Michigan State University recently opened the Veterans’ Resource Center, catering to one group that usually receives little “diversity outreach”.
The student editors of The State News see this as a positive sign, but note that having a public space is worthless without adequate support from university administrators.
Although the center is opening today, it’s unclear exactly what services will be offered. Multiple State News interview requests to Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Services and Director of Student Life Denise Maybank were unanswered.
While designating a specific space for student veterans is a positive step, a resource center is nothing without resources.
It’s also worrisome that this center just was established. It’s a shame university officials have done so much for other groups on campus, but for so long neglected our veterans that have a long-standing history in the school.
Spaces such as the Multicultural Center, which recently was revamped because of student demand, and the LGBT Resource Center have been established campus entities. Yet until now, help for veterans has been pushed to a support website.
Unfortunately, MSU is far behind other schools in catering to the needs of veterans.
..Especially at MSU, we should hold our veterans in high regards. Veterans are the reason MSU is what it is today.
After World War II, the university saw an influx of veterans coming here to study under the GI Bill.
So many veterans enrolled that the president at the time, John Hannah, was forced to make a temporary quonset hut village to house all of the veterans.
The creation of Brody Complex Neighborhood, Snyder, Phillips and Shaw halls also were results of housing demands for veterans.
In fact, the increase in the student body by post-World War II vets is one of the big pushes in our campaign for admittance into the Big 10. Our veterans made huge impacts on the university, many of which still can be seen today.
This is a step in the right direction, but we need to continue our support of the students who dedicated their lives to serving our country. Resources, such as a full-time employee to help connect veterans with help, must be a priority.
Although opening the Veterans’ Resource Center is a symbolic show of support from the university, more concrete steps must be taken, and soon, to help those who have given so much to us.