To:†††††††††††††††††† Columbia University Senate


From:††††††††††††† ROTC Task Force: Co-chairs Jim Applegate (Sen., Ten., A&S/NS) and Nathan Walker (Sen. Stu., TC); Coco Fusco (Nonsen., NT, Arts); Aaron Lord (Nonsen., Stu., P&S); Joseph McManus (Nonsen., NT, SDOS); Scott Olster (Nonsen., Stu., GS); James Schmid (Sen., Stu., Bus.); Kendall Thomas (Nonsen., Ten., Law); Sean Wilkes (Nonsen., Stu., CC); Peter Woodin (Nonsen, Alum)


Date:†††††††††††††† April 1, 2005


Re:††††††††††††††††† Results of deliberations






Executive Summary


  1. The ROTC Task force was split (5-5-0)[1] on whether or not ROTC should return to Columbia University in the 2006/7 academic year.
  2. There was a supermajority (9-0-1) of votes in favor of returning ROTC if there is no longer discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual service-members in the military.
  3. No one agreed (0-6-4) with the following statement: under no circumstance should ROTC return to Columbia University.
  4. A majority (6-2-2) voted in favor of strengthening the relationship with the current ROTC programs at Fordham and Manhattan College by securing more positions to accommodate more CU students.
  5. There was a supermajority (9-0-1) of votes recommending the University Trustees establish a financial contingency plan to protect lesbian, gay, and bisexual students who may be victims of Donít Ask Donít Tell.
  6. It was unanimous (10-0-0) that if ROTC returns then Columbia University should maintain full and independent control over whether or not courses receive academic credit; the University should also determine the titles of ROTC faculty and the militaryís use of classroom, office, and training space.













Summary of Findings


  1. The committee is split 5/5 on whether or not ROTC should return to Columbia University in the 2006/7 academic year.


  1. The Task Force agrees that the militaryís discrimination against homosexuals, as seen in the federal law DADT, is inconsistent with the values of the community as expressed in the Universityís non-discrimination policy.


  1. A majority of the Task Force agreed that there are significant benefits in returning ROTC, such as financing studentsí education and Columbiaís participation in training military leaders.Also, a majority of the committee believed that the use of University resources such as classroom, office, and training space could be a reason why ROTC should not return.


  1. The Task Force is evenly split on whether or not DADT should prevent the return of ROTC to campus.


  1. The five proponents voted in favor of the return of ROTC in the 2006/7 academic year.Notwithstanding the existence of discrimination in the military, various benefits would be realized by returning the program to campus.In addition to the benefits identified above, these include Columbiaís ability to contribute leaders to the military, who would over time be able to influence current law and military policy with regard to the participation of homosexuals in the military.Additionally, the presence of ROTC would increase diversity of ideas, viewpoints, and values within the Columbia community.


  1. The five opponents believe that returning ROTC to campus would not only violate Columbiaís nondiscrimination policy but would also be an explicit institutional endorsement of DADT, legitimizing a culture of homophobia on campus.Such an act would directly violate the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Columbians, threaten other protected groups, and deny every member of our community the right to live and learn in an environment free of institutionalized discrimination.An institution of Columbiaís stature must hold fast to the ideals of equality that it claims to hold so dear.


  1. The Task Force was split on whether or not the return of ROTC would have a negative or positive impact on the campus climate.††


  1. Finally, the Task Force voted 9-0-1 in favor of returning ROTC if there is no longer discrimination against LGBT service-members in the military.




[1] The first number indicates agreement, the second disagreement, and the third abstention.