SWAN offers social opportunities to students

By Jerry Lawrence

A student group tailored to the needs of non-traditional students will soon be kicking off its second year.

Students Who Are Non-Traditional (SWAN) was formed last year to “enhance the experience of non-traditional students at NIU” by providing an organization that would provide these students with social opportunities, said SWAN President Linda Jennings.

SWAN has its first meeting of the year Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Neptune Central Hall.

NIU has a large percentage of students who have not come directly to the university from high school as well as other non-traditional students that may have trouble developing a school-based social life. Non-traditional students make up 38 percent of NIU’s undergraduate student body, Jennings said.

Students who are older, married, single mothers, students whose academic careers have been interrupted, as well as commuting and part-time students, are part of SWAN, she added.

SWAN had 35 members last year and Jennings said she anticipates a larger membership this year. “We encourage people to come even if they can only come once or twice a semester,” she said.

SWAN will be holding business and social meetings once a month as well as brown-bag “networking luncheons” on Sept. 30, Oct. 27 and Nov. 19 in a Blackhawk Cafeteria meeting room.

A message board in the Pow Wow cafeteria will give the location of these meetings in the future. Jennings said the group will also be tailgating at Homecoming and participating in the Homecoming parade.