Student Government seeks donation from weapons contractor

Palomar’s student government decided last month to partner with an international defense contractor.

At the Associated Student Government’s meeting on Nov. 30, members passed a motion to seek a “monetary partnership” with BAE Systems, a major British weapons manufacturer.

BAE, like other defense contractors seeking work with nearby Marine Corps and Navy installations, has an office in San Diego.

BAE Systems netted $32.42 billion in 2008, making them the largest “global defense company” in the world, according to The Guardian, a British newspaper.

The company manufactures weapons and military technology for a wide variety of fields.The majority of its revenue comes from weapons system development on things like fighter planes and armored troop carriers.

Palomar student Senator Tylor Ellard brought the potential partnership to the board, prefacing it with his intentions to one day secure employment with the  manufacturer.

BAE has in the past done business with Academi, formerly Blackwater.

Blackwater is a private security contractor that handles things like VIP escorts and cargo delivery in war zones and other dangerous environments. They found their way to the public spotlight on March 31, 2004, when a convoy in Fallujah with four Blackwater agents was ambushed and resulted in their deaths. This prompted a general inspection into what civilians were doing in a warzone.

On Feb. 16, 2005, contractors escorting US State Department  officials in Baghdad fired 70 rounds at a car that they alleged was too close for comfort.

BAE itself has been involved in some controversy. Allegations of corrupt business practices and contracts, particularly Saudi Arabian Al Yamamah contracts. Last year, they agreed to pay a £286 million fine to the Serious Fraud Office.

The ASG voted unanimously to approach BAE for potential endorsement.

In a statement after the meeting, President Evelyn Lucero said that if she understood the history of BAE she may have reconsidered the motion. By votes, the motion was popular.

Author: Ian Hanner

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1 Comment

  1. Why bother getting involved with a weapons contractor? This is a community college in post 9/11. Are we forgetting a few things???

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