ALVS celebrates student veterans with Veterans Week

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Collegian | Dylan Tusinski

Allie Seibel, News Editor

With Veterans Day Nov. 11, Colorado State University’s Adult Learner and Veteran Services hosted Veterans Week with programs and outreach designed to support student veterans on campus.

Veterans Week, held annually by the ALVS, took place Nov. 5-12, coinciding with Veterans Day — a national holiday to remember those who served in the armed forces.

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Veterans Day began as Armistice Day: a way of remembering sacrifices made in World War I. Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to honor veterans from World War II and the Korean War.

Year-round, the ALVS center is a resource center for nontraditional students at CSU.

“We serve all sorts of nontraditional students — so anyone 23 and over,” said Lisa Chandler, assistant director of ALVS. “So we usually talk about adult learners, student parents and student veterans; however, nontraditional can also mean a 20-year-old student parent or someone who was more independent in high school, like someone who may have gone through the foster care system.”

The ALVS supports around 3,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students, Chandler said.

“The most important thing is seeing the value of all our students and not just our veteran students the fact that all our students bring prior life experience that adds to the richness (of) the CSU community. We know that when students have a community in place to connect to, the more successful they’ll be, so everything we do programming-wise, we relate back to that.” –Lisa Chandler, Adult Learner and Veterans Services assistant director

This year’s Veterans Week included a Military & Veteran Appreciation Ball, a scholarship workshop and various creative writing showcases, along with a tailgate before the University of Wyoming football game reserved for members of the ALVS community.

On Veterans Day, ALVS hosted National Roll Call, which is a reading on the Lory Student Center Plaza of the more than 7,000 names of soldiers who died in the War on Terror following 9/11. Community members, students and staff volunteered to read.

“We use (Veterans Week) as a time to both honor and celebrate our student veterans,” Chandler said. “We use it as a way to raise awareness about our student population — both into the campus community and the greater community — about how great our students are and the value they bring to campus.”

For Chandler, the most important part of Veterans Week is raising awareness about the student veteran population to the greater campus community.

“The most important thing is seeing the value of all our students and not just our veteran students — the fact that all our students bring prior life experience that adds to the richness (of) the CSU community,” Chandler said. “We know that when students have a community in place to connect to, the more successful they’ll be, so everything we do programming-wise, we relate back to that.”

ALVS hosts year-round programming in a model that Chandler called the “value ed” model, which strives to bolster success and create community in the ALVS community. ALVS hosts a Ram Kidz Village childcare program for student parents and frequent programming relating to PTSD treatment, student veteran support and scholarship and GI Bill resources, according to their website.

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For future Veterans Weeks and years with ALVS, Chandler hopes the center will continue to support nontraditional CSU students.

“(I hope that) we keep always finding a way to be engaged with our students, to see what they want and to know that that need will change across different semesters (and) different years as students change generations,” Chandler said. “I hope we keep our finger on the pulse of what the needs are and continue to create dynamic programming that helps students succeed.”

Reach Allie Seibel at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @allie_seibel_.