The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Presidential Candidates

Taylor Thornley

Student life has always been important to me. I am currently a Student Senate Meadows Senator. Last year I was SMU’s Family Weekend Chair for Student Foundation. I have been involved with Alternative Spring Break and am on the executive board for my sorority, Pi Beta Phi. The summer after freshman year I was an AARO leader, and last year I was a Hilltop Ambassador.

We need to find out what needs to be done to shift students out of isolated groups and into one student body, from off campus back onto campus and from an attitude of apathy to ownership. It shouldn’t just be about the first-year experience, it should be about the four-year experience.

Advising: Advising programs should be consistent within every college, with advisors who are knowledgeable not only about their given department, but how to advise outside of the department as well. Within the first year, every student should create a four-year plan that is reviewed every semester with the advisor and updated as needed.

First Year Guidance Program: SMU needs to create a new program in place of Week of Welcome – a year-long mentoring program between upperclassmen and new students. Having an older mentor will help keep new students engaged with campus life the entire year as they become more accustomed to college life and face greater challenges. And with older students more connected with new students, it will keep upperclassmen engaged with the student body.

Creating a gathering place on campus: Hughes-Trigg has the potential to be a perfect gathering place for students outside of the classroom. Transforming SMU’s student center from a place of business into a place for students can help create a campus culture that keeps students on campus and active in the student body.

Bringing students back to campus: Students need to feel wanted and important. Every student needs to feel a sense of ownership in his or her education. We need to get the student body back on campus, and active and engaged in student life and the life of the university. It starts the first day of school – not just with the first year, but with everyone.

For more information about my campaign, please visit

Lamar Dowling

Hello, my fellow SMU students. My name is Lamar Dowling and I am currently running for student body president. Over the past year, I have had the privilege of serving SMU as student body secretary. This position has allowed me to learn a great deal about myself, grow a burning passion for SMU, and truly see how to effect positive change at our wonderful university. Throughout my involvement on campus, I have gained the experience, vision and relational skills needed to properly carry out the duties of student body president. While being student body secretary, I have been able to build close relationships with many organizations and members of the administration. Moreover, I have been able to meet and work with students from all walks of life and see the soul of the student body, the voice that can make a difference.

While there are many issues that need attention, there are three main issues that I want to address next year as student body president. First, we need to work to lower increases to tuition and fees. Every year, our tuition and fees are raised almost eight percent. While much of the money is going to make our university a better place, we have to work with the administration to find ways to creatively cut spending and make it more affordable for students to attend our great school. While some may think that this is impossible, I have learned much about the power of the student voice this year. After seeing the harsh effects of not having a fall break, I and the other student body officers shared this student concern with the Faculty Senate, provost and the president. They listened. We got fall break back. Our voice can be heard, and we can make a difference.

Secondly, we need an expansion or renovation of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. We truly need a student center that is not just a place we go for meetings, but also a place where students can hang out – a true hub of student activities. While it is a wonderful facility, it does not foster an environment for “student life.” Where are the couches, TVs, bowling lanes or late-night restaurants?

Lastly, we need to look at retention rates. Too often we attract wonderful students to SMU but lose them after their first year. This not only affects our monetary budget, but also our livelihood as an institution. We need to find ways not only to attract the smartest and brightest, but also keep them here to make a great impact on SMU and the future.

I do have many other issues I want to address. These are just a few that I feel need immediate attention and will do a great deal to make our university a better place! With your support, you and I will make a difference at SMU. I would appreciate your support today and Thursday, and when voting, remember, Lamar is raising the bar… even higher!

Rob Hayden

Today is the day to vote. I charge each and every voter with three things for this election. The first is to actually vote. Exercise your right. The second and third are as follows: Elect experience and elect your issues. Once you have this down, you can weigh the options and choose effectively.

When it comes to experiences on this campus, I have many. In service to the campus, I have fulfilled duties as a First-Year Senator, Dedman I Senator, and I currently serve as the senate chief of staff. I sit on the Senate Executive Committee, the Dedman Undergraduate Curriculum Council and numerous other boards and committees. As far as personal work, I am a Hunt Leadership Scholar and member of the University Honors Program. However, I do not truly believe that titles speak for the entirety of a person’s ability to lead. They are concrete examples of aptitude, but there’s certainly more to it. I believe the student body president must be a person with strong convictions, an understanding of the position’s power, a passion for the university, and a willingness to properly and effectively represent student interest in any arena. I believe I am that person. I believe I am that candidate.

There are many goals that I would like to accomplish if I am elected. First, I would like to make scholarships increase proportionally to tuition increases. If you arrive at SMU with a $10,000 per year scholarship, it is almost one-third of what you pay for the year. If tuition increases so much that by the time you are a senior your scholarship is worth only one-fourth of what you must pay, something is wrong. Bait and switch? We’re pricing our students out of an education. How can we as students help our scholarship programs raise more money to help our students cope with the rising cost of SMU’s tuition? Second, I would like to get more out of the health center. In the Drug and Alcohol Task Force Recommendation “H1,” we begin to discuss this issue. It’s a great start. We have to ask ourselves realistic questions. When are most SMU students going to the hospital? Thursday through Saturday nights. There are many other universities that have 24-hour health centers so that students do not have to debate the severity of calling an ambulance when in a frightening situation, usually regarding alcohol. Why can’t SMU offer a life-saving service for students that is only feet from any residence hall on campus? Sometimes it’s such a simple solution that can save a life. I want to address retention rates, academic advising, national rankings and the recruitment of minority students.

Lastly, I want to form a complete breakdown of all of the other recommendations on the DATF list, but I unfortunately do not have space for that here. Please visit my Facebook group “Vote Rob Hayden! SMU Student Body President” to read more information. Join! Invite friends! Feel free to prompt discussion by posting questions or comments regarding any of the material on my page. E-mail me with any questions ([email protected]). I look forward to the opportunity to earn your vote.

More to Discover