by Sydney Giesey
sschmidt@smu.edu

Students gathered on the main quad Friday to take a break before finals and enjoy the food and fun at this year’s fiesta themed Mane Event. From bounce houses and a mechanical bull to henna tattoos and caricatures, students had plenty of activities to choose from. Even Peruna made an appearance at the event.

VIDEO: Dallas Non-Profits Support Japan

April 18, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Video and editing by Sydney Giesey
sschmidt@smu.edu

Japan is still facing difficulties more than a month after an earthquake and tsunami wrecked the northeast coast. Experts say the situation will most likely get worse before it gets better.

From hosting concerts to selling t-shirts, Dallas non-profits are finding ways to help.

VIDEO: “The Student Loan Meltdown:” What You May Not Know

April 9, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

By Carolina Brioso
cbrioso@smu.edu

Video by Sydney Giesey
sschmidt@smu.edu

VIDEO: Student Loan Meltdown from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and University held its program about “The Student Loan Meltdown” at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The SABEW annual conference presented the program that shed light on startling facts about the 30 million Americans who are currently affected by student loan debts.

The speakers of the conference were the CEO of the APSCU, Harris Miller, Paul Combe, Marty Steffens, and Mark Kantrowitz. The speakers all stressed the importance of obtaining a college education, as it is the finest route to employment.

Paul Combe, from the American Student Assistance, said his organization works and helps loan borrowers after graduation.

“As a society, we benefit from education. It’s sad to see how the middle class will start off in debt,” said Combe.
Mark Kantrowitz brought up for discussion a finding that was not only a surprise to many but initiated numerous questions from actively engaged audience members.

“We have realized that student loans have exceeded credit card debt. There is currently $900 billion in student loan debt,” said Kantrowitz.

The panelists said that a serious problem is that students are signing off on loans in which they will not be able to pay back.

“The most important thing to do is to get the right amount of loan… If you are willing to work with the government, the government will work with you when paying back those loans. The system is designed to help the payer,” said Miller.

However, is there a solution to a problem that affects so many? With high attendance costs from private universities, some students are leaving college with debts in the hundred thousands of dollars. According to the APSCU, the average student loan debt is $24,000.

The panelists also mentioned that the students who usually end up in default are those who try to escape payments.

“Australia, for example, instead of going through a loan system and then if you fail to pay the loans back and the lender tries to chase you down and extract if from you somehow, they go through the tax-system. Basically, the money you borrowed to go to school will come out from your payroll if you don’t pay, and I think that is something the United States should try to do,” said Miller.

The speakers also brought to light a disturbing trend on Parent Plus Loans. Because Parent Plus Loans are not need-based, anyone can get one.

“Even Bill Gates could get a parent plus loan if he wanted to,” said Combe.

The speakers mentioned that the Octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, was living off parent plus loans to provide for her children.

While the APSCU stresses the significance of an education, some individuals simply cannot afford it. It is without a doubt that college graduates hope for nothing more than to depart college with pride, respect, and an overwhelming feeling of achievement. However, if one decides to go through with the loan process to obtain a degree, one will unfortunately depart college with inevitable fear and a burden of debts.

The Daily Update: Wednesday, April 6

April 6, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Find out what Southwest is doing with their fleet. What are Dallas nonprofits doing in Japan? And find out how a man was saved from a gator attack in a very unusual matter. All this and more on your Daily Update!

Daily Update: Wednesday, April 6 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Dallas Arboretum Blossoms For Spring

March 15, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Sydney Giesey
sschmidt@smu.edu

VIDEO: Dallas Blooms from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The Dallas Arboretum’s 27th Annual Dallas Blooms festival officially started Saturday featuring the theme “It’s a Fairytale World.”

“I think it’s the largest display we’ve ever had,” Arboretum Board Chairman Steve Coke said.

Dallas Blooms is the Dallas Arboretum’s major floral festival. It lasts for 44 days and is sponsored by Capital One Bank. The Arboretum expects that about 225,000 people will come during the six-week festival, according to Vice President of Marketing Cris Emrich.

Dallas Blooms has also been named as one of the 14 places in the world to see spring.

“Our role is that everyday, for 44 days, it’s the perfect day to be here,” said John Semyan, who co-chairs the Dallas Blooms event with his wife Kim.

In addition to more than 500,000 spring blooms, 3,000 azaleas and 100 Japanese cherry trees, there will be a Fairy Tale Castle exhibit sponsored by Lambert’s and Moore Tree Care. The seven fairy tale castles built by local architects include “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “Rapunzel” and “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters.”

Each castle has a storybook in front of it that gives a synopsis of the children’s tale. The goal behind the exhibit is to capture the imagination of children and promote the importance of literacy, according to the Arboretum.

But why fairytale castles?

“There are so many fairytales that have gardens involved in the fairytales,” Emrich said.

For example, there are gardens under the sea in “The Little Mermaid.” In “Jack and the Beanstalk,” Jack’s mother throws the beans into a garden and rapunzel is actually an herb.

Many children were running around the park from castle to castle, including Natalie Melancon.

“I haven’t seen them all yet, but I’m pretty excited about Rapunzel, but I think I’ll like them all,” she said.

Although the Fairy Tale Castle exhibit debuted on Dallas Blooms’ opening day, the castles will remain until Dec. 31.

“We have found that having structures such as the fairy tale castle gets a lot of attendance and a lot of interest with the kids,” Semyan said.

The Dallas Blooms festival also features two tulips that are unique to the Dallas Arboretum: the Laura Bush tulip and the first ever Dallas Bloom tulip. The Laura Bush tulip is a pink colored tulip that was bred specifically to the former first lady’s liking.

“We got the Laura Bush tulip because we knew that Laura Bush was going to be here in Dallas,” Emrich said.

The Dallas Bloom tulip is a purplish tulip that ties in nicely with the festival’s color for this year- purple. Emrich said the Arboretum chose purple because it is a royal color and therefore accurately represents the theme “It’s a Fairy Tale World.”

Capital One has joined in the festivities as well. The company will be running two promotions during the event. The first promotion is the “make your home your castle” promotion. The winner will receive a $10,000 landscape makeover. You can enter by going to a Capital One Bank in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and filling out an entry form.

The second promotion is “buy one get one free” Tuesdays. The coupons are available at any Capital One Bank location in the DFW metroplex.

In addition to the Dallas Blooms event, the Dallas Arboretum is breaking ground for two new projects later this month. It will break ground for the Nancy Rutchick Red Maple Rill on March 8 and for the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden on March 21.

The Red Maple Rill will be located on the south end of the concert lawn and will feature 150-year-old maple trees and many water features and will have an emphasis on peace and serenity, according to Coke.

“This will be a place to stroll or sit and think, meditate, chat, read, whatever is on your agenda for that particular visit, a very inviting, very serene place to be,” he said.

The Children’s Adventure Garden will be a seven-acre facility with 15 teaching stations and a state of the art computer lab.

“This facility is going to be the world’s finest educational facility for children K1-6 on life and earth sciences anywhere.  There will be nothing like it in the world,” Coke said.

He said about the Dallas Arboretum, “If you think it’s a landmark today, just wait.”

Although the exhibits and the scenery are important, Shelly Slater, a reporter and anchor for WFAA and one of the speakers at the opening day proclamation, reminded guests that the spring festival was about more than just the blooms.

“This truly is a place that’s not just about the flowers and the ambience,” Slater said. “I think it’s about bringing families together.”