Categories:  Students

UIC opens new resource center for student veterans

Things We Carried

Army specialist Tyler Mason, left, now a senior in mechanical engineering, reads Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” during a break in a patrol shift in Iraq.

 

UIC honors its student vets on Veterans Day with the grand opening of a new resource center.

UIC’s Student Veterans Center opens Tuesday on the second floor of Student Center East, behind the Commuter Student Resource Center. An open house is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 12.

“The SVC will be a place students can meet with other veterans, network with them and study between classes,” said Tyler Mason, president of the UIC Student Veterans Association and senior in mechanical engineering. “I look forward to what it’s going to become.”

The center will also be home to a student veteran art exhibit, “The Things We Carried.” The exhibit, which features photos, paintings and personal items student veterans and other service members carried during deployment, opens with a reception at 4 p.m. Monday and runs through Nov. 21.

In addition to being a welcoming and interactive space for student veterans, the Student Veterans Center will provide a variety of resources, including:

 

• drop-in hours for résumé and CV writing tips from Career Services

• information sessions from military-friendly employers

• space for UIC Student Veterans Association events

• a textbook lending library created by student veterans

• drop-in hours for services from the John Marshall Law School Veterans Clinic and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

• help with GI Bill questions and VA forms

• academic advising from the Undergraduate Student Success Center.

 

Annette Wright, director of the UIC Office of Student Veteran Affairs, emphasized the importance of the space.

“For every student to have their own unique college experience they should have a space to connect with people from a shared experience,” said Wright, assistant dean of students. “We hope that the SVC will assist us in our goal as we help student veterans transition from the military to civilian life.”

Student veterans said they are excited about having the space.

“Student veterans tend to miss the sort of camaraderie they found in the military, so we are trying to recreate that,” said Aneta Murphy, vice president of the Student Veterans Association and senior in applied psychology. “This center will be a place for us to get together and share that camaraderie in an academic setting.”

“The Things We Carried,” an updated version of the popular exhibit displayed last year in Addams Hall, offers a glimpse of life during military service.

Mason, an infantryman with the U.S. Army, submitted photos from his time in Iraq from July 2005 to August 2009.

“Most of the photos were taken either right before a mission or during a break,” he said. “It’s just reminiscent of my experiences — when I see them I relive my deployment.”

Exhibit hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.