On April 2, 2013, Stanford opened the Student Veteran Affairs Office as a pilot program for spring quarter. The new office, part of the Student Services Center (SSC) located in Tresidder Memorial Union, is available for face-to-face assistance with navigating the certification paperwork and process for VA-assisted students. The office will serve as the central place for student veterans to meet with specially trained staff to discuss receiving and managing their financial assistance while at Stanford.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony that officially launched the new office, Lori Gager, Associate Director of the SSC said, “Thank you so much for your service to our country. And thank you for joining us to celebrate. I feel very patriotic today!”
The pilot program, a collaborative effort involving the Financial Aid Office, the Registrar’s Office, and the SSC, is designed to ease the sometimes complex and time-consuming government-regulated process required for students receiving VA assistance. Greg Boardman, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, explains, “The Student Veteran Affairs Office creates a central point of access to information so that we can offer better support to student veterans. This is a growing population with special needs and we aim to be able to answer all their questions in one location. Although we may need to refer students to other staff or offices, we’re pleased that we can provide specialized guidance and helpful information.”
Along with Stanford’s recent signing of the Principles of Excellence Executive Order 13607 from President Obama, the opening of this new office further illustrates Stanford’s commitment to its students. The Student VA Office is open every Tuesday from 10am-12pm. The pilot will be evaluated by gathering feedback from students who use the office this quarter, as well as with metrics gathered from each interaction.
The value of the new Student VA Office is perhaps best expressed by Stanford student veteran, Colin Supko (MBA, 2013). “The Stanford Student Services Center has raised the bar for how the University serves veterans on campus . . This move clearly demonstrates the level of importance Stanford has placed on assisting those who have served. Veteran students bring a rich blend of diversity, leadership, and world experience to any classroom and Stanford's new student VA office will allow its veterans to spend more time engaged in school and less time trying to understand how to navigate the VA and utilize its benefits.”