Vet. Services hopes for more space, resources

By Reuben Gonzales - Staff Reporter



Most students wouldn't know it by the campus website or even signs around campus that there are veteran students among them.

The Veterans Services office is located in Building 6, tucked away on the bottom floor, away from public view.

If new veteran students tried to find the information they needed online, they would need to search for it, unlike many colleges where the link it displayed on the front page.

Veterans Services was given a small space that is sectioned off by cubicle walls that offer little to no privacy.

In this space, they process all of the veterans' paperwork in order for the Veterans Administration to pay for their classes and get the student paid.

Thomas Cline has been a student at Highline since fall 2015, he is working on a second degree in medical the assistant field. He is also one of the veteran students who help veterans with their paperwork.

"As an office, we put students first and try to work for the vet," said Cline. "We try to offer a safe space for veterans to come and vent."

The issue with having thin cubicle walls is the lack of privacy. Vets are not allowed to walk-in and talk about what is wrong without worrying about how they say it, Cline said.

"We have had complaints about language and volume in the past," said Cline. "Most of the vets either have bad hearing or a lack of volume control."

The next major issue for veterans is a simple one but nonetheless frustrating, students say. The lack of space is apparent when it comes time to submit registration paperwork for the quarter. With more than 200 veteran students, this can lead to a lot of people crammed into one room.

"We get to standing room only with some vets who have disability ratings to force them to stand and wait is unacceptable," Cline said.

It's not that veterans feel excluded but more invisible, they feel forgotten, said several students. This is made evident by the office not being listed on the Building 6 directory.

"Not being recognized as a culture that is full of traditions," said Kendall Evans, Highline Veterans Service specialist.

Evans would like to see the Veterans Service office feel safe for veterans, like the USO felt when most of the vets were abroad.

"We could do so much with a space," said Evans. "We could start a veteran learning community or study groups."

The typical veteran is older and comes with a myriad of responsibilities. Some are married, have children, and bigger bills than the traditional student. Evans wants to try to go through clubs to get more for the veterans he oversees.

"It's a promise that we would take care of and help with the transition from service member to student leaders," Evans said.

"One of the greatest things about Highline is it prides itself on being inclusive," said Evans. "But not for veterans."

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Student Election continues

Voting for either candidate in the upcoming election can occur online between midnight on May 15 until 11:59 p.m. on May 16. You can vote at elections. highline.edu. You can also vote in person as well. Polling booths will be set up at the library entrance, Building 6 entry plaza, and at the Student Union in Building 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Election results will be post- ed on Friday at noon in Center for Leadership and Service.

Prepare for graduation

Graduating students are en- couraged to attend Grad Fair where they can accomplish many of the tasks needed to prepare for Commencement. At the Grad Fair, students can purchase commencement regalia, pick up cap & gown orders from online orders, join the Alumni Association, check in for Commencement, visit a cap decorating station, buy a class ring, get professional graduation photos taken, and celebrate with fellow graduating classmates. You can join the celebration at Building 8, 1st floor, Mt. Constance/Olympus on May 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Memorial Day Celebration

To celebrate Memorial Day, Veterans Services has arranged for the American Veterans bugler to play as a wreath is laid at the Veterans Memorial Plaza. Following the honor, Lourdes E. 'Alfie' Alvarado-Ramos, cur- rent president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs will give a speech inside Building 2. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided to everyone that attends. This event will take place in the Veterans Memorial Plaza & Building 2 on May 23 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Spring College Transfer Fair

If you are planning to transfer to a 4 year college or university in the future, be sure to attend this free college fair. Located in Building 8 first floor, come visit with admissions representatives from approximately 30 4 year colleges and universities. The fair is the perfect place to explore colleges and new options. Learn about the transfer process and deadlines, admissions requirements, scholarships, majors offered and more. This event will take place on May 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. can now do so. Running start and international students not eligible.

Drop-In Refugee Simulation Event

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) will facilitate a simulation event called "Passages." Passages is an educational tool designed by the United Nations organization to create a better understanding of the problems that refugees encounter during their plight. The simulation takes about 15 minutes to complete. This will take place on May 15 from noon till 2 p.m. in Building 29,room116.

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