Associated Students Student Commission on Racial Equality (SCORE) will host a conference Saturday to discuss the influence of the American military at the local, state, federal and global level.
This weekend’s event is the organization’s seventh annual Facing Race Conference. SCORE co-chair Katie Joaquin said about 150 UCSB students and community members are expected to attend the nearly all-day conference. The group has also invited 30 local high school students to attend. The symposium is free to the public and breakfast and lunch will be provided. SCORE will pay for the $5,000 conference using its undergraduate lock-in fee. To participate in the conference’s workshops and hear its guest speakers, attendees must register between 9 and 10 a.m. Saturday in the Buchanan Hall courtyard.
Bernardo Trujillo, SCORE co-chair, said he thinks the decrease of cultural diversity on college campuses and the disproportionately high number of minorities in the Armed Forces are related.
“There’s less and less people of color coming to institutions like UCSB,” Trujillo said. “Instead of increasing funds to Outreach, they cut it… but when the military hasn’t met its recruitment goals, the government puts millions of dollars into recruitment.”
Much of the recruitment money is spent to attract young people from minority communities and communities with lower socioeconomic status, said Adriana Gomez, a workshop coordinator. Recruiters use misleading tactics – such as promising enough money to pay for college when the chances of receiving a loan are low – to persuade members of those communities to join the military, she said. When she was in high school, Gomez said military recruiters frequented her mostly Latino campus.
“This is the only choice presented to [many high school students],” Gomez said. “It was very rare when college recruiters came to my campus.”
Some high school students are countering recruiters’ efforts by educating their peers about college options, Trujillo said. He said he invited Alex Herrera, a student from Alhambra High School in the Los Angeles area, to speak on his experiences with military recruiters.
Herrara is a student leader of the Coalition Against Militarism In Our Schools. According to its website, the group mobilizes students “against the aggressive, deceptive tactics of the military, which especially target African American and Latino males and females.” Herrerra will speak about these issues during his keynote address at 4 p.m. in Buchanan 1940.
SCORE member Fernando Ramirez said a panel composed of professor Rosa Furumoto of Cal State Northridge, Women’s Center program director Sharon Hoshida and law & society professor Paul Amar will speak on the effects of military on a broader, global scale, at 11:10 a.m. in Buchanan 1940.
Joaquin said attendees will separate into groups for the last half an hour to brainstorm solutions for the problems they discussed and learned about during the day.