The Convocation on the threat of nuclear war on November 11th, 1981 was conducted on over 150 campuses in the U.S., and also on three (at least) in Canada and at the University of Rome, Italy. It was conceived and organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), who generated and distributed supportive literature, flyers and a slide show with script, maintained telephone contact and sent periodic, informative newsletters to participating campuses.
The UCS is now planning its Convocation for November 11th, 1982 focussed on solution strategies for reversing the nuclear arms race. Among other materials, they plan to produce and distribute a 30 minute film for this event. This time the inter-campus communication, or “networking” function will be handled by an affiliate of the UCS, born in the intervening winter, called United CAMpuses to Prevent Nuclear War (UCAM). UCAM conducted a Convocation on Economic Effects of the Arms Race on April 26th of this year. Although over 350 campuses participated, including at least one in every state of the Union, publicity was virtually swamped by the concurrent Ground Zero activities.
UCAM sees its functions as twofold: educational and political. Its political effort is focussed entirely on U.S. politics, and no degree of Canadian involvement in UCAM can be expected to alter this. On the other hand, its educational material, as measured by wbat the UCS has produced so far, is likely to be as useful in Canada as in the U.S. And a network among campuses that transcends the national boundary is both aesthetically appealing and newsworthy. So the University of Toronto Chapter of Science for Peace has joined with some other campus organizations in creating of U. of T. Chapter of UCAM.
Our chapter is itself a campus membership organization: the University of Toronto Disarmament CAMpaign (UCAM). But many different organizational structures can be imagined. At least until Science for Peace can do on the Canadian scene what the Union of Concerned Scientists and UCAM are ready and able to do, and are willing to share with us, we should support them and make use of their materials, organization and publicity. So as a member of the national UCAM Steering Committee, I urge members of Science for Peace to do two things:
1) Consider forming a UCAM chapter on your campus. For further information including a copy of the UCAM constitution, write to Terry Gardner c/o Science for Peace or directly to
United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War 1346 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 110 Washington, D.C. 20036 U.S.A. or simply phone UCAM: (202) 296-5600.
2) (Independent_ of 1)!) Plan a November 11th Convocation on your campus. The UCS will provide support. For this, contact
Bud Ris, Director, UCS Nuclear Arms Program Union of Concerned Scientists 1384 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Mass 02238 U.S.A. or phone: (617) 547-5552.
Last November 11th, with a late start in Canada, we had convocations at Dalhousie, Toronto, and York Universities. This year, let’s have them all across the land!