Posts Tagged “Veterans”
Thomas Gibbons-Neff (COL ’15), a student veteran, knew transitioning to life at Georgetown wouldn’t be easy. “I was preparing for Georgetown University’s New Student Orientation, my first official re-entry into academia and a day of assemblies and awkward greetings with a bunch of kids who would have been barely teenagers when I was spending my first weeks in Afghanistan,” Gibbons-Neff wrote.
The New York Times “At-War” blog recently published a post by Gibbons-Neff, in which he recounts his experience transitioning from war to being a university student. He spent four years in the Marines, including two combat deployments to Afghanistan, after graduating high school. As a result, he began his freshman year at Georgetown as a 23 year-old with a much different set of life experiences than the average 18 year-old incoming freshman.
He describes the difficulty of discovering that one of his best friends had been killed on the first day of NSO. “A mere pane of glass separated me from those students, but yet I felt as if I wasn’t human, that I was from some bygone era, and that I had no place among them,” Gibbons-Neff wrote.
However, he did not let these feelings overwhelm him, and soon began making efforts to talk to his new peers about his experiences. Gibbons-Neff thinks that there is a distinct gap between the soldiers and civilians of this generation and those of the generation of WWII. During WWII, the whole country was united together in fighting; now there is much more of a disconnect.
“ [We've been] in sustained conflict for so long that it becomes an us-or-them mentality,” Gibbons-Neff said to Vox. ”There’s a saying in the Marines: America’s not at war, America’s at the mall, the Marines are at war.”
Read the rest of this entry »
No Comments »
This week in Features, Galen Weber looks into the state of veterans’ affairs at Georgetown, and the lack of a University support system.
“We’ve done the easy things,” Colby Howard, vice president of Georgetown University Student Veterans of America, said. “The harder steps are next. The harder steps are institutionalizing the veterans’ presence on campus, and that’s going to require the school to step up.”
News has the details of GUSA’s proposal to explore gender-blind housing.
In Leisure, Jackson Perry ventures into the world of softcore, psychotronic film.
Sports recaps the women’s basketball victory against Maryland.
In Voices, Andrew Duverney explains why he loves Harry Potter.
Ed Board deplores the severity of the NCAA suspension of freshman basketball player Moses Ayegba.
No Comments »
Seven months, 2200 miles of training, and eight pairs of shoes later, two U.S. Navy sailors completed a grueling run to fund raise for charity at a ceremony on Copley Lawn on Saturday.
Petty Officer First Class Clay Anderson and his sister Petty Officer First Class Ashley Anderson spent the last week running the 185-mile long C&O Trail—starting in Cumberland, Maryland and ending in Georgetown—to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. The WWP’s mission is to provide assistance and services for severely injured armed forces members.
Running in through the front gates around 6:30 p.m., the Andersons were accompanied by approximately 30 members of the Georgetown Running Club.
Read the rest of this entry »
1 Comment »
A new kind of drama class is coming to Georgetown—only this one won’t sell tickets and perform in the Gonda Theater. Father Richard Curry, S.J., a current teacher on a course in theater and Catholic imagination, has plans to create an academy at Georgetown for disabled war veterans from Walter Reed and Bethesda that will use the dramatic monologue as a way for them to cope with their experiences in war.
“Georgetown University is the perfect place. This is a phenomenal service that the University will be able to render to these men and women,” Curry said about the program, where he will help coach veterans on their monologues while assessing their psychological needs that have resulted from serving in the war. The academy will help to transition the veterans from war life to university life, he said. Curry added that he had been inspired to do this through his work with a disabled workshop where he helped veterans from Iraq.
“During that moment of that dialectic this amazing sense of validation comes out,” Curry said. He specifically works with post traumatic stress and post traumatic stress disorder while working with military chaplains to address spiritual needs. Now, he says he is excited to show the undergraduates at Georgetown the potential that theater has to heal wounds. Once in place, Curry’s academy will assist veterans the same age as most undergraduates in the University.
But the program still faces the challenge of getting enough funding to get it off the ground. The School of Nursing, the Medical Center, the Neurology Department, and Student Services have all helped to prepare the academy and make sure that Georgetown will be an amenable campus once the veterans arrive. And a year after Curry began to work to set up the program, he remains optimistic.
“One has to lean on the virtue of hope. I believe this is the right thing to do and that I’m getting a lot of hearing on the Hill from some very good people.”
Via The Catholic Spirit
3 Comments »
Moderator Thomas Ricks
For Veterans Day this year, a panel featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning military journalist Thomas Ricks, security studies students, a member of Georgetown’s ROTC, and student-veterans discussed the divide on campus between members of the military and the civilians they fight on behalf of.
The student-veterans—Colby Howard (SFS ’11), who served as a Marine for eight years, and William Quinn (SFS ’10), who acted as an interrogator in Korea and Iraq for five years—talked about the frustration of having to constantly explain their experiences in the military.
Quinn said his classmates often ask him how many people he tortured or waterboarded, and don’t believe him when he says none. Howard said he’s frequently asked how many people he has killed.
“There’s a time and a place for that,” Howard said. “But it’s not when you’re introducing yourself to your philosophy class.”
Quinn and Howard said the stereotype they encounter most frequently at Georgetown is that members of the military aren’t intelligent. Quinn said the underlying assumption is that “the military is too blue collar for Georgetown.”
Read the rest of this entry »
6 Comments »
Uncle Sam: not so great at doling out cash
The new GI Bill greatly expanded the benefits available to student-veterans this year, which is awesome. Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been overwhelmed by new applicants and there have been large-scale delays in processing tuition, housing, and text-book payments, the Washington Post reported over the weekend.
According to the Post, of the 251,000 students who applied for support from the VA, less than 10 percent have received checks. Many student have had to take out last-minute loans or accumulate credit card debt in order to stay enrolled because of the delay.
Georgetown’s Director of Media Relations Andy Pino wrote in an e-mail that some of the University’s student veterans have received checks, and Georgetown is working with the rest as they wait for their payments to be processed by the VA.
In an effort to prevent late payment charges that may result from a processing backlog at the VA, we are placing temporary credits on all the accounts of students that have provided a Certificate of Eligibility.
For those that have not gotten a Certificate of Eligibility, we will remove any applicable late payment charges once we receive the certification. The student veterans have still been able to register and attend classes.
Pino did not specify how many Georgetown students are being affected by the VA backlog.
No Comments »
As we wrote last week, Georgetown has agreed to participate in the Ribbon program, a voluntary part of the new GI Bill—which goes into effect in August—that provides tuition assistance to veterans. Veterans who come to Georgetown as undergraduate students, for example, will receive $1,000 from the University, a matching $1,000 from the Department of Veterans Affair’s and their basic GI Bill benefits.
The problem for veterans who want to go to school in the District, though, is the way the basic benefits are calculated under the new GI Bill. Instead of using a uniform rate, the basic benefit is now set equal to the highest tuition for a public university in the state.
For states with public universities that are approximately equal to private schools in terms of cost, this works great. For D.C., though, whose only public university is the extremely inexpensive UDC, the new GI Bill is problematic.
As the Washington Post reports, since UDC’s tuition is only $8,000, a veteran who wants to attend Georgetown will only be receiving $10,000 towards our more than $38,0o0 tuition (unless they qualify for need-based financial aid):
The city’s only public institution, the University of the District of Columbia, is one of the least-expensive colleges in the country for local students, and its tuition is the basis for the VA reimbursement rate for private colleges in the District.
Meanwhile, some of the city’s private universities, including Georgetown and George Washington, are among the priciest in the country, with total costs of more than $50,000 a year. That makes for a bigger gap to fill …
“If you’re enrolled at Georgetown, or whatever, it’s not really going to help,” [Ryan Gallucci of AMVETS, a veterans advocacy group] said.
No Comments »
A few weeks ago, we found out that Georgetown was going to be participating the Yellow Ribbon program, a voluntary tuition assistance program for veterans. The program allows private colleges to enter into dollar-for-dollar matching agreements with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help cover tuition expenses that exceed the highest in-state tuition rate (which is the base amount covered by the G.I. Bill).
Well, the University has just announced the amount we’ll be contributing through the program (all figures listed are how much Georgetown will pay on top of need-based financial aid and existing G.I. Bill benefits, and will be matched by the VA) :
- Undergraduates at the Main Campus will receive $1,000
- Graduate students (including Law Center and Medical School students) will receive $2,500
- The School of Continuing studies has budgeted $13,400 for up to 75 students in the undergraduate program and $10,700 for up to 100 students in the master’s program
- Overall, the University “will make more than $2 million in tuition and fee benefits available” to eligible veterans through the program
With more than 170 veterans enrolled at Georgetown last year, it’s definitely a stand-up move for Georgetown to voluntarily enter into such an agreement, especially given our current financial state. But with George Washington University a couple of blocks over agreeing to cover veteran’s undergraduate tuition completely (which means an $18,000 contribution per student), it’s hard not to feel like Georgetown could have done a little more.
1 Comment »
On this Memorial Day, we’d like to spend a little time remembering one of the many Georgetown alumni who gave his life for our country.
Joseph Mark Lauinger was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 5, 1945 to a family with a long-standing connection to Georgetown. His grandfather, Frank T. Lauinger, studied law at Georgetown in the 1890s and his father, Philip C. Lauinger Sr., was president of the Yard (the College’s student government). At Georgetown, Joseph was a member of the Chimes and graduated from the College in 1967.
After graduating, Joseph served as a First Lieutenant in the Army Reserve, fighting in the Vietnam War. He served for two years. On January 8, 1970, he was killed when the unit he was leading in Kontum, South Vietnam, was hit by enemy fire. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for leading his fellow troops to safety. He was 24-years-old when he died.
The Main Campus library is named in Joseph’s honor, and is meant to serve as a memorial to all Georgetown graduates killed in war, including the 16 other alumni who died in the Vietnam War. Joseph Lauinger’s portrait and medals can be seen in the lobby of the library.
Photo from Flickr user Army.mil, used under a Creative Commons license.
12 Comments »
Georgetown will be participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a new, voluntary tuition assistance program for veterans attending private colleges and universities, according to University spokesperson Andy Pino. The program, created under the new G.I. Bill, allows private colleges to enter into dollar-for-dollar matching agreements with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to cover tuition that exceeds the highest in-state rate (the base G.I. Bill benefit).
While some schools, like GW, have chosen to provide full coverage, universities are allowed to determine how many veterans they will cover and how much they will contribute to each. According to Pino, Georgetown will participate in the program but has not yet determined the specifics:
Georgetown will be participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program. We’re currently working out the administrative details and should have more information shortly.
Nice to see the University doing right by veterans. The real determinant of how committed we are to the program, though, is the total amount that will be budgeted for it. It probably won’t be the $2.5 million GW has allocated for the program for next year, but hopefully it will be something substantial. Vox‘ll let you know when we get a figure!
2 Comments »