New lounge offers student veterans place of support

Monday, November 06, 2017

Student veterans at Fairmont State University now have access to a larger, fully furnished lounge thanks to an anonymous $1,000 donation and the efforts made by Sandra Corwin.

Corwin is the veterans certifying official and financial aid counselor at Fairmont State University. In her role as advocate for veteran students, she saw the need to create more space for a lounge.

“Before, it became so busy in the lounge that sometimes I couldn’t open the door. So I started reaching out on campus about getting another office or another area for the lounge,” Corwin said. “I knew that by giving up my office, it would open up the door to more veterans.”

After a new office for Corwin was approved, she contacted George Davis from the VFW Post 629 and DAV Post 45. Davis previously helped to find resources to provide snacks and other comforts for the lounge and reached out to his fellow veterans.

A Vietnam Green Beret veteran donated money to purchase furniture, creating a more welcome and inviting space for student veterans to spend time together.

“People in the military are like a family, and they link together and they support each other,” Corwin said. “I’ll go into the lounge and one veteran’s trying to help another find an apartment. That’s what they do, they network together and help each other.”

The new space has already made an impact, according to the vice president of the Student Veterans Organization, Nathan Nelson.

“If a veterans gets overwhelmed or stressed out, they can come to the lounge and talk to others who have been on campus for a few years,” he said. “Faculty members who are veterans will also come and hang out here so if a student has an issue, they can even talk to them about it. They can help point you in the right direction. It’s a wonderful place to get help.”