Michigan State News

May 28, 1969

ROTC protesters question ĎUí aid to military complex

by Larry Molnar and Dave Short

 

A protest rally in front of the new Administration Bldg. Friday evoked further attacks on University ROTC programs.

Approximately 150 people heard several speakers voice unanimous disapproval for the ROTC program and call for its immediate abolition on university campuses.

The rally was sponsored jointly by the New University Conference (NUC), ASMSU and the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA).

The crowd showed little reaction to the speakers. Although some people stayed for the entire rally, most observers stopped to listen for a while and moved on. Some people took advantage of the warm weather by basking in the sun for a tan.

Paul Lauter, national director of Resist, the nationwide anti-draft movement, was one of the key speakers during the rally, Lauter, who also is one of the founders of NUC, criticized the University for some of its activities.

"Michigan State University has always stood out as an example of the way in which a university operates with the imperialism of this country," he said.

Lauter condemned the use of campus facilities in this country as a means to build up military troops and to do military research.

Tom Samet, ASMSU Board chairman, also spoke out against the University ROTC program. Samet, who stressed that he was speaking not as a member of the board but as a student, that most MSU students and most of the people of the United States do not want ROTC.

"ROTC is an implement in the machine of death; itís a misfit in the University structure," Samet stated.

"ROTC should die and it will die." Although he supported Acting President Walter Adamsí attempts to solve the ROTC issue at the University. Samet said that the attempts were not enough. He said that academic credit and pay for ROTC must be stopped now.

"I suggest we let ROTC die on this campus by having everybody refuse to participate in it," Samet said.

After the scheduled speeches, Clark Akatiff, asst. professor of geography and emcee at the rally, invited members of the crowd to voice their opinions.