Understand how you can advocate for positive change on your campus.
Use Your Experience to Positively Impact Your Campus
While federal policy dictates the G.I. Bill and its benefits, it is your campus that defines a student veteran’s day to day experience. Effectively pursuing and delivering change on campus can make a significant impact on student veterans’ lives.
The campus has a tremendous impact on the student veteran experience from the resources offered to the training instructors must go through, and the services provided are all decided by campus administration. Because of this, bringing to light issues faced every day by student veterans to campus administration and offering tangible solutions can make your campus more veteran-friendly and have a positive influence on your student veteran community.
Just as student veterans have earned their G.I benefits, student veterans have earned the right to advocate for a better, more inclusive campus that accommodates their individual needs.
Advocating for change at any institution or organization is like playing a sport—not only is an immense amount of practice required, and failure is sometimes possible, the form you play with is paramount to success. Practicing the right form, doing each move correctly, will cause you less pain in the future. The little things in sports can determine an amazing player from a good player; advocating operates under the same principle. Using the correct form and approach can separate you from the pack.
Be sure to understand your state laws and regulations as well as campus policy. What is okay to ask for on-campus, could be against regulation when talking to a United States Official, such as a Member of Congress.
Additionally, understand gift policies in your state. Public officials often can’t accept any gift or reward beyond a certain price. Educating yourself and your chapter on regulations around advocacy is crucial to your success and future.
Are you interested in policy at the institution, local, state, and federal level? The Policy Liaison Program (PLP) is a closed community providing educational resources for student veterans on advocacy and policy best practices.
Syracuse University Opening Doors for America's Veterans
The video above exemplifies the power a single university can have. Syracuse University opened its doors to student veterans, and as a result, helped shape the middle class. You have that same opportunity at your university. By advocating for student veterans, you can help create a campus that transforms the student veteran experience for yourself and future generations.