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


An Open Letter to Mac Squared

Dear Mr. McClaran,

Although I really wish we could be friends in real life because your surname bears a marked resemblance to the famed watering hole of “How I Met Your Mother,” and I absolutely love that show, I don’t think we’d get along. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.

However, that’s simply not a good enough reason to attack your recent op-ed column — personal, petty differences have no place in public print (even if alliteration does). Besides, your flimsy use of the Holy Bible as a cheap shot of ethos, your broad but shallow treatment of delicate and complex gender issues, your awkwardly written inflammation of the ever-present abortion debate, and your inability to properly construct and implement a compound sentence all leave plenty of fodder for a reactionary column that could fuel a kind of print war that the likes of which has not been seen since the days of Hearst and Pulitzer.

But I’m not going to do that. Because you have a point.

Maybe even a valid point.

I would agree with you that SMU (and in light of recent events, our government) could use a few more good men. And women, since they can vote now and all. However, I would argue that both genders become their mature and adult counterparts for strikingly similar reasons, not because they’ve passed major, gender-specific milestones defined by a form of religion or a definition of gender to which they may not personally prescribe. Good people are good people and we need more of them.

Simple as that.

To follow in your vein of family values and filial relationships…a man isn’t a man because he got hitched; he’s a man because he is capable of making the vows and commitments one would expect to find in a marriage. He isn’t a man or a father because his name is on someone’s birth certificate; he is a man and a father because he is a teacher, a role model and an advisor to his children. Or maybe not to his kids, because he didn’t want kids, or he couldn’t have kids. But to somebody.

We all have that friend, the trusted counselor, the pep talk giver, the “pull yourself together, I know you’re better than this” lecturer who pushes each of us to be a more excellent version of ourselves every time we need it most. If you haven’t found that person, start looking — everybody needs that somebody.

For some people, that’s their biological dads, for some it’s a stepfather, an uncle, a biological/step/fraternity brother, a coach, a significant other, a roommate, a friend, a mother, a biological/step/sorority sister — wait. Hold on a minute. Wait one darn second.

Women can do this too?

What a surprise. A person who is capable and wants to “carr[y] certain convictions that he does not stray from,” a person who “knows his own mind and makes rational decisions…makes commitments and keeps his word,” a person who “leads with quiet assurance and a strong sense of purpose and faith” doesn’t have to be a father. They don’t have to be a husband. They don’t even have to be in possession of a Y chromosome.

They just have to be a quality human being who treats themselves and those around them with respect, honor and dignity and does their personal best every day, in the best way they know how.

So I agree with you, Mr. McClaran. Those kinds of people are in desperately short supply. And I would say SMU has the opportunity to create many of those kinds of people with the entrance of your freshman class and the current student body — a college campus is a limitless ocean of untapped potential waiting to transform and be transformed by time spent at a great university like this one. I personally think that this kind of growth must be a conscious effort, only attempted by the brave of heart, those willing to “lead their peers honorably,” and those who don’t fear what change can bring. But I think every Mustang can grow through their time at SMU and ultimately, after changing themselves, change the universe.

After all, there’s a billboard off 75 that says just that… “world changers shaped here.”

So don’t ask your fellow boys to man up.

Ask your fellow students to Pony Up.

Dunn is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering and math.

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