Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

  An excellent on-campus resource for West Chester University students, that many students probably know very little about, is the Veterans Center. Although it opened in December of last year, this is the first semester that the center is fully operational.

  However, contrary to popular belief, the Veterans Center is not just for veterans; it is also for all active members of the military as well as military dependents, including spouses, children, and other family.

   The Veterans Center serves as a meeting place for those in the military and their families, which gives them a supportive environment in which they realize that the people there understand their feelings and concerns. The Veterans Center lounge also acts as a commuter lounge of sorts, because many students who use the Veterans Center don’t live on campus.

  The Veterans Center is open to all students, but especially those involved with our armed forces. Lawrence Davidson, the Veterans Center coordinator, explained that WCU recognized that those involved in the military have a unique set of needs, which is how the Veterans Center came to be.

   “It’s great to have a place on campus where students who are involved with the military can find other people like them who understand them,” Davidson said.

  As the Veterans Center coordinator, Dr. Davidson can help military-involved students by explaining the complexities of financial aid, addressing their questions and recording their needs, and advocating for services and events that they, in particular, could learn from or would find helpful.

  The Veterans Center does more than offer advice. Last year, the Veterans Center participated in Hamels’ Heroes, in which they had the privilege of attending a Phillies game as guests of Mr. and Mrs. Cole Hamels to show their appreciation for our servicemen and women.

  As for this year, the upcoming football game against Kutztown will be another of the center’s events. Saturday, Oct. 29 will be Military and Veterans Appreciation Day to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, so students that have or have had family members in our armed forces should attend this football game. Not to mention, Dr. Davidson is doing his best to organize a program in which military members who attend West Chester submit pictures from their travels overseas to create art to sell. The proceeds from the art sold will benefit the Veterans Center.       According to Dr. Davidson, however, the best way we can support our veterans and their families is by treating them like regular people.

 “The people on campus who are involved with the military don’t want this to define them; they just want to be normal and fit in,” Davidson said.

   Any students looking to get involved with the Veterans Center should consider joining the Student Veterans Group, which meets in the Center at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays.

 However, students can visit the Veterans Center on 624 S. High St., which is just around the corner from 25 University Ave. Students can also visit the Veterans Center website at wcupa.edu/veteranscenter or call at (610) 436-2862.

Clare Hoggerty is a first year student majoring in English. She can be reached at CH757342@wcupa.edu.

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