By Zev Vernon-Lapow
The United States military, after being forced off campus during both of last year’s job fairs, will not be present at next week’s Business, Finance, Science, and Engineering Career Symposium Employer Networking Session.
Campus spokespeople say that the U.S. military choose not to attend the event.
But, according to Sergeant First Class Ray Ward, the station commander at the Army recruiting center in Capitola, the U.S. Army was not invited to the event.
"Any opportunity we get to recruit, we’re going to jump all over it," Ward told City on a Hill Press.
Associate Vice Chancellor Jean-Marie Scott had a different perception.
"I understand that there was some discussion back and forth between the military about whether they would be there," Marie told reporters at the student media meeting with Acting Chancellor Blumenthal on Tuesday.
Last year, the U.S. Army attended the fall career fair where military recruiters left in response to student protests.
According to administrators the military will not attend because of a shift in the event’s focus. Last year’s event was called the Business, Science, and Engineering Job and Internship Fair, while this year’s is called the Business, Finance, Science, and Engineering Career Symposium: Employer Networking Session.
Nannette O’Connor, the UC Santa Cruz Career Center’s corporate and business telations manager, would not say whether the military was invited.
Sgt. Ward said that he went to the Career Center to get an application to recruit at the job fair, but could not find any of the program’s coordinators. He blames the absence on miscommunication.
According to Associate Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Irwin the military will send representatives to the Graduate and Professional School Fair on Oct. 23.
"Military representatives are expected, with focus on graduate fellowships for people entering medical fields and pharmacology," Irwin said.
More job fairs will occur later in the year, though Irwin did not know if the military will attend.
"It is too soon in both cases to know whether any branch of the U.S. military will make a reservation for the winter or spring events," Irwin said.
According to O’Connor, the career fair format was changed based on student requests.
"The Career Center is in the process of re-structuring recruitment events calendars around definitive recruitment cycles of specific industries, and grouping organizations according to their industry classification," O’Conner said.
Students Against War (SAW) activist group has orchestrated past protests against military recruitment. For SAW member Josh Sonnenfeld the lack of a military presence is a small victory for SAW.
"Having a military-free campus is very important in its symbolic nature," Sonnenfeld wrote in an e-mail. "But ultimately, we need to recognize the long-haul nature of our struggle and the consistent need to move beyond the UCSC bubble."