Veterans seek West Virginia University class choice
The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — West Virginia University student veterans hope their petition drive can help make life on campus for those who’ve served a bit easier.
Members of Veterans of West Virginia University are trying to collect signatures from their classmates to support a plan to allow those who served or are serving to register for classes before other students.
Organization Vice President Dan Alexander said they hope to get as many signatures as possible.
The group has collected more than 1,000 signatures from the general student population. Alexander said they have also collected 160 signatures from students who wore a military uniform. There are about 500 veteran or National Guard students at WVU.
“There’s a lot of support,” Alexander said.
Under the plan, students who are veterans or currently serve in a National Guard branch would have the chance to register before their classmates.
There are a few reasons for having veterans go first, Alexander said. One is to help combat the 85 percent attrition rate veterans have in college. That means across the country, all but 15 percent of veterans who start college drop out at some point. Many times, veterans need introductory courses because they have been away from school for so long, Alexander said.
The other reason is active-duty students will often have training over an extended weekend, Alexander said. Currently, university policy counts those absences as unexcused, which could impact the student’s grade.
If military members were to go first, they could register for more Tuesday-Thursday courses to avoid having classes on Monday and Friday, said Alexander, who served two tours in Iraq with the Marines.
The group set up in the lair a couple of times to collect signatures, Alexander said. The hope is take the signatures to Registrar Steve Robinson along with a letter stating their believes.
WVU Spokesman John Bolt said that Robinson would be “more than willing” to meet with students to discuss their petition.
Recently, WVU was ranked as a “military friendly campus” for the fourth consecutive year by G.I.Jobs. Alexander said allowing veterans to register first would be an opportunity for the university to live up to the ranking.
“This would go a long way to it,” he said.