Educating Our Country’s Leaders
November 18, 2010
By Stephanie Thara
The CSU takes pride in being able to have a campus in every region of the state and close to nearly every military base in California. In 2009, the CSU instituted a statewide initiative where a total of 115 slots across all 23 campuses will be reserved for active duty or veteran service members. Each slot guarantees admission on the basis of each veteran's commanders’ recommendations. As part of the CSU’s Troops to College initiative, each of the 23 campuses has veteran service representatives dedicated to helping veterans and active-duty personnel take advantage of the university’s incredible opportunities and to make full use of their benefits.
Many CSU campuses offer student veteran groups, along with unique amenities and events, including:
San Diego State University: On Nov. 4, SDSU opened its expanded Veterans Center, which now serves more than 1,000 veteran, active-duty and reservist students and about 600 military dependents. While SDSU opened the first Veterans Center in the CSU system two years ago, the increasing student-veteran population outgrew the location. The center now includes a Veterans Administration (VA) office, making SDSU the first university in California and the second in the nation to have a VA office on campus. In addition to the Veterans Center, the university also houses the Troops to Teachers and Troops to Engineers programs, the first on-campus residence for student-veterans in the country and the VetSuccess program.
California State University, Sacramento: CSUS is home to organizations such as the Student Veteran Organization (SVO). SVO offers a non-political environment where university veterans, active duty personnel, reservists, families and others can meet, share information and plan activities. It is designed to emulate the camaraderie military personnel experienced while in the service. Also, the university has a Veterans/ROTC Alumni Chapter, which aims to make a positive difference for student veterans through creating a fraternal and service oriented environment that assists military members and their families. The chapter offers professional and social networking opportunities, develops scholarship opportunities for student veterans and their families and promotes community awareness on the issues veterans face.
California State University, Fullerton: CSUF maintains groups like the Student Veterans Association (SVA), which assists student veterans in successfully transitioning from military service to university life through camaraderie, networking and advocacy. SVA not only serves as a go-to resource for university knowledge, but as a support group to all servicemembers. In honor of Veterans Day, CSUF’s SVA and Veteran Student Services recently saluted campus veterans with a “Wall of Heroes,” showcasing photos of those who have served or are currently serving in the military. Similarly, CSUF hosts weekly “veteran lunch get-togethers” to act as a forum for discussing veteran issues, share information, build connections and encourage student veterans. The university has luncheons twice a week; one for all veterans and one specifically for women veterans.