Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Veterans Center Fubar, part 8: what vets need/want

     Obviously, it’s not for me to say what vets need here at IVC in a Veterans Service Center. I’m not a vet.
     But the Reb and I have spoken to quite a few vets in the last two weeks or so. We spoke at length with one today.
     Here is some of what I believe we’ve heard from them:
  • After all that they’ve been through, vets can have trouble adjusting to the very different life of the student.
  • Vets need a place where they can congregate and meet informally, a "safe" and welcoming place where they can share their knowledge and experience. Vets can help vets.
  • It is possible to create such a place and then to disturb or even destroy its delicate “ecology.” Not everything helpful to vets belongs in a vet center. (Perhaps a full-time counselor is a bad fit in a vet center.)
  • Military veterans don’t take kindly to rude or officious behavior. They don’t appreciate being barked at or belittled. They bristle at what might be called an officer’s attitude.
  • Vets tend to be no-bullshit types. They don’t need dog and pony shows. They don’t want to be put on display by or for anyone.
     Feel free to critique the above “points.” I have no desire to speak for vets. I’d much rather they spoke for themselves.

THE QUESTION: What do vets need/want?

     Military veterans, please leave answers to our question. Tell us what you (i.e., vets) need and want here at Irvine Valley College.
     I’ll post your comments below.
This morning, the flag outside A100 was not at half staff.
Then, suddenly, it was. Go figure.
In response to 1:03 (Dec 6):

Anonymous – 12:55 PM, December 09, 2013
     I agree with you. While I am impressed with most of the officers and careerists I've met, many of the veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan that I've been in contact with have been arrogant and brash. I'm not even certain why they need their own center. Fine, have a veterans counselor, but why can't that person serve in an office with the rest of the counselors? A center just seems to encourage rude behavior and sexual harrassment. And we're supposed to let this continue because of what they've been through? Sorry, no.


Anonymous - 6:27 PM, December 07, 2013

     Well said, 7:26am and 8:20am. The problem as I see it is that there is no one at the District interested in changing anything. They are only interested in their own agendas, pay, benefits, etc. Nothing will change until there is change at the District level.
 



Anonymous - 7:45 PM, December 07, 2013

Chancellor Poertner
     But it's their jobs to be interested. Surely the Chancellor must have some sense of the mismangement at IVC. 
 



Anonymous - 8:05 PM, December 07, 2013

     I agree with you that it's their jobs to be interested. What I'm saying is if the mismanagement at the District level isn't being addressed, do you really think anything is going to change at the college level?


Anonymous - 8:30 PM, December 07, 2013

     Well, that's discouraging. Who's in charge?

Anonymous - 9:36 PM, December 06, 2013
    Embarrassing for the administration, 

sad for the veterans on campus. 

sorry guys and gals, you deserve better


* * *
Anonymous - 6:36 AM, December 07, 2013

     While there were problems before, Glen's "fix" only made things worse as does his ongoing unwillingness to address the problems. I thought he was more man than that. But he sends out other people to do what he wants done and then pretend it is going to be all right. I don't know how he can forget his commitments like that. 


Anonymous - 7:26 AM, December 07, 2013

     This problem is like most at IVC - it stems from a lack of leadership, poor judgment, an unwillingness to acknowledge and correct mistakes, a fear to speak out (which has been seen to have real consequences in recent days) - and the total abandonment by the board and the chancellor who seem to be just as willing as Glen to show up to the photo op moments but who have yet to care about the real human consequences of such poor management. While I am disappointed in IVC's leadership, I expected more from the district. Don't they know how to ask the hard questions instead of just accepting the rosy-colored answers?



Anonymous - 8:20 AM, December 07, 2013

Darryl Cox
     The lack of leadership at IVC is the root of all problems here on campus. In regards to the vets, let's take a look at the last few years and the administrations role in what has occurred. 
Recognizing the growing vet population and their needs, the campus encouraged the vets to form a support group on campus. 
The vets were given some space (which was moved from time to time over the years) to meet, study and work together. Darryl Cox oversaw the vets program. Glen spoke of his support for the vets and worked at getting the college recognized as a Veteran friendly campus. About 2 years ago, Richard Morley joined IVC with great promises of fundraising and proposed a "Veterans Angels" gala that was supposed to bring in 300-500 people and $$$ pledges for veteran scholarships. (I still have my Veteran's Angels flyer). The vets were used as the "props" for the gala, yet when the smoke cleared the gala was not much of an event and the veterans never got a dime. A second gala was held again this past year....same result, lots of hype, little $$$ to show for the effort. The veterans even tried to have a car show to raise money, however, Morley got involved, promised to support the vets and then bailed when the bills came in. Unfortunately, Darryl Cox was blamed when the veterans spoke up about the problems. When Linda F came aboard, she quickly displayed her brusque style and issues with Darryl and the vets. When the time came to hire a counselor, rather than select someone on campus whom the vets like and respected, Linda and Glen selected Minkler (this occurred after the second set of hiring interviews). Minkler evidently was not a good fit and that information was passed on the administration, however, bad news is never taken well and the problems continued on. Then Darryl was placed on leave (with no explanation to the vets or the campus) and Linda F proclaiming she was in charge. Since she has been "in charge" the fiasco in the vets center has escalated into the issues we get to read about today. 
What a fine mess we have. 
The bottom line is that we have a lack of leadership, we have people like Linda F, Richard Morley and others in A100 that like Glen, have failed this campus and it's students.
Until we have a leadership change, nothing else will change.

* * *
Anonymous - 1:03 PM, December 06, 2013

VP Linda Fontanilla
     OK, I feel this needs to be said: I don't see why vets, as a group, seem to justify all the adulation and deification that seems to go with the title. We haven't had a draft for decades, and it's obvious that many people join up for the perks and other benefits they think they'll receive, and some go in for the opportunity to be legally ultra violent. I can't think of any conflict since 1945 that was fought in the national interest, so the old "patriotic serving my country" stuff wears thin. At least the Vietnam vets were mostly drafted, so they have more of a claim to sympathy, from my point of view.

 Blast away.

[NOTE: whether any of the above "needs to be said," it does not need to be said here; the idea of this post was to hear from military veterans and what they want. We did not ask for a critique of vets by non-vets. 1:03's perspective certainly is remarkable, though. --RB]

Anonymous - 9:03 AM, December 06, 2013
     The flag should be at half mast. Presidential proclamation honoring Mandela.

Anonymous - 1:36 PM, December 06, 2013

     1:03, what's the point of blasting away? You clearly would not understand and you are clearly not worth the effort.

 Nice troll btw......
 



Anonymous - 1:58 PM, December 06, 2013

     Would not understand what, 1:03 [1:36]? Please share your special knowledge. Also, please try to understand the difference between trolling and having a discussion, even if you dislike the perspective. 



Anonymous - 2:39 PM, December 06, 2013

     We need Linda to leave us alone and let us be. Darryl is gone, Enrique is gone, Chris is gone. You win Linda, the program is shit now your mission has been accomplished. Keep that freakshow Mark up stairs and let us move on. 


Anonymous - 3:31 PM, December 06, 2013

     Mark has every right to write here, as does any other member of the college community - that's how it works. It helps to listen. Not listening is what created this mess. It is what happens at IVC all too often. 

It also helps to communicate in honest ways so that people might listen better. It doesn't help, IMO, to shout. That makes it hard to listen and often creates a louder response. 

So...what to do now?

Anonymous - 7:09 PM, December 06, 2013
     Mark has every right to write on here this is true. What he does not have the right to do is pretend to be a student veteran and then bash the student veterans he does not like. 
That's how it works.

Anonymous - 9:02 AM, December 06, 2013
     I dont want Chris in the veteran's center, he was not a postive influence.

* * *
Anonymous - 927 PM, December 05, 2013
     I NEED the old center back. The one where Chris and Enrique helped student veterans succeed in the classroom and all around life in general

Anonymus - 7:30 PM, December 05, 2013 [Posted under part 6]
Pres. Roquemore
     This has been embarrassing for a long time – It's just that people are finally noticing it. It's funny what embarrasses you. The marginalization of students that the college has depended on and used for fundraising and PR is embarrassing. The manner in which administrators and faculty are allowed to speak to students (and the vets are students you know) is embarrassing. The process which created, sustained and now is trying to cover up this is embarrassing.
     Besides, there are worse things than being embarrassed – though I don't know how someone can be embarrassed by the fact people are expressing themselves. Free speech. Robust speech. We're taught that this is a good thing.
     Failing to serve the real needs of students in effective ways at the expense of a self-serving agenda is much more embarrassing. That is what has happened.

Anonymous - 2:28 PM, December 05, 2013 [From part 7]
      I want to know how Linda is going to explain the fact that she walked into a top notch veteran program running smoothly and after only being here a year it's completely destroyed. Good hire for VP Glenn, you really hit a home run with that one.

23 comments:

  1. I NEED the old center back. The one where Chris and Enrique helped student veterans succeed in the classroom and all around life in general.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I dont want Chris in the veteran's center, he was not a postive influence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, you should be less obvious when writing comments. All of the veterans know it's you when you post and we find it pathetic.

      Delete
  3. The flag should be at half mast. Presidential proclamation honoring Mandela.

    ReplyDelete
  4. OK, I feel this needs to be said: I don't see why vets, as a group, seem to justify all the adulation and deification that seems to go with the title. We haven't had a draft for decades, and it's obvious that many people join up for the perks and other benefits they think they'll receive, and some go in for the opportunity to be legally ultra violent. I can't think of any conflict since 1945 that was fought in the national interest, so the old "patriotic serving my country" stuff wears thin. At least the Vietnam vets were mostly drafted, so they have more of a claim to sympathy, from my point of view.

    Blast away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. While I am impressed with most of the officers and careerists I've met, many of the veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan that I've been in contact with have been arrogant and brash. I'm not even certain why they need their own center. Fine, have a veterans counselor, but why can't that person serve in an office with the rest of the counselors? A center just seems to encourage rude behavior and sexual harrassment. And we're supposed to let this continue because of what they've been through? Sorry, no.

      Delete
  5. 1:03, what's the point of blasting away? You clearly would not understand and you are clearly not worth the effort.

    Nice troll btw......

    ReplyDelete
  6. Would not understand what, 1:03? Please share your special knowledge. Also, please try to understand the difference between trolling and having a discussion, even if you dislike the perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We need Linda to leave us alone and let us be. Darryl is gone, Enrique is gone, Chris is gone. You win Linda, the program is shit now your mission has been accomplished. Keep that freakshow Mark up stairs and let us move on.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mark has every right to write here, as does any other member of the college community - that's how it works. It helps to listen. Not listening is what created this mess. It is what happens at IVC all too often.

    It also helps to communicate in honest ways so that people might listen better. It doesn't help, IMO, to shout. That makes it hard to listen and often creates a louder response.

    So...what to do now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark has every right to write on here this is true. What he does not have the right to do is pretend to be a student veteran and then bash the student veterans he does not like.
      That's how it works.

      Delete
  9. The flag at half mast...

    THE US FLAG LOWERED FOR ... MANDELA ? Did anyone really checked Mandela's past ? The NOBEL PEACE PRIZE ? Hell, anyone can get one of these, they even gave one to Obama.
    A very nice comment about Mandela's past... Here it is : by "Atom Matters ": Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, has died at the age of 95. Prior to his presidency, Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years at three different prisons after pleading guilty to 156 acts of public violence including the Johannesburg railway station bombing. He was also a member of the South African Communist Party and a co-founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe, a guerrilla warfare group declared a terrorist organization by the United States in the 1960s. ........ "Necklacing" was how Winnie and Nelson Mandela killed whites...they would place tires filled with gasoline around the necks of white men, women and CHILDREN and light it...for a slow agonizing death..and then take their farms and homes..Oh and how he loved to sing about killing whites ........and Obama says this man is an inspiration to him ! frightening! If Nelson Mandela is held up as proof a majority population of blacks cannot live under white governance... Then Obama is proof a majority white population cannot be governed by even a half black...
    This country has to lower its flags for a Non-American terroist.
    ugggh thanks Obama

    ReplyDelete
  10. embarrassing for the administration

    sad for the veterans on campus

    sorry guys and gals, you deserve better

    ReplyDelete
  11. While there were problems before, Glen's "fix" only made things worse as does his ongoing unwillingness to address the problems. I thought he was more man than that. But he send out other people to do what he wants done and then pretend it is going to be all right. I don't know how he can forget his commitments like that.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This problem is like most at IVC - it stems from a lack of leadership, poor judgment, an unwillingness to acknowledge and correct mistakes, a fear to speak out (which has been seen to have real consequences in recent days) - and the total abandonment by the board and the chancellor who seem to be just as willing as Glen to show up to the photo op moments but who have yet to care about the real human consequences of such poor management. While I am disappointed in IVC's leadership, I expected more from the district. Don't they know how to ask the hard questions instead of just accepting the rosy-colored answers?

    ReplyDelete
  13. The lack of leadership at IVC is the root of all problems here on campus. In regards to the vets, let's take a look at the last few years and the administrations role in what has occurred.
    Recognizing the growing vet population and their needs, the campus encouraged the vets to form a support group on campus.
    The vets were given some space (which was moved from time to time over the years) to meet, study and work together. Darryl Cox oversaw the vets program. Glen spoke of his support for the vets and worked at getting the college recognized as a Veteran friendly campus. About 2 years ago, Richard Morley joined IVC with great promises of fundraising and proposed a "Veterans Angels" gala that was supposed to bring in 300-500 people and $$$ pledges for veteran scholarships. (I still have my Veteran's Angels flyer). The vets were used as the "props" for the gala, yet when the smoke cleared the gala was not much of an event and the veterans never got a dime. A second gala was held again this past year....same result, lots of hype, little $$$ to show for the effort. The veterans even tried to have a car show to raise money, however, Morley got involved, promised to support the vets and then bailed when the bills came in. Unfortunately, Darryl Cox was blamed when the veterans spoke up about the problems. When Linda F came aboard, she quickly displayed her brusque style and issues with Darryl and the vets. When the time came to hire a counselor, rather than select someone on campus whom the vets like and respected, Linda and Glen selected Minkler (this occurred after the second set of hiring interviews). Minkler evidently was not a good fit and that information was passed on the administration, however, bad news is never taken well and the problems continued on. Then Darryl was placed on leave (with no explanation to the vets or the campus) and Linda F proclaiming she was in charge. Since she has been "in charge" the fiasco in the vets center has escalated into the issues we get to read about today.
    What a fine mess we have.
    The bottom line is that we have a lack of leadership, we have people like Linda F, Richard Morley and others in A100 that like Glen, have failed this campus and it's students.
    Until we have a leadership change, nothing else will change.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well said, 7:26am and 8:20am. The problem as I see it is that there is no one at the District interested in changing anything. They are only interested in their own agendas, pay, benefits, etc. Nothing will change until there is change at the District level.

    ReplyDelete
  15. But it's their jobs to be interested. Surely the Chancellor must have some sense of the mismangement at IVC.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with you that it's their jobs to be interested. What I'm saying is if the mismanagement at the District level isn't being addressed, do you really think anything is going to change at the college level?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that's discouraging. Who's in charge?

      Delete
  17. I met the Chancellor once at an event. He told me that he cared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of us have met the Chancellor once.

      Delete

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