$54,000 state grant given to UO Student Veteran Center to expand resources
Trent Goodman joined the Marines in 2010. He came to the University of Oregon in 2014 because of the outdoor activities that the state of Oregon offers.
Soon after being admitted, Goodman experienced the struggle that many incoming, non-traditional students face; however, he found a home in the Student Veterans Center and went on to be the team leader of the PAVE (Peer Advisors for Veteran Education) program.
The Student Veterans Center received a state grant of $54,000 from the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs last January to expand its resources for student veterans like Goodman.
In the Student Veterans Center, located on the outside of the EMU, there are several resources available to student veterans; these include free coffee, a small library and a space to interact with other student veterans.
There are approximately 400 student veterans on the University of Oregon campus, according to Samantha Roberts, Veterans Program Coordinator.
The grant doubles the UO Student Veterans Center’s annual budget, which is funded by the Dean of Students and the ASUO. This grant will allow the center to hire a part-time employee, sustain an existing peer mentorship program, expand the center’s digital resources and increase orientation programs.
“It’s a huge boost to what we can provide,” Roberts said.
This grant was part of Senate Bill 143 within the State of Oregon that had colleges and universities in the state of Oregon apply for a piece of the main grant of $1 million, according to Roberts.
Lane Community College also received a grant. Roberts said she anticipates the two schools working together with the grant to aid students transferring from Lane to UO.
“We’re almost combining our resources to reach students on both campuses and make that transition a bit smoother,” Roberts said.
Roberts said she hopes the university expands its resources to student veterans.
“We need more support, especially for what these students are bringing to our campus. These are people who are going to go off and do incredible things. They are going to become even better leaders. They are going to be running for office,” Roberts said.
One of the programs the Student Veterans Center runs is PAVE. This program assigns a peer to an incoming student veteran — matched by major — to help ease the transition into college life.
The grant is slated to absorb some of the program costs associated with PAVE and expand it to winter and spring term, alongside further orientation programming for incoming students.
One of the issues the Student Veterans Center is working to address is veteran homelessness. Goodman said after coming to Oregon, housing was one of the biggest challenges he faced.
“Housing is really tough, especially for veterans. Most of them come in as transfer students. so most of them are not going to want to do any dorm living,” Goodman said.
Goodman said he hopes the Student Veterans Center can expand its resources to reach more students on campus through making the center more visible to students.
“Increasing visibility helps bring more resources to the students,” Goodman said.
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