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 tour service house

Tis the season of giving; the coming weeks will ask Americans togive everything from gifts to money to thanks.

A handful of SMU students, however, are immersed in the conceptsof service and cooperation every time they walk into theirhome.

The SMU Service House — or SMUSH — is locatedon the southeast corner of Airline Road and Dyer Street and hasbeen a mainstay of generosity on campus for nearly nine years.

According to RLSH North Area Coordinator Jessica Bowman, theidea to turn the former fraternity house into a charity-based homebegan with Jim Caswell, vice president for student affairs.

“He saw a need,” Bowman explained, “for peoplewho were looking for a community centered aroundservice.”

From that point on, the house has developed into a truecommunity, as a SMUSH recruitment flier advertises, “whereeverybody knows your name.”

Last night, residents held an open house for anyone interestedin making the comfortable quarters their home.

Sophomore Brittany Touchon, in her first semester in the servicehouse, compared the experience to that of living in a residencehall.

“In a large hall, it felt like everyone was stacked on oneanother,” she recalled. “Once I moved here, it reallyfelt like a home.”

According to Holly Titus Kleinschmidt, the service house halldirector, the family environment is the just beginning of thebenefits to life in SMUSH.

“Only 28 people can live here at one time,” shesaid, “so you get to know one another very well. In addition,we have a kitchen, so students don’t have to buy a mealplan.”

Potential residents were treated to a quick presentationexamining life in the house, including a flat screen TV, weeklyhouse meetings, and — of course — service.

“Each resident is required to do 30 hours of communityservice per semester,” Touchon explained,” 20individual hours and 10 house hours. We work closely with SPARC(Students Promoting Awareness, Responsibility and Citizenship) andAPO (service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.”

As Rissa Westerfield explained, membership in APO is notrequired to live in the house. “This is my third year livinghere,” she said, “and while I have been invited tojoin, I never did.”

Westerfield, program coordinator for the service house,continued, “They still invite me to help out with theirprojects, and I attend whenever I can. “In the house,we’re a family. It’s really nice when some of your bestfriends live just down the hall.”

With a limited number of openings for next semester, studentswishing to live in the house must fill out an online applicationand set up an interview time for next week.

Applications are available at

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