Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Recently announced that the Student Center will be renovated with brand new amenities; pools are super nice; campus is beautiful and constantly ranked one of the nicest in the nation; great clubs such as Student Senate, Student Foundation, Program Council, Greek Life, etc.

4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: There are a lot of traditions, like Boulevarding before football games and being apart of the Mob during basketball games. We have a lot of libraries and open areas on campus.

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Quality: gorgeous campus, libraries are great, gym is nice

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: We have an insanely pretty campus. It's nice, but sometimes I feel like people get caught up in it. However, it does make people proud to go here.

5 College Junior

Campus Quality: Facilities unlike any other institution. Beautiful campus.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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With the kick-off of SMU’s Second Century Campaign, new buildings are going up all over campus. President Turner often says, “life is too short to go to school on an ugly campus.” With all its buildings matching from brick color to window trim, the SMU campus could easily be mistaken for a country club. Although its main building, Dallas Hall, is a little over 100 years only, its ceiling painted with gold, is breath taking. The newer buildings on campus are LEED Gold certified, meaning that they meet a set of strict environmental standards in addition to being astheically pleasing. As if the academic buildings weren’t impressive, SMU has just recently completed the Dedman Center Lifetime Center for Sports, which features a 165,000-sq.-ft. expansion, along with a climbing wall, water park, 15,000-sq.-ft. weight room, new volleyball and basketball courts, new gym equipment, an outdoor adventure area with tents and kayak checkouts, a recreational pool, an expanded track, and much more.

The campus in general is gorgeous and worth bragging about. Every year, SMU makes new plans to improve each and every school building as well as things like roads and parking garages. At first glance, one can see the green shrubbery and flowers all over campus, which is a plus because most of Texas’s grass is yellow. The more you walk around this campus, the more you will see how nice the facilities look. Don’t be dismayed if you see sidewalks and buildings being ripped apart—construction never ends here. From its enormous fountains to its unrealistically green grass, SMU seems to redefine the word, “manicured.” On a nice day students sit out on the lawn, enjoying the Dallas sun and the satisfaction of a beautiful college.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
170 acres
Student Centers
Hughes-Trigg Student Center
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Popular Places to Chill
  • Fraternity houses
  • Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Outside residence halls
  • The pool
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
Java City in Hughes-Trigg Student Center and Starbucks in both Meadows and the SMU book store. Also, Einstein Brothers serves coffee in the basement of the business school.
Movie Theater on Campus
Program Council, an on campus organization, regularly provides showings of movies that are still in theaters to students free of charge.
School Slang
  • BIC: The Business Information Center.
  • Boaz Hoes: A nickname applied to all females that live in the Boaz Residence Hall.
  • The Boulevard: The SMU Boulevard is where tailgating takes place before every football game.
  • Cockintosh: A name for Cockrell-McIntosh Hall.
  • First-Year: Also known as freshmen. SMU prefers not to call them freshmeat or freshmen.
  • Fratastic: A term applied to males that are dressed preppy.
  • Fraterdays: Like a Saturday but better. Fraternities use this term to describe an afternoon out behind the house sipping on a beer and grilling while listening to some frat classics.
  • GDI: Gosh Darn Independent. This term is used to refer to people who chose not to pledge a fraternity or sorority.
  • Hughes-Trigg: The Hughes-Trigg Student Center.
  • The lib: An abbreviation for the good ole' library
  • Meadows: Referred to as Meadows by all the arts students, it is listed as the Owen Fine Arts Center.
  • MRS: Students joke that the girls come here to get their "MRS" degree.
  • Mustang: Each student is an SMU Mustang.
  • North Quad/South Quad: The North Quad section of campus includes Dallas Hall, Fondren, Shuttles, Mary Hay, Peyton, and Virginia-Snider. The South Quad includes McElvaney, Morrison-McGinnis, Meadows Museum of Art, and Cockrell-McIntosh.
  • Peruna: The name of SMU's mascot. SMU's pony is the only mascot to have killed another mascot on the field. Peruna kicked the Navy's goat in the head, killing it right on the spot.
  • Residence Hall: Also referred to as dorms, SMU calls them residence halls.
  • SAMSA: Student Activities and Multi-Cultural Affairs (replaced SAC)
  • Shacklevany: Another name for McElvaney Hall (students are said to "shack-up" there).
  • Shittles: Another name for Shuttles Hall.
  • Umph: If a student says this, they are likely referring to the freshman dining hall, Umphrey Lee. Another short term is Umphers or the FOC (Food On Campus).
  • Brown Bag: Every semester, the dance department showcases student-choreographed pieces in the Bob Hope lobby. Students come for an hour, bring their own "brown bag" lunch, sit on the floor directly in front of the dancers, and watch the show.
  • Celebration of Lights: One night during the first week of December, students gather in the Main Quad to participate in the Celebration of Lights, which is a candlelight ceremony of holiday songs and readings. The trees surrounding Dallas Hall, and the building itself, are all illuminated with Christmas lights. Administrators and other guests make abbreviated speeches on the steps of Dallas Hall. There is a small choir and band on the steps, too.
  • Family Weekend and Mother's/Father's Weekend: Family Weekend is designated for the fall, whereas Mother's or Father's Weekend (it switches every spring) takes place in the spring. To start Family Weekend, on Friday night there is a "Talent Show" in McFarlin Auditorium where student organizations perform. Tailgating and a football game occur the next day, as well as several other events for parents and students to participate in. For Mother's/Father's Weekend, there is an annual show called "Sing Song" where student organizations compete against each other by presenting their skits to an audience and judges. The following day is filled with things to do, just like Family Weekend.
  • First Weekend/Mustang Stampede: This is the first weekend after the initial week of classes. There is a giant barbeque for the entire University, and a comedian that performs later on that night. In the past, SMU has hosted Jamie Kennedy and Jim Breuer. There is a party on Saturday until the wee hours of the morning, and on Sunday, the first University worship celebration is held in the South Quad.
  • Football Games: SMU students do not tailgate---they boulevard. Before every home football game, Bishop Boulevard is transformed into a haven for SMU fans. A game is a dressy event. Sorority girls wear sundresses, and frat guys wear pastel shorts and bright ties. Walk the boulevard and enjoy free food and beverages provided by both on-campus organizations and departments within SMU.
  • Homecoming: This is an entire weekend devoted to school spirit. First, there is a kickoff party at Hughes-Trigg to mark the beginning of Homecoming. This is also where the candidates for homecoming are introduced. A couple days later, there is a Homecoming Parade, where student organizations present floats they have created. Tailgating follows the parade, and then on to the homecoming football game-where the king and queen are announced.
  • Mane Event: In the spring, the Student Foundation puts on a gigantic festival in front of Dallas Hall, called Mane Event, where students can relax and take a break from studying. SMU does not have a carnival, but this would be the equivalent to it. There is a live band, tons of food, games, and other things to do, such as a moonwalk.
  • Mustang Corral: The weekend before school begins, over fifty percent of the incoming freshmen class gather for a weekend retreat in the Texas Hill Country. The entire weekend is guided by faculty, alumni, and student leaders. There are information sessions, games, dances, and much more. It is an introduction to school spirit and camaraderie. This is a great way for the students to bond with their peers before settling in on campus.
  • Pony Ears: Formed by putting two fingers up in the air and slightly bending them down like ears (no not horns), "pony ears" is SMU's well-known sign. At football games, students can be seen with their pony ears high in the air to show some school spirit.
  • Rotunda Passage: Every freshman has the chance to participate in the Rotunda Passage, which leads to Convocation. It marks a student's official start and end of their SMU college experience. Every year, as a new freshman class, the students gather and walk through the front doors of Dallas Hall. When they graduate, as a senior class, they walk through the Dallas Hall Rotunda again. Along the sidewalks on the way to the Dallas Hall, students hold flags that represent every country and state with a student in that class.
  • Week of Welcome: The week that classes begin, freshmen enjoy a week of fun events. The first day is usually a Sunday when the students are returning from Mustang and moving into their residence halls. That same night, there is an outdoor movie. Monday features a Mustang Mixer and the first-year pictures. A road trip to Six Flags consumes most of Tuesday until the Hypnotist performs in the evening. Finally, the last day before class, there is an Activities Fair and the Rotunda Passage.
Urban Legends
  • If you step on the University Seal in Dallas Hall, you won't graduate.
  • SMU: Southern Millionaires University; obviously, this is not true-there is only a very small percentage of students that even fit into that category.
  • Sorority girls do more drugs.
Favorite Things To Do
Even though SMU is still trying to recover from its terrible fate in the ‘80s (the football team was sanctioned), students "tailgate" with full force anyway. With a new coach and a revamped program, SMU might just have a chance, which is why there are more students attending the games lately. During the day, most students enjoy a quick dip at the pool or just go to tan with their friends. Every semester, the dance department holds Brown Bag, where students can bring their lunch and watch an hour-long performance. There are featured events hosted by different organizations in the student center every day. SMU offers several activities to keep you from yawning. You can burn calories in the gym, get a quick meal, tan at the pool, watch a free movie showing in the student center, volunteer, audition for or attend a musical, theater, or dance production, critique a student art show, attend a concert, go to the on-site museum, join a club, attend a lecture series, or take a leisurely walk.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 64 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 28 responses

  • 24% Celebration of Lights
  • 14% Football Games
  • 14% Parties
  • 12% Homecoming
  • 11% Family Weekend and Mother's/Father's Weekend
  • 6% Rotunda Passage
  • 5% Brown Bag
  • 3% Pony Ears
  • 3% Mustang Corral
  • 2% First Weekend/Mustang Stampede
  • 2% Week of Welcome
  • 1% Basketball Games
  • 1% Clubs/organizations events
  • 1% Boulevards
  • 0% Mane Event

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 35 responses

  • 17% Boulevarding
  • 15% Play sports in Dedman
  • 13% Work out
  • 12% Go to dinner/lunch in snyder plaza
  • 9% Walk around the campus.
  • 8% Katy Trail
  • 7% Moody Coliseum
  • 7% Shop
  • 5% Go to The Falls
  • 3% Go to fraternity houses
  • 2% Uptown
  • 2% Go to Mac's for midnight study snack

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 36 responses

  • 42% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 47% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 8% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 3% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 66 responses

  • 42% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 53% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 0% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 5% I hate my school and have no school spirit.



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