Transferring from a community college to a university is a stressful process, but transitioning from military service to student life is another story. As completing assignments and retaining information for exams are inevitable hassles, veterans on campus find a sanctuary to help them through these challenges.
Located in the University Student Union, The Veteran Resource Center (VRC) provides academic, personal and professional development for student veterans through a major support system.
“We built the VRC as a safe space for veterans to get together, feel comfortable, and build their own community,” Michael Zachary, the student business assistant said.
According to Patrina Croisdale, the center’s coordinator, not only did the center expand its space in fall 2015 welcoming about 58 veteran students, but it also created more services, programs, and events to enhance their academic experience.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the VRC has “Study After Hours” study sessions, allowing student veterans to get homework assignments done efficiently and successfully in a quiet environment.
Croisdale explained the sessions have been helpful for those who have night classes. Most students study on their own, but she noticed they even tutor each other and care for others’ success.
“A lot of people have said it feels like a family or a second home to them,” Croisdale said. “It’s definitely not cliquey.”
Military affiliated women such as a spouses, dependent partners or veterans, come together every Thursday afternoon for the “Women to Women” discussion group and talk about any relevant topics they choose for the week. It gives the women an opportunity to discuss matters on a personal level and even plan field trips together for their children and family members.
“The military world is male dominated, so we’re trying to find that space for women veterans, spouses, or allies to be able to have their own space to be themselves,” Zachary said.
Among the very many occasions, “The Blend” every Wednesday morning is the most successful.
“We just provide the space and their refreshments for them to just come and vent, whether it’s school, life, or politics,” Kee said. “Whatever they need to say might not be looked at the same way as we do here.”
The VRC isn’t just a place that provides an academic and professional development process, but it is a home and safe environment. Veterans find themselves coming into the center to mingle and create friendships with each other.
“It’s not an easy path to get here, whether you’re a freshman coming out of the military or transferred from community college,” Croisdale said. “They earned it, they’re here and they deserve services that is going to help them reach their goals, so please reach out to us.”