Military Recruiting Protested During UCSC’s Career Fair

On October 18, 2005, military recruiters returned to UC Santa Cruz for the first time since they were rallied off campus by Students Against War on April 5, 2005. Students Against War organized a protest and hundreds of people rallied and marched to the College 9/10 Dining Hall. The Military and UC held the career fair on the second story of the building and had numerous police officers and administrators guarding the stairs and entrance to the career fair.

Students wanting to enter and document the career fair were greeted by the bodies of three police officers who blocked the path of student journalists and other members of the press.

A women wore a badge that read:

“U C Santa Cruz EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
Louise Donahue
Public Information Officer University Official
Expires 12/31/03”

yet she was not willing or able to provide information to the public. A journalist with Free Speech Radio News asked her why journalists were not being allowed into the Career Fair, but Louise Donahue would not provide a reason.

A large rally was held outside the Career Fair. Students, both past and present, as well as faculty members, spoke out against the presence of military recruiters on campus, specifically addressing the military’s violation of UCSC’s Non-Discrimination Policy.

The Bay Area Anarchist Council provided a mobile sound system which was towed on a bike trailer for amplified speeches, discussion and music.

While people were rallying outside the Career Fair, other students were on the inside and used a variety of tactics to prevent the military from recruiting. Queer students and others kissed in front the recruiters and their display. The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” hiring practices are in violation of the UC system’s non-discrimination policy.

Students Against War put forward the following demands:

  • That all military recruiters leave the Job Fair immediately
  • That the UCSC Faculty Senate vote to join the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR)
  • That UCSC Faculty and Administration write a resolution promising to officially ban recruiters from campus as soon as either the Solomon Amendment is overturned or when the banning of recruiters would not result in the loss of federal funding
  • That Chancellor Denton express the campus’ will to have a discrimination-free university by making a public statement acknowledging that military recruiters are currently only allowed at UCSC because of the Solomon Amendment
  • That no violent or disciplinary actions be taken against students who are putting their personal safety on the line in order to make a non-violent statement against war and discrimination

Crossposted at Santa Cruz Indymedia: Part I & Part II

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.