New center offers recreation for veterans

Amber Cannon, Rocket Contributor
April 24, 2014

Slippery Rock University presented the new Student Veterans’ Center with a ribbon ceremony on Thursday in the  Robert Smith Student Center.

The Student Veterans’ Center is located in Room 252 in the Student Center. The new center is equipped with a flat screen television, computers and furniture for veterans to lounge around in at their leisure.

Prior to the ribbon being cut, President Norton said a few words  about how beneficial it is for SRU to incorporate a space for veterans to come and discuss their day or how their classes are going.

“We realized that our veterans here on campus don’t really have a place to land at the end of their day. They needed a place to land, to share their stories and thoughts. This new space will give them an opportunity to meet other veterans who are in the same situation that they are in,” she said.

Norton stated that one of the main reasons for this center being built was for personal connection purposes. She explained that most veterans and military personnel that come to college have a very hard time adjusting to the college lifestyle. Veterans can now talk about those adjustment issues with someone who understands in a space that they feel comfortable talking in.

SGA President Buddy Clements also said a few words honoring the veterans and congratulating them on their new center.

“The whole SGA team along with every student on this campus appreciates the hard work and dedication of these young men and women, so it was only right to give them a space of their own. They deserve it,” Clements said.

According to Clements, the idea for the center came to him months ago. He said that many rooms in the CSIL office weren’t being used and were collecting dust. After bringing the idea to President Norton, the renovations began.

“This whole campus is a family, so we need to look out for each other like a family. I wanted to give all military personnel a place to just relax,” he said.

John Beckage, President of SRU’s Student Veterans of America was very honored and flattered to be given this new center. A former veteran, Beckage said that he is proud to be a part of a campus that recognizes the hard work of all military personnel.  He explained that SRU has always been conscious of the veterans on campus.

“Veterans on this campus have such a huge support system around them.  SRU has always been mindful of how to serve us and how to assist us in higher learning,” he said. “With the creation of this center, it allows us veterans to be who we are and allows us to strive in getting a higher education.”

Following the ribbon cutting, several veterans, professors, and students thank Norton and Clements for finally giving veterans a place on campus where they feel comfortable.

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