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

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We’re not all snobs

 Were not all snobs
We’re not all snobs

We’re not all snobs

I would first like to express regret that Sara Snyder has not felt welcomed during her first weeks here on our campus. Moving to a new school can be stressful and intimidating, and moving to SMU is certainly a culture shock if you’re moving from anywhere other than Highland Park.

I have to say that when I started reading her article, “Rich Girl Persuasion,” I expected to be insulted and defensive, but I found it hard to argue with many of her observations.

To paraphrase her opinion piece, Sara feels like an outsider at SMU. She is a self proclaimed non-conformist stuck in a sea of judgmental Barbie dolls who adamantly disapprove of non-conformity.

She complains about several specific issues – the arrogant and self-centered attitudes of the students, the overall lack of common courtesy, the lack of interest in actually learning anything and most of all, the tendency of the student body to “fall in line in cookie cutter fashion” when it comes to their opinions and lifestyles.

I admire the fact that Sara wants to get as much out of her college experience (and tuition dollars) as possible, and I agree that diversity, open-mindedness and the freedom to explore multiple disciplines are crucial components to a fulfilling college experience. Although I can relate to some of her negative impressions, I would like to assure Sara that she can find that fulfilling experience here at SMU.

I have been a student at SMU for almost four years, and I have lived on campus for three of them (one in Virginia-Snyder and two in a sorority house). I have been observing the students here since my first visit to Dallas in 2002, and I would like to state that appearances can be deceiving.

Yes, many of the students here spend hours every day to look like they’ve fallen right out of an Abercrombie catalogue – or perhaps a Niemen Marcus one. Yes, many of them have ridiculously expensive cars, clothes, apartments and jewelry. More troubling, perhaps, is that many of them have no interest in learning any more than they have to. Cheating is so common that no one even bothers to hide it. Dwindling on-campus involvement and a lack of interest in school activities – including our sports teams – is also a tragedy. This is the bad news.

The good news is that behind all the Dior sunglasses, there really are a lot of genuine, unique and kind individuals at this school. I was really surprised when I joined a sorority and found that the girls were from all sorts of different backgrounds and had drastically different perspectives and opinions. I’ve lived among hippie vegetarians, sports fanatics, grungy alternative music fans, urban druggies, certified geniuses and, yes, preppy party girls.

And that’s just in my sorority! I also lived in the honors dorm and took lots of interesting liberal arts electives, and in that way I encountered even more diversity of thought. Although not all of it was positive, I have learned and experienced more in college than I ever imagined possible.

I honestly don’t even know much about the endless opportunities for growth and diversity on our campus because I barely have time to experience everything within my own sorority. But, there are dozens of clubs and organizations on campus that offer a wide range of experiences – from outdoor adventure to political lobbying. And there are daily opportunities to attend an interesting event on campus – theatre, dance, academic lectures, art exhibits, seminars and sporting events.

Some of us only have a few months left to get the most out of our college experience. We all make plenty of time to shop and party. I encourage everyone to also make time to do something else.

Get involved in some of these activities – go to a basketball game; visit the Meadows Museum; see a play. It’s what our tuition dollars pay for. I guarantee that you’ll be rewarded with good friends, an interesting perspective and a more meaningful college experience.

And perhaps outsiders and newcomers like Sara won’t see us all as such a bunch of ignorant, materialistic snobs.

 

Elizabeth George is a senior finance major. She may be reached at [email protected].

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