Anti-veteran vibes on campus, and when colleges behave badly
A couple of stories out there today that are somewhat related.
First, a piece from US News about a student (pictured above) with TBI at Rutgers that is exceptional:
The insult expressed in the Rutgers University class was aimed at the nearly 1 million veterans enrolled at U.S. schools under the GI Bill. And Scott Hakim, barely a year removed from combat, took the slam personally.
“Why should we pay for these guys to go to college?” Hakim said he recalls a female student asking during a discussion on the nation’s responsibility to service members returning from war. “Everybody who goes into the military is stupid – that’s why they joined the military instead of going to college.”
Hakim – a Marine infantryman in Iraq and Afghanistan – immediately vowed to out-study every classmate on the midterm exam and said he ultimately posted the highest mark: 98 out of 100. Later, he said, he overheard that same female student reveal her grade: F.“I guess I proved her wrong,” Hakim said. “It wasn't a me-versus-her thing, more like: Maybe now she realizes how idiotic her statement was.”
Hakim is quick to point out that the problem was the one student, not the school:
At Rutgers, meanwhile, there is irony attached to the unfriendly dig uttered in one of Hakim’s classes. That sort of behavior is well out of the norm, he said: “Other than that one time, Rutgers has been absolutely amazing.” In Afghanistan, Hakim’s vehicles ran over and detonated five IEDs. On a sixth occasion, he stepped on an IED, sustaining a traumatic brain injury. “If I have to miss a class (due to the injury), my professors are accommodating. The whole school itself is great with veterans.”
Alas, the same can apparently not be said about UNC Pembroke if this story from FoxNews is accurate:
The University of North Carolina denied an Army sergeant in-state tuition at its Pembroke branch even though she owns a home in the Tar Heel state and only moved away briefly because the military stationed her husband in Texas.
Hayleigh Perez, 26, hoped to use her G.I. Bill to attend the UNC’s Pembroke campus near Fort Bragg, but the young veteran — who served a 14-month tour in Iraq — was told she did not qualify as a state resident because she had been gone for about less than two years.
“I got frustrated. When I tried to inquire, they kept putting up roadblocks,” Perez told FoxNews.com. “It’s just disgraceful that life in Iraq, where you could die, is easier than trying to go to school here.”
Driving hostility in this second story is that apparently at one point the school was considering in-state tuition for illegal aliens, however:
School spokeswoman Joni Worthington said the school is no longer considering granting in-school tuition status for illegal immigrants. A bill in the state Legislature that would bar schools from offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants was introduced last year and remains stuck in committee after contentious debate within the academic community.
"The University complies with all applicable laws and does not treat undocumented students as residents for tuition purposes," Worthington said. "No change to that policy is being considered."
I will say that my law school (George Mason University School of Law) was very accomodating to me with regards to military service. The only real problem I had was an ABA rule that required you to attend 80% of your lectures in order to sit for exams. That rule is fine in and of itself, but I ended up deploying in April, and that was 70% of the way through the semester. I had to retake every single course. But when I talked to my professors, they agreed to basically let me sit in the back and do my own thing, and they didn't call on me without warning. All things being equal, I would have prefered to take the exam after 7/10 of the class, and I probably would have done just fine.
The only other thing that ever set me off was when I got back and our law school newsletter had an article by a first year law student about how law school's first year is "the toughest year anyone could go through." Yeah? Really? Tell that to the guys and girls who are sleeping in mud, getting up through the night for radio guard, and never know when they might get fired on. Please, do tell me how tough it is to read books and sleep in your own bed, I'm all ears.
ALSO: If you want to see a list of colleges with info on how veteran-friendly they are, this website is laid out quite well.