[Ntso] From a Founder of NTSO

John & Frances Fennessy roughneckbooks at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 17 09:55:17 CDT 2006

Hi Andrea!

I personally would like to thank you for all of the hard work you have 
invested in this organization. You stepped up to the plate to be this 
organization's leader when few others could. I think, we as a whole, 
appreciate that sacrifice. As one of the founding members of this 
organizaiton, I would also like to address a few items that have come to my 

I think the online discussion idea is interesting and can certainly be 
accommodated on another listserv where those who are distinctly interested 
in discussions can sign up to be a part of that. I feel strongly that there 
are a number of Non-Traditionals who would like to keep this listserv as 
ONLY an avenue for keeping up with the organization's doings. We need to 
think of all of the members when changes to the organization (and the 
attached listserv) are made.

In addition, I would like all of us to think of SHSU in perhaps a more 
positive light. Rather than continuously looking at Sam and thinking, "there 
are things that need improvement," perhaps we as an organization can shine 
the limelight on the good things that Sam currently does. It might not be 
incredibly noticeable, but the previous discussions lean on the side of 
"What I want," instead of "What I have."

It is my impression that NTSO has been attempting to become a political 
organization instead of a social organization. While that was not the 
original itnention, there are a few things that must be considered when this 
intent is in mind. In order to make a change at the university level, 
leaders must enter the negotiating table with positive things to say. We 
will always catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.

We, as an organization, need to be able to identify the positive things 
quickly and remind ourselves of them as often as we can. Otherwise we become 
a toxic organization, one that few would want to be a part of. I really 
think every student makes his experience at Sam (or anywhere for that 
matter) what he wants it to be.

With that said, I am not turning a blind eye and pretending that Sam is 
perfect and provides everything that NTSO members need to be successful. But 
as one of the founders of this organization, I do believe we should use the 
organization to boost ourselves and those who are like us. Clearly, the 
organization's constitution says, "the purpose shall be to provide support, 
friendship, and guidance to non-traditional students at SHSU while 
encouraging them to become active in academic, social, and recreational 
opportunities on campus."

I know that the founders of this organization did not create it to be a 
beating stick of the university. It would be a serious disappointment if 
that is what it has become.

We should look a little closer at our discussions and our future goals and 
make an effort to be positive and provide "support, friendship and guidance" 
to each other.  :)

Frances Crawford Fennessy
former NTSO President
NTSO founder (with John Fennessy and Dr. Keri Rogers)

From: "Andrea Woodlief" <andrea_woodlief at hotmail.com>
To: ntso at shsu.edu
Subject: [Ntso] Online Meeting - Discussion (Ideas for NTSO 
andNon-Traditional Students)
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 01:42:21 +0000

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed being president of NTSO, and I will 
be very sad to pass the torch over in May.  I will remain as the Webmaster 
to the organization and you will hear from me over the listserv from time to 

NTSO has really grown over the past year, and I have received several emails 
from members who want to participate in the organization but cannot make the 
lunchtime meetings due to work or family obligations.

My idea was to harness the large community of students that we have on this 
listserv by holding scheduled discussions about topics that interest the 
non-traditional student.  The discussions supplement as a secondary online 
meeting, and are aimed at increasing participation to the group through the 
listserv – creating a virtual organization.

We will just have these online meetings on the first and third Monday of 
each month, and I will put “Online Meeting - Discussion” in the subject line 
so the members will know we are holding a virtual meeting and no new 
business is being discussed.  Francis and I even talked about holding the 
discussions on separate listservs in the future, similar to the single 
parents discussion.

I wanted to apologize for my openness on the single parents discussion.  I 
was sharing my experience with the other single parents, and we have moved 
that discussion to a separate listserv.  I hold a special place in my heart 
for these students, because I have been friends with and helped other single 
parents.  When I am not so busy, we will be moving this group to the 
counseling center and creating a support group for the single parents so 
they can continue to network and help each other.  I am glad that NTSO made 
this possible for these students.

I also enjoy making people laugh and joking about everything that happens, 
but I will try to keep humor off the listserv unless we decide to have a 
discussion about jokes (LOL). :-)  If I do give a joke or too, then I will 
put a smiley or LOL so you will know I am just kidding around.

We have a large community of non-traditional students at SHSU.  I thought 
that we could have our next online discussion about ways that Sam can change 
to better accommodate the non-traditional students.  I have been doing 
research on other NTSO groups from different universities.  Many of these 
groups have an office or lounge for the non-traditional students, and they 
hold special events.  Oklahoma State University has an angel tree every year 
for the parents of NTSO, so students can select a non-traditional student 
family to sponsor for gift giving at Christmas.  Or, if the couples would 
like to have a dance, then we can do this for NTSO in the future.

As members of NTSO, what are some other ideas that you might have for NTSO 
and the non-traditional students?  Remember, since this is an online 
meeting, to reply to the listserv (ntso at shsu.edu) so everyone who is 
interested can participate in the discussion.  Lets try to keep the subject 
line “Re: Online Meeting - Discussion” though.

Andrea L. Woodlief
President, Non-Traditional Student Organization
visit our website: www.shsu.edu/~org_ntso

"The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards." ~ 
Arthur Koestler

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