Cutting Corners in Environmentalism

UC Santa Cruz is a university that is on the cutting edge of environmentalism. Arountd campus you hear the buzzing of "biodiesel" this, "no construction" that. We see the huge construction companies on our campus and envision the spawn of Halliburton and Cargill. We see it as our duty to protect this jewel of a campus, and are very vigilant to this end.

What we also see are the short cuts students have blazed to shave precious seconds getting across campus. We’ve all been there before; you’re late again because you had to hit the snooze button a few too many times because you were up drinking last night, bragging about your latest trip to the Brazilian rainforest last summer. But you don’t fret, because those timesaving, student-carved paths that litter our campus are at your disposal. So you lunge off the loop and start hiking those Pythagorean paths, all to recapture a few seconds during your trek fall asleep in lecture.

I know what you’re thinking: What about the mountain bikers that thrash their way around campus on their $2,000 dollar piece of bling, er, bike? How are they supposed get laid if they can’t show off their over-sculpted calves, pumping up those bike-friendly shortcuts? Sacrifice must be made by all.

So I understand that not all out there are on the environmentally conscience track, but there is some irony that this shortcutting and environmentally degrading practice is so popular on our "precious" campus. The same campus where we demanded organic food in our dining halls, pushed for alternative transportation and rallied around the ethic to exist sustainably.

I shouldn’t be the only one with this thought on my mind. Part of being young and liberal is pointing out the irony in others and thinking better of yourself for it, so here I am pointing out to you, the student body of UCSC, to use the pathways and quit cutting corners in environmentalism.

Colin Jackson,
Fourth-year Environmental Studies
Diversity at UCSC Still Lacking

Here is a better breakdown of what I’ve seen as the level of diversity here at UCSC. The paper put out on Nov. 30, 2006 pretty much expressed City on a Hill Press’s overstatement on its awareness about diversity. Asking the students for their own take on the subject, the piece only displayed four white, mostly male, commentators that ALL indicated their approval of the diversity here on campus. Isn’t that a little strange? It’s great to all have a similar voice about an issue, but the issue was far from addressed and even indicated a problem. I have never before gone to a school where I was surprised to see an African-American male student. This is because their percentage in this school has dropped below 5 percent.

I’m not complaining that we need to start actively recruiting more minorities, I think we should just note to ourselves that we are a campus with very little diversity. Understanding that, we should be able to gain some kind of self-respect from this intrinsic look into ourselves. There doesn’t need to be so much emphasis on how much we represent other cultures because literally-take a moment to think about this-we CAN’T. We don’t have the population to support such a wonderful hedonistic idea. In a poorman’s example…Why have Kwanza when only less than 5 percent of our population will smile at our efforts?

What I’m getting at is that we can’t avoid being so homogenous, but we can embrace a certain uniqueness that has been obtained through it. We do love that slug! It’s one of the reasons that I came to this university in the first place.

Marti, Crown College

City Should Recognize Global Warming

I am making a proposal that the city of Santa Cruz fly an Earth flag in front of City Hall along with the American and California State flags.

The threat of global warming is surely the No. 1 international security threat to the planet and our citizens’ future (instead of Bush’s threat of "terrorism"). I believe it is high time the city of Santa Cruz seize the initiative and declare (our) concern for the environment, both locally and globally, by flying an Earth Flag in front of City Hall-which has become the symbol of the growing global environmental movement.

Steve Jones, UCSC graduate