Faith, friends, and food: Student Mobilization at SMU

(DALLAS, Texas) Leaders of Student Mobilization (StuMo) gathered in Prothro Hall at Southern Methodist University in early March to discuss how the organization supports their Christian faith and transforms the way they live in every aspect of life.

StuMo has chapters on 30 college campuses aimed at helping students develop their leadership and character skills while enhancing spiritual development and one’s relationship with God.

“We read through passages with our leaders further along in their faith, ready to take the next step,” said campus staff member Jenna Howard of Austin, Texas. “They have established faith in themselves and want to impact others in their faith.”

Bonding is important for StuMo leaders, who come from various hometowns yet are united in their faith and dedication to the organization’s mission. Through a speed dating activity, leaders socialized while munching on chicken fingers from Raising Cane’s.

A highlight of the event was staff leader Levi Laseter of Atlanta, Georgia, reading Bible passages and leading group discussions. He focused on the meaning behind abiding in Christ and how it affects their daily lives.

SMU student leader Anaka Kinosian of Visalia, California, said she enjoyed spending time in God’s word.

“Being able to get together with other leaders and learn resourceful tools to abide in Christ amidst the busyness of life is a special thing,” Kinosian said. “These tools help us manage our stressful weeks of school and grow closer to God.”

Bella Edmonson, sophomore and student leader of North Carolina, said the discussions are always relatable and packed with wisdom.

SMU sophomore student leaders, Chloe Hooten and Taylor Kimball, posing for a photo at the leadership meeting.
SMU sophomore student leaders, Chloe Hooten and Taylor Kimball, posing for a photo at the leadership meeting. Photo credit: Sydney Strollo

“What makes StuMo different is how we strive to bring God to campus and mobilize students,” Edmonson said.

SMU sophomore and student leader, Stewart Pittman of Tampa, Florida said he appreciates StuMo for the sense of belonging it provides.

While leaders focused on the leadership and community aspect, staff members highlighted mentoring students.

“My favorite part is helping students no matter where they are with their faith,” the campus director for SMU’s chapter of StuMo, Candler Boortz of Springdale, Arkansas, said.

Howard, an SMU alumna, explained how StuMo goes beyond her post-grad years and influences her everyday life.

“I have the ability to be someone different in a college student’s life, and be a resource if they have questions about faith or following Jesus,” Howard said. “The average college student doesn’t have this person, and I am that for many students.”

Student leaders and staff members expressed their passion for the organization and what drove them to get involved while encouraging others to do the same.

“If you are looking to take the next step, or if you have no background and want to explore in college, StuMo is for you,” Boortz said.