"WE shall discuss the issues you have raised here," Dean Glimp told the crowd of 300 students sitting-in against the Dow Chemical Company on October 25. With that promise, Dow job recruiter Frederick Leavitt returned home to a cold dinner, and Harvard turned to examine the hot issues that remained.
At last week's Faculty meeting, which placed 74 of the demonstrators on probation and admonished 171 others, Stanley H. Hoffmann, professor of Government, moved to establish a committee to discuss the issues of campus recruitment and the University's relation to the Vietnam war.
Although the committee, which is to be composed of students, Faculty members and administration officials, has not yet been created, three Faculty members concerned with the issues involved agreed to discuss their views in separate interviews.
The three Faculty members are Arthur Smithies, Nathanial Ropes professor of Political Economy, Michael L. Walzer, associate professor of Government, and Martin H. Peretz, instructor of Social Studies.
"There are two extreme positions on the issue of recruiting at Harvard," Smithies said. "One is to allow no recruiting on campus. The other is to allow any institution to recruit here."
Smithies said that until the Dow crisis, he "wouldn't have recommended any changes" in Harvard's current policy of recruitment, which he described as basically the latter extreme position. Now he tends to favor prohibiting all recruitment on campus.
"Recruiting is not vital to the University," Smithies said. "It is here solely for the convenience of students, so it is quite feasible to end it."
Would Harvard lose endowment money by banning business from campus? "If this were a blanket prohibition there would be no financial disadvantages," Smithies said. "The Dow crisis provides a disadvantage to the present policy. Besides, I'd be rather alarmed if someone would say, 'I'll give you one million dollars to allow me to recruit."
Peretz would not go so far as to favor prohibiting all recruitment from campus. "I don't find myself aesthetically opposed to recruiting," he said. "I don't think Dow should recruit here, but I have hesitations about singling them out. We must either get rational criteria or recruiting should be open to all.
"If recruiting is as free as people have been saying it is, it should be offered with equity. That means to such groups as the Friends Service [which recruits conscientious objectors] currently prohibited from recruiting here."
Walzer likewise has no basic objections to recruitment on campus, but thinks that the decision to permit it must lie in Faculty hands. "So long as members of the Faculty are outraged by recruiting," he said, "it should be excluded out of deference to them."
The problem of how to decide which recruiters to exclude from campus is not easily resolved. "You'd have to look at each case," Walzer said. Smithies countered that such a policy is so difficult as to be dangerous.
"The University would get in real trouble if it ended Dow recruiting because Dow manufacturers napalm," Smithies said, "and not General Motors recruiting because it makes only jeeps, or General Foods recruiting because it makes only K-rations.
"I'd apply the all-or-nothing rule, not only to business, but to government as well. It's an artificial distinction to say the State Department can come on campus, the CIA cannot. I like to think of the federal government as a whole.
"I also don't think there is a sharp distinction between war and peace in modern times. We should make long-range decisions, and not be influenced by the Vietnam war."
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