A new office offers assistance to veteran students


Gerard Borne

Jordan Hotard, a junior supply chain management major, walks into the Office of Military and Veteran Success. The office has recently moved from north campus. The office’s new location is room 2304 in the Student Union.

The Office of Military & Veteran Success offers assistance for students who are veterans and military service members to help them with their education and training needs.

The office, located in the War Memorial Student Union, Room 2304, was created in September by Matthew D. Watkins, director of the Office of Military & Veteran Success.

Watkins explained that the office is trying to blend in the veteran students with the civilian students to give them the same college experience.

“The main goal of the office is to help veterans transition into the college environment, be an advocate for the veteran students and to really try to have the veterans experience the college environment,” said Watkins. “A lot of veterans miss out on that because they are nontraditional students, and they are a little bit older, and they’re not as well connected with the younger student population.”

The office is creating programs and events to get veterans active in the college environment and help them be involved on campus.

“We’re doing ROTC and military veteran tailgating events,” said Watkins. “We’re gonna be doing some camping trips and some outdoor activities to try to peak their interest.”

The office provides special accommodations to military and veteran students by building relationships with locals who specialize in services like financial advising.

The Office of Military & Veteran Success also provides orientation for new students entering college on academic advising, scholarships and financial aid, mentoring, waived application fee, priority registration, a VA work-study program for students and other resources that the military and veteran students need. The Student Veterans Association is open to all students.

Watkins discussed the circumstances and differences of older veterans compared to younger students.

“It’s harder to get them to be involved because they have so much going on in their own lives,” said Watkins. “They could have families, be married, have kids or could have second jobs.”

Watkins is also looking forward to creating a partnership with The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion to mix in different generations of veterans in the area to network together.

“We’re just starting,” said Watkins. “We’ve done quite a bit, and we’re just trying to build, but it’s going to take time.”

For more information about the programs available and upcoming events, visit the Office of Military & Veteran Success on the university website.