Metropolitan State student and veteran, Steve Campos, has been integral to helping keep the Veteran and Military Student Services Center (VMSS) open and running during spring semester. He is currently acting as the Interim Veteran and Military Student Services Coordinator, a position he is not only passionate about, but also comes naturally to him.
Campos, an Air Force veteran of 35 years, has always been active within the veteran community. He has worked extensively on the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization that helps veterans with many challenges they encounter while assimilating to a more civilian lifestyle. Once he became a student in 2010, he also worked to vigorously promote Metropolitan State University to other veterans who wanted an education, but were unsure of how to begin the process or what school to choose. He has also brought many wonderful speakers to Metropolitan State for events.
When asked, Campos said that there are many reasons the VMSS is such an incredible resource for veterans who attend Metropolitan State, such as help connecting with school resources, advisors, financial aid, and other departments on campus that help a veteran to succeed as a student. One of the most important aspects of the VMSS is to provide a safe space for veterans. It is important for them to be able to have a place on campus in which they can feel comfortable.
Campos also goes the extra mile through a monthly newsletter, reaching out to the veteran population here at Metropolitan State to ensure they are connecting with the resources available, and to help them connect the faces with the names of the advisors, professors and other staff.
“Many veterans connect better with people on campus when they have a face to remember,” Campos explained. Along those lines, he has also started working with advisors to help them to learn more about how to better work with veterans and understand certain difficulties that some veterans have due to injuries, seen and unseen.
Lastly, another important part of Campos’ job at the VMSS is to generate camaraderie among the veterans. It’s essential to helping ensure their success at Metropolitan State. It helps give them all a feeling of belonging. Metropolitan State currently has the largest veteran population of any other Minnesota State institution of higher learning, so it is imperative that they have a place where they can be part of a community of others who have served our country.
Campos will graduate from Metropolitan State on May 1 with his B.A. in Independent Studies, specializing in Diversity in Communities.