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Still on Duty

Military and Veteran Student Services staff keeping busy

Story Series

These days it might appear as though Bridgewater State University isn’t bustling with activity but that’s not exactly the case. Behind the scenes things remain busy, with many individuals doing their part to ensure students stay connected and get the support they need.

That includes students who rely on BSU’s Military and Veteran Student Services.

On March 23, in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Bridgewater moved all classes online. Meanwhile, most faculty and staff have been working from home.

Beyond academics, the move to remote learning also affects many of the services BSU provides. However, Dr. Michael Siegel, director of Military and Veteran Students Services, assures help is still available for those who need it.

By using technology, such as Microsoft Teams, BSU has been able to continue to advise and answer any questions military-connected students may have.

“Although we may not be on campus, we are here for our military-connected students and can provide the same level of support and services,” he said.

When word came down that BSU was going to operate remotely, Siegel reached out to all BSU military-connected students and their families to provide guidance and support.

“We also notified them of any updates or changes to their military benefits, such as the GI Bill®, as these external agencies altered their policies to address the changes connected to the move to remote learning,” he said.

Many students have also been called up to active duty in support of the COVID-19 response, and Seigel and his team are working hard to address their specific needs.

“We work with these students to give them various options they have in terms of how their military obligations may impact their semester. We can also liaison with professors and other BSU departments as needed on behalf of the student,” he said.

The support doesn’t stop at academics.

“There is a lot of support for our military-connected community, from academics to home life. Whether it may be challenges they are facing with their classes or in other areas such as financial or food, we can provide direct support, as well as referrals, so that they get the support they need in a timely manner,” Siegel said.

During this public health crisis Siegel said, a large number of military-connected students have taken advantage of and reached out to his office.

“Like many, they are adjusting to the situation, and we are fortunate that we have a good support network to help each other out,” he said. “It is always critical to offer support to our veteran and military-connected students as they have served our country and community in the past, and, as we see, are now serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to supporting those who support us.”

Siegel encourages military-connected students or anyone with related questions or issues to contact the office. For more information visit, here or call, 508-531-2181. 

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