Thursday, April 07, 2005


This article was brought to my attention by a poster who goes by the name of Final Four or Bust on Marquette.rivals.com. The full text of this article can be found online by the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Below is a brief excerpt from the article:

Students protesting military recruiters disrupt UCSC job fair
By JONDI GUMZSentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ — UC Santa Cruz junior Jonathan Perez dressed in a suit
and tie Tuesday, hoping to impress company recruiters at the campus job fair.

But more than 200 student anti-war protesters got there first,
storming the Stevenson Event Center, shouting and banging on windows and demanding that military recruiters in the corner of the room leave.

The noisy sit-in ended after an hour of chaos and tension when
military representatives vacated their posts. Student protesters hugged each other happily after administrators allowed them to hand out information on alternatives to military careers and agreed to a meeting to discuss future job fairs.

Barbara Bedford, director of UCSC’s Career Center, said UCSC
complies with a 1995 federal law called the Solomon amendment, which denies federal funding to universities that bar military recruiters from

One of the protest leaders contended UCSC should follow the lead of
Harvard Law School, which banned military recruiters after a federal appeals court in Philadelphia invalidated the law. The U.S. Justice Department has announced plans to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.UCSC administrators stepped up security at the job fair, hoping to avert a confrontation. Students had to present identification at the door and reporters asking to enter were screened.
That didn’t stop the student protesters. About 75 of them pushed their way in, carrying signs and a banner that said "Military Off Our Campus." They chanted, "Racist, Sexist, Anti-gay. Hey, recruiters, go

In keeping with the theme of 1832, I am blogging on this topic to criticize the actions of the “liberal” protestors and to make it clear that this is not a view that is held or should be held by all democrats. For those of you who do not know, I was a cadet in Marquette’s Air Force ROTC, and only left because I could not work on Kerry’s campaign while being in ROTC.

The real issue in this article is the 1995 Federal Solomon Law, which requires schools that receive federal funding to allow military recruiters and ROTC on campuses (Currently many Ivy League schools are challenging this law). Real Democrats should be in full support of this law, not because they should agree with military service, but because it promotes an expanded “exchange of ideas” on campus. A school that lacks a military presence on campus is lacking an important part of the debate, just as a school would be lacking an important component of the discussion if they did not allow non-violence groups and/or the teachings of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. on campus.

The Government has a vested interest to recruit the brightest of individuals to serve in our military, therefore, the Solomon law makes sense. Ivy League schools are particularly shameful in their actions: after 9/11 there was large student movement to have ROTC reestablished, which was met with large protests from faculty and other students. All these Ivy League schools have done is further the image of the Ivy League being “liberal havens”. If these schools contain our best and our brightest leaders of tomorrow, why not give them a chance to be the best and brightest MILITARY LEADERS of tomorrow?

Lastly to the subject of the actions of the protectors: The protestors had no right to disrupt the Career Fair and to force their way past security. This was not a traditional “sit in” as a traditional sit in would have allowed the Career Fair to continue, while also showing the view of the protestors. In addition, the protestors could have protested outside the event, but should have allowed students to speak with the recruiters.

In short I think this quote from UCSC student Chris Swanson sums up my viewpoint nicely:

"If they want free speech, they should let people speak to the recruiters," he said.