SVA president marches toward national recognition
The UH Student Veteran Association, in its first semester of being a student-run organization, has drawn more veterans to the cause and has seen new leadership in its ranks.
For student veterans, SVA is an outlet to achieve their goals alongside fellow motivators and gives them a chance to connect, build relationships and enjoy themselves on campus. SVA, in collaboration with each veteran’s mission, provides a touchstone for guidance and career assistance.
Electrical engineering senior Artemio Villarreal, 30, a 7-and-a-half-year Army veteran, will become SVA president May 1 and said he has many goals for the organization, including bringing SVA to national recognition.
“Basically, we’re trying to get the ball rolling,” Villarreal said. “We’re trying to move toward being recognized by the national chapter of the SVA.”
SVA encourages camaraderie and communication among veterans within their college setting, and the organization’s officers want to bring in as many veterans as they can in order to give them a setting similar to what they experienced in the military.
The UH chapter has grown to about 20 active members, but Villarreal said he sees that number growing with the help of promotion and group events.
“We plan to get more incoming veterans into the SVA by collaborating with the orientation process of new students,” Villarreal said. “Also, we are going to try to hold more events geared toward veterans to allow for them to socialize and meet new people.”
On a national scale, SVA’s mission is to provide a resource for student veterans, general support and advocacy in the mission of graduating and beginning a career. The Student Veterans Office on campus holds weekly SVA meetings that include members, various representatives and counselors, but it hopes to send its leadership to the annual SVA conference and to national SVA leadership training.
Becoming nationally recognized could give SVA the potential to offer grants and scholarships to members.
“I would like to see this organization strive,” Villarreal said. “I would like to leave it one step further than when I took over as president. I want to leave a good foundation and keep it in a steady direction.”