University creates space for veterans
A university opened a new space yesterday that’s dedicated to its student veterans and service members.
Davenport University in Grand Rapids officially opened its 567-square-foot veterans lounge in the Robert W. Sneden Center. The space is designed for studying, networking and building camaraderie.
The lounge is a converted classroom within the center and features several amenities: couches, desks, tables, television, computer and refrigerator.
The space will be used by the Student Veterans of America chapter to host events, such as inviting corporate community members to speak to the group and networking.
Jeremy Simerson, a veteran and admissions representative for Military and Veteran Services at DU, said the converted classroom was given to the students by the university and is a place for veterans and service members to study and feel connected to the university.
“Service members transitioning from the military to higher education often leaves them without that feeling of camaraderie,” Simerson said. “By having this physical location where they can go to be together, they have a chance to feel engaged with the institution, as opposed to feeling like an outsider.”
Simerson said the commitment by the university to student veterans and service members is very important.
“It gives them that connection, and we’ve all heard of some adjustments are more difficult than others as student veterans are returning home. It helps them not feel so alone,” Simerson said. “I can speak from experience, as a veteran myself, having that space is definitely something I would have enjoyed when I was going to college.”
Davenport University has been recognized by Military Times for its work in supporting military veterans as a career and technical college. The university ranks No. 15 in Military Times’ “Best for Vets” in 2014.
DU has also been recognized by the journal Military Advanced Education for its commitment to providing financial aid, flexibility and on-campus and online support services.
DU is affiliated with The Yellow Ribbon program, Student Veterans of America, Got Your 6 and the Buddy to Buddy volunteer program.