Recruiters are here to stay

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The Supreme Court made a striking blow to the fight to get military recruiters off our campuses on Monday, March 6, 2006, by declaring that all colleges, including law schools, must allow recruiters on to their campuses.

This decision has been argued by many organizations, including FAIR (Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights) as being an attack on gay and lesbian students. The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy openly excludes homosexuals from serving in any of the services.

FAIR also claimed that the Solomon Amendment, which states that any college that denies the access to students by military recruiters may suffer cuts in federal funding, is not only an attack on homosexuals, but is also imposing on their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. In response the Supreme Court said that the amendment “regulates conduct, not speech.”

The presence of the recruiters this semester has not seemed to be as bad as it has in past semesters, but with this update in the amendment I’m sure we’ll be seeing them a lot. The part that scares me the most is that the Solomon Amendment also says that the Secretary of a military department or the Secretary of Homeland security can access a student’s records anytime they want. This includes educational records as well as personal records.

So not only do they have undeniable access to our persons, but also can research our private information, allowing them to easily target susceptible students.

This may (technically) not be a violation of our First Amendment rights but it certainly is a violation of our privacy. Personally I would rather never have a military recruiter looking into my records at the expense of losing funding, and I definitely would not like to have to see them parading around the campus, where I normally would feel safe.

Not to sound too much like an anti-militant, but well in fact I am against war and do not support the troops overseas. I am glad however that we, as Americans, are advocates of a volunteer based military. But does that include manipulating our youth to think the military is the best option for them? I know many people who struggle their way through high school and college, making service in the armed forces seem like a helpful option, but nonetheless it is not the wisest.

I would hope that the students here would be intelligent enough to research what joining the military would entail and if they’re still interested, pursue recruiters on their own time, instead of having the recruiters come and bother all of us.