On Wednesday, March 8, a group of nine Skyline College veterans and supporters travelled to Sacramento to meet with state legislators to petition for categorized funding at California Community Colleges. The event was sponsored by the Skyline College Student Veterans of America (SVA), and joined a larger effort of over 250 advocates as part of Operation Veteran Center Funding.
The Veterans Resource Center (VRC) at Skyline College is a key component of the success of military-affiliated students, and veterans alike. The services and space that it provides have had such an impact on the students at Skyline College that they felt it was necessary to advocate for VRC’s across the state. While Skyline College is incredibly fortunate to have a VRC and full-time VRC Coordinator, many colleges lack this vital resource. Currently, only 55 of the 113 California Community Colleges have a resource center for veterans, a gap in services that veterans supporters intend to change.
While on Capitol Hill, the Skyline College SVA met with Senator Jerry Hill, Assemblyman David Chiu, Assemblyman Mark Stone, and Senator Marc Levine, who is the sponsor of a bill that would provide state education funding for VRC’s. As the largest delegation from a California Community College, Skyline College Veterans had the chance to share how the VRC at Skyline College has been instrumental in their success as a student. Additionally, the voices of non-veteran advocates were able to explain how the VRC serves as a bridge across the divide between civilian and veteran students, helping to better integrate veterans into their campus community.
The Skyline College Student Veterans of America will remain a strong advocate for veterans resources both on our own campus and at colleges across California, with the dream that all veterans across the state will be given an equal level of support. The goal of funding Veterans Resource Centers at all 113 California Community Colleges is the first on a continuing path of advocacy, service, and success.
Article by Adam Jones, President of the Skyline College Student Veterans of America