Elite Daily greatly misrepresents SMU community
Published: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013 20:01
A recent article posted by Elite Daily, a publication that self-proclaims itself as the voice of Generation Y, calls SMU “the epicenter for young adult royalty.” It labels the university as an institution that thrives “on the competition that ensues over who has the wildest parties, most luxurious appearance, hottest girlfriend and highest aptitude for greatness.” Beyond its derogatory use of terms, aggrandizement of elitism and limited social view, this editorial board finds that the article is most abusive in its homogenization of SMU.
SMU is a diverse school — economically, politically, socially and ethnically. In 2010, more than 77 percent of all students received some form of financial aid. The school is roughly 35 percent minority. Only about 40 percent of the student body is Greek. This board is aware of the fact that SMU must continue to improve its diversity and integration programs. But, it also aware of the fact that SMU has made strides from its pre-1960s image of social and cultural elitism. SMU, once home to a small segment of the Southern elite, is now home to alternative music composers, Communists, geothermal energy researchers and social entrepreneurs.
The Elite Daily piece is a minority opinion that characterizes SMU in a light that is decades old. If this institution is to improve, academically and socially, the SMU community must continue to do what it is doing. It must use actions to reflect the diversity of the school. False perceptions and hasty generalizations are only defeated through years of dedicated action. We should continue to work towards a university that the supermajority of the student body wants — inclusive, academically oriented and politically and culturally diverse.