Veteran Population Surges
Due to the new Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, universities across the country are seeing an increase in veterans on their campuses. These campuses are consequently adapting to provide communities and resources for the veterans.
In August of 2009, the United States Congress passed the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. This new legislation extended the G.I. Bill that has existed since 1944 that gave returning World War II veterans opportunities to attend college or vocational school paid for in part by the federal government. The new G.I. Bill expands the breadth of the program in a number of areas, particularly by increasing financial aid and by expanding coverage to graduate school as well.
The effects of the bill have been pronounced at Stanford’s graduate schools, which have seen their veteran populations expand significantly in the last year. The Stanford Law School Class of 2013 has about twice as many military veterans as did the class before it, an increase from four to eight in a class of only 170. Similar can be seen in the first-year class at the Graduate School of Business.
Adding to the still relatively small veterans’ club presence at Stanford is a new organization, Stanford Law Veterans Organization (SLVO). Two first-year student veterans at the law school, Gavriel Gershon Jacobs and Jake Klonoski, started the group this year.
Though many veterans’ organizations now exist on campus, many of them are not well known by the larger community and, to a certain extent, even by the veteran community. “We are just trying to get a good feel for all the veterans’ groups around campus,” remarked Tim Hsia, a first-year law student and member of SLVO. “We’re very young and we’re just playing around with ideas. For right now, [SLVO] is just a network for veterans.”