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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Veterans encouraged to voice concerns at town hall meeting

Director of the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services Victoria Pridemore, left, and Associate Provost for Military and Veteran Affairs Mel Williams host a Military Town Hall to gain insight into how their offices can better help military students. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Director of the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services Victoria Pridemore, left, and Associate Provost for Military and Veteran Affairs Mel Williams host a Military Town Hall to gain insight into how their offices can better help military students. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Catherine Moran.

Dozens of student veterans discussed the issues they face on campus and how the University can support their unique situations at the National Veterans Center Tuesday.

The discussion, hosted by the GW VALOR and the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services answered questions ranging from fiscal concerns to strengthening the veteran community.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the event:

1. Keeping college affordable

The Office of Military and Veteran Student Services is working to update its website and newsletter with more information about external scholarship opportunities for veterans, Victoria Pridemore, the associate director of military and student services, said. Several students asked about the best ways to gain the financial support they need to attend GW.

She added that VALOR scholarships are only available to students who are not 100 percent eligible for the GI Bill, or who have run out of their military funding.

Mel Williams, associate provost for military and veterans affairs, said he and others work to make sure that scholarships line up with GI Bill benefits so students can receive as much financial support as possible.

“We wanted our VALOR students to focus on academics and not have to worry about where the next dollar is coming from,” he said.

2. Strengthening a community

Pride more said the University will offer more opportunities for student veterans to work together both on and off-campus, such volunteering with the D.C. Department of Veteran Affairs later this month.

The University Counseling Center also hired a counselor with experience working with student veterans and students in military families this year.

“UCC has a really strong interest in making sure that the veteran community is heard and that you guys are made visible,” said Sarah Skelton, a veteran student services coordinator at the UCC.

3. Compiling experiences

Williams said his office has tried to learn more about about GW’s student veteran population to adjust the types of services and support they offer.

“We have better knowledge of our VALOR students now than we did two years ago,” Williams said. “Feedback is that we’re doing something special to support veteran students and families.”

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