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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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SAC will host networking dinners for students


In hopes of establishing networking bonds between current students and alumni, the Student Alumni Connection program will host a series of events called ‘Dinner for 10 Coogs’ from Feb. 22 to March 5.

The dinners, which are open to all students, are an attempt by the SAC to connect students and alumni interpersonally.

‘The dinner is where any alumni can host a dinner for 10 Cougars to get to know each other; it’s a great networking opportunity for students,’ Assistant Director for Student and Young Alumni Programs Jamie Ochoa said.

The dinners are also an opportunity for alumni to give back to the University.

‘When an (alumnus) sees a student after they’re 10 years outside of graduation, they have a moment of nostalgia,’ SAC President Raj Thacker said. ‘They want to work with the Cougar community and the University. They’re receptive to students and relate to them. It helps (alumni) to serve the University by giving to scholarship foundations and events like the (Dinner for 10 Coogs). It’s a great way for students to see how alumni are not only a part of the University, but the community.’

The dinners, which are currently being planned, will take place at an alumni host’s house or at a restaurant close to campus. Ochoa said that some alumni will be able to host dinners at the University Hilton on campus.

Students will be able to pick days to attend through the UH Alumni Association Web site, www.mycougarconnection.com, under the ‘Stuff for Students’ link. The SAC will match students to alumni who have a connection to the students’ respective departments.

‘Once students sign up, they have to go to an orientation to learn business etiquette and get to know their alumni before the dinner,’ Ochoa said. ‘Usually the host will have a mingling period before the dinner for students and alumni to get to know where they are in their careers right now. The alumni try to get to know the students personally through group conversations or one-on-ones.’

Thacker said he hopes more students will get involved not only with Dinner for 10 Coogs but with other SAC events as well.

‘Every student is already a part of SAC. One way to get more involved is by coming out to our events. We have a tailgate for each home game that is open to all students in the pavilion. Students can meet alumni and learn more about us through this,’ Thacker said. ‘We really want students to get involved. We want them to connect to a tradition at UH and foster that idea from freshman year onward.’

Thacker said that students can learn more about SAC events through its Facebook fan page and Web site.

Senior SAC public relations coordinator Ruben Vasquez said that most students learn about the group’s events through word-of-mouth.

‘Most of the time the Houston Alumni Association sends out an e-mail to alumni for events, but mostly it’s word of mouth,’ Vasquez said. ‘Most students hear about events from their departments.’

The SAC is also responsible for campus events like Frontier Fiesta and Homecoming.

The SAC is in the process of creating a free bowling night, as well as a challenge where students can compete to win a scholarship by donating food to the Houston Food Bank, Thacker said.

For now, the SAC’s’ priority is promoting Proposition 4.

‘We’re really pushing for that,’ Thacker said. ‘We need students to represent and market our University.’

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