ASUO is accepting applications for a new executive position called the Veteran Student Advocate. ASUO Chief of Staff Will Iverson hopes this will create a new space on campus for supporting veterans.
The position was posted before winter break and is still open for applicants. The candidate chosen will also serve as an officer with the Veterans and Family Student Association to advocate for the community.
Iverson said they’re looking for someone well-informed and plugged in with the veteran community, as well as someone with a desire to advocate and improve relationships with non-veteran students.
“A lot of times people don’t know student veterans, so I think that might be part of the root issue,” said Iverson.
VFSA Public Relations Officer Shea Kvintus said he thinks this position will make a difference.
“We’re excited about this position because whoever becomes the Veteran Student Advocate is going to have time scheduled into their day, as a job, to advocate for us,” said Kvintus. “The connections they’ll be able to make being on the ASUO staff is also a lot more than we can do as a student organization.”
Iverson is currently the only veteran student to serve on ASUO and said he’s been trying to get a bigger voice for veterans closer to administration since 2014.
“I’d been thinking if there were an ASUO position created to focus on veterans’ advocacy, they might be able to get more of a foothold and accomplish more in the coming year,” said Iverson.
“Support usually comes in the form of surplus funds from the senate, but as far as campaigning and advocacy, there hasn’t been a lot of work done on that front.”
Kvintus said he feels the University of Oregon could be an ideal place for veterans if there was more focus on them
“The top degrees veterans get here are [like] business, biology,” Kvintus said. “It could be a better place for vets.”
Iverson echoed this, saying, “As far as veteran support, in general, University of Oregon is not considered to be a great place. [Whoever fills this position] can help make UO a leader instead of following.”
VFSA is the only ASUO-recognized veterans program.
Find employment opportunities with ASUO, including details about the Veteran Student Advocate position here.
Follow Becca Robbins on Twitter: @brobbinsuo