Geneseo misses spot on 2013 Military Friendly Schools list

Geneseo was noticeably absent from the list of 34 SUNY schools commended by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher for making the 2013 Military Friendly Schools list.

“The SUNY system is a recognized leader in assisting military personnel in the transition to civilian life after their service to our country,” Zimpher said in the press release. “We take great pride in the fact that so many of our returning service men and women turn to SUNY for their education, and thank G.I. Jobs Magazine for this recognition.”

According to its website, the Military Friendly Schools list is a function of G.I. Jobs Magazine, a nongovernment magazine that helps veterans transition from military to civilian life. The list is “survey-driven” and includes the “top tier of U.S colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to educate America’s veterans.”

Geneseo’s website states that, although Geneseo does not have ROTC programs, Geneseo students interested in the Army or Air Force can receive officer training from the Rochester Institute of Technology. These students’ transcripts are sent directly to the Rochester Institute of Technology, but according to Interim Dean of Curriculum and Academic Services Savitri Iyer, Geneseo also requests a copy.

Stacey Wiley, director of career services, said in an email that various branches of the military, including the Army and the Marines, “regularly table in the Union and interview students in the Career Services offices.” To Wiley’s knowledge, the Navy visits campus occasionally, though the Coast Guard and Navy rarely make appearances on campus.

Wiley also said that, should a student “indicate an interest in a military branch” during an appointment with Career Services, the person working with them will point them in the right direction.

Iyer said Geneseo has strong relationships with military students. “We don’t fully understand how the other SUNY campuses got on the list … but it would’ve been nice to see Geneseo on it,” she said.

According to Iyer, Geneseo’s student population is not large enough to host an ROTC program. Sixty-seven Geneseo students are involved with military programs, 33 of which are veterans returning for their postsecondary careers.

Iyer said that because the number of Geneseo students involved in military programs is small, she finds that it is easier to work with them on a “one-on-one basis.”

When a student is called to military service during an academic semester, Iyer said that the situation is “handled on a case-by-case basis” where a student will take a leave of absence and construct a plan for when he or she returns to campus.

“If [students are] called to duty, we are especially aware this is something they need to do,” Iyer said. “When they return, we want to make sure there is continuity … The leave of absence ensures this continuity by maintaining the requirements of their catalog year.”

Although Binghamton University made the list of Military Friendly Schools, its website indicates that their ROTC officer training programs are run through Cornell University. Binghamton, however, has an entire section of its website dedicated to veteran services.

For the complete list of schools, visit the Military Friendly Schools website.