Student veterans have a new space at Kent State University at Stark campus

Posted at 4:28 PM, Nov 10, 2016

A new space was dedicated on Thursday to help student veterans bond with each other at Kent State University at Stark in Jackson Township.

The William G. Bittle Veterans Commons has computer stations, a kitchen, a conference room and an area to lounge.

The campus has about 160 student veterans or reserves who will be given swipe cards to access the commons during school hours.

An email survey by the university revealed Kent State Stark veteran student often feel alone and could not relate or connect with classmates who aren't veterans and who don't share the experiences that those in the military share.

Lawrence Weidleman, 45, is a student scheduled to graduate next year. He served in the army during Desert Storm.

"This is our comfort zone for military people who speak the same language," Weidleman said. "If you're having troubles in school or you feel like you don't fit in, this is the place that you know you can come."

The new facility can also help connect student veterans to medical, psychological, finance, emotional and academic services.

The commons was named for the former dean of the campus, William Bittle, who is a Navy veteran.

The building was made possible through $60,000 in donations.