B.U. Protesters Begin Hunger Strike In Effort to Stop Military Recruitment
Fifteen student government officers at Boston University quietly occupied B.U.'s Marsh Chapel yesterday to mark the beginning of a three-day hunger strike in protest of military recruitment on campus.
The group is demanding that John R. Silber, B.U. president, file a lawsuit against the Federal government challenging the constitutionality of the Hebert Amendment. The amendment, passed this full, denied Federal aid to private universities which her military recruiters from their campuses.
The professors are also demanding that a group of representatives from the administration, faculty, and student body be responsible for making all policy decisions within the university.
The present controversy arose at B.U. when Silber ignored a student referendum against recruiting and decided to allow military recruiters on campus in order to make the university eligible for Federal grants. His decision came after a series of student demonstrations last spring, which protested the presence of Marine Corps recruiters at B.U.
Unlike the protest of last spring, the university police were conspicuously absent when the group of protesters at 9 a.m. yesterday. Robert Himmal, B.U. chaplain was the only representative from the university there. He greeted the students and passed out choir rehearsal schedule for the week.
"I am very happy to have them," Himmal said. "This is a very proper place for such as action."
The participants in the hunger strike will leave Marsh Chapel only to attend classes during the Thursday strike, said Joe Cuoeao. Student Government president. "The students have agreed to drink only water and fruit juices during that time," he added.
Robert Wilmot, student president of the College of Liberal Arts, said that the group decided a hunger strike would be the most effective way to mobilize student support. Cuoeao said that he expects other students to join the strike. "They can't help but respect us for our method of progest," he said.
Peter Haydn, an editor of the B.U. Free Dally Press, said yesterday that the newspaper and believes that strike is a " "silly" idea. "They will go home when they get hungry," be added.
"The administration is planning no action against the strikers," said John Burkett. B.U. director of Student Academic Support Services. Burkett said he sees nothing improper about Hebert Amendment or the present method of policy making at B.U