Student letters in the Daily Campus

February 17, 2007

Andy Hemming, student and head of the SMU Chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas, has raised the complaint that “[t]he student body as a whole feels ignored; the faculty is going off on their own.” While his own arguments have indeed achieved wide circulation — in a nationally distributed AP report, other media interviews, and on this blog — I do agree with my fellow student that most student voices generally have been unheard in this debate.

Of course, the faculty have their own concerns that may or may not overlap with those of students and alumni. I’m not sure why Mr. Hemming feels the need to attack the faculty for its attempt to pursue its legitimate objections, while he has made no public criticism of the university administration’s failure to provide any mechanism whatsoever for student and alumni input (unlike this blog and the various petitions).

Many alumni have voiced their rejection of the proposal, as documented in several places. As for the students, two recent letters to the student newspaper expressed some of their frustrations. Leah Bray asks, “We didn’t get an assembly to voice our concerns or comments, and there was no suggestion box placed at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center for students to use. So where were we when all the decisions were made?” Another student, Bill Meehan, makes a related point in an opinion piece, “A simple vote could put the library debate to rest.”

Morning News Profiles Distinguished SMU Prof

February 17, 2007

This is an interesting profile of Professor Charles Curran, one of my most distinguished colleagues. I’m proud to be in the same university as he is. The article shows how much more to SMU there is than the library and Bushes, etc., but also reveals the media’s continued fascination with the library, institute, and surrounding debates. Curran’s stance — that he doesn’t find the Methodist petition against the whole package persuasive, but is very worried about the Institute and would like for it to have as few ties as possible to the university — is pretty much shared by those of us raising questions and trying to push the Faculty Senate to take a similar stance. In that sense, the title of the article is misleading.

Vocal SMU Professor Standing Back in Library Fight
Sam Hodges
Dallas Morning News
February 17, 2007

If professors got medals for taking stands that cause campus conflict, the Rev. Charles Curran would be a highly decorated veteran.

But he’s not on the front lines in the fight over whether his current employer, Southern Methodist University, should be home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and an affiliated public policy institute

Continued here.