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

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

The unpleasant perks of alumni-hood

When I finished my master’s at SMU, I had a lot to be thankful about.

SMU had always been an unparalleled experience. I learned much more than computer engineering here; so many other things definitely contributed to my personality.

We all have a definite course we try to chart out for our lives. SMU also taught me how detracting from life’s charted courses can make me a more complete professional. Like I said in one of my articles before, the average of all the deviations we take in life is indeed what makes us an individual in a crowd.

SMU gave me a lifestyle: I overcame my phobia of swimming at the Dedman Center, I took stumbling steps towards learning music, I networked with a wider variety of individuals than ever before and I even got my inspiration for entrepreneurship.

In my last article last semester, I talked about how I took the first leap at the deep end of the pool at Dedman Center, and never stopped swimming. But then, I graduated! And poof — access denied!

So I graduated this summer semester, thank you very much. The customary congratulations and the best wishes for my future had been done and away with, and I became an alumnus.

And silently, sadly, stubbornly and abruptly, SMU passed me the message that I am no longer the student I had been just one week ago.

This is policy: it’s the way rules are, and the way the system works. But I cannot keep myself from musing if I had changed so much over one weekend.

The alumni membership at the gym is $600 on an yearly basis. The library would no longer lend me books that I had been studying from for my interviews unless I pay an annual fee.

The alumni system assumes resolutely that as soon as a student graduates he/she is now in the corporate world hauling in cash.

But has it ever been that way? Isn’t the very purpose of a college library to be helping students sustain their learning curve? Why do we have a full-fledged gym that is free for students in the first place, if it cannot ease and help a recent graduate into shifting his lifestyle to the new world he is entering into?

It may or may not be possible for SMU to give lifetime membership to all its students to the libraries, gym and various facilities. But it is definitely possible to not give students a kick in the back as they walk out of the graduation ceremony.

If I had access to the library for at least one more month after I graduated, it would have made my interview processes so
much easier.

At the very least, if I had any intimation from the gym regarding my membership termination, I wouldn’t have felt the depth with which SMU deserted me.

All of us might not earn enough money in life to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars for sponsoring a new fountain or a sidewalk on campus, because many of us have other priorities in life than money. But one thing always stays with us: our education.

We all go through school with stars in our eyes. And we build our dreams meticulously through persistence and determination through years of hard work. And the education I gain is my channel to achieve all this.

I shall always be proud of my alma mater and my
learning experience.

Sadly, though, it pains me that the school which made it all possible for me thinks I can do this overnight.

Sunil is a Lyle School of Engineering graduate.

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