Student veterans have a new space at the center of campus.
On Thursday, Feb. 24, UC Riverside’s Veterans Resource Center, or VRC, celebrated its grand opening at Costo Hall 125, neighboring African Student Programs.
The space, the growth, and the services are meant to better serve students and their needs, said Brian Haynes, vice chancellor of Student Affairs. Haynes and other guests of honor were in attendance, including Riverside City Council Member Clarissa Cervantes and U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside.
“I want to congratulate UCR, the vice chancellor, the chancellor, Tami, and everyone involved for listening to the students, for making change happen,” Takano said to an audience of about 100 people. Tamara “Tami” D. Thacker, is a U.S. Navy veteran and Veteran Services coordinator. She will continue to lead the VRC along with 10 student workers. Most of these students belong to the Student Veterans Organization, founded in 2009.
Pre-2017 student veterans had a 118-square-foot room in Costo Hall in which to meet. In November 2017 they moved into a 700-square-foot space at Bannockburn Village and over the summer they began moving back to Costo Hall. The new center is 1,200 square feet and features a study room, a computer room, a kitchen area, and offices.
Students led the move for more space and a location at the center of campus, said Adam Ryen Daniels, interim senior coordinator of Student Life, whose role includes overseeing the VRC. The VRC is part of Veteran Services, created in 2017, a unit under Student Life.
In 2020-21, UCR had 224 veterans, including 52 reservists and 11 actively serving, Daniels said.