On Campus
Sep 18, 2008, 09:54AM

The Army & the University

The issue of university chapters of the Reserve Officer Training Core (ROTC) is not cut and dry, as is seen at Columbia University. For example, the Naval ROTC is an extremely viable path for engineering students to pay off expensive student debts—but no chapter operates in Manhattan. LGBT groups are understandably, and rightfully, opposed to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Specifically, the logistics surrounding the issue at Columbia are under fire for under representing student groups and affiliations that want a say in the process.

At a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, student leaders’ discussion about the possible return of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps to Columbia’s campus briefly digressed into another issue—who exactly should be included in student-body talks.

The Columbia administration’s long-standing refusal to allow ROTC programs on campus came under renewed assault last week when, at a nationally-televised campus event, U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain both spoke out in opposition to the controversial policy. Sunday night, Columbia College Student Council Vice President for Policy Adil Ahmed, CC ’09, announced a new protocol which will permit students from all four undergraduate colleges at Columbia to hold referendums to advise the University Senate and Board of Trustees of their positions on heated issues. That move was widely viewed as paving the way for a vote this semester on Columbia’s official stance on ROTC.


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