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New Veteran Center opens doors to students

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The Student Veteran Committee (SVC), the Office of Veterans Affairs, and ASWSU celebrated the opening of the new veterans center in Holland Library yesterday morning.

Opening at 11 a.m. to a crowd of about 25 veterans and other students, the new center will aim to serve as a one-stop shop for veteran services and a place to relax.

“I think that the veteran center takes it one step further and provides a way for students to have an escape form collegiate life,” ASWSU President Taylor Hennessey said to the group of students.

Daniel Bernardo, interim provost and executive vice president, came to speak on WSU President Elson S. Floyd’s behalf.

“President Floyd was a staunch advocate for this project, we’re really proud that you’re a part of our cougar nation,” Bernardo said.

Jonathan McBride, SVC interim president, cut the red ribbon to the new veterans center and said he was excited to see the project finally come to fruition.

“We want to make sure we’re active in community, whether it’s an educational program or community work,” McBride said.

From the idea to campaign to final administration, the new veterans center was a year-long process to get to where it is today.

“We exhausted every university avenue to get here,” said Tobias Slaton, former SVC president.

Slaton, former SVC officers, Bernardo, and ASWSU executives were the early driving force that set this project into motion.

“It is my hope to come back in 15 to 20 years and see a veteran studying and getting help,” Slaton said.

Although he was not there to originally address the students, Floyd arrived for a few minutes to talk with student veterans.

“It was great to see the president stop by and speak with students,” said Blaine Golden, veteran coordinator. “I think the turnout was great, and I was very encouraged by that.”

Officials of the SVC and the Office of Veteran Affairs are already planning to bring in some new programs to the veterans center, including a tutoring service for veterans by veterans where help is posted to an online board.

“We’re going to try to use the space to expand tutorial services,” Golden said. “I’d like to see the process streamlined and reach out to senior and graduate veterans for tutoring.”

Another prospect for the new center is to have a space for the Center for Advising and Career Development, where veterans can come to get career coaching.

The SVC has also moved its office location from the CUB to the new center.

“I’m looking forward to seeing more veterans coming in and getting involved and making friends,” said James Savino, SVC vice president-elect.

The new veterans center is located at Holland 120B.

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New Veteran Center opens doors to students