The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due...

This morning, AMVETS Legislative Aide Christina Roof came across a Rutgers University press release published on an online veterans' forum, which highlighted the university's efforts to support New Jersey student-veterans.

Here is the official release.

Unfortunately, the release seems to take credit for the hard work of Rutgers' student-veterans who have fought tooth-and-nail for every inkling of support that the university and Rutgers President Richard McCormick now seem eager to offer.

“As the State University of New Jersey, we want to make sure that we are ready to assist these men and women who so honorably served our nation,” said President Richard L. McCormick.

Oh really? Over the last two years student-veterans at the Rutgers-Camden campus have put in all of the leg work to convince the university that its student-veterans were being treated inequitably.

Veterans For Education, which American Veteran has highlighted on multiple occasions, built up support within the student body and within the community, ultimately forcing President McCormick's hand on veterans' issues. All along the way, V4E faced active resistance from campus administration until they had mustered enough grassroots support to facilitate change. Now the university cannot give credit where credit is due.

V4E and its leaders John Cosby, William Brown, and Bryan Adams, have worked tirelessly with state and federal legislators to allow New Jersey's state colleges and universities to accept military credits as Servicemembers' Opportunity Colleges.

Only after an exhaustive public awareness campaign and letters from legislators at all levels of government did Rutgers and President McCormick decide to act.

Fortunately, news sources such as the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New Jersey Star-Ledger have acknowledged the hard work of V4E in pushing for Rutgers' support to its veterans.

Thankfully, the climate for American student-veterans seems to be improving thanks to the hard work of veterans such as V4E and hundreds of Student Veterans of America (SVA) groups across the country.

Students are also starting to receive the administrative and faculty support that they will need to succeed thanks to the hard work of educators like John Schupp, the founder of Cleveland State's SERV program, which AMVETS and SVA proudly support.

AMVETS and American Veteran will continue to follow the developments of student-veterans' services at college campuses nationwide to ensure that veterans transition smoothly into campus life.

(Photo: V4E student-veterans from Rutgers Camden discuss Servicemembers Opportunity College credits with New Jersey Governor John Corzine. Photo courtesy of Veterans For Education.)

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