Student Veteran Organization provides encouraging, supportive atmosphere

Organization spotlight

Briana Osuna, Student Life Reporter

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The Student Veteran Organization (SVO) welcomes all veterans of the Armed Forces and aims to provide its members with a supportive environment and tools needed to succeed.

SVO is often confused with the Veterans Center, and while they collaborate on events and activities, they are not entirely alike.

The Veterans Center is an administration aimed towards supporting veterans. It is a facility on campus that is funded by the university, and it has its own separate set of tasks and duties to manage.

“The purpose of [SVO] is to support and connect veterans to each other while providing resources to ensure personal, academic and professional success,” said treasurer John Phillips. “Participation isn’t constituted by how many hours or people you serve in the org, you can just come join and be a beneficiary.”

The SVO provides a sense of support on campus that allows student veterans to experience a more comforting transition from the military into school.

“The student veteran, mentality, is very different from that of a regular student. We’ve all been through very similar situations and coming back to school is different for us,” said Phillips. “We all support each other and want to help one another succeed. If someone needs a hand with something, there will be ten people ready to help out.”

SVO member Christian Rodriguez agrees with the notion of having each other’s back.

“When you get out of the military, you want to transition from that mentality that you have when you’re in, so being able to relate to other veterans on campus helps you become civilianized again,” he said.

The SVO not only provides support but also helps ensure success.

“The primary focus of the SVO is to provide networking, job opportunities and trainings,” said SVO President Brian Newbury.

The organization offers an abundant amount of free resources to student veterans who are able to take advantage, in order to further both their education and careers.

“I’m super proud of having created this funnel for all these jobs, these companies are specifically hunting for vets,” said Newbury.

By using these tools, members are better equipped for the future that awaits them after graduation.

“This is a great way to kick it into high gear for what happens after school because this is not it,” said Newbury

The organization offers many useful opportunities, and members are working hard to ensure others are aware.

“What we are trying to do is collaborate with different non-profit organizations to bring awareness to the org,” said Rodriguez.

While the organization provides an immense amount of resources for veterans they are open to providing aid for non veterans as well.

“Many people have a misconception of what the military is and when they go in [the military], they experience a culture shock. Those who are interested in joining the military, please come talk to us. We can share our experiences and give a good depiction of what is to be expected of you,” said Rodriguez.

There are roughly 50 members of the SVO, yet there are about 500 student veterans on campus.

“I think our membership to ratio of veterans here is low because people are confused and don’t see the value of SVO,” said Newbury. “The natural mentality when you get out of the military is to break away from everything that has to do with it, and I think that’s why others may be hesitant to join.”

Phillips hopes to challenge this mentality. “…We are not post military people, we are just people who were in the military and want to support each other and succeed together.”

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