Fifty staff and faculty members turned out to support and honor UCSC’s veteran students at an afternoon reception last Thursday at the University House.

During his remarks at the reception, UCSC associate chancellor Ashish Sahni called UCSC’s estimated 100 veteran students an essential part of the community fabric. 

Many have served in Iraq, Afghanistan or the Gulf War. UCSC has become an essential stepping stone in these young veterans’ lives as they transition from military service into civilian life.

"We are so proud of our veteran students and our veteran’s program," said Sahni, who called the veterans  "highly motivated, with exceptionally high standards and aspirations. They bring a diverse and important viewpoint to the campus."

A dozen veterans were able to attend the reception. They spoke highly of UCSC’s veterans program, initiated and overseen by Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS).

Veteran students receive priority housing and class enrollment at UCSC. They can also take advantage of the resources at the Veterans Education Team Support, a home base for vets that includes drop-in appointments, peer mentoring, academic advising, a newsletter and social events for UCSC's veterans. VETS is now entering its fourth year of serving UCSC students.

In her remarks at the reception, STARS director Corinne Miller said much of the strength of UCSC’s vets program lies in its peer mentorship network. Veterans learn and work with each other throughout their time at UCSC and create a welcoming, familiar environment for new students. At VETS, veterans can swap military stories or help each other out as peer mentors. Staffers are available for drop-ins or appointments from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays