Military Student Services comes to NIU

By Jack Baker

Samuel Dreyer, freshman pre-physical therapy major, was nervous about his transition from the Marine Corps to NIU. But after meeting with Military Student Services during his orientation, that transition became much easier.

“They gave me a packet full of everyone I needed to call, all the forms I needed to fill out, and they helped make sure I got the most money I was eligible for,” Dreyer said. “They’ve been by far the most helpful part of the process.”

Military Student Services is NIU’s newest resource for military veterans and those still on active duty while attending the university.

“It’s a new office on campus that is going to centralize the resources to support and provide veteran’s benefits,” said Scott Peska, director of military student services. “We’ve seen an increase in population of those kind of students, and we want to provide enhanced services for the group.”

The new office, located in Gilbert Hall Room B111, will cover all of the veteran’s financial benefits, help them with paperwork and provide social opportunities to allow student veterans to connect with each other, Peska said.

Military Student Services hosted its first event, an ice cream social on Sept. 9.

Dreyer was unable to attend the first event, but is looking forward to getting more involved with the center in the future.

“I’d like to meet other guys that have a sense of what I’ve been through and the unique challenges I’m facing as a student veteran, and get their perspective on how they’re handling it,” Dreyer said.

Peska said the department is still setting up and the staff hopes to host more events this semester.