College News

Regents honor UW-Stout student who died, talk VETS certification

The UW System Board of Regents honored campuses that have received the VETS certification, acknowledging a strong commitment to serving student veterans.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

The UW System Board of Regents began its meeting Thursday with a moment of silence for Hussain Saeed Alnahdi, a Saudi Arabian international student from UW-Stout who was killed in a violent attack Oct. 31.

UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer spoke on what he called “the magnificent ability of a campus community to pull together, put aside any differences, to give comfort and assistance to grieving family and friends some 7,000 miles away.”

He called the incident his darkest day as the school’s chancellor, but mentioned the hours he has since spent with Alnahdi’s friends as they described the student’s spirit, humor and love of America, as well as detailing the memorial the campus organized on Alnahdi’s behalf.

“Although I wouldn’t wish this tragedy on any chancellor, my spirits continue to be lifted by the fact that we have been deluged by expressions of sympathy, support and offers of assistance from across the state, the nation and literally the world,” Meyer said.

Regent President Regina Millner expressed condolences from the regents and System President Ray Cross, adding that she is encouraged by messages from the campus and Menominie communities that show “so much more draws us together as people than that which divides us.”

Also at the meeting, Cross recognized the six schools that have been commended by the system for their strong commitment to serving student veterans on campus.

UW-Madison, along with UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater, UW-Superior and UW-Stevens Point, received the Veterans Education and Transition to Success Certification, an initiative the system launched in 2015.

Each of the campuses met rigorous criteria to obtain the certificate, like providing student veteran-focused orientation programs and counseling resources, including student veterans on a steering committee to guide the university and conducting regular surveys of student veterans to assess needs.

Cross said that he expects every system institution to eventually become VETS certified.

“The VETS program helps to publicly salute an institution’s commitment in these broad areas of facilities, training, data and research, affordability, leadership, services and collaboration,” Cross said, “all with a larger goal of making their education experience more accessible, more affordable and more successful.”

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