I am a veteran of the United States Navy. Since my time at CSU, post 9/11, and the current war with Iraq, I hear and see everywhere actively stating,
"Support our Troops" and "Thank a Veteran," which is wonderful and greatly appreciated, but in reality CSU isn't supporting the troops.
I am writing to address an issue that I feel strongly about and feel is unjust to certain veterans around campus. During my time in the Navy I spent one year and three months stationed on a ship overseas, during my time I visited seven different countries, visited many different museums and landmarks and observed the differences in cultures and how different Americans live compared to other countries. I observed how much Americans take for granted the freedoms we have become accustomed to. It was a wonderful learning experience I will take with me the rest of my life and never forget.
Currently CSU requires all students to take a "global and cultural awareness" class to open eyes to how differently people live around the world. As I understand, the purpose of this class is to educate people about the world. As most professors, students and people would probably agree with me, the best way to learn is to experience the topic of discussion. This is part of the reason why we have labs, so a chemist can gain the experience and knowledge to handle chemicals, or why a doctor must spend many years in a lab environment, so that the first time they operate nothing is a surprise, etc.
From my experience the best way to learn something is to do it. Experience, under guidance in some cases is the best way to learn. But the injustice I feel is that my life experience for time overseas doesn't count for anything. I recently appealed the "Global and Cultural Awareness" credit, to find out how quickly it was denied. The fact that I will have to take a "Global and Cultural Awareness" class doesn't upset me; I enjoy learning about other cultures. What does upset me is how CSU doesn't acknowledge life experiences as a valuable learning experience, even though they do acknowledge Study Abroad and Semester at Sea as fulfilling a requirement for the "Global and Cultural Awareness" credit.
So in my opinion CSU could do more to "support our troops" in acknowledging that veterans and military members have some experience that would most definitely apply to an educational experience.