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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Veterans’ Center

UMass Boston has one of the largest veteran student populations in Boston, with over 100 registered Iraq and Afghanistan vets, and more than 400 veterans total. According to Karland Barrett of the Student Veterans’ Center, student vets are some of the most highly respected members of the UMass Boston community.

“We are seen as students with a lot of worldly experience who bring a lot of value and experience to [UMass Boston],” Barrett said.

The also appreciate the class schedules, which compared to other colleges, are more flexible.

“Veterans on campus for the most part enjoy the class schedules here, the classes allow them to set there schedules around there lives as vets are typically older than the average college student and sometimes have greater responsibilities than the average college student.”

Many veterans on campus have created names for themselves at UMass Boston. For instance, Halsey Bernard, a veteran of the Iraq war, was recently named an Undergraduate Student Senator.

Besides the obvious benefits of being a veteran on campus, including well-rounded cultural experiences to share and the admiration of faculty and students alike, vets have other resources readily available, like the Joiner Center.

The William Joiner Center is a veteran advocacy group that “provides educational and other services to veterans, conducts research and makes policy recommendations on issues relating to veterans.”

Created in 1982 “as a response to the initiative of the [veterans on campus]” the Joiner Center has worked tirelessly to ensure equality to veterans who may have issues they need addressed. Examples of their programs include; a writer’s workshop, a study abroad program and conferences to raise awareness about Veterans needs on campus.

The Joiner Center is also an educational point whose goal is to educate students about “the effects of the Spanish American War, World War II, Korea, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Sept. 11 and the War on Terrorism.”

The Joiner Center has established ties with communities in Vietnam in order to create a summer study abroad program and to bring “teachers and translators to the UMass Boston for language training and returns them to Vietnam.”

Many veterans at UMass do have one gripe, though, that the Joiner Center has yet to remedy fully. Karland Barrett explains that “[t]he only problem veterans have mentioned [to me][…] about UMass Boston is the hard time they have [had] when trying to get their military credits to transfer over to this school. UMass Boston does not accept a lot of those credits.”

For more information on the Joiner Center contact Kevin Bowen or visit www.joinercenter.umb.edu. For more information about the Veterans Center, email