Editor, Daily Nexus,
This letter is in response to the column written last Friday by Sylvia Frain titled “UC Should Rethink Relationship With Los Alamos” (Daily Nexus, Oct. 14). This well-written column touched on an issue that most UC students are likely unaware of – the fact that the University of California has been in charge of the nuclear facilities at Los Alamos, New Mexico, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, for quite some time. The issue got significant attention in the spring, when UC renewed its contract with Los Alamos (the exact length of the contract I am unsure of). When I first heard this news I felt the same as Ms. Frain. I thought it was ridiculous that a place of higher learning such at the University of California should run a facility in charge of creating weapons of mass destruction, and felt betrayed that the institution I support financially with my quarterly tuition checks was in the business of researching how to terminate lives rather than how to promote them. However, my feelings of betrayal were put in perspective when I learned who some of the companies were that were vying to replace the University of California in running the nuclear-testing facility. Private companies such as Lockheed Martin and other big businesses were licking their chops to replace UC in running the nuclear research facility. Though I do not condone the University of California’s relationship with Los Alamos, I do trust them more than I trust a private company such as Lockheed Martin. In this instance, I have to take comfort in the devil I know over the devil I don’t know. I trust the University of California enough to place them in charge of my higher education, so I have to have some trust in them when it comes to matters more important than my education. And while I do feel uncertain knowing that a percentage of my tuition money goes towards nuclear research, at least I trust the institution doing the research more than I trust someone else doing it.