[Ntso] Open Letter from the President.

Nicole D. Wilke stdndw12 at shsu.edu
Wed May 3 16:54:17 CDT 2006

Hear! Hear!


> Good morning to all,
>   	I would like to take a moment and thank everybody who took the time to
> vote; participation by an organization’s 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 administration’s 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 don’t 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
> administration’s attention. This is how we effect the changes that we so
> dearly want and need.
> John Fennessy
> President NTSO
> STDJRF14 at shsu.edu
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