GCC Reacts to War

El Vaquero Staff Writer

News of President George W. Bush’s military campaign against Iraq elicited a variety of reactions on campus Thursday.

People Against War, Association of Latin American Students, Asia Pacific Islander Movement and the United Womyn’s Council organized an emergency war protest at noon, Thursday in the Plaza Vaquero, marking the first time these four clubs have joined together to put on an event.

About 20 protesters marched down Verdugo Road to the Mobil gas station at the corner of Mountain and Verdugo Avenues, chanting slogans, “No oil for blood,” and “Impeach Bush.”

The protesters stopped traffic by crossing streets. They stood on the street corner for about 15 minutes, chanting and holding up signs. Cars honked as they drove by and the air was filled with positive energy, said another bystander.

Meanwhile, back on campus, students slowed down to watch a large screen TV set up in the corner of the bookstore that continually broadcast information about the military campaign. A banner along a walkway read, “Bush’s policy of preemptive military aggression is illegal and will endanger us all.”

Not everyone agreed, however.
“I’m concerned [about the U.S. going to war], but I think it was something that had to be done sooner or later,” said Phil Higuera, 22, a graphic design major.

Ken Oevorgyan, 19, a political science major, said, “I kind of agree with the U.S. government. Terrorism must be destroyed at its source in Iraq and Palestine, once and for all.”

But LeGarrius Jones, 27, a computer science major, said that he thought it was a “shame” that the U.S. was going to war against Iraq.

“Bush claims that he’s doing it to free the people [of Iraq] when he’s really going to kill the people. I can’t distinguish how he can free people and at the same time kill them,” said Jones. “I think America is [expletive] up.”

Faculty response has been mixed as well. “The faculty are divided just as is the American public.I cannot say whether more faculty oppose or support the war,” said John Queen, associate professor of political science and faculty senate member. “I would hope that all faculty will take advantage of our democratic politics and make sure that
their representatives know where they stand, no matter what their position on the war is.

Guido Girardi, part of the theater arts department and also a faculty senate member had another solution. He said there is “one thing that all Faculty & Students can do: Pray for Peace. That and try to make the most peaceful choices in the

everyday events that we all continually experience.”

But the U.S. invasion has some fearing possible terrorist retaliations. Wendy Rivas, 20, an art major, says she feels a little more scared on campus now because of possible future consequences of Bush’s military actions.

But Dr. John Davitt, president of GCC, said, “We’re not expecting any kind of problems, but we’re certainly prepared to do whatever we need to do.”

The GCC college police department issued a statement saying that the department was working closely with the Glendale Police Department to coordinate efforts “toward a heightened sense of alert for possible acts of terrorism.”

The college police will be investigating all unusual circumstances, and things that would normally be left unchecked are now under investigation. The police asked that people report any suspicious or unusual behavior to the department at extension 4000. All names will be kept in confidence and all information will be investigated.