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


Students represent trustees

Each academic year, one student is selected to serve on the highest governing body of Southern Methodist University, the Board of Trustees. The Student Trustee has one vote in the 42 person board, just like any trustee. He or she represents the student perspective along with nine other students who sit on the board’s standing committees, including the student body president.

The mission of the SRBOT is “to serve as the liaison from the SMU student body to the board of trustees and its standing committees. The SRBOT will seek to gain input from all parts of the SMU student community and will represent them fairly and completely to both the board of trustees and the administration. As advocates of student issues, they will conduct themselves with integrity and confidentiality in all matters.” Below the outgoing and incoming SRBOT share their perspectives on the significance of the SRBOT positions.


2011-2012 Student Trustee: Adriana Martinez

I have had the honor of serving SMU, and in particular the student body, as the 2011 to 2012 Student Trustee. I would like to share some of the innumerable insights that I have gained this year.

First, it is significant that at every level of decision making at SMU, there is always a student. This is a priority for the university. The name of the student may change from year to year, but even in the highest governing body of the university, one of the voting members is a student representative. This is not the case at the majority of higher education institutions, and it has not always been the case at SMU either. Yet today, it is a protected and institutionalized reality. This is the greatest reminder of why I am proud to be a Mustang.

Second, why confidentiality? Each and every member of the SMU Board of Trustees is thoughtfully selected for the unique contributions that he or she can bring to the university.

Confidentiality is a safeguard that guarantees candor and the best advice from our trustees. A head of state demands confidentiality in his or her meetings with a national security advisor because it assures that the advisor will be honest and direct in giving the best advice. When this advice has been vetted and all alternatives strategically considered, then the decision of the board is strong because it is one. As such, it is delivered with the support and force of the entire board. Confidentiality preserves and upholds the valuable contributions of each individual and the power of the board as a whole.

Finally, throughout the year I have been asked, “What is it that you talk about in those quarterly meetings behind closed doors?” And the answer is simple – look around. The excitement at SMU is palpable. Change is quickly becoming the only constant. The advancement of this university academically, in athletics and physically is the direct result of those conversations. The Board of Trustees determines a macro, grand strategy sort of vision for the university’s growth and development.
To the extent that we are extraordinarily successful in both, the work of the board is easy to distinguish.

In retrospect, serving as the student trustee this academic year has been indescribable. Despite being a very verbose person, I still struggle to find the words to describe this life- changing experience.

More than anything, however, I would like to thank the SMU student body for trusting me with this position. Know that you are at a university that values each and every student voice.


2012-2013 Student Trustee: John Oakes

One of the greatest aspects about SMU is the constant involvement of students in leadership roles at every level of the university. I am extremely humbled and honored to serve in one of those leadership roles as the SMU Student Trustee for the 2012 to 2013 year. The fact that our university allows one student every year to be a full voting member of the Board of Trustees speaks volumes about SMU. Regardless of whether the person sitting in that seat is Adriana Martinez, John Oakes or any of the extremely qualified students that have preceded or will follow, we can be proud as mustangs to say that a student always has a voice in the governing body of SMU.

SMU is in a remarkable period of positive transition as we continue to usher in the second century with the development of issues such as the move to the Big East Conference, the opening of the Bush Library and the construction of the sophomore housing. As a representative of the student body, I truly look forward to interacting with the other members of the Board of Trustees over these issues and others during the 2012 to 2013 year. Additionally, I am so blessed be surrounded by such an unbelievable group of student representatives serving on the Board’s Standing Committees next year. Successfully implementing change and fulfilling goals for the year is absolutely achievable with such a talented group of individuals working together.

In addition to effectively facilitating communication between the Board of Trustees and the university community, the 2012 to 2013 Student Representatives will focus largely on the Centennial Student Feedback Report. With the large help of Student Senate’s Student Concerns Survey, the 2011 to 2012 student representatives to the Board of Trustees met with a variety of student groups and held various student forums to develop the Centennial Student Feedback Report gauging the opinions of over 1,500 students about their university experience. Information gathering, assessment of implementation and execution will oscillate by academic year culminating with SMU’s Centennial in 2015.

The 2012 to 2013 Student Representatives to the Board of Trustees will collaborate with the Board of Trustees, SMU Administrators, Student Senate and other campus organizations to initiate the implementation process with practical and positive changes derived from issues found in the Centennial Student Feedback Report.

We all attend an unbelievable university and 2012 to 2013 will undoubtedly be a continued time of unbridled excitement and development at SMU. Go Mustangs.


Building and Grounds Committee

2011-2012 Student Representative: Kari Rood

Serving as the Buildings and Grounds Committee representative for the past year allowed me the opportunity to see the physical expansion of this university first hand. With the most recent Centennial groundbreaking, our campus will be seeing over half a billion dollars worth of construction going up around campus. The renovations and new facilities are all thanks to the generous contributions of SMU alumni who have a passion for this university – just like we do. My favorite moment on the board this year was getting the opportunity to speak with Gary Crum and Gerald Ford about why they feel it is so important to give back to this university that gives us all so much. I have been blessed in my time here, and I look forward to how the new wave of student representatives will make its impact.

2012-2013 Student Representative: Brian Horan

I am honored and privileged to serve as the student representative on the Buildings and Grounds Committee for the 2012 to 2013 academic year. There is no doubt that the beauty of our campus is an asset and is rivaled by few other campuses in the nation. Not only the buildings themselves, but also the landscape, consistency in architecture, symmetrical layout and surrounding areas make the campus what it is today. I welcome the opportunity to discuss policies with the trustees that will shape our campus and affect future generations of SMU students. I look forward to forging relationships with Gary Crum, Bobby Lyle, President R. Gerald Turner and others as I act as a liaison between the student body and the board.

I understand that the aesthetic quality of the university will continue to improve with the completion of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, renovations to Moody Colise
um, an updated health center and the addition of new tennis courts. I also recognize that as we continue to grow, there will be increased emphasis on environmentally conscious construction.

Using LEED Gold standards, SMU demonstrates its commitment to innovative design and technology in an effort to preserve our natural resources. Again, I look forward to serving on the committee and working with a dedicated group of student trustees to inspire positive change for our university.


Committee on Academic Policy, Planning and Management

2011-2012 Student Representative: Kevin Eaton

Serving on the Committee on Academic Policy, Planning and Management (CAPPM) this year has been both a rewarding and eye-opening experience. It was rewarding because it was a capstone to all of the work that I have done here at SMU and it enabled me to give back by being a representative of the student body to the board of trustees. It was eye-opening because I got to see and hear firsthand about all of the exciting programs and curricular developments being implemented across campus. From the establishment of a new minor in law and legal reasoning, to the addition of the human rights major, the committee worked tirelessly this year to help SMU continue its quest to break through into the top 50 colleges and universities in the United States In my opinion, SMU is already a member of that elite group But, I am confident that with the programs that CAPPM approved this year and with the dedication to academic improvement displayed by all of the trustees with whom I worked this year, SMU will continue to be acknowledged by more and more people nationally as a university committed to academic excellence.

2012-2013 Student Representative: Hannah Bliss

By allowing its undergraduate students to serve on the Board of Trustees and its various committees, SMU once again shows its unceasing commitment to student involvement and student empowerment. I view my upcoming service on the Academic Policy, Planning and Management Committee as an incredible honor and unique opportunity to participate in the future development of SMU as one of the nation’s top academic institutions. I am looking forward to working alongside the board members and administrators as they take steps to improve the quality of SMU’s degree programs and to offer the best possible education to the student body. After spending a semester abroad in Ecuador, I am especially interested in discussing the importance of improving diversity in the student population by attracting students from underrepresented groups. CAPPM is responsible for the hiring and extension of faculty members, so I am excited to see this process in action as well. I am thrilled to be able to share in the responsibility and honor of serving as a student representative.


Development and External Affairs Committee

2011-2012 Student Representative: Eugenie Robichaux

It has truly been a privilege to serve as this year’s student representative to the Development and External Affairs Committee. As a graduate student, serving in this capacity has made me feel immeasurably more closely connected with the university as a whole, so that my SMU experience has expanded beyond the law quad. Being privy to the overarching vision that guides the university and the trustees and administrators, who so faithfully execute these goals, has been an invaluable experience. Finally, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have learned from and interacted with students, my fellow student representatives and the esteemed individuals who give their time and energy in service to the board of trustees and its standing committees.

2012-2013 Student Representative: William Badarak

It is an honor and a privilege to be able to take this position as a student representative to the development and external affairs committee of the SMU Board of Trustees. In the coming year, I look forward to working with my fellow student representatives to continue the path set by this year’s representatives, further aligning the university population with the overall goals set by the board of trustees.

Specifically, I hope to more fully understand both the development and branding initiatives the university has set into motion and align the various organizations I work with cohesively with the university’s Second Century Campaign goals. I am humbled to have the opportunity to interact and work with such accomplished individuals and am committed to leaving a positive and lasting mark in the organization.


Investment Committee

2011-2012 Student Representative: Chase Michalek

Sitting on the investment committee this past year has been a truly rewarding and humbling experience. Not only was I able to learn about the endowment’s asset allocation, but I was also able to participate in high-level macroeconomic discussions of topics involving the European sovereign debt crisis, China’s slowing GDP growth and current domestic market conditions. The magnitude of these discussions coupled with the participation of intelligent industry giants add tremendous value to the growth and continued success of the university’s endowment. My experience on the investments committee has been a paramount in my undergraduate education and I know I will continue to grow these newly formed relationships outside the boardroom.

2012-2013 Student Representative: Eric Sabandal

I’m excited to be joining such a dynamic committee on the board of trustees. This is a tremendous opportunity to not just see the practical applications of my classroom teachings, but also to learn from some of SMU’s most distinguished and insightful leaders. I am eager more to learn more about the committee’s operations and the endowment’s relevance to the university’s broader strategic planning.


Finance Committee

2011-2012 Student Representative: Christoph Schmidt

This past year I had the privilege of sitting on the finance and audit standing committees of SMU’s Board of Trustees, yet the most valuable aspect of the experience had nothing to do with finance or accounting or even meeting some of the most impressive individuals you could imagine.

My favorite part?

The seven student forums the SRBOT group hosted throughout fall 2011.

It may seem odd for a finance major to find the forums to have served as the most meaningful aspect of his time as the student representative.

Yet they were.

In the forums, I had the opportunity to meet with SMU students from all corners of campus. In meeting with the SMU scholars, I learned more about ways in which we could improve our interdisciplinary studies as well as basic resource demands, such as new desks in Dallas Hall.

During our forum with SAAC, I discovered just how necessary upgrades to our natatorium are.

In meeting with Student Senate, the forum revolved around the expansion of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and scholarship needs and transparency.

While students offered constructive criticism, many also raved about numerous aspects of our university, noting in particular President Turner’s building spree, the recent success of the football program, the beauty of the campus and the study abroad programs.

I have cherished my time as the student representative to the Finance and Audit Standing Committees of the Board of Trustees, and while it was an honor to meet many of SMU’s visionaries and beneficiaries, I enjoyed most working alongside my SRBOT colleagues in developing the Centennial Student Feedback Report for the Board of Trustees.

Ultimately, this report is our way of communicating the thoughts and comments of the student body to the governing board of this university.

What student doesn’t desire to have his or her voice in the ear of those responsible for the vision of the second century?

2012-2013 Stu
dent Representative: James Moreton

I am looking forward to many aspects of sitting on the Finance and Audit Committees of SMU’s Board of Trustees. Last year, student representatives spent much of the year holding student forums to find out which issues SMU students felt most strongly needed to be addressed.

They compiled a report that documented the biggest issues in both the short and long term.

I am most looking forward to working with the upcoming student representatives as we try to implement measures to improve campus offerings for our students.

I am excited to give back to SMU and serve as a liaison between the students and the Board of Trustees.

I think that student representatives play a crucial role in providing a student perspective on policies, and I look forward to continuing a task that was handled so well by last year’s student representatives.

We have some very large shoes to fill after the 2011 to 2012 student representatives pass on the responsibility, but I am confident in next year’s dedicated students and look forward to the opportunity to work closely with such talented and hard-working students.


Athletics Committee

2011-2012 Student Representative: Kelvin Beachum

As a football student athlete as well as a student representative to the SMU Board of Trustees, I’ve had the pleasure and delight to have an impact as a student on this campus and the Athletics Standing Committee. I can attest to the rigorous schedule for student athletes, and enjoy the perspective I was able to give the committee as an “at risk” student athlete enrolling into SMU, undergraduate student and graduate student. I was able to aid the committee with advice as the athletics department opened the Center of the Development of Student-Athletes.

As a student athlete, I’ve had the privilege to witness and also be a member of these exciting times in SMU history. The renovations of Moody Coliseum, the Tennis Complex and many other initiatives influenced by the very committee I serve on. I have seen how the progress of SMU athletics has made the SMU Centennial years all the more sweet, in particular with the move from the Conference USA to the Big East conference, especially for the committed men and women on the athletics standing committee. As my time at SMU approaches its end, I urge that you heavily consider leaving a legacy and mark on this university by working to better SMU.

2012-2013 Student Representative: Margaret Ellen Crawford

I am incredibly honored to serve as the student representative to the Athletics Committee this upcoming year. In light of the major transformations to come in our Athletics here at SMU – like the move to the Big East, switching over to Nike, as well as welcoming Larry Brown to SMU – I cannot wait to jump in and continue on the path that Kelvin established before me. I believe that school spirit and student support are essential to the success of our athletes, and I hope to continue working with both current athletes and the student body by voicing their opinions to the Board of Trustees in order to develop these factors in our transition to the Big East. This is a huge time for SMU Athletics, and I am so excited to learn from this experience and represent SMU to the best of my ability.


Student Affairs Committee

2011-2012 Student Representative: Derek K. Hubbard

This past year, I’ve had the opportunity to serve the SMU community in a very special capacity. As one of the student representatives to the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, I worked more closely with the issues and concerns affecting our student body. Through this position, I learned just how passionate I am about SMU. The university has afforded me many wonderful opportunities, and it has been my duty to give back in a way that is unique. Presenting student opinion and suggestions to the trustees proves that each of them is willing and able to help improve the quality of student life on campus. I sincerely hope that more students understand the work that each Trustee puts in to provide for the university. After two years of service with the Board of Trustees, I’m confident that the time, effort and energy spent by each individual is improving various aspects around campus.

It has been a fantastic year to be a part of such a prestigious group of individuals. I wish much success to Amie and Elise as the transition into their positions on the Student Affairs Committee. Finally, I’d like to send a special thank you to the other student representatives with whom I have served. It has been my pleasure to work with you all. To the SMU community, continue to have unbridled success as you write the next 100 years for the university. Pony up!

2011-2012 Student Representative: Bethany Mackingtee

Serving as a representative to the Board of Trustees’ Student Affairs committee has been one of the best experiences I have had at SMU. It has allowed me to serve SMU in a capacity that permits me to serve the entire student body. One of the initiatives that I feel will impact students after I am gone is the Centennial Student Feedback Project. As a body, the Student Representatives to the Board of Trustees worked with student leaders and scholars across campus to come up with a few easy fixes to improve the quality of student life. After presenting it to the board, the trustees were so excited to see the project through and were willing to work on ways to immediately bring our solutions to fruition. This was a memorable moment for me because I got to see a side of the Board of Trustees that most students do not see – just how passionate the Trustees are about SMU and improving student life. Their love for SMU is woven into the fabric of the university. Everything from the quality of students to the gorgeous buildings is a product of their faithfulness and undying love for the university. 

2012-2013 Student Representative: Elise McDonald

I am honored to be selected as one of the student body’s representatives to the SMU Board of Trustees, Student Affairs Committee for 2012 to 2013. I believe it is important not only for the Board to consider the student perspective on potential Board decisions, but also, and perhaps more importantly, for students to understand all of the opportunities that the Board creates for them. While the work of each Board committee impacts current students, the work of the Student Affairs Committee is perhaps the most noticeable and impactful to them. Student Affairs is also the committee that seeks student opinions and reactions the most. As one of the committee’s two student representatives, I hope to effectively convey the broad spectrum of student opinions and reactions to the committee’s recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Like each member of the Board of Trustees, I am committed to helping enhance the quality of student life at SMU and the caliber of our University to ensure an unbridled future.

2012-2013 Student Representative: Amie Kromis

As the pulse of SMU’s campus, it is pertinent for students to have our voices heard regarding major decisions that will affect the university. Thankfully, SMU recognizes that fact and created the student body representatives to the Board of Trustees. It is an honor to serve as one of the student body’s representatives to the student affairs committee for the 2012 to 2013 academic year. I hope to voice the opinions, needs and wants of the SMU student body to make our university better than ever. It is a thrill to continue the work of Derek Hubbard and Bethany Mackingtee and to recognize the impact of a student voice in all decisions of the university.

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