Barbecue looks to increase awareness of veteran options

May 4, 2015

Audrey Jensen
ajensen4@uccs.edu

The Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs and the Student Veteran Organization would like students to remember why they’re here by providing a free barbecue lunch as the semester comes to an end.

On May 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Student Government Association, SVO and OVMSA are hosting a barbecue in the backyard of Forster House.

Johnny Garcia, SVO event coordinator and senior geography and environmental studies major, said that while the barbecue is directed toward student veterans, any student can show up.

“We just try to make sure that we are present in the campus community with all the student veterans, we want them to know we’re here,” he said. “We don’t necessarily have a lot of big events occurring in the Springs, so it’s a good opportunity to get students to come over before they start their summer.”

A new aspect to the annual barbecue will be representatives from veteran organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Veterans Affairs, Team Red White and Blue, Rocky Mountain Human Services, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Freedom and Service Dogs.

“It will be nice where people can come by, grab some food, while they’re here do paperwork with us if they need to, and also meet some of these organizations and see what resources they provide,” Garcia said.

Each organization will have a booth set up outside Forster House during the event.

Garcia admitted that it has been difficult to get students to attend in the past, but hopes it will grow in popularity through marketing.

“Email reminders, flyers posted around that will attract all different types of students. We welcome everyone to come and participate, to have fun, it’s the week before finals, to relax a little bit,” he said.

Rushana Williams, junior accounting major and SVO education benefits processor, expressed that this barbecue is to bring awareness to students about what they’re here to do.

“We may not offer them [resources] but we know people in the community that offer them. Just to get them in the know, but for the most part to get students signed up for their benefits,” Williams said.

Garcia said the barbecue is a good opportunity to learn about the other programs that the Forster House offers to students.

Burgers, hot dogs, vegetarian burgers and other barbecue food will be provided by Dining and Food Services.

To find out more about the services that SVO and OVSMA has to offer, students can visit the Forster House on campus or go to http://www.uccs.edu/military.