National Student Association

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The National Student Association was formed in 1947 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. There was some question initially over whether the National Student Association (NSA) would associate with the International Union of Students (IUS). Ultimately, with the Cold War starting, the NSA decided it did not want to associate with the communists in the IUS and in 1950 it formed the International Student Conference (ISC) in Stockholm, Sweden with students from 18 other national student groups. As time went on, the ISC became more and more rigidly anti-communist, with the NSA being the primary force pushing this position within it.

While the NSA was somewhat liberal pertaining to domestic policy, such as with the civil rights movement, it was rabidly anti-communist in terms of foreign policy, especially within the ISC. Unknown to most was that the NSA was being secretly funded by and to a large degree controlled by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), particularly in terms of its foreign relations and its leadership. The CIA was using liberal foundations as a conduit for money to the NSA. Only a handful of NSA leaders knew of this relationship - the CIA codeword for NSA leaders who knew of the relationship was "witty". People had to sign a national security oath before being told of the relationship. If they informed people of the relationship subsequently, they could face steep legal penalties. The carrot to this stick was that "witty" students got draft deferments due to their CIA work. The NSA-CIA relationship was revealed in Ramparts magazine in 1967. The revelations caused a shake-up in the NSA.

In 1971 the National Student Lobby broke off from the NSA. In August of 1978, the National Student Lobby merged with the National Student Association to form the United States Student Association.


This page contains information from Anarchopedia (view authors). It has been modified so that it meets Communpedia's standards. AP