Student veterans compete in statewide competition

IUS Horizon

Shannon Jackson, elementary education junior, and Dale Brown, general studies senior, speak to the panel of judges on behalf of the IUS Student Veterans’ Organization at the Hall of Fame Competition on Oct. 27 in Indianapolis. IU Southeast placed second and received a $2,000 grant.

The IU Southeast Student Veterans’ Organization placed second in the Indiana State Student Veterans Hall of Fame Competition on Oct. 27 at the NCAA Hall of Champions in downtown Indianapolis.

Sponsored by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, this event allowed Indiana college campuses to showcase their achievements and give them a chance to compete against the top SVOs in the state.

Shelley MacDermid, director of MFRI at Purdue University, described the purpose of the competition.

“One purpose is to give visibility and recognition to Student Veteran Organizations,” MacDermid said, “but another is to try and create a way for student veteran leaders to get information and suggestions on how to make their organizations successful.”

Schools that participated alongside IU Southeast included Ball State University, Ivy Tech Bloomington, Ivy Tech Sellersburg, Ivy Tech Wabash Valley, Purdue University and the University of Evansville.

Each school was given an opportunity to present to a panel of judges.

“We help them put their business plans together and give them advice about their presentations,” MacDermid said. “Then, we invite judges who have expertise.”

Dale Brown, general studies senior, speaks to the panel of judges at the Indiana State Student Veterans Hall of Fame Competition on Oct. 27. The IUS SVO placed second in the competition.

MacDermid said the judges ask questions and challenge the presenters.

“They have them explain why they want to do certain things because they are proposing a budget and activities they want to participate in or organize on their campuses,” MacDermid said.

Richard Madley, geosciences junior, said the IUS SVO presented what they have accomplished over the last three years by using a PowerPoint.

“Basically, whoever had the best presentation pretty much won,” Madley said.

The University of Evansville took home first place.

“How they presented their PowerPoint, it was just perfect,” Madley said. “They rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed. It couldn’t have gone any better for them.”

IU Southeast took home second place, with Purdue University finishing in third.

“We’ve done the most of all the other schools around as far as events,” Madley said. “We’ve had the biggest names come to our school — Hershel Williams, for example. He’s the last living Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima.”

IU Southeast also received a $2,000 award from the Lily Endowment. Madley said the grant has no stipulations for what it can be used for.

“All other grants we’d received had to have a budget,” Madley said. “This grant we can spend on pretty much anything we want.”

Madley said the SVO wants students not involved to know the veterans on campus are active.

“Last year, the SVO — when I was president — we were the number one organization on campus,” Madley said. “When grants become available, we’ll go out and get them.”