UW-Eau Claire focusing on issues of concern to female military veteransApril 6, 2012
UW-Eau Claire's Veterans Center and Military Education Benefits Center recently hosted a lunch for female veterans, dependents and spouses, providing them with an opportunity to discuss issues they face as veterans and students.
"Ten showed up, so it was a nice little intimate group," Miranda Cross-Schindler, military education benefits coordinator, said of the event. "We had a lot of different perspectives and received great feedback."
Topics and themes covered during the discussion included female recognition of themselves as veterans, defining the term veteran, removing the barrier of geographic proximity to veterans' health care services, existing campus services and the possibility of expanding outreach to women veterans on campus.
Cross-Schindler also is working on several other projects to honor female veterans and to make them even more comfortable on campus.
The UW-Eau Claire Veterans Club supported the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 53's first "Stand Down for Women Veterans" event by collecting coats, jewelry, books, CDs, hats, gloves and toiletry items for female veterans in need. The Veterans Club also donated stockings and stocking stuffer items during the holidays, Cross-Schindler said.
A second "Stand Down for Women Veterans" event will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 20 and the campus community again is encouraged to donate items. Donations can be delivered to 634 Water St. between 9 and 11 a.m. on any Wednesday before the event.
UW-Eau Claire's Veterans and Military Education Benefits Office also arranged for a female combat veteran therapist to come to campus every other week to talk to students about combat-related issues and reintegrating back into civilian life, Cross-Schindler said.
"Sometimes females want to work with females, especially when they are talking about some of those sensitive military related issues," Cross-Schindler said of the decision to bring a female therapist to campus on a regular basis.
The female therapist will alternate with a male therapist each week. Students seeking more information or to schedule an appointment can call 608-782-4403.
Cross-Schindler, who is a female veteran, also is working to ensure female military veterans are represented on various campus committees.
"We have a female veteran who holds an officer position with the Veterans Club," said Cross-Schindler. "We make sure to have a female in leadership roles. We also have a female veteran on the Veteran's Advisory Board that reports to the provost. That group allows people on campus who regularly work in support of veterans to meet to ensure that services and resources are provided to our veteran students in a timely manner. The committee also helps educate the campus community on how to best serve the unique needs of this student population."
The Veterans and Military Education Benefits Office assists veterans and dependents in applying for their GI Bill benefits and advises them about other benefits available from the state and federal governments.
For more information about campus efforts to serve students who are military veterans, contact Miranda Cross-Schindler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-836-5212.