For veteran students who are looking for direction, comfort or connection with those who have served, the Veteran’s Resource Station is a place to ask questions, resolve issues or simply make friends with people who share the common characteristic of having served in the military.
According to Military Times, NKU was ranked 36th on the sixth annual “Best for Vets” list for four-year schools, serving 547 students who are or have been in the military.
Maria Ulloa, senior organizational leadership major and VA work study participant, said that the purpose of the Veterans Resource Station on campus is to support veterans with their education as well as streamline everything the veterans need into one location. According to Ulloa, with the help of this office, matters for veteran students can run a lot smoother.
“We want to help each other; it’s also a good place for people especially who are just transitioning out of the military,” Ulloa said. “It’s really hard, especially if you’ve been in for a long time, to find your place. This is a place where people can just kind of feel normal.”
Ulloa also said that there is a connection between veterans due to shared experiences.
“We’re starting school after being in the military, so we’re not right out of high school as 18-year-olds,” Ulloa said. “So we’re trying to be with our peers…it’s a whole different dynamic once you experience certain things, your priorities change. What you find important or unimportant changes.”
According to the NKU press release, this is the third year NKU has been in the Military Times rankings, and it is the only institution in the Greater Cincinnati area to be on the list.
Junior accounting major Sammy Meyerratken said that he likes how quickly issues are dealt with at the Veterans Resource Station. Meyerratken said NKU is the third higher education institution he’s attended.
According to Meyerratken, he’s had various issues including financial aid and sports eligibility that were dealt with in two minutes as compared to a two to three month process at some of his other schools. Meyerratken attributes the efficiency of NKU’s Veterans Resource Station to it being better staffed.
“They do perfect, like, flawless,” Meyerratken said. “I’m surprised they’re not number one, to be honest. The other 35 schools must have free candy bars or something.”
Additionally, there are more than 600 institutions who participate in this selection process which includes a 120 question survey about the program for veterans at a given institution.
Freshman criminal justice major Charles Ryder, who works as a peer mentor in the Veterans Resource Station, said that one of the main problems with the Veterans Resource Station is its location.
The office is tucked away, according to Ryder, and therefore after their initial arrival on campus, veteran students often forget about the office.
Ryder said that the office is busy throughout the day and suggested that if they had more space, more people might come. According to Ryder and Ulloa, people periodically come to the office and help each other with homework, eat meals or simply just hang out.
“Three or four people come in here to do stats together,” Ryder said. “Every type of subject that you could think of gets talked about here.”
Another aspect of the Veterans Resource Station that helps raise awareness for veterans at NKU and around the world is Red Fridays, through which veterans at the school wear red t-shirts every Friday.
According to freshman education major Chris Pischl and VA work-study participant, Red stands for Remember Everyone Deployed.
“It’s a way for us to remember those that are still overseas in wartime, in peacetime, anytime,” Pischl said. “It’s a nice little mental thing that we can put together and pay the respects for the guys that are still out there serving.”