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AMHERST, Mass.--In an apparent defeat for the students who have protested for the University of Massachusetts to ban on-campus CIA recruiting, the school's Faculty Senate voted Thursday to accept in principle a report that calls for open forums on campus with the agency and other employers.
At the open forums, students could hear representatives of the CIA and other firms make a pitch for the employment opportunities their companies offered. If they wanted, the students could also confront the representatives with grievances and try to convince them to change the companies' policies.
The report came two weeks after Amy Carter, Abbie Hoffman and 13 other protesters were cleared of trespassing and disorderly conduct charges stemming from a demonstration against CIA recruitment at the 35,000-student campus.
The report, prepared by an ad hoc committee, also recommended that Chancellor Joseph M. Duffey and the board of trustees ask the Defense Department and congressmen for a review of a policy prohibiting homosexual recruitment by the military.
About 50 Senate members agreed on a voice vote to consider the recommendations in detail at a meeting late this month.
The group explained that its recommendations were meant to "accommodate the several legitimate interests involved--the educational value in allowing open discussion of controversial issues and allowing maximum job choice for our students and the right of concerned students and faculty to openly challenge and try to change the activities of recruiting organizations they believe are immoral and/or illegal."
The committee recommendation suggested that 1000 signatures be required on petitions for the forums. "A petition to request an Open Forum is not an indictment of the recruiting organization," the report stated. "And the Open Forum is not a trial."
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