Going beyond the G.I. Bill: Campus SVA club helps student veterans at HSU

Arcata, Ca., (KIEM)- The G.I. Bill may guarantee free tuition to military veterans, but the reduced cost of a four year University doesn’t guarantee success for students who’ve returned from deployments.

That’s where groups like the Student Veterans Association (or SVA) come in. The club, on the surface looks like any other student organization. To it’s members, it’s so much more. It’s an opportunity to belong. 

“The general age of the population of veterans is around 30. The general age of the normal student body is much younger. So in that way we are a little offset from the student population.” James Lamping, the president of the SVA Club explains, “So we try to make HSU a more welcoming environment for students that come to this campus. The military has always been based on a peer to peer network to help eachother out and to be there for eachother.” 

On Thursday, the club held it’s first meeting. Throughout the year the group will be a place to cultivate a sense of community. Members will take ski and camping trips. They’ll form sports teams.  They’ll organize community service events. Through the campus SVA, they’ll have access to services to help manage PTSD, and tackle academics. 

Joining a campus community as a college student after military service is never easy, but SVA hopes to make the learning experience a successful one for those who served and now study.