Southern Methodist University's president, Gerald Turner, announced yesterday that the school will accept and implement most recommendations of a panel of students, professors, and campus leaders in order to curtail drug and alcohol abuse among SMU students. After three student deaths last year, the university is seeking an aggressive approach to change the school's image and encourage responsible behavior.
One suggestion not on SMU's "to do" list is opening a campus pub. As a graduate of SMU (MBA '85), I disagree. I admit it sounds counter-intuitive to combat drinking by opening a pub, but begin with the panel's reasoning. The current culture at SMU is this - the Greek community (sorority and fraternity members) have all the parties and all the fun. Non-greeks don't feel a part of campus life. Many greeks wonder why all these other kids even bother to show up if they aren't in a fraternity. Campus cameraderie among students of diverse backgrounds is lacking - some argue non-existent. The panel suggests that permitting students to enjoy socializing (including having a beer while watching sports on TV) fosters a relaxed atmosphere and teaches that it's not about drinking in order to get drunk. The on-campus pub was suggested to lessen students' impression that enjoying social life is limited to joining a fraternity and getting drunk until you pass out four nights a week. The lesson is that having an occasional brew with your campus mates is a better lifestyle choice.
Looks as if a reporter over at CBS picked up on the dog park problem we've discussed at length here at Back Talk. The bad news? From this report it doesn't look as if the problem will be fixed. City officials say they have a plan to replace the soil with a more absorbent soil — sounds a little shaky to me.
After a 46-year run, Meletio Lighting's Preston Forest store will close May 2, with the store combining with the company's Harry Hines and Frisco locations, says Meletio owner Ken Reiser. The store has been located in the Preston Forest Square Shopping Center since October 1962; before the doors close for the last time, Reiser says a moving sale is scheduled May 15-17.
Clearly, one of the big issues on Dallasites' minds these days has to be the renaming of Industrial Boulevard. According to the DMN, the city's Trinity River committee has been busily working to solicit names from Dallas residents, sorting through more than 500 suggestions to whittle the list down to 10 names. The committee intends to select three "finalists" on Tuesday and then solicit online, mail or phone votes from citizens to select the winner.
Here’s the deal on the Lake Highlands PID, following some earlier confusion: Prescott Realty (the developers of the $400 million Town Center) has initiated the implementation of a PID, Public Improvement District, which is essentially an agreement between the city and property owners to allocate a new tax from businesses within the PID to improve services such as security, streetscapes, and public promotion of the area, which will in turn attract the retailers that we want to Town Center and other Lake Highlands centers within said area. (This is how Bryant Marshall, Prescott director overseeing PID efforts, explained it to me.) If you are confused about the difference between a PID and a TIF (already in place in this area) please check this out.
Prescott has now taken the first major step required to put a PID in place, which is to file a formal petition. In order to do that they had to get:
One of our office ice cream aficionados excitedly approached the editorial office with a hot (or should I say, cold) tip a couple days ago: Tomorrow night, April 30, Baskin Robbins is offering 31-cent scoops. Yes, you heard it here (probably not exactly a scoop ... but good info nonetheless). The offer is good between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Baskin Robbins’ promo calls it “a thank you to our customers and the firefighters who protect them … Baskin Robbins is donating $100,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Here are a few nearby locations (below) see you there!