Recruiters On Campus.

As I (more or less) grew up between Germany and the US, I continually think about the commonalities and differences between these two societies. One of the starkest differences between the US and Germany I can think of is the role the military plays in society. When I spent the fall term of ‘06 at Oregon State University in Corvallis, the strong presence of military on campus was possibly the biggest “culture shock” I experienced. I don’t mean the ROTC students who came to class in uniform once a week – I understand why someone would join the military to go to college – or the patriotic displays etc. at football events. I have to say the strong presence of Army recruiters during freshman orientation (!) week was really disturbing for me. For that reason I was actually pleased to hear that the new Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan tried to keep recruiters off the campus of Harvard Law School while she was the dean of that institution. And it surprises me that not only far-right commentators but even fairly liberal commentators like Joe Klein call it an “outrage.”