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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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Let’s love our beautiful campus

Lots of people like to write in the opinion column about something that bugs them. They like to complain about something odd about SMU: the campus, the area, etc. However, today, I would like to refute one of the most common complaints from students about SMU: that something is wrong with our campus.

For some reason, people like to complain about fountains, fresh flowers, and nicely manicured grass. These people are insane. If you want an ugly campus, you can always head about an hour west and go visit TCU. Their campus is filled with puke-colored brick buildings plastered in ugly purple décor.

The beautiful campus is one of the countless reasons why I chose to come to SMU. The first time visitor is stunned as soon as they arrive. They say first impressions are everything, so why not make a good one? Colleges do everything they can to attract the best students possible, and that includes keeping a nice appearance.

President Turner has a phrase that he is particularly fond of saying, especially at receptions with new and potential students and their parents. He always tells them, “Life’s too short to live on an ugly campus.” I love this quote and absolutely believe it.

I ruled out many campuses because the minute I stepped on campus I thought, “Wow, this place is a dump.” The school may have been great, but because I had a bad first impression, I already disliked it. As silly as it may sound, people like to live in a place that looks nice. You’re going to be here for four years, so you better like it.

Another thing that people like to complain about is SMU’s love of fountains. Maybe it’s just the mechanical engineer in me, but I love fountains. My personal favorite is the fountain by Simmons Hall and Dedman Life Sciences Building. It is beautiful, especially at night. The fountain changes colors and puts on quite a show. In fact, that entire area is probably my favorite area on campus. The landscaped mall with benches, flowers and lampposts is unique on campus. It is a little known area, but one that I love being in.

And by the way, while we’re talking about fountains: they aren’t the ungodly water guzzlers that opinion writers often make them out to be. There’s this really neat thing called a pump that pulls water in from the base of the fountain and shoots it back out again and again, reusing it constantly.

One last thing that people shouldn’t complain about: flowers. SMU has perhaps the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen. My personal favorite is the tulips that cover campus in the spring. Even though they only live for a few weeks, they are absolutely stunning. If you can’t appreciate the tulips (or other flowers, if that’s your cup of tea) then something is wrong with you! They are incredible! I have got to give props to the SMU groundskeepers. They are the best of the best.

I guess the common theme here is that people complain about “wasting money” on making the campus beautiful. Honestly, it’s a drop in the bucket.

Basically, a college spends money on all sorts of things that may not appeal to every single student. For instance, I don’t like basketball. Are Moody, the salaries of Coach Doh and the basketball staff, and all those basketball scholarships a waste of money? Of course not. Maybe they don’t benefit me personally, but they benefit the school as a whole, and that’s okay with me.

I know that they are just one part of the whole that makes a college great. There is no one thing that appeals to all students, alumni and potential students, so a college must cast a wide net and make itself the best it can be in all areas.

President Turner has a saying of “Top 25 in everything we do,” and I think we can safely say that SMU has accomplished that and more with its campus grounds.

Brad is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. 

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