I have witnessed three major problems on campus: climate change, discrimination and the COVID-19 pandemic. The response to these was the same every time, ignoring the problem until it’s too late, followed by frantic action in a desperate attempt to seem like the administration is doing something. All three times, this has resulted in damage to public trust, which cannot be afforded in the event of a nuclear war. Because of this, I hope to convince those at UConn that we need a transparent plan for what to do if a nuclear war is imminent or occurring. First, UConn should cease all participation in ROTC until the military withdraws to its Cold War boundaries, as a message to Russia and China that it is a non-combatant organization and not part of NATO expansion, as well as negotiating with those countries for potential notice to evacuate in case of an attack on the submarine base.
Next, anyone with high susceptibility to radiation should have the opportunity to register to be moved away from the east coast in case of further escalation in the war. This may initially seem futile, but I believe Vladmir Putin and Xi Jinping would rather rule over America than destroy it, as their problems with America are based on the government rather than a genocidal hatred of the people.
Therefore, civilian areas far from military bases will likely remain unbombed with low radiation levels. Any such evacuation should prioritize those most at risk from the radiation, allowing them to get far away from New London, Connecticut by the time of the attacks. Another important goal is for iodine to be distributed quickly to any survivors, therefore the chemistry department should be prepared to use its iodine for this purpose if necessary. This would also prevent panic buying of iodine and the ensuing shortage which would be dangerous.
Finally, as for attitude, what is needed is truth, preparation and a state and regionwide approach. The initial blasts will not be the end of the war, and any refusal to provide information to stop panic buying, panicked evacuation and traffic jams will, if found out, only result in a population which doesn’t believe in and won’t be willing to defend our civilization. With preparation, all departments of the university should determine what to do to protect their functions in the war, how they can help the university and larger community deal with it and what personnel and resources they should move to a neutral nation in case of escalation in the war to preserve the fundamental objective of open learning. Examples of this include how to use the basements as fallout shelters, how to assist residents with radiation illness (UConn Health), how to evacuate Avery Point (HuskyGO), how to grow safe food (UConn School of Agriculture) and more. Also, a day should be used to practice any necessary procedures, so everyone is ready in case of an actual attack.
UConn must not die with America, because its survival could allow it to become a center for world peace, taking in scholars from around the world and creating post-war prosperity. And this isn’t despite its social problems, it’s because of them that we know how to deal with controversy even if it isn’t always well. When the victors decide what to do with the losers, we will be there to show how people can work together even when it’s hard, like we have throughout our history. “Qui Transtulit Sustinet” was true when this state was founded and may become even more prevalent soon.