The City University of New York has “enhanced and expanded” its student-veteran support services, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an “outsized impact on [student-veterans'] mental health, emotional well-being and chances for success in college and beyond.”
According to CUNY, its student-veterans were among 12,000 reservists and National Guardsmen activated nationwide to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic political hostility, such as the Jan. 6 insurrection. In fact, in the spring of 2020, CUNY says more than 100 of its student-veterans had to withdraw from their studies to serve in FEMA-run field hospitals and testing sites instead.
“On Veterans Day and always, CUNY thanks student-veterans for their dedication and sacrifice to the country,” said Chancellor Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “In acknowledgement of the unique challenges they face in college, particularly in these times, CUNY has worked hard to enhance the programs and services that support student veterans’ success. This year’s observance holds added poignancy for the CUNY family, just days after we laid to rest a highly decorated military alumnus. We think of Colin Powell and his lifetime of distinguished service as we continue to do all we can to support current students who served. There can be no better tribute to his legacy.”
According to CUNY, its student-veteran population has grown by 50% over the past decade. Currently, its 25 campuses are home to 3,000 student-veterans and 450 active-duty service members representing all branches of the military.
The system's expanded veteran support services include improving designated campus spaces; augmenting wellness and mental health services; expanding and adding to scholarship opportunities; and enacting targeted fundraising strategies to enable these initiatives across the CUNY system. A detailed list of the improved services at the different CUNY institutions can be found here.