New RSO centers around veterans

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The University of Indianapolis has added a new Registered Student Organization to the list of activities and clubs that students can join.

The Student Veteran Organization was founded by junior business education and administration major Brian Lambright, along with several other students on campus.

Lambright got the idea to start the organization after talking to another UIndy student.

“I had another veteran that I had briefly met, and he was like, ‘Hey, we should start something,’” Lambright said. “I’ve started a business before, so I figured doing something like this would be easy.”

Director of Student Activities Stephanie Barry said that having student interest is the most important part of forming an RSO.

“They [the organizers] have to find students who are interested in that [subject] to gain some momentum and find that this is something that the university needs,” Barry said. “A lot of times, students are just like ‘I like this,’ and nobody is interested.”

According to the Student Veteran Organization Constitution, the organization is “committed to establishing a network of military veterans. By involving other clubs and organizations, we will address the changing needs of the University of Indianapolis campus and address them appropriately.”

In addition to writing a constitution, Barry said that the group also must find a faculty or staff member to serve as an advisor and create a budget in order to get the RSO off the ground.

Lambright’s idea for the RSO has been a long, thought-out process.

“I had started thinking about this idea in December,” he said. “I started putting it together in January. And in February, we got approved at the end of the month.”

Once an RSO is approved, Barry said, there are some requirements it must fill.

“They [the RSO] need to do at least one campus-wide program for the entire year, and they need to participate [in] or sponsor a community service event,” Barry said. “For meetings, there is no minimum or maximum that a group has to meet. Every group is different.”

The club has a number of different events planned for the end of April and next semester.

“We are putting together a Habitat for Humanity build.  That’s probably going to be at the end of April,” Lambright said. “We are also working on a 5K run, a walk or bike kind of thing, which will be for fallen soldiers.”

Lambright himself has had military experience, which was another reason the club means so much to him. He said he served eight years in the Army military police.

Although this new RSO is focused on veterans, Lambright said that students do not have to be veterans to join.

“If you’re friends with someone that’s a veteran or they just want to be a part of it [the organization], they can,” Lambright said.

There are currently 11 people enrolled in the organization,  all veterans.  However, Lambright said that he has people who are willing to volunteer at events.

Barry said that this new RSO offers several different benefits to the campus.

“I think we kind of take for granted our freedom here,  and we don’t necessarily think that 18-year-olds can be going off to war,” Barry said. “To know that there are students on campus that have made that sacrifice, I think that’s extremely important for all of our students to know.”

Barry also said that a new RSO brings additional opportunities for students as well.

“I think there are so many transferable skills from being in an RSO that’s going to help you extremely outside the classroom,” she said. “The No. 1 reason why students join student organizations is to make friends, to make connections. And that’s important while you’re in college.”

More information about the Student Veteran Organization is available from  Brian Lambright at lambrightb@uindy.edu.

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