Monday, November 12, 2007

STUDENTS SHOW SUPPORT FOR VETERANS

This Sunday, Nov. 11, The Student Senate for California Community
Colleges passed two resolutions on Veteran Services.

The text of the resolutions are as follows:

19.01 F07 Statewide California Veteran Network to Help Veterans Transition
Author: John Salcedo, Rio Hondo College, Region 7


Whereas, Many community colleges have resources that provide assistance to facilitate "civilian transition" for military veterans;

Whereas, There is no exclusive outreach programs at California community colleges to enroll military veterans, and to provide assistance for veterans to network with other veterans who have made successful transitions into community college and university levels; and

Whereas, Veterans often feel excluded from the college, business, and social environments and need to have resources to help them move into these environments to ensure their success in any endeavor they pursue;

Resolved, That the Student Senate for California Community Colleges supports the development of a social support mechanism within the California Community Colleges system for military veterans to assist with transfer, internships, and jobs;

Resolved, That the Student Senate for California Community Colleges assist in creating a statewide support network in order to rapidly send and receive information about community college enrollment, transfer, scholarships, internships, community involvement, career networking, and job placement within the California Community Colleges system; and

Resolved, That the Student Senate for California Community Colleges encourages opportunities for veterans to associate amongst other veterans who have shared similar struggles and have succeeded at the community college or university levels.

Removing GI Bill Barriers
Author: Bonnie Wilson-Schmitt, Shasta College, Region 1
Amended by: Ulises Benavedes, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Region 7
Amended by: Annette Moreau, Cerro Coso College, Region 9
Amended by: Bonnie Wilson-Schmitt, Shasta College, Region 1


Whereas, The current GI Bill for returning military and veterans only allows two years from the time of discharge to begin one's college education and access GI Bill benefits;

Whereas, The current GI Bill does not provide any funding for less than 12 units per semester and it only provides funding for
transferable courses;

Whereas, Nearly 60% of our returning military have acquired physical, mental, and emotional injuries that affect their educational capabilities; and

Whereas, The vast majority of these affected veterans will need more than two years of recovery time before being able to begin or resume their college education, due to the high stress level of taking a "full load," 12 units, would not be realistic or possible and the necessity of taking basic skills classes is guaranteed;

Resolved, That the Student Senate for California Community Colleges supports legislative changes made to the GI Bill to expand time limits or eliminate the two-year limit all together, thus allowing veterans to access their educational monies when their recovery is sufficient to allow them to begin their education;

Resolved, That the Student Senate for California Community Colleges supports legislative changes made to the GI Bill to allow affected veterans to take necessary basic skills courses and undergo retraining needed prior to taking transferable courses;

Resolved, That the Student Senate for California Community Colleges supports legislative changes made to the GI Bill to allow affected veterans to take less than 12 units if needed, to allow for academic success relative to the individual's level of functioning; and

Resolved, That the Student Senate for California Community Colleges supports changes so that all veterans' formal occupational training received during their military service be evaluated per individual situations to be used as course credit.

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Hoa Long Tam
Student Trustee, Marin Community College District
President, College of Marin Student Senate
SS120, 835 College Ave., Kentfield, CA 94904
Tel 415.485.9390 Fax 415.456.7770

1 comment:

Pia said...

I would like to see a list of sources and official personnel spoken to attached to resolutions. Veterans of the United States military actually have ten years to begin using their GI Bill benefits, and depending on the amount of units enrolled in, are paid accordingly. CALL THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS PEOPLE. YOU HAVE TO INITIATE IT - IT ISN'T AUTOMATIC! As a veteran myself, I had absolutely no trouble transitioning as far as enrolling in the GI Bill program. However, I did my homework previous to discharge and asked questions. Those who leave the service without asking the appropriate questions and without doing the research are being naive and should know better. After all, having worked for the nations largest bureaucracy, you know first hand how easily information is lost in translation and how little some personnel know how to do their job!
Nevertheless, your school and your local VA have resources available to assist with your transition, to meet others in similar circumstances, etc. Take the initiative, that's the fun part! Good luck to those who are in transition, and thank you for your service. GO ARMY!