Sep 182011
Authors: Katie Salvato

Ian McClellan, the president of the CSU Student Veteran Organization, said he got into the organization by accident.

“I got a job in the Adult Learner and Veteran Services office and the Student Veteran Organization had meetings in there,” McClellan said.  “I just happened to be working one night, so I sat in.”
McClellan served in the Marine Corps for five years before enrolling as a student at CSU and said the university helped him adjust to civilian life.  

“The military has a team aspect. No one is an individual,” McClellan said. “When you come to college, you are an individual. The ALVS office makes it better by giving veterans that team element.”

CSU was recognized this year by GI Jobs magazine as one of the most military friendly schools. The 2012 list honors the top 20 percent of universities that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students.

“We are proud to once again be recognized as a university that is committed to our veteran students, helping them to achieve academic success as well as transition back into the community,” said Jan Rastall, director of CSU’s Adult Learner and Veteran Services. “The entire university community should be applauded for helping these students achieve their potential.”

CSU had the first chapter of Student Veterans of America in Colorado. This year, the chapter sent members of the SVA to Madison, Wisconsin to meet with others in the organization.  

“We went to the SVA conference and had the chance to talk to veterans in other schools,” said Andrew Cole, the treasurer of the university’s student veteran organization. “CSU is definitely in the forefront of the services they provide for veterans.”

Cole served six years in the U.S. Navy and is pursuing a degree in electrical engineering.
“This university was more friendly than others when I was applying to schools,” Cole said. “There are a lot more veterans here.”

CSU also offers class sections specifically for veterans, such as the Composition 150 class.
“I was different from the rest of the freshman,” McClellan said. “I was a freshman at 25. I had different experiences from the other students.”

Both McClellan and Cole said their time in the military affected how they work as students.
“In high school, I didn’t care,” McClellan said. “I was near the bottom of my class when I graduated. I got a lot of maturity and discipline from the Marine Corps.”

Collegian writer Katie Salvato can be reached at

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