From combat to college: Student Veterans Orientation at UNT

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What: Student Veterans Orientation at the University of North Texas' Student Activities Center

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 29 (Thursday)

Where: Syndicate, located on level one of UNT's University Union, which is one block west of Welch and West Prairie streets

Contact: Dr. Mona Hicks, UNT's deputy chief of student development and interim dean of students, at mona.hicks@unt.edu or 940-565-4909

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- As universities across the nation begin to prepare for increasing numbers of veterans enrolling in degree programs, the Student Activities Center at the University of North Texas is hosting a Student Veterans Orientation for UNT's veteran students and their families in an effort to ease the transition of adjusting from military service to starting college.

The orientation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 29 (Thursday) in the Syndicate, located on level one of UNT's University Union, which is one block west of Welch and West Prairie streets.

The event will expose UNT's veteran student population to resources available to them and give them an opportunity to connect with their military peers at UNT. The more than 500 veterans enrolled at UNT are invited to the orientation, which will also launch the Student Veterans of America chapter at UNT.

Student Veterans of America is a coalition of student veteran groups from college campuses across the United States.  Founded in January 2008, the organization advocates on behalf of student veterans at the local, state and national levels and uses peer-to-peer networks with other student veterans to help ease the transition from service to college. 

 "Transition to college can be a difficult time for many," said Dr. Mona Hicks, UNT's deputy chief of student development and interim dean of students. "Add to that the process of returning from service and the pressures of reacclimating to civilian life. It is vital that we assist these and all students to make these transitions as productive as possible."

She added that colleges and universities have changed a lot since the time when many service members first became active and that many veteran students will need help understanding the changes of the 2008 GI Bill and "navigating the institutional process."

The orientation is also designed to support family members and dependants of veterans, said Hicks.

"Veterans are more than just those who serve; it also includes their families who have sacrificed so much in the service of our nation," she said. 

Representatives from several university departments, including the Career Center, Counseling and Testing Services, Dining Services, the Learning Center, the Multicultural Center, Recreational Sports, Student Accounting, the Student Activities Center, the Student Health and Wellness Center, the Student Money Management Center, the UNT Libraries and the Volunteer Center, will be present at the orientation to provide outreach and inform students about their resources.

Following the orientation, participants and their families will be invited to attend the UNT men's basketball game against Troy University at UNT's Coliseum, located at the southeast corner of North Texas Boulevard and Highland Street. At the game, UNT's veteran students will be recognized for their service. This program is sponsored UNT's Office of the Vice President for Student Development, Dean of Students Office and UNT Athletics.

For more information, contact Hicks at mona.hicks@unt.edu or 940-565-4909.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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