After two and a half years of allowing on-campus military recruiting (beginning in the fall of 2002), in which I had the pleasure of taking part, Dean Kagan reinstated HLS’s ban on on-campus military recruitment in the spring of 2005, following a Third Circuit ruling holding the SA unconstitutional. Putting aside the fact that the Third Circuit’s ruling provided no legal justification for Kagan’s spring 2005 reinstatement of the military ban, the federal government has properly called the law school’s bluff. The United States government may condition the receipt of federal funds upon the meeting of certain conditions, such as allowing on-campus military recruiting. If the potential donee of the funds chooses not to comply with said conditions – which the donee has every right to do – the donee will not receive the funds. Allowing on-campus military recruitment is clearly not required by law. All the law states is that if you choose not to allow access to the military, you will not receive federal funds. If Harvard wants to ban the military, it should go right ahead. If it were my decision, I would roll out the red carpet on a daily basis for military recruiters, as thanks for what the military does for me each and every day, both at home and abroad. However, the decision is not mine; it is the university’s. Harvard had a choice between allowing military recruitment and receiving federal funding or barring military recruitment and not receiving federal funds. If Harvard truly wanted to stand up on its “principles” by sticking to its anti-discrimination policy and thus banning the military from campus, it could do so. Not surprisingly, Harvard has once again made an “exception” to its anti-discrimination policy by allowing military recruitment. True to form, Harvard’s exception from its “principles” is one that gives it more money. All the while, professors, administrators, and student groups chastise the government for its “unjust” and “deeply wrong” (See Dean Kagan’s statement.)legislation conditioning the receipt of the much-needed (Please!) federal supplement on allowing campus access to recruiters from our nation’s armed forces, legislation which the federal government has every right to pass and, finally, enforce.
Drew ThornleyHLS, Class of 2005
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