[Ntso] Open Letter from the President.
John & Frances Fennessy
roughneckbooks at hotmail.com
Wed May 3 14:14:28 CDT 2006
Good morning to all,
I would like to take a moment and thank everybody who took the time to
vote; participation by an organizations membership is what keeps it healthy
and viable. This is very important as right now there are some very large
questions facing the non-traditional students at Sam Houston State.
Over the last many months, there appears to have been a swing in the
thinking of the administration pertaining to non-traditional students. Bear
Kitten Academy has been closed, family housing has been discontinued, and
last year the funding for our own organization was pulled in the middle of
the year. How then do we get the message to the administration that we will
not be delegated to the back shelf? By being active.
This is the pledge I make to you as your new president: I will explore
every avenue to keep non-traditional students and their needs prominent in
the administrations thought process. But, I will also need your help. An
organization is simply a faceless name without participation by its
membership. I am the first to understand the complexities of your time
constraints. We are all in the same boat; time is a commodity that there is
never enough of. That having been said, I think that during the course of
the coming academic year we all might find a little for our fellow students.
To this end, I have begun the process of finding some of the necessities
for the organization. On Tuesday, my wife (former NTSO President and
Co-Founder) and I met with the incoming SGA president (who himself qualifies
as a non-traditional by virtue of leaving for military service before
returning to college) and found out several avenues for restoring the
funding to NTSO. We were also very pleased to learn that there are no less
than 3 (and very soon possibly more) non-traditional students on the student
senate. Our own in coming Vice-President Ava Battle is among them. We were
pleasantly surprised to learn that the incoming leadership is very excited
about the possibility of closer ties with NTSO and believes quite strongly
that non-traditional students cannot and should not be overlooked by the
administration. When I asked what he needed from us his answer was very to
the point: Participation. There are currently many senate positions that did
not get filled during the recent elections; he would like to see some of
those filled with NTSO members.
We all have concerns as to the direction of the university for the future.
This is the best way to ensure the viability of the non-traditional student
on campus. As with any business, working within the system is how priorities
are set, goals are met, and the business (or in this case organization)
continues to grow and prosper. Currently we are on the outside looking in;
we now have the opportunity to move inside and affect change from the center
itself. This is not only for the future non-traditional students to come.
How many of us could gain valuable knowledge by gaining experience working
within the system? Chairing or being members of committees, learning the
process of writing legislation and working closely with others to attain a
projects goals are all aspects of the real world that when we leave here
will stand us in good stead and provide a leg up in our future careers. In
this instance, I think you will find the time that you find to participate
could very well be time well spent.
NTSO has always been and will continue to be an organization for fellowship
of its members. We have unique needs and wants that sometimes dont fit into
the picture of what a university is. Changing that perception is not going
to happen overnight, but we must begin somewhere. I, for one, am tired of
standing outside looking in; I ask you to join me in taking NTSO to a new
level of participation and commitment that can have no other effect than to
bring the positives of having a viable non-traditional student base to the
administrations attention. This is how we effect the changes that we so
dearly want and need.
STDJRF14 at shsu.edu
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