Eric Watson ’91 wasn’t envisioning himself as a U.S. Marine Corps aviator when he first came to Syracuse University. The Washington D.C., native originally intended on studying computer science, but as is the case with many college students, Watson realized…
Orange Door Campaign for Faculty, Staff Joins On-Campus Community with Student Veterans
Making student veterans feel welcome is essential to their transition into a life of higher education, especially at Syracuse University, a cornerstone of veteran affairs. Faculty and staff are invited to serve as Student Veteran Liaisons, using orange door tags provided by the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) as a visual sign of open lines of communication and engagement for student veterans on campus.
As the #1 private school in the nation for veterans, according to 2017 Military Times, it is the responsibility and role of the Syracuse University community to continually support and reach out to student veterans on campus. The Orange Door Liaison Initiative helps establish wider networks for student veterans on campus.
With the new academic year approaching, the OVMA will provide orange door tags to all participating faculty and staff. Participants are asked to hang the door tags in their offices, departments and buildings as visual signs to student veterans that they are welcome to come in and talk. The program’s expansion is part of Chancellor Kent Syverud’s plan to make SU “the best place for veterans,” a commitment he verbalized during his 2014 inauguration remarks.
Using these tags, individuals become Orange Door Liaisons and create further access for communication with student veterans. By volunteering as a Student Veteran Liaison, users are helping address concerns that may arise while talking to a student veteran. The transition into campus life can be difficult and challenging for veterans, and can often include academic, behavioral, legal, financial, personal and family issues.
In addition, Student Veteran Liaisons will be provided user guides to help better understand their role in a veteran’s campus experience.
Student Veteran Liaisons will serve as resources of support and care. They do not replace a student veteran’s academic advisor, but rather supplement the support and connections student veterans build on the Syracuse University campus. If a student veteran confides any information to a Student Veteran Liaison which leads them to believe that he/she is a danger to himself/herself or other, or that he/she is involved in any criminal activity, this information should be reported immediately.
An Orange Door opens up pathways to inclusivity and understanding essential to the values of Syracuse University. Make Syracuse University a better place for student veterans one orange door at a time.