Gator veterans find support, community at Vets Corner
‘This is a safe space for us,’ says VETS at SFSU Vice President Briana Torres
Briana Torres sits behind a desk in Burk Hall, room 153 with a smile on her face. For Torres, a work-study student for the Veteran Services department at San Francisco State University, her work is more than just a school job. She’s the daughter of a Vietnam veteran.
Her experience with military life drove her to become an advocate, ally and resource for veterans across campus. “My dad served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 21 years, so I’m passionate about this,” she said, ushering Mike Young through the doorway of Vets Corner, a place for veterans, dependents and active-duty military members in the San Francisco State community to hang out, meet new people, get support and even maybe do a little homework.
Young is the president of VETS at SFSU, the student organization dedicated to supporting SF State’s veteran, dependent and active-duty military community. Torres serves as his vice president in addition to her duties with Veteran Services.
“I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for approximately eight years,” Young said, pointing out the wall of vibrant flags above a cork board adorned with military patches and regalia from fellow student veterans. “I love hanging out here. I recently met a woman in her 70s whose husband served. She’s coming back to school. I learned a lot about life from her.”
He would never have met her if it weren’t for Vets Corner.
Veterans Corner is a collaboration between Veteran Services and VETS at SFSU. The two groups have opened the doors of rooms 153 and 155 on Burk Hall’s first floor to veterans in the University community as a meeting place, a safe space to connect and a place to gather resources. They even help with job opportunities and mental health resources, but above all they hope students from military backgrounds can connect and find pride in community.
“Share your stories, get to know each other — this is a fun space, a safe space for us,” Torres said emphatically. “Take advantage! Use our computer lab, talk to Veteran Services staff, get financial aid tips, come to one of our events. We’d love to have you all here.”
All over campus, students and University groups are here to help students find their community. If you’re a veteran, dependent or active-duty military member, your community could be waiting for you at Vets Corner. Your new best friend may just be sitting on one of their couches, having a snack, waiting to meet you.
“Let’s create the community support system you need on campus together,” Torres added.
For mental health, financial and academic resources check out Veteran Services.
To join the VETS at SFSU student organization or visit Vets Corner, just stop by Burk Hall room 153, open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Follow @vets_sfsu on Instagram for events and more on how you can take advantage of all the resources available.
To speak directly with the organizations above, please reach out to:
- Veteran Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
- VETS at SFSU: email@example.com