HLS Ban On Army Recruiters Stands

By maintaining its ban on military recruitment at its Office of Career Services (OCS), Harvard Law School (HLS) now stands to lose almost a $1 million in federal grants.

Recently, the local branch of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) recruiting service contacted OCS and asked to use its services.

Under current HLS policy, military recruiters are not allowed to use OCS facilities because military recruiters cannot sign the required HLS non-discrimination clause. The military discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

But a new federal statute, known as the "Solomon Amendment", may penalize HLS for its refusal to open OCS to military recruiters.

According to an advisory in "The Military Educator", the amendment denies certain types of federal grants to any school that prohibits or prevents "the Secretary of Defense from obtaining, for military recruiting purposes, entry to campuses, access to students on campuses, access to directory information on students or that has an anti-ROTC [Reserve Officer's Training Corps] policy."

HLS would lose funds primarily from its federal work-study programs and Perkins loans grants.

The Solomon amendment was added to the Defense Authorization Acts for 1995 and 1996, and to the 1997 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act.

However, since the act took effect on March 29, 1997, the upcoming fiscal year is the first to which it will apply.

But Sally Donahue, director of HLS career services, says she does not believe the amendment penalizes HLS because the military is not barred from the campus. Individual students or student groupscan invite military recruiters to speak on campus.

"The Office of Career Services can not assistthem with recruiting," Donahue says. But sincethey are not barred from the campus, and areprovided with directory information, Donahue doesnot believe that HLS will be penalized.

"The school actively supports the open and freeexchange of information," she says.

According to Captain Ricardo Del Toro of thenational JAG office, the local office has not yetreported on its attempt to use HLS facilities, sothey do not know if HLS policies are in violationof the amendment.

New York University (NYU) Law School is alsoawaiting a government decision on its policies. InDecember the school decided to uphold itsnon-discrimination policy.

Unlike HLS, NYU's non-discrimination policybars military recruiters from its buildings. IreneDorzback, the assistant dean for the Office ofCounseling and Placement at NYU, says she is surethat the school will lose federal grants.

Duke University Law School, however, reversedits policy earlier this year and now grantsmilitary recruiters the same access to facilitiesand services as other recruiters.

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