Perspective Online

Student Veterans of America UWG Chapter Reactivated

by Kaylyn Brown, Alexandra Coffey, Maria Escuela, and Melinda Vail

Student Veterans of America UWG Chapter Reactivated

VIP veterans at the February 18 men's basketball game share their patriotism. About 130 veterans currently are enrolled at UWG.

The University of West Georgia’s Student Veterans of America chapter is once again active after almost three years of inactivity. The new chapter advisor is Dr. Dylan McLean, a Marine Corps veteran, who is an instructor in the political science department.

The chapter already has 16 members, a new executive board, and has had two successful meetings. The relaunch of the chapter is due, in part, to a successful campaign by the UWG’s Public Relations Student Society Association (PRSSA) Bateman team. The Bateman team members, Kaylyn Brown, Alexandra Coffey, Maria Escuela, and Melinda Vail, are all senior mass communications majors and will represent the university for the first time in the national PRSSA Bateman Competition.

The overall goals of the team were to reactivate the chapter and create a communications effort that would raise awareness of student veterans about resources available on the UWG campus and in the community.

Student Veterans of America chapter

PRSSA Bateman team members salute UWG student veterans. From left, Maria Escuela, Serviceman Bergman, Kaylyn Brown, Serviceman Wilson, and Melinda Vail.

The campaign implementation followed a survey of student veterans about their interest in the organization and activities. The kick-off event – a salute to veterans at the men’s basketball game February 18 – was the first step in engaging veterans on a university-wide level.

“I have talked to veterans in the Carroll County community who previously tried, unsuccessfully, to restart the chapter. This was not an easy feat,” said Bateman Faculty Advisor Dr. T. Randahl Morris, assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communications. “The Bateman Team was able to identify and engage staff, faculty, and student veterans. This complex, grassroots effort has resulted in a robust reintroduction of the SVA chapter. I could not be prouder of their efforts.”

The transition back to college and civilian life from active duty service is a unique and sometimes challenging process. The Bateman team’s ongoing engagement plan seeks to address these challenges and includes increased networking opportunities for veterans, intramural sports, and investigation into the possibly of early registration.

Kaylyn Brown, Alexandra Coffey, Maria Escuela, and Melinda Vail are mass communications seniors.

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