Representatives of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) held a recruiting meeting for black students at Oberlin College in Ohio late last month. The meeting was held off campus and drew no student protest.
Hal Payne, a black, assistant dean of students, arranged the meeting, saying in a letter to black students that "Oberlin came to their (the CIA's) attention because of the nationwide publicity given our Black Caucus admissions and recruitment program. They felt that Oberlin will be attracting the kind of black students who would be of interest to the Agency."
Big Brother Doesn't Discriminate
Payne's letter said that the CIA, as an equal opportunity employer, is participating in an all-government attempt to recruit more blacks for government service.
The meeting was not handled by Oberlin's Office of Placement and Graduate Counseling, as is customary at the college, but instead was arranged entirely through Payne's office. George Langeler, dean of students at Oberlin, said that the CIA is just another government agency and that the meeting was "in no way unusual."
William Davis, associate provost, said that Oberlin could have refused to cooperate with the CIA, but that such a policy would not have been effective because "I could not say with certainty that the CIA recruiters have not been here already."
"The CIA doesn't hesitate to infiltrate groups like the Black Panthers and Students for a Democratic Society to subvert them," Davis said. "There's no reason that radical Oberlin students can't join the CIA to try to change its course."
A spokesman from The Oberlin Review, the student newspaper, said that students have "generally ignored" the recruitment meeting.