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Gatepost Editorial: Students, support your veterans

By The Gatepost Editorial Board

We at The Gatepost are proud we serve a community that is considered to be a veteran-friendly university, according to GI Jobs Magazine.

Framingham State has a Veteran Services office located on the fifth Floor of the McCarthy Center, which provides resources for student veterans.

There are 190 FSU students who receive veterans’ benefits – 160 are veterans and 30 are students who receive veterans’ benefits from their families.

According to the November 8 article, “FSU community reflects on Veterans Day,” Veteran Services Director Kevin Fields said he meets with student veterans on a daily basis. They visit him to learn about their benefits, academic support, guidance and internship opportunities.

Most notably, FSU recently established the Veterans Internship Program (VIP), which allows veterans the opportunity to be paid for what would normally be unpaid internships.

Veterans have the chance to receive between $12 and $14 an hour, according to Career Services Internship Coordinator Dawn Ross. We think this is an especially important addition to veteran services available on campus, because many students who may want to utilize traditional internships are unable to because they are generally unpaid.

In the article, Fields said he believes a “veteran-friendly campus is one that works to incorporate veterans in the full sphere of activities on campus.”

While the university offers a number of essential services and opportunities to student veterans, there is not enough student support for them.

In addition to the services currently offered, we at The Gatepost would like to see more peer-initiated outreach for our on-campus veterans.

We want the Framingham State University Veterans Association brought back and for it to live up to its former mission statement: “To provide peer support, community outreach, social and professional networking for student veterans at FSU.”

We especially hope to see this club back because we believe the best support for our veterans comes from their fellow veterans and student peers.

The club provides a sense of camaraderie for student veterans, creating a unique environment in which they can share their own experiences and learn from others.

Other students would benefit from this club as well because they can be better educated about the sacrifices our veterans made to protect our freedoms.

Fields, a former advisor for the now inactive club, said he would be willing to help out if students were interested in reactivating it.

While we think it is admirable that the director of Veteran Services wants to help student veterans, we think SILD and SGA should be making a greater effort to help re-establish this club.

Most of our student veterans who decide to come back to school are also trying to readapt to civilian life. They also tend to be older students who are working to support themselves and their families – they need help to jumpstart the club.

We believe this club is a vital part of FSU because it teaches the community about what our veterans have experienced in order to protect our country’s freedoms.

In light of Monday’s holiday honoring our country’s heroes, we would like to thank our own here at FSU.

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