Posted on 04 November 2010.
Club Profile: Student Veterans Organization of Chabot College
“Students helping students.” That’s the slogan of a new club on campus, the Student Veterans Organization of Chabot College.
The club’s mission statement reads, “Our mission is to support veterans by providing assistance and access to financial aid, administration, academic support, and an avenue for open discussion, sharing and new ideas. We want to foster camaraderie, military values and a sense of belonging. In addition, we want to create an understanding of veterans’ needs and experiences among the student body, faculty and community.”
Titawny Cook, president of the Student Veterans Organization (SVO), said his reasons for creating the club were to help veterans and to raise veteran awareness. “I want to help veterans because I know what it feels like to be one,” said Cook, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served from 2000 – 2004.
More and more veterans are returning from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with going back to school as the only option for pushing forward in their lives.
Although affordable, with the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, and clearly productive, returning to the classroom after surviving war is often a difficult transition for veterans.
The majority of these veterans are returning with physical and mental injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that make readjustment to civilian life an ongoing and everyday struggle.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, experts believe PTSD occurs in 11 to 20 percent of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and currently 397,019 veterans, from all wars, receive compensation for PTSD as of June 30, 2010.
These statistics do not address the many cases of life-altering combat trauma that goes unreported and untreated. In any case it is crucial for veterans to have a support system they can rely on, especially in the stressful academic environment.
When talking about what he expects for SVO, Cook said he wants to “create a support system to help them (veterans) become connected to the community and provide a resource that will carry on in the future for veterans who come to Chabot after I’m gone.”
“We owe it to ourselves to show support for our brothers so that they can come to school and get help,” said Cook.
In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, SVO will be showcasing a display of student collected military photos in Building 400 and handing out brochures on the history of Veterans Day.
SVO hosted a public barbecue on Oct. 27 and, according to the club’s Web site, is planning more events such as military movie nights, shooting range visits and outdoor hikes in order to build a sense of community and support.
Already scheduled is a military movie night featuring “What Price Glory” directed by John Ford on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.
Veterans and non-veterans alike are welcome to the movie night and all meetings. The next club meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. in Building 400, Room 405.
Make sure to check out the Student Veterans Organization of Chabot College during “Club Rush” today between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the quad.
For more information regarding the club and upcoming events contact advisor Mark Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the club’s Web site at www.svocc.wordpress.com.