Veterans On Campus: They’re Just Like Us

Veterans Club members enjoying their weekly meeting at Red's
Veterans Club members enjoying their weekly meeting at Red’s. Photo by Diana Hoffman/Spectrum

By Christina Dimauro

Staff Reporter

Starting off their second year as an official club, the Veterans Club is making an effort to become more recognized on the Sacred Heart University campus.

The Veterans Club is not your typical club.

“We’re mainly an outreach club because we are predominantly veterans and it’s more of a support system. It’s open for everyone to come and meet each other,” said President of the Veterans Club Nicholas Quinzi.

The Veterans Club is unique in the fact that it runs as both an undergraduate and graduate organization. While there is one president, there is both a graduate and undergraduate vice president.

As a fairly new organization, they are striving to gain recognition from the Sacred Heart community. They also want to ensure that every student veteran knows about the club. This is in hopes that they’ll be able to use the members in the club as a resource for both talking and getting to know others on campus who went through similar situations.

“After serving in the military, it can be challenging to transition to an atmosphere without military structure,” said graduate student Vice President Derek Moore. “It can also be difficult to relate to non-prior service members. The club helps with this process and provides a comfortable social and support network for veterans.”

The club is seeking to make the Sacred Heart campus a more comfortable environment for student veterans and giving them the support they need while they transition back to normal life.

“Attending school at a later age can bring some stress and anxiety for us, the Veterans Club is here for support and to show the students that they are not alone on campus,” said senior and Vice President David Russo.

The club has reached out to Hearts United, a club on campus that helps veterans and active duty members to set up events on campus. They are also looking to hold  another event on Veterans Day like they did last year.

“As a club we organize group recreational activities such as paintball, camping and hiking. We also participate in veteran related community service events to give back to those who served in earlier wars,” said Moore.

Sacred Heart has assisted student-veterans with more than just the transition to college life.

“We have a veterans resource center in Roncalli Hall on the second floor in room 253. It is a perfect place where all different military branches are welcome,” said Russo.

The clubs first meeting was on Friday Sept. 30 in Red’s, where the main focus was to bring together student veterans to get to know one another and start building rapport with each other.

While the club seems to focus on student veterans, a goal they have is to bring awareness to every Sacred Heart student that veterans are here on campus and that they are going through the same college experience.

“Student veterans are everywhere, but I think it’s good for the other students on campus to know that there are veterans here as well,” said Quinzi. “Yes, we are a quiet group and we stay to ourselves, but we are just like everyone else, but just a little bit older.”

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