St. Charles Community College designates space for Student Veteran Lounge

Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm

SCC students Mary Horn (left), Angela Peacock (middle, with her service dog, GI Joe) and Steven Watson hang out in SCC’s new Student Veteran Lounge.

Service members and veterans are welcome in St. Charles Community College’s new Student Veteran Lounge in the college’s Administration Building. The lounge is the latest effort at SCC to serve the growing number of student veterans.

“The lounge provides support and resources student veterans need to be successful in college,” said Ron Chesbrough, Ph.D., SCC president. “The community college is an important step toward the future for so many in our community who have served our country. We are committed to serving these students, and we are proud to have them involved on campus.”

The dedicated space was set up in SCC’s Enrollment Services Department, repurposing the office space next to the office of SCC’s coordinator of veteran benefits and scholarships, Tomi Schwandt.

“It’s their very own gathering space and provides an opportunity to connect with peers,” said Schwandt. “These students face unique challenges as they transition from service to student and are able to find community with each other there.”

With a couple of computers, a desk and some chairs, the lounge became available to students in January and students now regularly use the space to read, study and hang out with each other.

Donations have been coming in from faculty, staff and community members to make the space more comfortable, such as a TV and a refrigerator. A professor donated military flags and a mini-grant from the SCC Foundation provided furniture.

SCC’s Enrollment Services Department recently created a one-stop shop for veterans and current service members. SCC began the Honoring Military Families Scholarship in February 2012. A Student Veteran Organization was organized in the fall of 2012 and a veteran-specific orientation was offered in the spring of 2013. On-campus events include Veterans Week in the fall and the new Military Family and Community Expo in the spring.

For more information on veteran’s services, contact Schwandt at 636-922-8268 or tschwandt@stchas.edu.

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