By Jeralyn T. Johnson

APSU’s Military Student Center celebrates eight years of being a successful organization on Sept. 26.

Jasmin Linares, MSC Coordinator, has been there for nearly five years and has seen the MSC flourish from a cultural center to a resource center.

“[The MSC] is a military-connected space, where like-minded people can come together and build camaraderie that is already familiar to them,” Linares said.

“APSU has roughly 2,500 students connected to the military, and that is 25 percent of the population here.”

The amount of military students can be attributed to how close campus is to the military post of Ft. Campbell.

“The MSC does more than events here, we usually see anywhere from 10 to 30 students daily, and we can provide them with the resources that they need, such as, tutoring, disability accommodations, and more. [We] are sort of the mediator for [military students].”

The MSC is not just disclosed to military-affiliated students and faculty, they are also open to non-military students and faculty as well.

The MSC has a program called Texts for Vets, and these are donations for textbooks that students have the opportunity to use for free.

“The Military Student Center is expanding. We have a great Texts for Vets program and we have received a lot of textbooks this year,” Albert Wiley, Student Employee and Special Education Major said.

“A lot of donations were received. What the MSC can do for any military-affiliated student is offer [various] resources, such as, G.I. Bill assistance, scholarships and the Texts for Vets program, which is open to anyone,” Wiley said.

Austin Derden, age 24, graduate assistant, Mental Health Counseling Major and student employee at the MSC said, “[The MSC] is my safe place. It has helped me grow as a student and has given me a place to be exposed to different [groups of] people.”

This event that was hosted in the MSC brought a variety of people from faculty to non-military affiliated students of all kinds.

Each military-affiliated student or faculty member alike said they wanted the space to be utilized because it’s for everyone.

“Non-military affiliated students can come and meet the rest of us. [Getting to know us] would be beneficial for both parties, and it would make it easier in the classroom,” Linares said.

Non-military students Krystal Haseltine and Courtney Tipton, Social Work majors, did not know that the MSC existed.

“I wish it were bigger,” Tipton said.

“I knew about the Texts for Vets program through the ANTS (Adult Non-Traditional Students) organization,” Haseltine said.

“I’ve been here since 2015, and the atmosphere changes each semester, there is more involvement, and it’s pretty consistent and positive,” David Reifowitz, a double major in Business Marketing and Agriculture said.

The MSC is growing and continues to grow.

The MSC would like to see more involvement from both military and non-military students and faculty alike, and they encourage everyone to participate in their Green Zone training program.

This helps you become acquainted with military students, and how they interact with you as well.