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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Letters to the Editor

Lark-in pot holes

Dear Editor:

After the heavy rains of last week, I pulled out of SMU’s northernmost commuter lot and witnessed two birds bathing alongside one another. Unfortunately, the birds’ bathing ritual was set in a couple of the lot’s more impressive potholes.

I was raised in here in Texas. In fact, I have lived in the Lone Star State all of my life. An age-old dictum suggests “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Apparently, our potholes are not exempt.

Now, I don’t have a particular hatred of birds, and I’m certainly not one of the few Americans suffering from ornithophobia (it’s an intense fear of birds, but you could check that out yourself). But the potholes to which I am referring were large enough to accommodate the two grackles bathing in them. True, grackles are not among peoples’ most admired birds, and I’d be willing to bet that nobody would ever write a protest song concerning the “Salvation of the Grackles.” Okay, perhaps I would have been more tolerant if I saw two robins or cardinals bathing in the parking lot. Anyway, grackles are much larger than titmice. They are twice the size of sparrows and chickadees. My point is that the grackle is a fairly large bird. In fact, I think that the two I saw must have been “Texas-sized” as well.

The good news for students that park in this particular lot is that it shouldn’t be long before these potholes are filled. The bad news is that the university recently proposed that an increase in parking fees is necessary to rectify the inconvenience of bird-infested potholes. In two years’ time, the cost per semester for the right to park has jumped from $40 to $100. Now, I am sure that the escalation in tuition for the coming year is justified. I mean, given the university’s “plummeting” budget, who could doubt that the 5 percent upsurge in fees is essential for the stabilization of the university’s financial status?

It’s “unfortunate” for the students that someone couldn’t find a way to fund the restoration of the parking lot’s integrity sometime between deciding to charge an extra thousand-dollar per student in tuition and jacking up parking fees by 33 percent. Hopefully, the aforementioned will be taken into consideration when determining how to fund the creation of SMU’s bird sanctuary, location TBD.

Collin Hagood
Graduate Student
Clinical Psychology

Spring break in Dallas

Dear The Daily Campus:

I enjoyed your article last week concerning SMU students who choose alternative spring breaks. Reading about young people from our campus who would rather spend their break serving the larger community instead of being served by it – in a resort or on a beach somewhere – confirms my belief that most of our students are, indeed, a “cut above” the rest.

In fact, many SMU students serve the larger community right here in Dallas throughout the semester, without waiting for break. Over 50 of my English 1302 students have been volunteering 15 hours each (around 800 hours in all) at a local nursing home for the elderly. They assist the nursing home residents, some of whom are diminished mentally as well as physically, with various activities such as playing bingo, singing hymns, finding a space at the dining table and having manicures.

One student has more or less adopted an older man who doesn’t talk much but enjoys western movies, so the student brings an old western on video for the two of them to watch together. Five or six students are accompanying several elderly residents on a trip to the Arboretum next week; and 15 or so students are producing and performing in a talent show at the nursing home on April 20.

While it’s wonderful that our students spend break out in California helping the homeless or over in Mississippi teaching youngsters how to read, it’s also pretty spectacular that SMU students give their time to lonely old folks in our local community who appreciate their company, their youth and their smiles.

Mary K. Jackman, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Rhetoric Program

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