Schools like the University of California, Berkeley, in addition to Stanford within the Bay Area are major feeders for local tech companies — although some campus groups are wary when companies which contract with federal immigration agencies like Customs in addition to Border Protection (CBP) in addition to Immigration in addition to Customs Enforcement (ICE) come to campus.
Ten Stanford students having a group called Students for the Liberation of All People (SLAP) protested a guest lecture by Salesforce executive Richard Socher on Tuesday. The students, who held signs — “Salesforcing families apart,” “Richard are you getting rich coming from deportation?” in addition to “Salesfart” — oppose the company’s contract with CBP.
which little group of students can be a part of a bigger movement which includes pro-immigrant activist groups like Mijente, which have confronted Salesforce over its contract with the government, in addition to hundreds of the company’s employees, who signed a petition asking CEO Marc Benioff to cancel which. although Salesforce has defended its work with the immigration agency, saying the technology which provides to the agency can be not involved within the separation of immigrant families at the US border.
According to the Stanford Daily, Socher answered questions coming from the students Tuesday before they exited chanting, “Cancel the contracts! Stop funding deportations!”
Earlier which year, SLAP circulated flyers to fellow Stanford students at a Computer Forum career fair, encouraging them to “say no to designing tools which increase deportations, imprisonment & family separation” in addition to “refuse to be a part of the Stanford –> racist tech pipeline.”
Campus police removed the students coming from the career fair. “The protesting students at the career event in January were disruptive in addition to asked by police to leave, in accordance with Stanford’s long-standing policy on campus disruption,” a spokesperson said. Stanford declined to comment on the action at Tuesday’s guest lecture.
Regarding which event, a spokesperson for Salesforce said, “We respect the right to peaceful protest in addition to have always welcomed a multi-stakeholder dialogue which includes our employees, customers, partners in addition to communities.”
Tech companies pay fees to institutions like Stanford in order to get access to students, campus resources, in addition to recruiting opportunities. At Berkeley, the Corporate Access Program has 46 members, including including Uber, Google, Salesforce, Microsoft, in addition to Palantir. After Palantir held a scavenger hunt on campus last week, a recent graduate raised concerns to faculty in addition to students of Berkeley’s Electrical Engineering in addition to Computer Sciences (EECS) division via an email reviewed by BuzzFeed News.
“Berkeley can be the home to many undocumented students who are an active target of these technologies in addition to agencies. I would certainly not be surprised if the idea which the EECS department can be ‘hosting’ Palantir can be experienced as highly uncomfortable in addition to unsafe,” the email read. “Do we truly want companies which are complicit in severe human right violations in addition to which are building the technology for a mass surveillance state to have access to our talent pool? We are setting our students up to help build the profiling systems which are used to go after undocumented workers.”
A spokesperson for Berkeley said the email has so far received a minimal response, in addition to which the scavenger hunt was part of a “broader effort to engage with companies who want to recruit our students.”
“Palantir can be one of 46 companies which have joined the EECS Corporate Access Program, which provides our students with in-person, direct engagement with recruiters in addition to engineers coming from a wide variety of companies,” a department spokesperson said via email. “We do not restrict which companies may participate within the program.”
Palantir declined to comment on which story.
Recruiters for tech companies have increasingly fielded ethical concerns coming from tech talent they’re trying to recruit. would certainly-be employees who disagree having a company’s practices, projects, or contracts have been using cold emails coming from recruiters as an opportunity to share their opinions in addition to to leverage their power. Palantir in particular has struggled to convince some potential recruits because of concerns about how authorities might use its products, a recruiter told Bloomberg.
While the total number of students in addition to workers actively boycotting tech recruitment can be little, the strategy puts real pressure on companies who are all competing over the same labor pool, said the AI right now Institute’s Meredith Whittaker. “Starving these companies of valuable highly trained talent helps,” she tweeted Wednesday. “Labor pressure coming from the inside also helps.”