Columbia University and the ROTC

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On the surface, the issue facing the Columbia University Senate is whether to suspend the University’s non-discrimination policy to facilitate the return of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. An email calling on Columbia alumni to sign a petition intended to influence the Senate’s vote said,

Although people have different reasons for opposing the return of ROTC, this petition focuses narrowly on the issue of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  If reinstated, the ROTC will become a formal Columbia program that is allowed, indeed mandated, to discriminate against gay men, lesbians, and bisexual.

But the deeper conflict is over the relationship between military recruitment and our university’s and  colleges. Unlike the CUNY students who have organized and taken direct action to remove recruiters from their campus, Columbia has barred them and, after a yearlong study, is considering inviting them back.

On April 5, the Columbia Law School Center for the Study of Law & Culture along with Outlaws: the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Students’ Association will host "Guarding the University: A Teach-In on ROTC, JAG, and the Relationship Between the Military and the Academy."  The teach-in – scheduled for Tuesday, April 5th from 5 to 8 p.m. in Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102 – is open to the public and the press.

The University Senate expects to address the issue at its last plenary meeting of this academic year on May 6.

One Response to “Columbia University and the ROTC”

  1. IRR Soldier... Says:

    Bring back ROTC at Columbia!

    I fail to see how NOT having Columbia grads serving as commissioned officers is a good thing for our nation, our society or our armed forces.

    Would you prefer MORE VMI, Citadel or SW Missisippi State graduates, further expanding the “red state cabal” forming in our officer corps.

    One must weigh the pros and cons here. Is barring ROTC at Columbia over a federal law that is unlikely to be changed, more important than ensuring that intelligent, humane and liberally educated officers serve in our military?

    DADT is a convenient “fig leaf” for a larger set of anti-military biases. The discrimination rhetoric is the only politically acceptable way to present their case.

    http://www.advocatesforrotc.org

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