Columbia gets spanked by The Wall Street Journal over the ROTC:
Columbia University, in New York City. On Friday, the university senate voted by a 53-10 margin, with five abstentions, against a resolution to re-establish an ROTC program on campus. Prominent in this roll call of dishonor was President Lee Bollinger, who voted against, and Provost Alan Brinkley, who gave an impassioned speech comparing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to a campus organization that allowed “African-Americans to join . . . only if they pass for white.” Oddly, Mr. Brinkley abstained from voting, suggesting he lacked even the courage of these convictions.
The gay issue does seem to offer Columbia a convenient alibi for refusing to participate in ROTC. But however one feels about the policy–and reasonable people can differ–surely it isn’t as egregious as the military’s pre-1948 policy of segregating black soldiers. Yet by the logic of Friday’s vote, perhaps Columbia should now feel ashamed of the prominent role it played, both institutionally and through its alumni, in helping America’s war efforts in World War II.
Not good enough? I think the last paragraph perfectly sums up my views:
But maybe we shouldn’t be too bothered by this. Throughout America, schools such as the University of Missouri continue to graduate outstanding young men such as Lieutenant Edens. He may not have earned an Ivy League degree, but he did earn a nation’s respect–which is more than most of Columbia’s faculty can ever hope to get.
Wow. Harsh, but certainly earned. The issue of the ROTC on college campuses (and military recruiters for that matter) is apparently the new hot-button issue for this school year. CCNY used to have an ROTC program on campus - it was started after World War I and disbanded in the 70s after mass student demonstrations and whining. I want it back. I don’t think CCNY students in a ROTC program (they take the military classes on other campuses, and there are quite a few students) should have to go to Fordham to drill. My school is capable of producing great leaders and thinkers, so why can’t we parlay that into producing great leading and thinking military officers?
Maybe my pet product for student government next year should be to try and get the ROTC back to CCNY and CUNY.
It’s not like I could possibly make any more enemies then I have now.