Nontrads organize new club

At only a few months old, the Nontraditional Student Organization may be the youngest club on campus despite possibly having some of the oldest members.

Working with an existing name until officers are appointed, the club seeks to be some sort of support system for nontraditional students and for them to be able to network with each other.

“We made a generic constitution until we can get the group fully formed,” club advisor Tara Holmes said.

The club has only officially met twice on campus and relies heavily on its Facebook page to communicate with all the members. At last count, the  club was boasting 87 members on its Facebook page.

“You see it on the Facebook page that is a group that wants to be represented and the demographic is of course growing due to the economy,” club member, senior accounting and Spanish major, Amy Cooper said.

Retired air force master sergeant Brian Brownberger, now a senior general studies major, received an email from Holmes and thought the group was a good idea.

“This is new, with exciting potential for the students to help build the MSSU spirit in them and the school,” Brownberger said.

Members of the club must be considered as independent on their FASFA.

“When I asked for a list of nontraditional students I was given a list of students over 25,” Holmes said. “I feel like it could be younger than that. I considered myself to be nontraditional when I went back to college and I was 21, but I was a single mother with two children.”

Cooper, who takes predominantly online classes and is a member of other clubs on campus, says that while she loves the other clubs, some of their members could almost be her children.

“We want to be just as productive at Southern as the kids that are 18 and just starting out,” Cooper said.

Holmes believes the nontraditional student population needs a voice on campus.

“Just on the list of students I was given that are over 25, the list was over 1,600 of the total enrolled,” Holmes said.

 Holmes went on to say that because of some of the factors that nontraditional students have, meetings are hard to set up and they are considering doing some in the evening or weekends if the group thinks they should. Additionally, Holmes addressed the ties to Project Stay.

“That is something I want to make clear. We are totally separated from Project Stay and not affiliated with them in any way.”

Students interested in the club are encouraged to contact Tara Holmes either by email at [email protected] or by phone at (417)-625-9884 or by visiting the club’s Facebook page by searching for MSSU Nontraditional Student Organization.