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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Corral boosts friendships

Three day meet and greet allows students to bond

One of many issues infiltrating through first-year minds may bethe possibility of new friendships away from home.

For this reason, the Office of New Student Programs will onceagain present the newest members of the SMU community with anopportunity to develop friendships with fellow first-years atMustang Corral, a three-day, two-night retreat in the beautifulTexas hill country.

Students will be divided at random into one of three retreatlocations – Glenlake, Riverbend, or Brazos each located aboutan hour and a half from Dallas.

As described in the registration brochure, “Mustang Corralwill create an off-campus, casual, and fun environment in which newstudents can become comfortable with the academic, social, andpersonal transitions of life at SMU.”

Entering its 14th year, Mustang Corral offers new students thechance to mesh and mingle before the added pressure of classes takecontrol.

“I clearly wouldn’t know as many people at school ifI didn’t attend [Mustang Corral],” said senior CCPA andSpanish double major Ryan Trimble, who will serve as one of 66Corral leaders this fall.

“I want the incoming class of Mustangs to have the samegreat experience that I had,” he continued, “and Ireally feel like I can instill some spirit in the newclass.”

Many have shared Trimble’s sentiments, as some of therelationships that stem from Mustang Corral prove invaluable as astudent continues past their first year.

“The most beneficial thing that I took from Mustang Corralwas the opportunity to meet the people I would be entering schoolwith,” said sophomore business and Spanish double majorMaribel Guzman.

“It was an opportunity to really get to know a smallgroup,” she continued. “In some of the larger classes,it was nice to see a familiar face.”

Through a diverse arrangement of activities that includeolympics, a talent show, and the ever-popular candlelighttradition, first-years will be given the opportunity to become moreat ease in their new surroundings.

According to junior advertising major Margery Nabors, one of thesix Mustang Corral directors this year, “Mustang Corral is agreat social orientation for incoming students.”

“Not only does [the weekend] give first-years theopportunity to interact with one another,” she explained,”but also with upperclassman and faculty members.”

While at Corral, each student will be placed in a group of aboutten other first-years, accompanied by an upperclassman group leadera SMU faculty or staff member.

It was the warm and welcoming charisma of group leaders thatcaught the attention of sophomore philosophy major TobyKnighton.

“Talking to sophomores, juniors, and seniors about whatSMU is like was my favorite part,” he said.

Senior CCPA major TK Stillman aspires for the Corral experienceto go beyond simply making new friends.

“I hope that the first-years will learn to explore theircareer options and do what they are called to do,” he said,”what will eventually make them happy.”

Of the roughly 1350 first-years to join our community this fall,about 700 will attend Mustang Corral, meaning that the majority ofthe Class of 2008 is expected to partake in SMU’s mostpopular orientation program.

Senior journalism major Brett Warner, a group leader at theRiverbend camp in 2003, said, “My favorite part of being aCorral leader was the personal interaction with the students, aswell as the faculty and staff.”

Asked to describe the benefits of attending Corral as afirst-year, Warner responded, “Many students who attendCorral come away with some of the closest friends they will haveduring their time at SMU.”

After attending Mustang Corral, leaders and directors hope forfirst-years to return to campus with a greater sense of communityand Mustang pride.

“I hope that everyone who participates in Mustang Corralfeels more comfortable with his or her fellow classmates by the endof the retreat,” Nabors said.

“Most of all,” she continued, “I hope MustangCorral instills a since of pride and spirit in the incoming Classof 2008.”

This year, Mustang Corral will take place from August 13 to the15, and costs $125, which includes transportation, air-conditionedlodging, all meals, t-shirts, and much more.

For more information, please contact the Office of New StudentPrograms at (214) 768-4560.

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