McMurry University War Whoop (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 69, No. 3, Ed. 1, Tuesday, October 8, 1991 Page: 2 of 8
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By Kelly Parmelly
With McMuny University's full-
time student population consisting of
43 non-traditional students McMuny
is among many Universities across the
country seeing a rise in the number of
non-traditional students supporting their
Labeled "experienced learners"
"SOTAS or students older than aver-
age" "non-traditional" and "new ma-
jority" these students are experienced
older non-traditional and are truly
becoming the "new majority''.
What will McMuny and other Uni-
versities do about this group of learners
who bring a great deal of experience
maturity and insight to the classrooms?
This is a question worth addressing by
the University and the students them-
. -selves. Just as a politician considers
the needs of his constituents so should
this institution consider the needs of its
students all students. The University
can only do so if it knows what those
needs arc and the best way to address
Recent demographic changes
that have occurred across the United
States have and continue to have on
impact on the education of minorities
in American schools.
The influx of more immigrants
from all over the world into the U.S.
and also the realization that immi-
gration brings a clash of cultures has
mode it even harder for educators to
accommodate all tlie competing in-
terests within the realm of academia.
Ranging from school finances
programs and curriculum the problem
of reaching out and involving all the
various groups gets harder as the so-
ciety becomes more diverse. In Texas
for example the school finance sys-
tem has been challenged by minori-
ties who view the old system as a
violation of equal protection. Tradi-
tionally schools have been financed
by local taxes and thus rich neigh-
borhoods have enjoyed better facili-
ties and programs whilepoorer school
districts have not enjoyed such fa-
cilities and programs. At the same
time minorities are generally at the
lower echelons of the socio-economic
ladder and thus they have had less
money to finance their educational
As a result of a court challenge
the financing of schools will have to
change. Some of my peers have de-
scribed the proposal to channel funds
from rich districts to poorer districts
as tantamount to taxation without
Others see it as a means of ensur-
ing equity within the system. What
The non-traditional student is put in
an awkward position when he or she
returns to the college classroom. Not
only arc they supposed to juggle family
jobs and classes they must deal with
the adjustment to University life. Sur-
rounded by dorms cafeterias sorority
and fraternity T-shirts the non-traditional
is made to feel out-of-touch out-'
of-placc and out-numbered. I am not
suggesting the destruction of these
buildings nor the dissolution of frater-
nal organizations on campus.
I might however suggest some eq-
uity of support by the University. All
aspects of campus life are centered
around the traditional student. Although
non-traditional students arc often "ac-
commodatcdVlhis does nothing but
enhance thefeclingof disconnectedness
many non-traditional students already
feel. Why notmake permanent changes
in the system so that being a non-traditional
student is not such a "burden"
but rather a legitimate aspect of the
For most non-traditional students
ever means b used to achieve equity
they argue is not as relevant as the
end result. As such these people be-
lieve the end to justify the means.
I do not intend to sift through
these two arguments at the present
moment but rather to highlight some
of the repercussions of demographic
changes with respect to education.
Academic curriculum what is
relevant and what is not what should
be included and not included has
been an ongoing debate among edu-
cators as more minorities sec their
cultural-experiences and at times
cultural heritage being by-passed in
Louis Farrakhon the African-
American activist and religious
thinker has described this as a "crime
of omission and a crime of commis-
sion." He sees this omission and wa-
tering down of the African-American
experience in American education as
a deliberate attempt to deprive the
blacks of their rich African cultural
heritage and thus moke them less se-
cure about themselves thereby mak-
ing them vuncrable to manipulation.
Professor Leonard Jeffreys the
outspoken history professor at the
City University of New York also
alluded to this conspiracy theory in
his now controversial speech this past
summer in Albany New York.
Historical accuracy geographic
and anthropological uncertainties
have also begun to plague academics
on all sides of the debate. A recent
national weekly magazine printed on
its cover "Was Cleopatra Black?"
The long held views thatEurocentrjq
dances in the gym pickle-ball tourna-
ments volleyball tournaments and set-
ting up a tipi arc not on our list of
priorities. Yet we pay for these things
through our contribution to the Student
Government. No we don't attend
meetings no we don't run for office
contributing $10 to the fund.
Most non-traditional students can not
afford the time to care about $10 per
semester or what is being done with it.
The collective force of that $10 per
semester could however make a dif-
ference to non-traditional students if
the money was put to use on projects
that benefit this section of the popula-
tion as well as the traditional population.
I personally have recommended a
study into the possibility of on-site
daycare for the University. A study
could provide some insight into the
probability of success or failure of such
a project on a campus like McMuny.
I tend to dislike people who pose
problems and offer no solutions. I will
not be so presumptuous as to assert that
developments were the major tenets
of civilization in the modern world is
now being challenged.
The feminist movement has and
continues to have a degree of influence
on education in America. They have
viewed most of the traditional educa-
tion system as being patriarchical in
its approach and scope.
Furthermore with a greater
number of minorities (women etc.)
and foreign students entering into
graduate work and eventually
academia the status quo will inevi-
tably have to change. The domination
of Eurocentricism patriarchy and
mole-chauvinism will have to give
way to a more diverse and tolerant
education team who will be receptive
of criticism and other viewpoints that
contradict their own sense of reason-
ing and interpretation.
COLLEGE REP WANTED to dis-
tribute "Student Rate" subscription
cards at this campus. Good income.
For information and application
write to: COLLEGIATE MAR-
KETING SERVICES POBox 1436
I have any answers but I do care enough
to offer some suggestions.
Perhaps arc-structuring of the MSO
to allow for the equal representation of
all students might be a nice beginning.
Any number of plans might be imple-
mented. One suggestion might be to
send an elected representative from
each department of academic study
thus re-dirccting the goals of student
government to address (lie needs of the
academic aspects of University life and
decrease the emphasis on social life.
Non-traditional students have no
collective voice we are not a unified
body and consequently all we have are
of action. An organization of such a
body might serve to give tin non-traditional
student a support system a
voice in student government a course
of action to take when no one else will
Changes in the University system
are only the beginning. Federal and
State laws regulating the disbursement
repayment and eligibility of financial
Just for the record ... Dr. Mike Daniel was erroneously
called Vice President of Student Services In an article by
Claudia Gravler. Sept. 10 edition of the War Whoop. He
Is actually Associate Vice President for Student Services.
The McMurry University WAR WHOOP Is published
every two weeks during the fall and spring semesters
exceptdurlng school holidays Dead Week and during
Editorial statements or commentary appearing In
War Whoop columns articles and letters are solely the
opinion of the writers and In no way reflect the official
position of the newspaper the McMurry University
administration or all students.
The War Whoop encourages letters to the editor
that pertain to Issues relevant to the McMurry commu-
nity. Priority will be given to student written letters.
'All letters submetted may be subject to review by
tlie War Whoop Editorial Advisory Board whose mem-
bers are: Drs. Joe Stamey Sandra Harper and Mike
Daniel; Zackle Van Houten; Kelly Parmelly; Len Wilson;
Sue Rowiett; Chris Proctor-Cleveland; and Eric Luette.
'Letters to the editor will be edited for length and
aid are for the most part based on the
traditional student Some innovative
plans loans and grants have been set
up to "accommodate" non-traditional
students however with increased en-
rollment of the student who is over 25
or married or has children or works
full-time or all of the above these
Non-traditional students experi-
enced learners older students the new
majority are the reality. With our an-
noying questions at the end of class our
parking too close to the dorms our
children sitting in on a lecture our
whining about all we have to do our
experience our insight our special
perspective on things are all a part of
the non-traditional existence.
Any good businessman keeps an eye
on the demographics of his clientele
and makes changes accordingly. Call it
what you will but education is a busi-
ness and the demographics are changing.
Zackle Van Houten
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McMurry University War Whoop (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 69, No. 3, Ed. 1, Tuesday, October 8, 1991, newspaper, October 8, 1991; Abilene, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth104514/m1/2/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting McMurry University Library.