I am very disappointed about the statements made by an associate faculty member about veterans on her personal social media sites. These sentiments do not reflect the position of the college toward veterans. Butte College values our veterans and honors their service. Hundreds of veterans attend Butte College. The college provides these veterans with priority registration and, since 2008, has provided a Veterans Resource Center to help the college serve our veterans more effectively.
The services offered by Veterans Resource Center include providing 1) Information about veteran's educational benefits and application assistance, 2) Peer support and mentoring, 3) Financial aid information and application assistance, 4) Support from the counseling office and quick access to counselors, 5) Referrals to the on-campus Mental Health Specialist, 6) Access to computers with printing, copying and faxing, 7) Resource workshops to assist veterans, 8) Disabled Veterans compensation information, 9) A lending program for graphing calculators, and 10) A relaxing atmosphere for veterans to study and network with other veterans.
Our first concern now, as always, is our students. The college has complaint and grievance procedures in place, as outlined in the catalog, that spell out options to students should they feel intimidated or harassed. These include: 1) Dropping the class for a full refund of fees and book costs and a clearing of their record, 2) Dropping the class without a refund but with a clearing of their record, and 3) Finding a similar class that meets their needs. Students choosing one of these options must coordinate this action, in advance, with the dean. Correspondingly, concerns with faculty behavior in the classroom are handled through the faculty evaluation process.
Again, the views expressed by this part-time faculty member in no way reflect the values of the college or its position toward veterans. Many faculty, staff, and administrators at Butte College have parents, sons, daughters and other loved ones who are service members or veterans. Many are veterans themselves and some are still serving. In spite of this, personal views, however offensive, expressed on personal social media sites are free speech. That being said, taking offense to views and comments of this faculty member does not justify personal attacks on her or her family. Threatening any individual with physical harm for any reason, regardless of difference in opinions or views, is deplorable.
Through their military service, veterans protect the rights we enjoy as Americans. These include the right to say things that some may find offensive. Additionally, through military service, veterans gain skills, experience, and perspectives that translate into success in civilian life. These include leadership, teamwork, maturity, and technical skills that often far transcend anything experienced by their civilian counterparts. We are fortunate that so many veterans choose to attend Butte College.
Kimberly Perry, Ed.D.
Butte-Glenn Community College District