Student Veteran Life

About SVL

Our Mission:

The mission of Student Veteran Life is to achieve three main objectives:
1) Create centralized services and programming that supports student veterans and their dependents in their academic endeavors;
2) Grow and strengthen the veteran community and identity by cultivating a sense of pride in the sacrifices that student veterans have made in service to their country; and
3) Represent the unique position and needs of our veteran constituents.

Student Veteran Life is a unit founded by student veterans, for student veterans. As such, in order to build on the strength of organic and authentic community building and effectively bridge the civilian-military divide on campus, Student Veteran Life is led by a team of experienced and diverse veterans. Having  former military service members who understands the transitional needs of student veterans is paramount to our success as a unit. Transitioning student veterans need to have access to someone who has shared their unique experiences and has successfully navigated from service in the military to service as a civilian. Our unit serves a diverse community of scholars who have served their country and now want to advance their lives and education at the University of Washington.

Our History:

For years, there have been certifying officials on the UW Seattle campus approving benefits for thousands of veterans, active duty/national guard/reserves service members, and dependents who attend classes. These certifiers have done and are doing a wonderful job at processing the paperwork required for these students to attend the University of Washington. However, there are programs and services needed for student veterans that they do not have the time to provide. The Student Veteran Life office was created to fulfill this need after student veterans came forward in the form of the Registered Student Organization known as Husky United Military Veterans (or HUMV) to request such an office. The administration responded.

Student Veteran Life was established in 2015 as a unit for student veterans founded by student veterans. Our office is home to a staff of skilled veterans who can help you navigate the University of Washington. From campus locations to student resources, we are able to serve student veterans at any point in their college experience. Student Veteran Life is also a great place for veterans to study, grab a free cup of coffee, use the printer, or just hang out and meet other veterans. On average, the office sees 20-30 veterans per day, a number that is continuously growing! As an organization, we make it our mission to reach our new student veterans within their first 90 days on campus. In doing so, we hope to maintain communication throughout their time here, ensuring that they leave the UW with the most positive experience and a diploma in hand. 

Our Pillars:

Whole Veteran Initiative – This effort offers hands-on, direct services to student veterans in an interactive way. This includes mental health therapies, art courses, and service dogs, as well as mindfulness, through yoga and meditation classes. We also focus on the body, as a measure of whole health, including outdoor recreation and rec sports teams for overall health.

Community Engagement – We are working to build a long-term community of Husky veterans through regular communications and mentorship. Through our annual events on campus, we celebrate our veterans and recognize the unique accomplishments of military veterans in their service to our country. The SVL team also works tirelessly to build relationships with internal and external constituents which allows us to maintain an evolving understanding of the veteran community both inside and outside of the UW.

Advocacy – As part of the SVL mission, we work to ensure that the unique needs of student veterans are represented in all facets of campus life. Through our advocacy, we work to ensure that student veterans are understood and supported by those who work with and educate our student veterans.

Beyond the U – This program is designed to ensure that our students leave the UW prepared for their next steps as a Husky alumn. Through Beyond the U, student veterans can get information and help with find their next careers, connecting with other Husky alumni veterans, and engage with their community outside of the UW