Stepping into the Woodland Community College lounge, you will find a wall covered by military propaganda. In the 100 building on the Marysville campus, you will also find racks of brochures and advertisements for the armed forces.
The military has a significant presence at both the Marysville and Woodland campuses. Recruiters come to the campuses trained to enlist. Woodland Army recruiter Corporal Sophan Tath said that it is effective going to schools and talking with students.
Whether or not you believe the military should be recruiting in our schools, there is not much that the schools or students can do about it.
The nation’s top law schools lost a significant legal argument in March of this year when a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could withhold funding from schools that bar military recruiters. The justices said Congress was within its rights to say any college that gets even a dime of federal money has to allow military recruiters.
But couldn’t the presence of military recruiters negatively impact student enrollment on a college campus? And couldn’t the drop in student enrollment also affect college funding? Maybe it would be worth the loss of federal aid to ban military recruiters.
For some faculty and students, the military is not a welcomed guest on campus. Jerry Fishman, a Woodland Community College English professor asked, “What does war have to do with education? Absolutely nothing.”
Often students are promised educational funding if they join the military. The Army, for example, offers a “college fund” so enlistees can earn money toward college while serving.
Some people favor the military presence on campus. Angela Fairchilds, President of Woodland Community College, sees the military as an employment opportunity like any other organization that might come onto the campus, such as a new Office Depot that came to WCC in October.
Also military recruiters on campus can be less distracting than a day-long job fair which the Yuba campuses hold every year.
But the military is not your average employer. We at The Prospector believe that there should be a smaller military presence on college campuses than there is presently. If students do choose a military career, they can seek it out like any other vocation. There are military advertisements on TV or online to direct anyone interested to a recruiter’s office.