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

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Wage-earner or world-changer

Veritas Liberabit Vos
 Wage-earner or world-changer
Wage-earner or world-changer

Wage-earner or world-changer

During this past season the Mustang football team showed something it hadn’t shown in some time – a potential for greatness. Yet our team couldn’t seem to win a game for anything for the longest time.

The graduate and undergraduate programs here again show potential greatness, yet fall short. With each attempt to make a step forward in one area, this school seems to be taking five steps back elsewhere. For every positive bit of news about where the university is going, there is a whole chorus of naysayers from this school ready to point out our failings and direct us to conclude that greatness will be forever illusive for SMU.

Though SMU could easily become one of the top 20 educational institutions in America, this school is firmly entrenched in U.S. News and World Report’s second tier of national universities. That isn’t fourth tier, but that definitely isn’t a top 50 placement either – miles away from the well known claim that SMU is the “Harvard of the South.”

Yet we must not forget, greatness isn’t about the size of the endowment, or how rich or famous the school’s donors are, or how pretty a new building is. These are all things which can emphasize a school’s greatness, but in no way define it.

Greatness is an attitude. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT – students from these schools aren’t the best just because of multi-billion dollar endowments or highly-published professors. These are just signs of greatness. The students from the top schools are the best because they are trained to believe they are the best. Every professor, administrator, staff member, grad-student, undergraduate student and janitor all recognize that they are a part of a world-changing institution. Idealism, day-dreaming and goal-setting run rampant there. Every student is imbued with a sense that he is being equipped not simply to get a good job, but to leave an impression on the world about the institution he comes from, and that they must refuse to settle for second best.

Some have said that part of the reason why SMU isn’t at the top of its game is because of grade inflation. Yet Harvard recently recognized that its grade inflation was so bad (far worse than that of this school) that it totally re-designed its grading system.

If Harvard can have grade inflation and still be a top ten school, so can SMU.

We need to stop calling ourselves, “the Harvard of the South.” Harvard isn’t perfect. Our goal shouldn’t be meeting long-standing ambitions, but rather to create new standards. Our goal should be to see Harvard students being told that they are going to the “SMU of the North.”

The truth is that though SMU marketers can make a great deal about this school, most of the people directly involved with SMU don’t believe in it.

One professor once shared in class that a top-ranking official in the university administration once referred to this school as a “community college with a football team.” Everything that is said in private will eventually be known publicly, and the views of the movers and shakers on this campus are made known publicly through the type of student produced by SMU.

As a result of a common view that this school isn’t great or anywhere near greatness, this institution has become more interested in creating wage-earners than world-changers. Wage-earners care only about the size of their paycheck. World-changers care about the size of their impact. Wage-earners focus on that nice house with a nice car in their driveway they hope to see some day. World-changers focus on what they will do when they are at the top of their field and changing how people live their lives in the future.

Wage-earners come to college because “I was expected to,” or “I wanted to get into the (fill in the blank) sorority/fraternity.” World-changers go to college to prepare themselves with the tools they think they need to make a lasting impact or to prove a point.

Twenty years ago, SMU was heading up to the top of its game. It had an amazing football team and an increasingly excellent academic reputation. But this was all a ruse, as the football team and everything connected with it was part of a great lie. Now SMU has a chance to reach the top again, but now it must be done honestly, with passion and dedication. This depends on all involved – students, professors, advisers, administrators, staff members and on to the lowest paid members of SMU’s payroll.

This leaves the question for you dear reader: Are you a wage-earner or a world-changer?

No one remembers the wage-earners. They decide to be irrelevant to the whole of this world as they are caught up in the deep mire of their selfishness.

Someone always remembers the world-changers. These are the people who see how their every action affects every person around them. These are the people who want to see their lives count for something more than just a tombstone.

Veritas Liberabit Vos. The Truth Shall Make You Free. Ten out of 10 die. Everything you hold dear to you will be snatched from your hands by death. You must decide. What are you living for? Will you be a wage-earner, or a world-changer?

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