VANDENBERG, AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Picture 300 Airmen, all new to base and isolating themselves in their room after-duty hours because they don’t know what to do or where to go. If their rooms have problems and they don’t know how to fix them, who would they tell?
Vandenberg’s dormitories have a 304-Airmen capacity and are 98% occupied. If only there was a group who could advocate for these Airmen, such as a dorm council.
“The dorm council was created for the first term Airmen since this could be their first time out of the house and they don’t know anyone so they are doing everything alone,” said Airman 1st Class Yasmin Gutierrez, 30th Medical Group family health technician.
At Vandenberg, the dorm council is a liaison between council members and dorm residents. Their goal is to increase morale of the residents and improve the dorms.
“The core members of the dorm council were elected in September for their 12-month fulfillment. Squadron representatives join periodically throughout the year,” said Staff Sgt. Kayla Paulus, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron airman dormitory leader.
Everyone has a specific duty within the council and the meetings are an open floor. All residents are welcome to attend and encouraged to share their opinion or voice their concerns.
“I am the president of the dorm council,” said Airman 1st Class Liam Clancy, 30th CES electrical systems journeyman. “I took interest in the council because I want to make a difference in the lives of Airmen here.”
The dorm council holds monthly meetings where the core members of the council can listen to squadron representatives and others who attend the meeting to take note of their complaints, concerns and requests.
Along with monthly meetings, the council hosts monthly movie nights in what used to be “GI JAVA” but now is “The Vibe”, a dayroom created for all Airmen to enjoy. Along with changing the name, the dorm council has brought in new features to make this dayroom better than before. The council also hosts quarterly events with free food and everyone is welcome to attend.
“During one of the movie nights, an Airman who came said he really appreciated that the council was putting on events and activities for all the residents,” said Gutierrez.
The dorm council isn’t the only group making efforts to better the lives of the residents, commanders and first sergeants also meet with the council monthly to determine and improve residential needs.
“Our leadership has helped us make improvements to our group and the dorms, and they are willing to work with the residents,” said Gutierrez. “It makes me feel good that I know we have the support from our leadership to make things better for our Airmen.”
Although the council’s events are small, they are working on getting more people involved and increasing the awareness for what they are doing for the dorm residents.
“It’s been a great learning experience for everyone involved,” said Clancy.