Bill could help veterans transition to campus life

Jessie Hellmann

Bill proposed in Indiana Senate could help veterans transition to school easier

A piece of legislation could make college life easier for veteran students in Indiana.

The bill’s author, State Senator Sue Glick (R – LaGrange), said the bill, Senate Bill 115, would ease the transition process for recent veterans who want to attend college.

Glick said young veterans who face confusion about the college admission process inspired her to draft the bill.

“A lot of the younger vets are telling me that (the admission process is) very difficult, especially on bigger campuses,” Glick said. “They aren’t familiar with everything available to them and what they need to do.”

The bill would require “state education institutions” to provide a centralized location for admissions, registration and financial administration services. It would also provide accommodations for veteran students who are disabled at the schools fitness facility. “We’re just trying to make it an easier transition for them from the military to the academic situation,” Glick said.

She said many of the student veterans haven’t gone through traditional application processes, orientations or anything similar.

She said her family also inspired her to draft the bill.

“I’ve been working with veterans over last couple years,” Glick said. “My father was a veteran; my husband was; we’ve had some in the family.”

She said this bill would not only help veterans but would help schools as well.

“They’re an asset to our population because they’ve already been through so much,” she said.

Her proposed bill has gathered a lot of support.

Seven senators have been added as co-authors, and representatives from Indiana University and Purdue University have spoken in support of it.

The proposed legislation was referred to the Committee on Education and Career Development.

Sophomore biology major Luke Williams, who is also a specialist in the military, said overall the bill is good, but he also thinks the bill gives advantages that non-veterans don’t have access to, such as part of the bill that requires universities to develop job search programs designed for student veterans.

“Why wouldn’t that be available to a non-veteran?” he said. “The job market sucks. Shouldn’t all get help with job searching?”

He said having universities provide centralized locations for admissions for veterans is somewhat unfair.

“It seems like discrimination,” he said. “Instead of helping, they’re having them go to a different location.”

He said one part of the proposed bill that he agrees with is the requirement that states universities must develop programs to provide reasonable access to specialized counseling services of resources for veteran students suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder  (PTSD).

“Not a lot of people know signs of PTSD,” he said. “If my buddy is hurting, I want to help him. Who wouldn’t want to help a vet?”

He said overall the bill is good.

“I’m just worried it’s going to be biased and (wonder) how they’re going to implement the things without causing harm to others,” Williams said.