UC Riverside’s exemplary work in creating a friendly and diverse campus atmosphere continues to receive national accreditation. In a recent military survey conducted by G.I. Magazine, UCR was named a top university for supporting students in active military service and veterans. It is the third consecutive year that UCR has received the distinction as a premier “military-friendly” campus.
UCR Veteran Services Coordinator Chryssa Jones is pleased at the recognition. “UCR has always put a great emphasis in assisting our military students,” Jones said. “The formal recognition is nice, but many people usually don’t realize that we do a lot more than nominally bearing the name.”
According to Jones, the UCR Student Special Services and Veterans Affairs office offers a series of customized veteran student workshops in conjunction with the Career Center and builds a solid peer support system through Riverside’s Student Veterans for America (SVA). In addition, they provide training and professional development resources to support student veterans and military families on campus.
Al Dupont, a fourth-year media and cultural studies student serving in the National Guard and Air Force veteran, shared his experience of participating in the workshop.
“It was helpful,” he said. “Many veteran alumni who are in the workforce came and spoke to us, which is kind of cool. A lot of companies sent their representatives to guide us on how to translate our military duties onto job resumes. I was encouraged to find out that a lot of companies want to hire veterans because they are highly disciplined and have good work ethics.”
Balreet Kahaira, fourth-year business economics major and a member of the National Guard Reserve, who recently came back from Iraq, echoed Dupont’s positive response to UCR’s environment.
“It is not easy coming back to a classroom setting from the military. A lot of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. It is hard for regular civilians to understand what each veteran has gone through. But the veterans’ programs that UCR provided really catered to each veteran’s need,” he said. As a member of the SVA, Kahaira hopes to increase on-campus awareness by creating an open door policy between the veterans’ department and other available facilities.
“We believe that being ‘Military Friendly’ is the responsibility of the whole campus, not just one office,” said Jones. “We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of so many departments, organizations, and individuals on campus and in our community to support our student veterans.”
Jones invites all students to participate in Veterans’ Week, Nov. 4-8, which leads up to Veterans’ Day (Nov. 11), a school holiday. Veterans’ Week events will include a campus fitness challenge at the UCR Track on Nov. 4, a special postcard-writing campaign at the Bell Tower on Nov. 6, a campus diversity screening and discussion of the film “High Ground” on Nov. 7, and a special Veterans’ Day flag-raising ceremony at 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 8.