By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer
Student Veterans Association President and activist Jack Crowell graduates after joining the SVA in 2015 and eagerly and energetically expanding the organization to the best of his abilities.
Crowell Joined the SVA just as a Vet assistant, trying to earn work study on an easy gig, but quickly found it was in dire need of assistance. Since Crowell took the role of President, he has been eager to improve a few things.
For starters, Jack wanted a better turnout from veterans. During every SVA gathering, the turnout was but a minimal number, and with the military participation within the USA youth, this was absurd.
“When you hear the word ‘vet,’ you think the ninety-year-old guy who served in ‘nam at the bar.” Crowell explains the differences between perception of a vet and what a vet really is.
“Some people don’t associate with the word Vet, or even know what it means. Technically a Vet is anyone who served in a time of war for more than ninety days, so all these national guardsmen and reservists may not be responding to the emails.” Explained Crowell to show the divide between veteran population on campus and veteran participation in SVA. Naturally, Crowell’s first and foremost action was making sure the vets on campus were getting the treatment they deserved.
Thanks to Crowell’s leadership, the majority of vets on campus if not all of them are attending SVA meetups. Those that need the SVA are finding it, and thankfully, with a positive experience.
President Crowell also made it his goal to get a space for the Student Veterans Association. With an organization with as much student participation as the SVA, it’s only fair they have a space to call their own.
Thankfully, the school was happy to oblige Crowell’s request, though not to the extend wanted. The SVA may not have a center, but it does, however, have an office thanks to this eager twenty-some year old. Located next to the campus store, the SVA has an office that is open for vets to print out work, if need be, find some help, or relax if that’s all they want.
It may not be exactly what Crowell had hoped for, but it was a place for vets to call their own, and, even if it isn’t a complete win for him, it certainly makes a difference for everyone else.
The last, but certainly not least goal for Crowell was educating the rest of the campus on what a vet is; some reservists and guardsmen may not have felt the titled applied to them, but what was the rest of the college’s perception on veterans?
The fact of the matter is, the US military gets a bad rap from the public eye, and it isn’t hard to see why. With the US being in the same two wars for nearly twenty years, there’s no shortage of actions to blame on the US Armed Forces. However, the US Army is also the first response to almost any natural disaster across the globe. Crowell’s goal was to relay this information to the student body, and to prevent the demonization of veterans.
All things must come to an end, but thankfully, after three years of hard work for the SVA, Crowell has left the organization in good hands. George Heywood, a class of 2020 Political Science major was very eager to pick up where Jack Crowell left off, and will, without a doubt, do right by this organization of American Heroes.