Page 7 - Transormations Magazine 11-12

You may not easily spot them on campus, but as of
September 2012, Indiana University Southeast had 210
student veterans enrolled. IU Southeast has made a
concerted effort to ensure that these men and women
receive as much help as possible when making the
transition from military to civilian life. For each of the last
four years, IU Southeast has been recognized as a military
friendly school by Victory Media, Inc., and
G.I. Jobs
a
good indication of the campus’s relationship with veterans.
This status was achieved through the efforts of numerous
faculty, staff, and administrators on campus. A study
conducted by the Pat Tillman Foundation and Operation
College Promise suggests that schools like IU Southeast,
which offer a solid support system for student veterans,
should see those veterans make degree progress at a
rate similar to those of non-veterans. Although there is
not reliable data available at the state and national level,
best estimates indicate that the national graduation rate
for student veterans is only six to eight percent. This puts
veterans in a high-need category for assistance toward
degree completion.
Several staff members play important roles in assisting
student veterans. Jack Howell, the VA Certifying Official
in the Registrar’s Office, offers personal assistance to
veterans and has set up a website to answer common
questions of student veterans. The site also contains links
to veteran services, GI Bill information, and job searches.
Readers can review the site at
.
Matt Springer, the Coordinator of Disability Services on
campus, finds that veterans are often frustrated because his
office must abide by the definition of “disability” according to
the ADA. The VA defines “disability” within the context of a
monetary benefit. “I need evidence of an impairment”, says
Matt, “not some official service-related percentage scale.
I will work with the VA, but more commonly Vocational
Rehabilitation and even our Dr. Michael Day, to get
documentation of an impairment and will accommodate
from that. That is why it has been so helpful to me to have
other vets say things like ‘Hey, if you are having issues with
test taking, go talk to Matt. He is a cool guy.’”
The Student Veterans Organization (SVO) aids returning
student veterans by providing social and networking support
to help them make the transition from military to civilian life.
There are currently about 60 active members. In addition to
social and networking opportunities, the SVO coordinates
Veterans Day recognition and activities during the fall
semester and has a series of veterans-related events
during Victory Week in April.
Transformations
5
Student
Veterans
on Campus
Current SVO Officers
President:
Logan Walsh
Secretary:
Katrina Ortensie
Vice President:
Nancy McLain
Treasurer:
Shannon Jackson
Master of Arms:
Richard Weaver