Open house reminds all students of role in NIU community

By Stephanie Kohl

The Office of Commuter and Non-Traditional Student Services hosted an open house Tuesday to discuss forming organizations to meet students’ needs.

The goal of these organizations is to give students a sense that they are an active part of the university.

Such students make up 77 percent of the student body, said Troy Melendez, director of the Department of Commuter and Non-Traditional Student Services.

The office opened in July in North Neptune Hall, Room 44, as a place for those students not living on campus to have somewhere to go with questions, concerns or just to relax.

The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and has couches making up a lounge area, as well as a large table and chairs where students can meet with groups or sit and work on homework between classes. Ideally, a refrigerator, microwave and study rooms will be added, Melendez said.

In addition, students can go to the office and make suggestions about programs they would like to see on campus for non-traditional students.

“Part of our focus is to be the place that reaches out and listens to students,” said Kristin Kowynia, a junior marketing major and employee at the office. “It’s what these students need.”

Services offered include a bulletin board advertising roommate-searches and ride-share programs for commuters. Eventually, these will be available through the Web site.

In addition, bus routes, apartment finder brochures and brochures for other services available on campus are available throughout the office.

“Having the office and the Web site will really help,” said Herveline Sartori, a commuter and non-traditional French major. “I do plan on using it because it is so convenient,”

Students interested in becoming a part of an organization for commuter, non-traditional and off-campus students can e-mail [email protected]. For more information, visit the Web site at