130.3 Statement in Response to
Goshen College is aware of the statements contained in the National Defense Authorization Act of 1995, the National Defense Authorization Act for 1996 and the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997 which call for colleges to provide military recruitment access to the campus, to students and to directory information about students. Those statements indicate that any college which fails to cooperate with the Secretary of Defense on this matter will jeopardize federal funds allocated to that college.
However, we are aware that the laws do contain a very clear exception clause. The 1995 act (P.L. 104 206 [110 Stat 2984; 104 H.R. 3816] §509) contains this clause: (b) EXCEPTION. The limitation established in subsection (a) shall not apply to an institution of higher learning when it is made known to the Federal official having authority to obligate or expend such funds that
(1) The institution … ; OR
(2) the institution has a long standing policy of pacifism based on historical religious affiliation.
The 1997 act (Not yet Codified; FY 97 Omnibus Appropriations; Eff. Date: 01 APR 97,) contains this clause:
§514, (b) EXCEPTIONS. The limitation established in subsection (a) or (b) shall not apply to a covered educational entity if the Secretary of Defense determines that
(1) the covered educational … ; OR
(2) the institution of higher education involved has a long standing policy of pacifism based on historical religious affiliation; OR
(3) the institution …
Goshen College is aware that this “interim rule” was announced as effective on April 1, 1997 but that comments on proposed wording were invited until July 7, 1997. We are also aware that to this time the final wording of that rule has not yet been released. Therefore we prepare this statement for presentation to the Secretary of Defense, lacking clear directives on how to proceed.
We consider that Goshen College clearly qualifies for the exception clause quoted above from both the 1995 and 1997 laws. For that reason we have prepared this statement. Lacking a clear “Final statement” of the law and lacking a statement of exact procedures for how to present our qualification for the exception, we proceed in these two ways:
- We will present a set of documents to the Secretary of Defense for consideration;
- We will assume that Goshen College qualifies for the exception and will continue our policy of non cooperation with military recruitment activities.
Goshen College will soon be presenting the following documents to the Secretary of Defense as evidence of Goshen College’s long standing policy of pacifism based on historical religious affiliation (these same documents are open to view at Goshen College):
- Mennonite Church Statements of Faith and commitments to “pacifism”;
- Documents showing the organizational links of the Mennonite Church to Goshen College and Goshen College’s commitment to Mennonite values, including “pacifism”.
- A summary of the Goshen College academic program and campus activities in peace studies and areas related to “pacifism”.
This statement is also presented as a response to requests from military recruiters for information or for visits to campus. We now give this response:
Goshen College will continue its long standing policy of non cooperation with military recruitment activities, based on our historical links to the Mennonite Church and her positions of pacifism based on biblical faith.
Goshen College will choose to not provide the directory information requested by any military recruiters. Also, we will, as in the past, continue to not permit military recruiting activities on the campus.
Affirmed August 2003