Veteran’s club gets space on campus
The new space granted for the veterans club has created a community at NIC that other campuses will follow in the future.
Curley Lawson, multicultural and veteran adviser, recognizes that a lot of veterans have been coming back to college because of the GI bill, and asks what colleges can do to prepare for the veteran population that they anticipate will grow for some time. Lawson said that currently this campus has the best model that other colleges will soon take up.
Lawson’s primary focus along with Kecia Siegel, coordinator of veteran services, has been to provide the veterans at NIC with resources to help them complete their schooling to enter into the workforce or move on to a four-year institution.
“There’s a lot that can be done,” said Lawson. “We want to partner with the agencies of the local community and the resources in local community to provide our veterans with their services.”
Lawson knows that there are still several veterans on campus that have not identified themselves, but hopes that their new club room will become a community where they can go to feel safe and understood.
“We tend to speak in a language of acronyms that most people don’t understand,” said Lawson. “Many veterans need a safe environment that they can control, and if we bring them together, they can succeed together. This increases the veteran experience at NIC and we can’t put a price on that.”
Members of the veterans club also shared their vision.
“From the beginning we’ve been trying to create a community for veterans that provides a safe and welcoming environment,” said member Joey Peña.
Peña said that there has been a lot of good things have come about as the result of this new space that NIC has provided them.
“The community on this campus has really become the template for the Pacific Northwest” said Peña. “We’re about to put together a forum in which we take all of the Pacific Northwest colleges and explain to them what we’ve done here and then have them take that back to their colleges, because the idea is not so much a college base but a veterans base and were helping everyone in the northwest with that so hopefully we grow as a community.”
The veterans club is located on the lower level of the SUB, room 004.