June 21-28, 2006

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'Bring Back Journalism'

Student Journalists Unite: College scribes demand training for the low-wage jobs of the 21st century.

Nūz: Santa Cruz County News Briefs

Fight for Your Right To Write

Student journalists at UCSC gathered in front of the campus' McHenry library on Wednesday, June 7, to demand that the university reinstate the journalism and communications department, which was cut in 2003.

"We're here because we like journalism and we want to see the program back in the school," said second year student and City on a Hill Press writer Jose San Mateo as he stood in front of the library holding a hand-painted sign.

The rally began with about 11 participants, seven protesters and four members of the student press who were covering the event for their respective media outlets. However, as the students marched through campus toward the chancellor's office, the demonstrators' ranks grew to about 25.

"For the record, I don't blame the students," said San Mateo about the rally's low turnout. "This is a crazy week with finals coming up."

When the students reached Kerr Hall (Chancellor Denton's headquarters), they were greeted warmly by the dean of undergraduate education, Bill Ladusaw.

Ladusaw spoke with the small crowd and recommended that they round up faculty members who might support the creation of specific journalism courses as a first step to reinstating the program.

"It's really the faculty who have control over the curriculum," said Ladusaw.

Despite the dean's advice, many of the demonstrators remain frustrated over what they see as a lack of administrative support for a journalism program.

"Journalism is more than just a course of study; it's a way of interacting with the world," said third-year student Courtney Miller. "It's also a useful vocation. I'd think that's something the university would value."

Students estimate that the cost to the university to reinstate the journalism program would be equivalent to roughly half of a dog run per year.

Lowell Darling's Tomb Of the Unborn Soldier

"We make peace with a smile on our face and with an absolute determination to bury war," said Lowell Darling, lifelong artist and social activist.

Speaking to an intimate gathering of 20 people at the base of Pacific Avenue's clock tower on Friday, May 26, Lowell and his brother Darrell Darling stood arm in arm next to a gravestone marked with the words Unborn Soldier.

"All of us are silly idealists here. But we're not hurting anyone. No one's dead, and we've been here a whole hour," said Darrell Darling.

Lowell Darling told Metro Santa Cruz he had the tombstone made 20 years ago "to make the argument that the conflicts people are dying over today, including what's happening in Iraq, started long before any of us were born."

Ten years later, on April 3, 1996, Lowell attempted to contact his nephew, Adam Noel Darling, then serving as assistant to Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, in hopes of displaying the stone on the White House lawn. This was the same day Adam Noel Darling, en route to Bosnia on a "goodwill" mission, died in a plane crash in Croatia, along with Brown and 33 other passengers.

This year, a group of family members and friends of the crash victims of '96 are organizing and gathering funding for a memorial demonstration to be performed near the crash sight.

"We want to take stones from the quarry there and make a stone saying 'Unborn Soldier' in every language spoken in the United Nations," says Lowell Darling. "We'll invite a representative from each nation to come view them all, and to take a stone back to their country with them, so we can make a move toward burying the concept of war."

Though Lowell Darling has held on to his 'Unborn Soldier' stone for two decades, the recent gathering at the Santa Cruz Clock Tower was the first time he spoke publicly about his visions and intentions for it, inspired to talk by his brother Darrell Darling and Darrell's wife, Karen Darling, parents of the late Adam Noel Darling.

Darling's best-known conceptual artwork may be his 1978 bid for California governor, running against Jerry Brown on a platform that included the use of acupuncture to calm the San Andreas fault. (The treatments were to be performed, of course, near Needles, Calif.) Amazingly, Darling managed to secure Brown's own endorsement by promising that, should Darling be elected, he would turn around and hire Brown to run the state for him. It was the kind of offer a Zen-savvy politician like Brown could hardly turn down, and Darling ended up getting 2 percent (82,000) of the vote.

When speaking of his public art displays, Lowell Darling says, "My life and work are composed of two things. Half of it is the stuff that actually shows up in galleries, and the other half is stuff I do just because of my political and social conscience."

Nūz just loves juicy tips about Santa Cruz County politics.

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