For a military veteran, adjusting to college life may be a difficult transition. In an effort to help assist student veterans and their families, the UTC Student Veterans Organization (SVO) has teamed up with the Department of English to offer a new veterans writing group.
Supported by the UTC Department of English and the Chattanooga Community Foundation, the purpose of the writing group is to facilitate a space of normalcy and a healthy sense of community among veterans at UTC.
The group meets several times a semester for a creative writing workshop. Participants are encouraged to express their thoughts through fiction, memoir, poetry, screenplays, song, and more.
The next workshop for the writing group is on Thursday, March 19 at 4:30 p.m. in room 203 of the EMCS building.
“Their writing is varied. It’s not all autobiographical. Tones from the pieces range from humorous to patriotic to anti-war,” Dr. Susan L. Eastman, Lecturer in the UTC Department of English and Co-Facilitator of the writing group, said.
“Though we focus on improving their writing during the workshop, I hope students and their families can form a close knit support system,” she continued.
Jordan Betbeze, an Army veteran and member of SVO, approached the English Department after hearing about a similar group at another university.
“One of the goals of the SVO is for veterans to experience college, not just attend classes. This group helps veterans spend time with other veterans and hopefully help ease the transition from military to civilian life,” he said.
According to Betbeze, student-veterans who want to meet other students without attending the writing group can visit the new SVO student lounge on the first floor of University Center.
Located near the game room, the space has couches, a microwave and refrigerator, and computers. Student-veterans using the GI Bill benefits already have swipe card access. Veterans and their families not using GI Bill benefits can e-mail Joe Wiram, UTC Coordinator for Veteran Student Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive access.