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

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024
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Senate hosts town hall

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Mark Rhodes, Creston Lynch, Samantha Thomas, Brad Boeke and Larry Brown answer student questions about campus issues Thursday evening. (RYAN MILLER / The Daily Campus)


SMU students brought the top campus issues forward to a variety of administrators and faculty last night at a Town Hall in Hughes-Trigg Student Center hosted by Student Senate.

Students voiced their complaints, comments and suggestions about parking, campus safety, sexual assault, PerunaNet Wi-Fi, construction, diversity and the basketball team.

Many students had questions for men’s basketball Head Coach Larry Brown and the team’s upcoming season which begins in the American Airlines Center Nov. 8 against Texas Christian University.

“There’s no reason why we can’t be an elite team,” Brown said. “We’ve got a great school, live in a great city and we’re in a
great conference.”

Brown called for students to reach out to his players and include them in the SMU community.

“We have a lot of kids that are kind of out of place in this environment right now,” Brown said. “You can kind of recognize the guys that play on the basketball team. Our greatest hope is that our kids be part of the student body, that we bring in kids that you’re proud of, you want to be friends with. We don’t want our guys isolated like they’re different.”

Students directed questions about parking and crosswalk safety to Mark Rhodes, director of Parking and ID Card Services. Students commented on the amount of construction workers occupying parking spaces on campus, which are already overflowing with students, faculty and staff. Rhodes said the problem will soon be solved when the Moody Coliseum construction is complete. The renovated Moody Garage will reopen in January 2014. Another student complained about the crosswalk at Airline Road and Daniel Avenue that has reportedly had dysfunctional lighting since the summer. Rhodes said the issue has not been resolved due to logistical issues. One of the three palettes of materials needed to fix the crosswalk lighting was lost, Rhodes said, but that the crosswalk is close to being repaired.

Samantha Thomas, executive director for Access and Equity, and executive assistant to the president/Title IX coordinator, addressed all student concerns about campus safety and sexual assault reports. She stressed using the Giddy Up golf carts that transport students around campus from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. She also noted the resources on campus for students to report assaults — the Access and Equity Office, counseling and psychiatric services at Memorial Health Center and the SMU police. Thomas said that students shouldn’t be concerned about anonymity issues and that coming to the Access and Equity office does not have to turn into a full-fledged investigation. Additional resources can be found at smu.edu/liveresponsibly.

“I have to emphasize ‘be responsible,’” Thomas said. “Take care of each other. It doesn’t hurt to help a person get back to campus safely.”

Brad Boeke, director of Academic Technology Services, addressed concerns about the campus Wi-Fi, PerunaNet. Boeke said additional wireless access points are in the works, but the increased amount of devices on campus is what is causing the slow internet connection. He said the average student on campus has five devices, including cellphones, computers, video game consoles and tablets. Boeke welcomes student complaints, which he said help Technology Services solve problems.

“If you have problems with technology, don’t just take it,” Boeke said. “Call our help desk and complain.”

Boeke also discussed the email unsubscribe system that debuted this semester. Student Body Vice President Jaywin Malhi wrote a bill for the system two years ago as a senator and said it was great to see “we can make changes, it does take time though.”

Creston Lynch, director of Multicultural Student Affairs, spoke about campus diversity and the current initiatives on campus, including a leadership and diversity retreat this weekend called InterSECTIONS.

“The Multicultural Student Affairs office has constant efforts to engage students in conversation about diversity and being who you are and valuing each other,” Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios said.

MSA hosts “Real Talk” every second Tuesday of the month to discuss current, relevant events and the impact they have on diversity, equality and social justice. Lynch said MSA’s efforts cannot be successful unless there is student support.

All members of the panel encouraged students to reach out to their staffs with additional comments and concerns.

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