Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Law schools allow military recruits amid threats of losing funds

After years of protesting the presence of military recruiters on law school campuses, many universities have altered their policies to allow recruiters, due to fear of losing federal funds.

Several universities nationwide practice policies that prohibit employers who discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion or sexual orientation to recruit as well as conduct interviews with students on campus.

The military does not allow the hiring of applicants who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

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Over the past few years, the military has started to push harder for recruiting possibilities on law-school campuses that receive federal funds. With this recent push, many law schools have suspended the enforcement of its anti-discrimination policies with sole respect to the military.

The military is pushing the Solomon Amendment, which was put into effect in 1996 and “cuts federal funds from universities with nondiscrimination policies that restrict military recruitment.”

Funding is not only cut from the law school, but from the entire university.

Harvard University was recently forced to allow recruiters on campus because of the risk of losing $328 million in federal funds.

Other schools at risk of losing massive amounts of federal funds are Yale and the University of Southern California. Yale would lose as much as $350 million and USC stands to lose $500 million.

The New York Law School also recently suspended its enforcement by allowing recruiters on campus Oct. 15- Oct. 17.

“This decision in no way reflects a weakening of commitment to principles of non-discrimination,” said Richard A. Matasar, dean and president of New York Law School.

With the Solomon Amendment now strongly enforced, law schools nationwide are being forced to operate against their beliefs and let recruiters in. This policy alteration has sparked protests at several universities such as Georgetown, Harvard and Yale.

The University of Wisconsin Law School allows military recruiters to interview on campus and is therefore in compliance with the law.

Assistant dean of the UW Law School, Kevin M. Kelly, said military recruiters should be allowed to interview on campus. However, he added that this belief stems partly from his position as a navy reservist.

According to Kelly, these issues are being brought up and protested now because of “societal attitudes toward the nature of military service.”

He also said he believes this will remain an issue in the future that will continue to create tension.

In time, Congress could alter the law or change it all together; however, as of now the military’s policy is legal.

But law schools nationwide believe the military’s policy is wrong when it comes to hiring lawyers.

“I personally believe that the military’s discriminatory polices are demeaning, promote violence and diminish the strength of the armed forces, and I know that many members of the New York Law School community share that view,” Matasar said.

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