Aleksa Thomas ’20
Merrimack College held its annual orientation for the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) on March 7 in Stevens Auditorium. NSLS is one of the largest leadership societies in the country with over 450 inducted members.
The NSLS includes a 5-step program that takes 11 hours for students to complete. The steps include orientation, leadership training, meeting with the Success Networking Team (SNT), and attending 3 speaker events and a broadcast event. Students can choose different dates to attend these events, making it easier for students to be able to do the training on their own time.
Michael Kennedy is the Coordinator of Programming and Leadership Development at Merrimack and runs this society. Kennedy congratulated everyone at this meeting and explained that it was a huge accomplishment to even be there. In order to become a member or be invited to this program, students at Merrimack need 3.0 GPA or higher. Kennedy then exhibited a video about NSLS and outlined the next steps towards being inducted.
Being a member of NSLS does not always mean that students find school easy. Some students at Merrimack face academic struggles when they arrive and may need help with math or writing. The third step of NSLS helps students with different accommodations navigate resources and options for support. The Success Networking Team, according to NSLS, is “a team of people who come together in an encouraging atmosphere to network, share goals/ obstacles, offer advice and commit to action to achieve desired results.”
Students at Merrimack are also directed to campus resources, such as The Writing Center, Math Tutoring, and International Student Support. Another place students can go for academic support is Accessibility Services. Students who use Accessibility Services are able to develop a plan that fits exactly what they need to succeed.
Students “mainly come to our office to take exams with the allowance of extra time and meet with ASO staff to create plans to stay on track with their coursework. These meeting can range from weekly to bi-weekly to monthly, depending on how much assistance a given student may need,” said Ali Phair, a Merrimack senior who works in Accessibility Services
Phair also emphasized a program that not many students know about called DREAM, which is a student organization that offers academic support.
“Merrimack’s chapter is a student group focused on building pride and community while promoting disability awareness. The chapter promotes this awareness through events, training and sharing personal stories,” said Phair. “Through mentorship, each student member can be supported in a unique and fun way, and the club offers a great way to meet other students.”
Accessibility Services is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30-12:00 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m., but the office is open Monday through Friday 8:30-4:30 p.m.