By Jenna Dennison
During the beginning of spring quarter, Whatcom Community College’s Veteran Services office moved from its old location in the Laidlaw Center to its new space in Cascade Hall.
The new office, located in Cascade 127, was chosen for its larger work space, since the number of student veterans visiting the office exceeded what the space in their Laidlaw location could facilitate. The new space also allows the office to expand its services to student veterans at Whatcom.
Jarid Corbitt, the Associate Director of Veterans Services, said that the office assists student veterans through the “transition from the military back to college and being successful in college.” Currently, Whatcom has 175 veterans enrolled, and serves 250 veterans throughout the course of the school year since enrollment numbers fluctuate each quarter.
“We were averaging 35 people a day, and if we’re looking at our old space, then that almost became a safety issue,” said Corbitt. “More so, people wanting to access computers or advising or just a place to interact with other veterans. We didn’t really have that due to a lack of space.”
The new location is host to a new computer lab for student veterans, a space where they can socialize with one another, as well as the advising offices for veterans. Corbitt also said that the additional room also gives members space where students “can dichotomize between study and social.” Corbitt added that the location in Cascade is ideal, as it is closer to campus services such as the Learning Center, and also has a much calmer environment than the previous office in Laidlaw.
The Veterans Services office provides an assortment of services to student veterans on campus. “Primarily, we provide academic advising, career and transfer advising, quarterly class registration, and every component that deals with the GI Bill,” said Corbitt. “We provide all of the activities and planning and anything associated with veterans.”
Student veterans are also enjoying the new space in Cascade. “It’s great,” said Andy Dang, a student at Whatcom and a Marine Corps Veteran. “I actually work at the Learning Center right down the hall, so it’s really easy for me to just come back and forth.”
John Hutson, a Whatcom student and a veteran from the U.S.Army said that the office provided students “with a nice space where we can work ourselves and not too many other people will bother us.”
“It’s a really friendly atmosphere,” added Dang.
The Veterans Services Office is open and welcomes all veterans and veterans’ dependents. They also can be contacted by phone at 360-383-3015.