Monday, November 14, 2016
As President Capilouto detailed in his blog on Friday, the University of Kentucky has had a proud and long-standing relationship with its U.S. Military service men and women. We understand that, whether their service is before, during, or after their time on our campus, student-veterans have a distinct UK experience.
The Veterans Resource Center (VRC), which opened at UK in the fall semester of 2009, supports student-veterans, students serving in the National Guard and Reserves, and military dependents throughout the year.
We know that students thrive in academia when they are engaged and feel like they belong on campus. That’s why we are thrilled to see that the number of students engaging with the VRC steadily increase each year. The VRC now serves more than 800 military-connected students.
The VRC, relocated this fall from Funkhouser to a larger space in Erickson Hall, is now better able to provide services on campus where veterans of all ages and experiences can create community and support one another, together. But the VRC is more than just study areas and lounges for students; it works to provide support and resources to all military-connected members of the UK family.
The VRC exists to provide support and community for students, but also to provide space for students to meet those who have served before them. Faculty and staff who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces are also encouraged to engage with the VRC.
We want our student-veterans to know that there are people on campus who know firsthand what it is to be a veteran and the unique challenges. It’s all part of building a community of engagement and belonging, for everyone.
The VRC also works with dependents of active duty military students to help them with their Post 9/11 GI Bill, In-state tuition waivers and more.
New and prospective student-veterans are welcomed to campus with a waived application fee and a section of UK 101, the University’s academic orientation course, specifically for veterans. The VRC can also help with requests for official military transcripts, so credit can be awarded for military training.
The VRC can help current students ensure that their military status does not impede their education. Students in the guard or reserves can potentially be deployed, and the VRC ensures that they can re-enroll in their classes without penalty upon their return. The VRC can also assist in filing change of major forms with the VA.
We are very proud of the student, faculty and staff support that takes place daily in our excellent Veterans Resource Center.
Though Veterans Day has now passed, we will continue to honor and serve these members of the UK family, just as they have served us.
Eric N. Monday