Currently, Green Zone trainers schedule sessions independently and hope for interest.
Amber Mathwig, student veteran’s assistance coordinator, said Green Zone training is for faculty, staff and students who wish to learn more about the military-affiliated student experience.
“Green Zone training is a training that we do to help introduce staff and faculty and other campus partners that may not be very familiar with the...military lifestyle is like, the kind of structure that our military students may be used to when they come here to the campus and about how they can properly assist a military affiliated student,” Mathwig said.
Mathwig said the training starts off with a discussion among trainees about what they already know about the military, their presumptions about and their experiences with student veterans.
“We do focus a little bit on combat trauma, just trauma associated specifically with military service,” Mathwig said. “It’s something for people to be aware of, but generally we do talk about how can you holistically support this student.”
David Rogers, assistant director of outdoor education, is a veteran and has undergone Green Zone training. He said he learned how to advocate for and provide resources for student and staff veterans.
“I think (Green Zone training) just gives (student veterans) an opportunity to connect with people who understand the world from the same perspective or similar perspective,” Rogers said. “And it just sort of creates a network of resources that you might not otherwise come across if you’re not in that community.”
Payton Collier, who has worked with Green Zone and the Carolina Veterans Organization, said Green Zone training was helpful for her because it made the student veteran population more salient to her.
“I had never thought about the student veteran population at UNC as being as large as it is, and a lot of people don’t recognize that,” Collier said.
Collier said because UNC students strive to recognize individual group rights, student veterans deserve the same recognition and support.
“Working with Carolina Veterans Organization this past semester, one of the biggest challenges we were hoping to overcome was just making other traditional students and faculty aware that there are...student veterans in their classes and on-campus, sitting next them in Lenoir,” Collier said.
Mathwig said the overarching goal of Green Zone training is to ensure staff, faculty and other campus partners are aware that military students are here.
“It’s kind of an invisible identity that they have in the classroom,” Mathwig said. “And to be aware of certain processes that we have, or policies that we have or maybe curriculums that we’ve always used about how a military student may be impacted by that and just to make them aware of appropriate ways to have a conversation regarding someone’s military service.”