Veterans condemn counselor services

Numerous student veterans have condemned Palomar College’s counselor services as being unhelpful, and disrespectful to them.

While veterans were in the student services building in the old veteran resource center, they complained that they felt they were being used as grunts at some points. “Everyone turns around when they need a crew to move their furniture but when we asked a counselor here on campus to help us find a clear pathway to transfer they crossed their arms,” a four-year veteran that is going on their third year on campus said.

Members of the Palomar Community pose for a picture at the grand opening of the new Veterans Resource Center on Friday, March 16, 2018. Amanda Raines/The Telescope

Members of the Palomar Community pose for a picture at the grand opening of the new Veterans Resource Center on Friday, March 16, 2018. Amanda Raines/The Telescope

The same veteran then made remark on the substandard advice they get from counselors. “It’s complete bullshit to say we traded books at the age of 18 for a rifle, and we come back to ask for guidance and all we get are numbers to call to,” they added.

Director of Public Affairs Laura Gropen, said that she was unaware that some veterans felt like this. “Well I’m surprised actually. I haven’t heard anything but just really positive things about the counselors in the veteran services area,” Gropen said.

There were some who did not believe that counselors had any malice toward veterans, and that what it boiled down to was a few counselors who misunderstandthe way the GI bill works. “Their ignorance is causing the veterans to take more unnecessary classes and have them pay out of pocket,” a former veteran mentioned when asked about their thoughts on the service counselors offer them.

When reading back the remarks made toward the counselors at the Veteran’s Center they said, “we understand it can be hard for veterans to understand that the process to go into college isn’t easy.”

The new sign of the Veterans resource center during the opening event, March 16. Aubree Wiedmaier/The Telescope

The new sign of the Veterans resource center during the opening event, March 16. Aubree Wiedmaier/The Telescope

“In the military they are given a scheduled day and then they expect it to be the same when they get out and into civilian life, it’s not like that so I have to disagree on their remarks.” Tina Barlolong, the veterans counselor added.

However, there were other veterans who felt that the treatment from counselors were coming from a place of malice.

“It’s obvious when I go into the counseling office here on campus and ask for help, they do everything possible to keep you here,” an anonymous source said. The source mentioned that they think the counselors are wasting not only their time, but yelled that they were wasting also their money.

When planning on the location in which the renovating veteran center would be placed, one member of administration questioned whether the veterans would be okay being located next to the LGBTQ Pride Center, according to a military veteran, Marquis O’Dell. “One of the question we got from veterans when we moved was ‘is it going to be okay?’”

“It’s like a fucking slap in the face, we do so much for them, bend over backwards just to have them think we are going to harm our neighbors.” an anonymous source added. “We honestly don’t give a fuck about what they think about us,” an army veteran said. “It’s just a shame they treat us differently.”

Monica Navarrete

Author: Monica Navarrete

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