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Notre Dame presence essential in CIA, Raytheon

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, September 11, 2008

In a recent Viewpoint article (“Career fair participants unwelcome,” Sept. 10), you were criticized for welcoming the CIA and the Raytheon Company onto campus. The four co-authors laid forth impressive statistics and numbers on both the Central Intelligence Agency and Raytheon Company, which I will not dispute. The CIA and its domestic counterpart, the FBI, have both used tactics that range from questionable at best and at worst violations of human rights.Mr. Angulo, Ms. Haas, Ms. Quiros and Ms. McKinney said that “students […] are presented with a contradictory picture at the Career Expo.” On the one hand, we, the University community, are called to “develop a ‘disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many.'” On the other hand, the University Administration and the Career Center welcome to campus organizations that will, by their very nature, cause pain and suffering to people in the world, on the basic level of human rights.It is for this reason that the CIA and Raytheon must be allowed and indeed encouraged to recruit students from the Notre Dame community. Students that have lived the Notre Dame experience will have lived at a place where “learning becomes service to justice”. The University has done well in training moral and upstanding men and women for decades and these are exactly the kind of men and women we want in the CIA and Raytheon.I believe we can all agree that sending people with consciences and strong moral compasses (like those from Our Lady’s University) will fit well in any role where a strong moral compass is needed. Whether it be signing a torture order for a prisoner to extract information, selling small arms to private contractors or making the cut-throat deal in the board room, I would much rather have people from our community that will stop and think twice in those roles. I want people that have grown and learned with the mission of Notre Dame clear in their minds to be the ones that stand up in the briefing rooms or the board rooms and protest what the organization is doing or how it is conducting business.So keep inviting the CIA and Raytheon back. Send our fellow students to work from the inside and change these organizations. Keep listening to the critics and the protesters of your policies. But don’t send these companies to recruit at other, less mindful campuses.Hope for a more peaceful future, with Our Lady guiding the way.

Matt FlorianHoly Cross CollegeSept. 10