NDSU Post 400 ended its first year as a student organization at North Dakota State University by being awarded one of the highest honors a student organization at the school can receive.
The post, which was founded a year and a half ago on the university's campus in Fargo, N.D., was awarded the school's "Green and Golden Globe Award" for Outstanding Student Organization at the close of the spring semester.
At NDSU, the Green and Golden Globe Awards are presented at the end of each year by the school's Division of Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach. They honor student organizations, students and faculty who help create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere at the school.
Unbeknownst to its members, NDSU Post 400 was selected among nearly 400 student organizations at the school, including several national organizations.
"It came as a surprise," said Calie Craddock, who was Post 400's post commander during its inaugural year as an official student organization. "It was absolutely awesome to be recognized, especially because it was our first year as a student organization."
NDSU Post 400 was recognized for, among other things, organizing the school's first-ever suicide assistance training program which trained students on how to recognize when their peers might be suicidal and what to do if someone they know exhibits warning signs.
The post also organized outreach events to feed homeless in the community, and improved life for veteran students at the school. Craddock says post members worked to create a veterans honor society which recognizes veteran students who achieve high academic marks, and also turned the school's Veterans Day festivities into a Veterans Week that featured veteran speakers on campus and honored those among its academic ranks who have served.
Craddock says the post is currently working with NDSU administrators to found a veterans study center on campus – a facility that will be like a USO lounge for veteran students there.
"(The center) will help the morale of veterans, help lower attrition, and improve the overall camaraderie on campus," Craddock said.
As the post enters its sophomore year as a student organization at the school, Craddock says members plan to continue improving campus life for veteran students and continue working with the surrounding community's homeless and needy.
"It's amazing to see how far we've come and how much we've been able to achieve," Craddock says. "Our goals we've been able to reach this year have just been outstanding."