PSU celebrated the grand opening of the Student Veterans Resource Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, Aug. 30. The ceremony, hosted in Whitesitt Hall, featured PSU President Steve Scott and Michelle Hensley, PSU’s Veterans Certifying Official, amongst other attendants. A crowd formed around the new space and the Resource Center became official with a quick snip of a red, white, and blue ribbon.
The new Student Veterans Resource Center is located in Whitesitt 102 and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“This is one of those situations made possible really just through the sheer determination of some of our staff members…” Scott said. “We have tremendous people in our trades area … our carpenters and painters … they got busy and they put that together, and really it’s just a terrific space… (I’m) really proud of what they’ve been able to do.”
The Resource Center was built as a way to create a comforatble space to welcome student veterans on campus.
“It’s going to be a great place for veterans who’ve spent time in active service to meet up and rekindle social networks that they haven’t had,” said John Bloemer, student veteran. “It creates a nice study place where we can meet up.”
The resource center includes a kitchen, study room, computers, and community table for lunch or group homework sessions.
“I think they’re going to find it an area just to be comfortable in,” Scott said. “… I think for them to have a place where they just immediately fit in and there’s a comfort level there is a huge plus. So I think longterm what we’re looking at is greater retention, greater success for our veterans, because they’re just going to have a place to hang out and to be where they feel like they belong. I think that’s important. … I just appreciate the way that this campus continues to respond to student needs and this is a great example of that. … I’m real proud of the campus for responding and I look forward to coming over and visiting some of the veterans as they’ve tried out the room.”
Following the ceremony, attendants socialized over festive American flag themed cookies and red punch.
Hensley thanked those who contributed to putting together the new Resource Center as well as the ceremony, namely the Registrar’s Office and Howard Smith, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success.
“It couldn’t have been done without the help of the people on campus, the different places that donated, and the organizations that donated,” Hensley said. “There’s nothing in here that wasn’t donated … I think it’s fantastic that we were able to put something together like this.”
The Student Veterans Resource Center will provide a space for student veterans to not only relax but also interact with fellow veterans.
“We’ve been looking for a space on campus and it took a long time to find the perfect spot.” Hensley said. “… It gives them a place to study, it gives them a place to gather together and know who else on campus is actually a veteran … you don’t always know those things by just looking at somebody.”