The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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The Veterans Resource Center and the importance of community

The Veterans Resource Center photographed on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, available on campus at CSUN in Northridge, Calif.

The Veterans Resource Center was established in 2012 and strives to aid veterans with their educational journey at CSUN.

For over a decade, the VRC at CSUN has been a pillar of the veteran community, providing extensive resources and guidance to veterans pursuing higher education.

As of 2024, the VRC has over 100 members forming the community. They participate in various activities and find there is always a sense of community, which consists of veterans, dependents and allies.

Additionally, veterans are directly connected with the Veterans Office at CSUN to receive admissions assistance, financial aid counseling and health care programs.

According to VRC supervisor Raine Hernandez, veterans can find a sense of belonging at the VRC and plenty of activities to connect as a community.

Last month, they hosted their first of three Karaoke Like in Oki events scheduled for this spring semester. The center provided snacks, food and drinks. Everyone who attended picked their choice of song to perform, including staff.

For many veterans, it can be a challenging transition to assimilate into life after deployment. Some of those barriers include finding a sense of community, connecting with family and peers, finding resources, adjusting to a new environment and reestablishing themselves in their place of work.

Therefore, veterans need to establish a sense of community and surround themselves with other individuals who understand what it’s like to adjust to civilian life.

For Justin Aragon, a kinesiology major at CSUN, the welcoming environment of the VRC along with the relationships he has built over time are what make him feel a sense of community.

“It’s really cool to see different faces, because with different faces, there are different stories, different backgrounds, and most importantly it’s a veteran community,” Aragon shared.

After deployment, Aragon sought to be surrounded by peers who had experienced similar situations and understood his identity as a veteran. Having this community helped make the transition from active duty to civilian life seamless.

“What that does for me is I continue to surround myself with like-minded people,” Aragon said.

The VRC strives to provide a space for veterans, dependents and allies to connect as a community while also providing resources to set them up for success. The center coordinates numerous events throughout the semester, which are great opportunities for members to connect, such as study sessions, brunch and networking events.

The Blend is a great event for veterans to network and it takes place every other week on Wednesdays. According to Hernandez, it consists of different campus resources gathering at the VRC to build connections with members, as well as provide information about their services.

“The VRC is just, it’s very connected, it’s like a family really,” Hernandez said. “I think no matter what walk of life you are, where you come from, where you were deployed or served, who you served, you’re really just welcome here.”

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