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Monday, January 31, 2011

SU Signs Maryland Campus Compact for Student Veterans

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach today signed the Maryland Campus Compact for Student Veterans.  She joined Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and other higher education leaders in pledging to improve on-campus services for students who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

“Veterans bring a unique maturity and life experience to the classroom—an experience that in most cases enhances classroom discussions and benefits every student’s learning,” said Brown, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, a graduate of ROTC and the nation’s highest-ranking elected official to serve a tour of duty in Iraq.

He added:  “But as each war is different, so is every generation of veteran.  We have an obligation to serve those who served and we must do more to ease student veterans’ transitions from combat to campus. While the urgency to sign this agreement was sparked by an atypical and unfortunate incident on one of our campuses, I am proud that higher education leaders from across the state will work together to improve the services we provide to the men and women served on our behalf.”

For Brown, one of the catalysts for creating the compact was the Community College of Baltimore County’s controversial, but necessary, decision to remove a student who wrote a troubling essay about war experience, until a psychological evaluation could be performed.  The compact calls on Maryland’s higher education community to do more to ensure the educational success of veterans who choose to return to a state school through a greater awareness and understanding of the challenges they face.

SU and other participating institutions pledge to designate an office or staff person as a “go to” for all student veterans to help them navigate everything from G.I. Bill paperwork to behavioral health counseling. The compact also requires campus officials to provide training for faculty, staff and student leaders to promote greater awareness of veteran issues.  It encourages campuses to create student veteran organizations to provide peer support for those who are transitioning back into schools and communities.

SU already has a Veterans’ Affairs liaison in its Registrar’s Office and offers services for veterans in the Counseling Center.  A cross-campus committee is currently developing a needs assessment for student veterans and, last year, launched a new Web site with resources:  www.salisbury.edu/veterans.  In addition, SU is home to an active Student Military and Veterans Association.

For two consecutive years, Salisbury has been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine and has been included in the Guide to Military Friendly Schools.  In summer 2009, the campus announced its participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, an optional component of the new Post-9/11 G.I. Bill for veterans.  In fall 2008, SU brought its Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program back to campus, at the request of students.  

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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