By Julie Santiago
While most student services on campus have been content with their newer and bigger locations, the Veterans Resource Center, now known as the “Veterans Lounge,” has fallen short of approval among student Veterans.
Since the new Campus Students Center opened on April 11, many student services on campus, such as Associated Students Union and the Health Center have moved from their old locations into the new facility.
Member of the Political Science Club Oscar Alexander Estrada is one of these unhappy student veterans.
“I believe that the new center does not adequately support the veteran demographic on campus. It is probably a quarter of the size of our old office,” Estrada said.
The room capacity at the new location in F5-323 holds 22 people.
With over 700 veterans on campus, this has been an issue to the Veterans of East Los Angeles College president Dominique Hernandez has had to face since their new location opened.
Hernandez has noticed a decline in visitors due to the size of their new room.
“On average, we used to get 20-25 veterans a day. Now we get about 10 veterans,” she said.
It has caused many problems internally and according to Hernandez many veterans have stopped going because they feel it’s too small, it has no privacy to study and they would prefer to go back to their old location.
The old location is said to become a financial aid office.
The veterans referenced a statistic from a 2012 suicide data report that says the number 22 has a bad connotation because it represents the veteran on average who commit suicide daily.
Student Veterans have also expressed concern over the location.
Disabled veterans can’t get to the room easily because it is located on the third floor when it was previously on the first floor.
The automatic door has not yet been programmed and the handicap button doesn’t always work which can be a nuisance to them.
Some veterans are not fond of the new name “Veteran Lounge” because they believe it implies that it is a kickback place and not a place where they go to feel the camaraderie.
“We didn’t feel that there was much consideration,”former president Giovanni Francisco ?Erez said.
According to the student veterans, they said that Dean of EO??S/ Care Danelle Fallert and ?ice ?resident of Student Services ?ulie ?enavides said that they were currently working on this issue, but because of politics, they have to be strategic about it and it’s not going to happen overnight.
?efore the move to the new building student ?eterans were led to believe they would be receiving a bigger location in the new building.
The veterans group were told by administration that they will get a new location in a new building. However, no student veteran got a chance to look at it before the room opened.