First, lets define who is a Veteran. The government has several definitions for "Veteran", all designed to determine who gets benefits, not necessarily who served. Here at the University of Utah we think service is service and we have our own definition. If you fit this description then you ARE a Veteran in the eyes of the U!
"Any student, alumni, faculty, or staff member of the University of Utah who has been or currently is a military member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard (active or reserve), or National Guard of any state; or has separated from these services with a discharge other than Dishonorable is considered to be a Veteran by the Veterans Support Center. Any contracted ROTC cadet and any spouse or children of Veterans under this definition may also seek support from the Center.”
Now that we've settled that question...
One of the challenges we have at the Veterans Support Center is knowing how many Veterans
are actually students! This might seem like a simple thing to determine but not all
Veterans identify themselves for one reason or another. If you are receiving educational
funding from the Veterans Administration, whether that’s for Voc Rehab or some other
program, then you register for your benefits and we can identify you. But if you don't
- your benefits have expired, you're saving them for grad school, or some other reason
- then there is no way for us to know! Weird, huh? So, if you fit the definition of
a Veteran above and you want to let us know go to your CIS account, then to Update
Your Student Profile, and just check the box for Are You A Veteran. That's it.
So why do we need to know at all? Well, there are several suggestion on what the U can do for Veterans, such as establishing a Veterans House (like a fraternity) on campus, specific tutoring programs geared for Vets, scholarships, etc. that are driven by the size of the Veteran population served. The bigger we are the easier it is to achieve what we want for Veterans. Not to mention educating the open population on Veteran issues and helping to understand that the Veteran is a significant part of our society.
For Spring 2015 we had 968 Veterans enrolled at the U, an increase over last Spring. There were Veterans in virtually every degree program we have to offer, reflecting the diversity of the community. Here is an idea of what they looked like: