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UVA opens new Student Veteran Center

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia officially opened its Veteran Student Center Thursday September 9.

The center aims to provide support student veterans and active duty ROTC students at the university. UVA President Jim Ryan says he hopes it can be a space veterans can share their stories.

“Our ultimate goal with the student veterans here at UVA is to create a veteran experience that’s on par with other comparable universities, and we’re a little bit behind,” President of the Student Veterans Association Tim Brown said. “Opening the space kind of catches us up a little bit.”

“It’s the first time we’ve had a space like that, and it is dedicated to building community and supporting our undergraduate student veterans at UVA,” UVA Assistant Dean of Students David Sauerwein said.

The student veterans association at UVA helped with planning.

“I’ve been pretty heavily involved. The school has given us quite a bit of freedom in terms of selecting programming for the space, equipment for the space, the layout,” Brown said.

One of the flags in the space shares a common history with some of the soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen turned students again: It flew in Afghanistan.

“It’s a space to help them get together and gather and form community with each other, and it is a space that is going to allow us to be a better place because our veterans are more supported,” Sauerwein said.

Much of the money to pay for the center came from alumni and the Jefferson Trust.

“We all are called to support veterans. They have offered so much for our country and I think we need to reciprocate and take care of our veterans, both at UVA and in our community,” Sauerwein said.

Brown says that the next step is to get a dedicated veterans coordinator to advocate for student veterans at the University of Virginia.

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