Nontraditional students to meet for group formation

A student at the university will hold an interest meeting tonight at the GrandMarc to measure interest in forming a permanent nontraditional student group on campus.

George Becker, a senior finance and accounting major, said the initial meeting would allow him to analyze the different student demographics on campus and the issues they have encountered. The organization will target multiple demographics.

“We would like to have, you know, several different subgroups within the organization that kind of appeal to the different needs that different students have, be it single, married, with kids,” Becker said.

The university considers students older than 24 to be nontraditional students, a group that could also include veterans or students with children.

Alicia LeMons, a senior social work major, is a nontraditional student on campus and previously formed a nontraditional student group at Tarrant County College. LeMons wrote in an e-mail that her goal was to enable members to appreciate the opportunity to return to college as well as get involved and inspire other members and students on campus.

Becker said the organization could provide service project opportunities, social events and a campus lounge for not only nontraditional commuters, but all commuter students.

“There’s a lot of different ideas floating around right now and is part of what we’re trying to figure out,” Becker said.

Kay Higgins, associate dean of student development and transfer student liaison, said there are 279 nontraditional full-time students on campus between the ages of 25 to 60.

Higgins said the Transfer Student Advisory Board, a team of students and faculty that helps transfer students become involved and acclimated on campus, has always had a representative for nontraditional students because the majority of transfer students are nontraditional.

LeMons wrote that many transfers are nontraditional because they want to return to school after a long break from the academic world with outside roles as parents, veterans, homemakers or other positions.

The difficulty with starting a nontraditional student organization is that when the initiator graduates, the organization dies, Higgins said.

“I’ve actually been at TCU for 34 years, and in my time here there have been four nontraditional student organizations,” Higgins said.

LeMons also wrote she is trying balance the role of student, mother, wife and intern, and would like to attend as many meetings as possible, but her time is limited.

Becker said he asked for nontraditional students to RSVP to the e-mail invite, but students can just show up. He said he realized some nontraditional students will not be able to attend because they have a job or children. Becker said he hoped to tweak the organization after Thursday’s meeting so those that could not attend will still be involved.

“Realistically, we’re kind of hoping to have somewhere between 15 to 20 that are actually going to be able to make it,” Becker said.

Nontraditional student group interest meeting

Where: The Event Room at the GrandMarc

When: 7 p.m. tonight