Michigan State News

October 18, 1975

"Opinion: CIA should be allowed to recruit at MSU"



MSU Placement Services is bringing CIA members to campus today and tomorrow for recruiting purposes. In reaction, some students have pushed the red-light button labeled "Moral Indignation."

Persons calling themselves "a group of concerned students" and the "Nov. 20 Mobilization," have distributed emotionally charged leaflets stating that the CIA is "invading" MSU. Their position is that since the CIA is a morally questionable organization they should not be invited to campus to recruit students.

But what these and other persons fail to understand is that it is not the job Placement Services or the University to make moral judgments. Rather, they should provide as may job opportunities and alternatives to the students as possible.

We must not ask, nor allow, any person or group, including the University, to bar potential employers from campus based on questions of morality. Otherwise, we relinquish our right to make these moral choices for ourselves, both now and in the future.

If some of us do not wish to work for the CIA for ethical reasons then that is our decision to make. But the University has the obligation of allowing us to make that choice, as they are presently doing.

An added, and ironic, side to the CIA is that a university is probably the best place to recruit new personnel, particularly from a reformist standpoint. If we question the integrity of the CIA then the best way to change it is to revamp the agency from within, by hiring intelligent, ethically-minded persons.

The best place to find these persons is probably at a university, particularly one which has a criminal justice program as highly regarded as MSU’s.

Those who wish peacefully to protest the activities of the CIA or their presence on campus should feel free to do so. But they should find means that does not infringe on the rights of their fellow students to find a job.

If, as happened at University of Michigan, the CIA is dissuaded from recruiting on campus because of the protests of vocal minorities, an injustice will be done to students needing jobs, and who are willing and able to work for the CIA.

Rather than protest the decision of Placement Services to allow the CIA to recruit, we should commend them for preserving each individual’s right to determine future plans—even when that right is unpopular with campus moralists.