Readers may recall the controversy in December on this Web site about the protests by SMU faculty members over the university’s decision to host the George W. Bush presidential library. I am still getting comments to be posted about that issue. I’m going to publish this one, because it has a different take on SMU than the vast majority, which were critical of the university. The commenter chose to remain anonymous.

As an SMU alumna, I do not completely agree with cowboy politics that the Bush Administration upholds in its dealings with Iraq and other international affairs, however the Bush family has made contributions to the university in many ways that have been beneficial to its advancement. With this said, I would like to defunct some of the comments made by Andrew 8:54 about the environment at SMU. I agree that SMU has some of the elitism that he speaks of yet, 80% of the student body has some sort of financial aid. Not all can afford the current $34,000.00 per year tuition. It has increased since my time at the school in the mid 90’s to 2000 and even at that time, 80% of the student body still received some sort of financial aid. While the student body comprises some who are the products of the financial and social elite, many students are simply doing all they can to be there. Several come from middle class backgrounds. I am an African American woman who comes from a middle class family. SMU was a great experience for me because of the many individuals that I came into contact with from similar and not so similar backgrounds. That’s what makes the university experience a wonderful one for many. At the end of the day it’s not the school that you attend but it is the network that you are a part of and how you make it work for you. Those who were well connected by elite family ties prior to attendance at SMU are still tied to those networks. Others such as myself have to work on a continual basis to make the network a tool that can be used. My advice, Andrew, don’t make general comments…There are always exceptions.