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 professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Owning SMU stereotypes

I was recently a part of a focus group for a friend’s communications studies class. We discussed the perception of SMU both from the inside and the outside. I won’t really go into depth about what we talked about, as I think that I would be stealing their thunder, but I do want to share with SMU a few thoughts that the study brought to my mind.

Recently, SMU has gotten either bad or good press, depending on how snobbish you choose to see both yourself and the school, from an Elite Daily article.

If you thought to yourself that our “snobbish elitism” was a good thing, then I am here to tell you that you’re not alone.

I like being proud of my school.

Dressing up for game days and class, as well as being from the South, are stereotypes perpetuated in the article as well as other articles about our fine institution of higher education. 

I, for one, will not apologize for what has become tradition at this school, no matter how one person or a group of people sees it. It has become a part of me to do the aforementioned.

We do have our problems, but the point is that I don’t care about what the outside community has to say about them, and hopefully you don’t either.

I get it: one major problem that gets talked about is our lack of diversity.

But here’s the thing: we are just as diverse as the U.S. in general.

The 2010 U.S. census puts the minority population – counting ethnic and racial stratum – of the whole country at about 37 percent, nearly the same level as the SMU statistics say we are.

It may not be ideal for the community at large. But I must say, for a school that is “exclusive,” according to the stereotypes about us we sure don’t put our supposedly monster sums of money where our mouths are.

In case you didn’t get one of the zillion emails I got, all three of our executive officers in the Student Senate are minorities and one is an international student.

If we are borderline white supremacists with money as we are sometimes made out to be, we sure are bad at it.

Another compliment/complaint discussed in the group was that we are ridiculously Greek-centric (if that isn’t a word, I call dibs).

Now, my response is that just because you aren’t Greek doesn’t mean that you cannot throw a party or do things as a group. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. Plenty of my non-Greek friends (yes, I know that could be surprising to some) have some of the best parties I’ve been to all year.

So be who our stereotype makes us out to be here at SMU. You should be able to dress however you want, even if you want to dress like the adult you are.

That is just awesome; don’t worry about what the rest of the world has to say about it.

If you are Greek, so is every other person at the school. If you are not Greek, congrats, I don’t care.

The heart of these issues is that people are making a ton of noise about what other people write about us.

I think the people who know the SMU community the best are in the SMU community already, so it may just be the stupidest thing in the world to listen to the Elite Daily or whatever it’s called and draw conclusions about ourselves from what other people think about us.

Saul is a sophomore majoring in journalism.  

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