Snow Blankets Dallas, SMU Remains Closed

February 4, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

By Elizabeth Lowe and Aida Ahmed

Updated at 10:10 a.m.

SMU announced Thursday afternoon by e-mail that campus will be closed Friday. This is the first day this week SMU has notified students the day before a closing.

Despite sheets of ice still covering most of campus, the university claimed Wednesday that campus would be open for Thursday. Continuous cold temperatures and hazardous roads forced the school to close a third day, following schools across the metroplex.

The Daily Mustang asked students via Twitter to send in pictures of themselves and friends on this "snow week." Jonah Lamon submitted this picture of a student on campus cleaning the ice off his car.

The National Weather Service forecast for snow has come true Friday morning. The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex was blanketed in snow and is expecting a second band in the afternoon.

According to, the high for Friday will be 25 degrees. The low for the night will be 16 degrees.

There is still hope that the weather will clear up for Super Bowl Sunday with a forecast of sunny skies and highs in the lower 40s for Saturday. Sunday will be mostly sunny and highs will remain in the mid 40s.

Stay tuned for updates on our site and follow SMU’s official Twitter account for up-to-the-minute announcements.

SMU students took note Wednesday as travel and campus safety became a rising concern. SMU students took to social media sites to protest the opening making a Class Boycott Facebook page and telling the university their opinions via the school’s Twitter page.

Over 2,000 students were invited to organize over Facebook for a “Reverse The Decision SMU” event. Those who joined the event posted photos throughout the evening of risky ice in the area. The students cited other school closings and student/faculty safety as reasons for SMU to appeal it’s decision to re-open campus.

Daily Update: Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010

August 31, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Daily Update: Aug, 31 2010 from on Vimeo.

Watch today’s Daily Update to see footage from the reception welcoming the new dean of Dedman College. Also, learn more about Hurricane Earl’s path of destruction and Biden’s trip to Iraq.

Sour Economy Sends One Student to UNT

April 22, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Laura May

Jakin Vela started out his college education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. But after spending one semester there, he realized it was not the school for him.

He moved back to his parents’ house in Richardson and decided to apply to the school of his dreams, Southern Methodist University.

He started his second semester of college as a film and psychology major at SMU. He applied for and received various student loans. Over time he become very active on campus. He was the president of SPECTRUM and a Dedman II senator.

But this semester, he is taking classes at University of North Texas–and it was not his first choice.

“I could not get my loans for SMU for the semester,” Vela said, “and when I found out that paying for school just wasn’t going to happen, I needed to act fast.”

‘Feeling the Burden’

Like many students across the country, Vela’s educational dreams have fallen victim to the national credit crunch.

“At the time of my application for loans, banks were closing left and right,” Vela said.

The bank Vela got a previous loan from stopped accepting loan applications because “they were feeling the burden of the economic downfall,” he said.

Unfortunately for Vela, he did not qualify for enough grants or federal loans to pay for SMU. Like many SMU students, Vela said his parents make too much money for him to be considered for any “considerably helpful amount” of financial need-based grants or federal loans.

“So, it’s like I’m stuck in the middle section where I don’t get enough of the help I need from either the government or my parents,” Vela said.

The federal government helps college students through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students have to fill out a detailed form to see how much, if any, government money they qualify for. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has a Web site to help Texas students with financial aid in Texas.

“My parents don’t make enough to just write a $36,000 check every year for school,” Vela said.

As a result, he moved to a school that he could afford. Vela, who said he is close to his family, has had to relocate to Denton and now has apartment expenses added to his financial worries.

Down Economy Affecting Hilltop’s Enrollment?

The big question for SMU is if prospective freshmen are feeling the economic pressures and not applying to SMU.

While numbers of applications for the fall 2009 semester are not yet available, some high school students are being affected by the poor economic climate.

Nora Henson is a counselor at Plano Senior High School and is currently sitting in on academic conferences with junior students to discuss college plans. While she said that no one has mentioned SMU by name, some students are considering community college options because of finances.

“The poor economy is definitely changing the direction of college plans for many students,” she said.

According to the lead counselor at Garland High School, Debbie Lee, students now have the perception that they need to switch their first choice school to a more economical option.

Even so, Lee says that despite the poor economy “quite a number of students are applying to SMU.”

Eclectic South Indian Music Fills Taubman Atrium

October 16, 2008 by · Comments Off 

By Nadia Dabbakeh

If you heard the strange sound of music wafting through the halls of the Owen Arts Center Wednesday afternoon, then you were listening to the complex Carnatic music of the South Indian group Ragalaya.

Brought to SMU by the Brown bag World Music Series, the group consists of some of India’s leading artists, percussionist Poovalur Srinivasan (known as Sriji), violinist Vittal Ramamurthy, and for the first time ever, their close friend, violinist Ganesh Prasad.

The concert was held at the Taubman Atrium, the heart of the OAC, where the couches and coffee tables scattered all around lent a comfortable and intimate vibe to the performance. People of all ages were able to sit back and relax and enjoy the music. Others seeking refuge from the rain were lucky enough to find some unexpected entertainment.

The musicians are also music professors at the University of North Texas. Some of the members of the audience consisted of UNT students who recently went on a study-abroad trip to India and became die-hard fans. Alex Valdes, senior music major, and Michael Morgan, sophomore art major, who were on the trip, said they skipped their class and drove from Denton to see the performance.

The three musicians sat a couple of feet off the ground on small podiums, with Sriji raised higher than the others on a cushion. While people settled in for the show, the musicians tuned their instruments, Sriji did this by peculiarly hitting his drum repeatedly with a rock on different areas and listening to the beat.

“We have a joke about that. In India they don’t have rock music, they have rock tuning,” Valdes said.

When the show started, the room grew quiet, as music one would imagine could only exist in ancient Indian folktales filled the room with a rich, upbeat harmonic minor. Soon the whole room was smiling, nodding their heads, and tapping the beats with their hands on their knees.

“They are so highly trained that their fingers are barely touching the strings,” Morgan said. “They are flawless as always.”

As the music swelled and curiosity brought even more people into the atrium, Prasad and Ramamurthy took turns playing, and responding to the music each created.? ? ? ?

Sriji later said this back and forth is because they are “improvising upon a highly specific and complex rhythm cycle,” and so as one [person] plays, the other listens and responds through his music and vice versa.

“This is the musical imitation of the words of a person. They are speaking to one another,” Valdes said.

“I’ve studied jazz and there are a lot of similarities in the way they are taking turns and improvising.” Valdes said. “But it’s cool to see it in something so different.”

The body language of the musicians was just as engaging as their music – Sriji’s face was expressive. His eyes were closing and then popping open in surprise while his head nodded to one side at different beats. His 5-year-old daughter was so enthralled by the music she got up and danced a traditional Indian dance, her ornamented Sari and gold jewelry jingled along to the tune.

The violinists swayed their hands to the music, and their fingers seemed to be counting along as well.

Sriji, said, “These hand gestures are used to keep track of the 16-beat-rhythm cycle, and to measure time.”

“I saw them in India too,” Morgan said. “It’s very different in that Indian setting, but no matter where they are, they are amazing – the words to describe this kind of music doesn’t exist yet.”

Volleyball Rolls to 3-Set Win Against Rival UNT

October 8, 2008 by · Comments Off 

Read more