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Clinical students at the Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC) at The John Marshall Law School established a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter in spring of 2012.
VLSC Director Brian Clauss, with students David Weiss, Aaron Koonce and Emily Van Dyke, noticed there wasn’t an organization at the law school that catered to students who are or have been in the military, and petitioned the school to organize the SVA chapter.
The SVA is customized to service members to help them face challenges of moving from active duty to college, including missing the sense of camaraderie, fitting in with the traditional college students and dealing with the unique physical and emotional effects caused by war.
“SVA does a lot of outreach,” Weiss said. “It’s very focused on veterans in school—especially dealing with the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill of Rights, which is an incredibly complicated law.” Part of the G.I. Bill of Rights—the common name for the Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2003—pays for veterans to attend college, though there are contingencies and, Weiss adds, “a lot of schools don’t know how to best use it. The SVA is a great resource for schools unfamiliar with the law to partner with in order to ease the process for attending student veterans.”