As part of Veterans Week, from 4 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 6, on the third floor of the University Library, a panel of five students will share their experiences as veterans attending University of Wisconsin-Stout.
About 5% of UW-Stout students identify as being veterans, said Sarah Godsave, UW-Stout’s military education benefits coordinator in the Veterans Service Office.
“They are a population that brings unique diversity to our campus,” Godsave noted. “Taking the time to communicate that to campus really improves the campus climate and the sense of community to our student veterans.”
Panel members include:
This is the first time a student veteran panel has been held at UW-Stout, Godsave said. “Last fall we sent out a veteran student survey. I heard from quite a few students who wanted to see more education on the campus about military students and military experiences they had,” Godsave noted. “I wanted students to be part of that education.”
Connors wanted to be part of the panel to help answer questions people may have about veterans. He believes many traditional students may not realize veterans are returning to college after serving four or more years in the military.
“Seventy-five percent of Stout student veterans are over age 24,” Godsave said. “They have a lot of responsibilities outside of being a university student.”
However, veterans also bring diversity to classrooms and a different perspective to enrich education, Godsave noted.
As part of the panel discussion, the University Library will display on the first floor a collection of some of the materials written by veterans including poetry, fiction and memoirs that highlight veterans’ experiences.
“Sarah and I collaborated on improving the library’s collection to highlight the veteran’s experience,” said Cory Mitchell, a collection development librarian. “We wanted to create a broader understanding of what veterans have had to face and how war, and their experience, impacts their lives.”
The collection will offer insight from nonveterans and veterans. “We added about 75 titles that included war fiction (novels) and nonfiction books like biographies, war experiences, memoirs, true stories, history, etc. We selected popular and impactful titles and for the most part focused on recent conflicts of Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror,” Mitchell said.
Veterans Services on campus
UW-Stout has a Veteran Services Office. UW-Stout is a Military Times 2019 and 2020 Best for Vets College. Veterans support in addition to the Veteran Services Office and Veterans Club also includes a Council on Veteran Services and a designated veterans relations senator in the Stout Student Association.
The Army ROTC program is part of the Northwoods Battalion, which includes programs at UW-Stevens Point, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls. ROTC stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
Army ROTC combines electives in military science with practical leadership training to prepare men and women to become Army officers. Upon successful completion of the Army ROTC program and graduation from college, cadets receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard.
UW-Stout is Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, with a focus on applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career outcomes.
A panel on Wednesday, Nov. 6, will feature UW-Stout student veterans.