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the war on terrorism…the schools who create the terror

Monday, 8 January 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

January 4, 2007

Webster University cuts ties with SOA/WHINSEC

In a historical and inspiring display of grassroots power at work, Webster University’s Office of Academic Affairs decided to end an agreement with the former School of the Americas – renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in 2001 (SOA/WHINSEC), after faculty, students and it’s founders protested the university’s association with the controversial U.S. Army run school that trains Latin American military and security personnel.

Webster University and the SOA/WHINSEC had signed an agreement in March 2005 allowing students at the U.S. Army school to transfer as many as fifteen credits to certain graduate programs at Webster.

Faculty and students were not aware of the association until it was disclosed by a student-run campus newspaper. Shortly after, 32 professors signed a petition demanding that the agreement be terminated and members of the Sisters of Loretto, the catholic organization that founded the university, protested Webster’s affiliation with the school. Graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC continue to be implicated in human rights abuses throughout Latin America.

In a letter to Sister Cabrini Bartolo of the Sisters of Loretto, Webster’s Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs James Staley commented on the termination of the agreement and clarified the University’s position: “We regret the perception that our fine institution has or had a collaboration with the SOA or WHINSEC. We regret the disappointment felt by alumni or by the Sisters of Loretto, or their supporters. We have taken every possible action to remove any offense.”

This is a major victory for the movement to close down the SOA/WHINSEC and we are grateful to our sisters and brothers at Webster University and the Sisters of Loretto for standing up for human rights and in solidarity with the people of Latin America.

Read more about Webster’s decision to cut ties with the SOA/WHINSEC.

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