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UW-Superior veterans center sees big increase in numbers
The Veterans Student Center is in its second year at UW-Superior and the number of students using the center has jumped five-fold. Brad Phenow has the story.
UW-Superior has been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine in recognition of efforts to assist veterans and their families. Out of 7000 schools surveyed by G.I. Jobs, Superior ranks in the top 15%.
The Veterans and Nontraditional Student Center opened a year ago. In their first month they had 32 students stop by to use the center. But now, 158 visitors have used the center just this month.
Carl Huber is the Coordinator for the Veterans and Nontraditional Student Center. He says their goal is to help give the students an opportunity to connect with other nontraditional students.
“We deal with an older population, students that are 24 years or older, they’re married or if they have children and of course our veterans. You’re dealing with a very diverse background of students, some are here to improve their career, to get a degree, and some are transitioning from military life to civilian life, what we say from boots to books.”
Huber says 5% of UW-Superior’s students are veterans, and 35% are nontraditional.
“If you look at our total population that the center serves it’s 41% of the campus. That would be the combination of both our online learning as well as on campus. Just our on campus nontraditional students would be roughly 19%of our students.”
UW-Superior’s enrollment this year is 2,680. Of that, 136 students are veterans or veteran spouses with military benefits.
Bradley Roy served two terms with the Air Force. He says the center is comparable to resource centers within the Air Force.
“It’s a helpful one stop shop kind of deal; you can come in and find where you need to go if you’re not at the right place at the right time. I had that in the Air Force, they had a lot of one stop shops for different things that you just showed up and they told you where to go and this center kind of works the same way.”
Jay He is an International Student and veteran of the Chinese Army. He says he has several younger Chinese friends on campus but he finds it hard to connect with them.
“Once I come here I feel like its just giving me more friends on this campus. Especially friends who have had similar experiences before. People always acting a similar way, making similar jokes, I feel pretty happy.”
The Center is also the home of a program called ‘Got Kids?’, which is an organization to help connect parents on campus. 17% of UW-Superior students have children.
Tarah Groettum is a student program assistant for ‘Got Kids?’. She says the program is set to let parents know that they are not alone.
“We want to let them know that there are more of us out here. Come here, come talk to us. We’ll get together, we’ll vent out our issues. We’ll try to make UWS more family friendly, we’ll have more family events on campus, just come here and throw your ideas at us so we know what you want and need.”
The Student Center is located in Old Main, room 118 and is open daily from 8am-8pm.
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