Contact: Michael Coffey
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Santa Barbara, California
phone: (805) 965-3443
fax: (805) 568-0466
youth@napf.org

Los Angeles Student Leaders Call for UC to Get Out of the Nuclear Weapons Business

On February 25, 2003, the Associated Students at the University of California Los Angeles (ASUCLA) voted 9:1 with 2 absentees calling for the UC Regents to get out of the nuclear weapons business. The full resolution appeared in The Daily Bruin, a publication of the ASUCLA Communications Board, today, March 4, 2003. ASUCLA joins their counterparts at the UC Santa Barbara who voted 29:1 in October of 2002 for the UC Regents to terminate their weapons research contract with the Department of Energy. Similarly, students at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz have expressed strong opposition to the continuation of the more than fifty years of contracts through which UC manages the main sites for the research and development of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Recent questions about security weaknesses, credit card fraud by lab employees, lost equipment, and staff resignations have prompted congressional investigations into these national laboratories. Numerous key constituencies, including lab employees, community groups, and universities interested in bidding on the contract, have issued statements about the recent controversies and the contract in general. However, student sentiment has received little visibility.

A third year Political Science major at UCLA, Michael Cox comments, "How can we threaten the waging of war to disarm "evildoers" of their weapons of mass destruction while simultaneously threatening the use of nuclear weapons against these same "evildoers?" Why should the world do what we say and not what we do? We lack consistency. We lack vision. I am involved with the UC Nuclear Free campaign because for the world to achieve true security, it must start with me, my campus, my generation, and my country."

Cox╣s comments parallel a February 28, 2002 address titled Rethinking National Securityby UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale, an expert on U.S. foreign policy. Carnesale says, "...We should de-emphasize weapons of mass destruction in our rhetoric and in our military planning...It is hard to argue that others should have zero nuclear weapons, but that the United States needs thousands of them. To be credible, the United States must reduce its own nuclear arsenal...."

The current climate of international conflict and crisis has awakened an entire generation of active citizens to nuclear proliferation issues. The UC Nuclear Free campaign represents one venue for this younger generation to learn about nuclear issues and speak out. The campaign is a collaborative effort between student leaders and community organizations throughout California. The southern California area contact is the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan international education and advocacy organization working toward a world at peace, free from the threat of war and free from weapons of mass destruction. For more information about the campaign, a website is available www.ucnuclearfree.org or contact Michael Coffey with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation at (805) 965-3443 or by email youth@napf.org. The full text of Rethinking National Security is available online www.ucla.edu/chancellor/.








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