VIDEO: Federal Student Aid Takes Major Cuts in Fall 2011

May 5, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Jefferson Johnson

In 1998 the federal government amended the higher education act of 1965.

Allowing lower-income students an opportunity to an education through financial aid.

“The purpose of financial aid is to provide a means for students to attend college if they don’t have the funds to pay for it,” said Marcia Miller from SMU’s Enrollment Services Financial Aid.

According to Miller, of the 10,000 students enrolled at SMU around 75 percent receive financial aid this includes scholarships and grants

“For the students that are on financial aid, it’s invaluable without it there are students that will not be here,” Miller said.

Students like SMU junior Samira Abderahman need aid.

“I receive a lot of grants we have also taken some loans, luckily they haven’t been anything outrageous,” Abderahman said.

But as Spring 2011 ends incoming and undergraduate students are faced with tough financial decisions as recent state and federal budget cuts cut into Fall 2011 financial aid funding…

“Some students are going to have to make some hard choices,” Miller said. “Which means, students that might desire to go to SMU are going to end up at a state school somewhere.”

But with a yearly $37,000 price tag, SMU isn’t so cheap.

Miller said it’s the students in the middle whose parents and themselves will have to take on more of the financial burden.

“I won’t be here should my financial aid be significantly reduced,” Abderahman said.

Miller said in the coming semesters it will be first come first served.

Students can avoid being cut out by keeping financial aid deadlines and staying up-to-date on paperwork and changes.

The Daily Update: Thursday, February 3

February 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

While school might be closed the SMU Daily Update is up and running. See what campus looks like after three days of ice and snow and how students have been reacting to the weather. Jefferson Johnson takes a look at what this weather is doing to people who still need to get to work and how DART is handeling the situation. Also, make sure to stick around to see what the rest of the week’s forecast is going to look like.

Daily Update: Thursday, February 3 from on Vimeo.

Daily Update: Thursday, January 27

January 27, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Find out where Pony Express is now accepted off campus and see how the Mustangs did against Tulsa last night. All this and more on today’s Daily Update.

The Daily Update: Thursday, January 27 from on Vimeo.

The Green Spot: Beneficial Partnership for the Environment

December 9, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

By Jefferson Johnson

Several years ago Bruce Bagelman and his wife went out to purchase a new car. They had decided on a diesel engine vehicle because it is more gas mileage efficient.

Bagelman had known about biodiesel fuel and after doing a little research found that it was available, though not widely distributed.

The couple bought a diesel engine Volkswagen with the intent of running it on a blend of biodiesel. But after buying the car and filling it with biodiesel from a Dallas vendor, the vendor stopped offering the fuel. With few other options in town, Bagelman decided he’d open his own biodiesel station offering biodiesel blends as well as other possible alternatives fuels.

Bruce Bagelman, owner of The Green Spot (PHOTO BY JEFFERSON JOHNSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG

And so The Green Spot, a gas station and healthy convenience store was born. The station opened in February 2008 on North Buckner Boulevard. Much like any other gas station, Green Spot sells all grades of gas. But what makes Green Spot unique is the biodiesel blends it sells.

“If you have a diesel engine you can use biodiesel,” said Bagelman. “One of the obvious reasons you would want to use biodiesel is that it is renewable fuel.”

Biodiesel is created using vegetable oils or animal fats heated and chemically changed to create several byproducts such as soaps, skincare products, and biodiesel.

Biodiesel is also an eco-friendly alternative fuel source, said Bagelman. It benefits the environment by reducing several common diesel engine emissions like carbon monoxide. Biodiesel blends can reduce the percentage of carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 80 percent.

Particulate matter, another type of emission known to cause asthma and breathing problems, can be significantly reduced by using biodiesel as well.

Dave Pennington, a north Dallas resident and regular customer of The Green Spot, said it’s a great way to support American farmers who grow grain instead of the petroleum industry.

The Green Spot is located on North Buckner Boulevard. (PHOTO BY JEFFERSON JOHNSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

“If you got a diesel vehicle come on out,” encouraged Pennington.

Since opening its doors, Green Spot has been partners with the city of Dallas, which brings used grease and oil to the station for reprocessing and sale.

“We reached out to partners like The Green Spot, who have an outlet for it and were in the process of making biodiesel,” said Richard Statser the liquid waste supervisor for the Dallas Water Utilities (DWU).

Three years earlier, the state issued a warning to the DWU because of sanitary sewage overflows (SSO’s), Statser said.

SSO’s occur when city pipes and various wastewater collections backup and overflow into streets, homes and city building, said Statser. SSO’s are not only hazardous because untreated water cause illnesses such as Cholera, but also costly to repair.

According to Statser, fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are major contributors of SSO’s.

“We have 4,300 square miles of pipe under city streets and various other ways to bring waste water to our plant,” said Statser. Oil “creates a problem whenever it clogs the sewage system.”

To solve the problem, the DWU created the “Cease the Grease” campaign and The Green Spot became a local neighborhood grease drop off location.

“Better for the environment all the way around,” said Statser. “Keeps [oils] out of our collection system, but then takes something that was a waste product and turns it into something useful.”

Local environmentalist Jeffery Jacoby, program director for Texas Campaign for the Environment (TCE), agrees.

“When you take a used product and use it again then you’re automatically doing the most environmentally friendly thing you can do,” said Jacoby. “Reuse, recycling, giving those resources an extended life is far more sustainable than taking more materials out of the ground and burning them or melting them or processing them into another product.”

Looking for ways to improve upon his idea and increase sales, Bagelman recently added a café to his healthy convenience store. Green Spot offers several organic and natural food and beverage choices. The store also utilizes eco-friendly supplies that are compostable.

“I wanted to cater to people who cared a little more about the foods they ate,” Bagelman said.

The station has also launched its “Grease Movement.” Bagelman said he plans to expand his operation by collecting oil from restaurants, encourage commercial fleets to switch to biodiesel, and hopes with his efforts other gas stations will follow his innovative trend.

The Daily Update: Monday, Oct. 25

October 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The Daily Update: Monday, Oct. 25 from on Vimeo.

Find out about tornados in North East Texas this past weekend, a shooting that killed 14 people in Mexico, volcano in Indonesia that could erupt

The Daily Update: Wednesday, Oct. 20

October 20, 2010 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Wednesday, Oct. 20 from on Vimeo.

Find out about where you will be able to view all scrolls from the Dead Sea online, the score that brings the Texas Rangers one game closer to the World Series, and a culinary contest at the American Airlines Center

The Daily Update: Monday, Sept. 27

September 27, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

The Daily Update: Monday Sept. 2t from on Vimeo.

Join us for today’s Daily Update where we tell you how the SMU campus ranks on the FBI crime list and if Southwest Airlines will be expanding.

Dallas Heats Up Pride Parade

September 20, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Jefferson Johnson

Eager supporters clamored for beads and other pride prizes from parade sponsors and floats at the 2010 Dallas Gay Pride Parade. (PHOTO BY JEFFERSON JOHNSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Pop music blared from every packed-to-capacity business and rallying float.  Sun chairs and coolers speckled the tight wall of cheering spectators.  Bead necklaces, candy and condoms were thrown into a sea of eager hands. Supporters cheered as ornate floats and vintage cars sailed down Cedar Springs Road.

Ninety-degree weather didn’t stop thousands of Dallas Gay Pride supporters from lining both sides of Cedar Springs Road down to Robert E. Lee Park.  Men, women and children from all walks of life eagerly waited for the annual Dallas Gay Pride parade to kick off.

Dallas hosted its 27th Dallas Gay Pride Parade, officailly the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, Sunday afternoon. DGPP is held annually, every third Sunday in September.

Spectrum MRC, a local GLBT motorcycle club, revved through Cedar Springs Road Sunday afternoon. (PHOTO BY JEFFERSON JOHNSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Following the parade, the Texas Freedom Pride Festival took place at Robert E. Lee Park, featuring a variety of musicians, speakers and other performers. Gay or straight, the parade had plenty of entertainment and humor among the supporters.

MAPS Mixes It Up

September 15, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

By Jefferson Johnson

Jennifer Robb, a first year pre-med student, said she wanted to become involved on campus. She decided coming out of high school that she wanted to do only health-related activities.

“Things that are going to help me in the future, toward my career,” Robb said.

When Robb noticed the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students meeting flier on the bathroom door she knew she wanted to get involved.

Vice President Clinton and other memebers of MAPS piqued the interest of potential members. (PHOTO BY JEFFERSON JOHNSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

“I really wanted to come,” Robb said.

MAPS hosted its first mixer for the Fall 2010 semester in Hughes-Trigg Student Center Tuesday afternoon. The crowd was a modest group of 15 or so, most being panel members and office holders. Despite the low number of new faces, MAPS panelists had plenty of questions to answer.

Michelle Clinton, SMU pre-med junior and vice president of MAPS, said, “Our goal is to bring in the new freshman as well as give them an opportunity to ask us questions about being a pre-med or pre-health student.”

MAPS focuses on bringing opportunities to minority students in its organization. It also offers them avenues to gain research experience alongside professors trained in medical-science fields. MAPS members also offered tips and suggestions to freshmen under academic pressure. The members volunteer their time to the SMU community.

“I want minority students to feel like they have all the resources in front of them,” Clinton said of her goals for the organization.

She said she wants students to feel confident as they apply to medical school and continue to pursue their dreams.

Students disperse as the mixer concludes with refreshments and conversation. (PHOTO BY JEFFERSON JOHNSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Not only did the MAPS mixer give pre-med and pre-health students the opportunity to meet and greet each other, it provided an opportunity for upper classmen to mentor future members. According to Clinton the organization is also a great bullet on your admissions application into graduate school.

The Daily Update: Monday, Sept. 13

September 13, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Daily Update: Monday, Sept. 13 from on Vimeo.

Your Monday Daily Update has the scoop on last nights Cowboy’s game, if the American hiker in Iran will be released, and what is on Congress’ agenda—tax cuts.

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