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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Outdoor Adventure Center goes airborne as Adventure Center hosts fall skydiving trip

The Dedman Center’s Outdoor Adventure Center will be holding a new trip that director David Chambers hopes will become a new tradition at SMU: skydiving. The upcoming trip, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 21 will be the OAC’s second. The first trip was run during the summer with the same organization, Skydive Dallas. It is based in Whitewright, Texas.

Chambers described Skydive Dallas as, “a very reputable class-A organization. They’re the only organization offering skydiving in North Texas.”

Jumpers can mingle and talk with other jumpers, instructors and teams as they pack their parachutes, prepare for jumps and practice midair routines. Skydive Dallas maintains its own airport, landing zones and two planes. Beginning jumpers work in tandem with professionals who are trained and responsible for the parachutes.

The first trip, brought in two current SMU students and three alumni. Currently, the OAC has confirmed double that number for this current trip. Chambers has high hopes for the future of the program.

“If we can fill the trip we’ll offer it again in the spring, and if that one proves to be just as successful, what we might do next fall is do the tandem jump and offer the opportunity to train for solo jumping.

“It’s a complicated process; it would involve six to eight hours of ground school before you even get in a plane.” He spoke to the idea that any future successes would reflect the OAC’s methods in bringing students together in otherwise hard-to-reach activities.

“We’ll introduce you to stuff and we’ll give you opportunities to follow up on that if that’s where your passion lies,” he said.

Chambers also expressed the notion that skydiving could become a new tradition at SMU, “We always like specific things that we offer to be traditional, we always do a backpacking trip, we always do a rock climbing trip and we want this to be one of those. When people come back from the summer we want them to have skydiving right off the bat, early in the year.”

With weather as a concern in the coming weeks, he assured that safety is the highest concern for the OAC and Skydive Dallas.

“If the weather changes, we’ll have to change plans,” he said. “Weather is one of those uncontrollable things that we have to deal with in our business. The great thing about this is we can do this on a Sunday or even on a Friday if the participants are willing.

“It’s a little bit easier to do than other activities that are limited by certain time of year or a certain type of place. The one thing is that if [Skydive Dallas] decides that the winds are too high, even on a bright sunny day, we won’t jump. We need to be somewhat flexible and adaptable and we need our participants to be that way too.”

The trip is scheduled as lasting all day. The cost is $199 for students and $219 for non-students.

Each SMU student that participates can bring one guest at the non-student rate. The capacity for the trip is twelve people, and at the time of this printing, ten are confirmed. Chambers expects the trip to be full by the deadline, which is the end of today. Any interested students should call Albert Mitugo, the OA assistant manager at 214-768-9918.

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