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The UISG has tabled a bill to create a Veteran's Committee

BY DANIEL VALENTIN | NOVEMBER 19, 2014 5:00 AM

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After a month of work, the University of Iowa Student Government has decided to table a bill that would create a committee to support veterans on campus, and will be brought up again Dec. 9.

UISG Senator Caleb Bell said veterans should be given proper representation since they make up a portion of the student body.

“Veterans play an important role in everyone’s lives,” he said. “We don’t think about it very often, but their former service is the reason we get to enjoy our basic freedoms.”

Bell said 400,000 to 500,000 veterans are heading to universities across the nation due to the recent drawbacks to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Since 88 percent of veterans don’t graduate from college, it is important that veterans are given the help they need in order for them to get jobs,” he said.

Bell said the new committee for veterans would help to ensure that veterans are given enough support academically and help guide them to resources that would help them financially.

“There’s so much veterans don’t know,” he said. “The most important thing is that they know what is out there, and this committee can serve as a megaphone to spread awareness and get the community involved in helping veterans.”

UISG President Patrick Bartoski said this bill was tabled because this idea would require more time to discuss and debate since there are still things to consider.

“These veterans are some of the bravest people on campus,” he said. “The least they deserve is a committee that looks out for their interests.”

Bartoski said most veterans that come back to the U.S. enter universities as undergraduates, and that UISG ought to help them with the transition as best as they can.

“UISG aims to look out for every group on campus,” he said. “Something we could do is help direct incoming veterans to resources that provide financial aid and help them connect with all branches of military that the university supports.”

Bartoski said students could aid veterans by not only helping them seek resources to support them, but also by simply connecting with them in and out of class.

“All a student would have to do to support a veteran would be to simply make them feel welcome,” he said.

UISG Speaker of the Senate Sam Wampler said student veterans at the UI are already given plenty of support financially and academically.

“If UISG supported student veterans, they would see that we care for them,” he said. “Instead of simply maintaining our efforts, we should keep pushing to find ways to support student veterans.”

Wampler said students provide ample support for student veterans by joining student organizations such as the Student Veterans Association.

“If there were veterans in my class, I would want them to feel like they’re part of the game,” he said.


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