PROCEEDINGS OF THE UNIVERSITY SENATE:
A TOWN HALL MEETING
MODERATED BY THE SENATE TASK FORCE ON ROTC
JAMES APPLEGATE:† I am a
professor of astronomy here at
reason we are meeting is, thereís a proposal, a student-authored proposal, to
reinstitute ROTC as a program at
have been meeting since the fall of 2004, discussing quite broadly the issue of
the return of ROTC to
††††††††††† The issues weíve been discussing, in a brief summary, are academic issues such as appropriate titles for ROTC instructors, and if ROTC was to return to the Columbia campus, how would we deal with that, academic credit for courses, housing the program on campus, the effect of having ROTC program on campus in the classroom environment here, and more broadly the appropriate role of the military on campus.† We discussed the status quo.
was expelled in 1969.†
Other Ivy League schools have ROTC programs and some do not.† In particular there is a program at Princeton, an Army program, which, should ROTC return to Columbia, we thought would be, perhaps, a model for what we would do here, and we discussed some of the details of that program.†
It probably will come as no surprise to anyone in this audience that the policy of Donít Ask, Donít Tell has occupied a great deal of our time.† We talked about that more than a bit, and I suspect we will do that here.† We talked some about military recruiting on campus, although that is not our primary charge by the Senate.† The reason for that was that ROTC and military recruiting on campus were packaged together in a federal law which is generally referred to as the Solomon Amendment.† The Solomon Amendment in a nutshell will cut off Federal funding to universities that do not allow military recruiting or ROTC on campus.† We talked about that somewhat early on, but that issue has somewhat fallen off the agenda because the Solomon Amendment, at least for now, has been found to be unconstitutional, although this is widely expected to be appealed by the Bush administration.† At any rate, the Solomon Amendment is out of our hands, and we canít do anything about it except respond to it.
We discussed the reasons for bringing ROTC back. We have students who want careers as military officers. Thereís basically two ways of doing that.† You either attend college at a service academy or you participate in an ROTC program.† There is a lot of financial benefit to a student who participates in ROTC.† Basically, you get your college education paid for.† There also is a substantial obligation.† You will be a military officer for about five years, essentially, and exactly, you have joined the Army.†
Another reason, of
course, is that
NATHAN WALKER: Nate Walker:† Thanks.† Letís talk about what weíre doing this evening and its purpose.† A town hall is a mechanism used by the University Senate to solicit opinions of the university community.† That is you.† We will invite each of you to speak briefly into the microphones at your leisure. We ask that you do be brief, the reason being that there are many of you who would like to express your opinions, and we would like to hear everybody.† If you would like to respond at length, you can do so by sending the entire task force an e-mail, which is right behind us here, ROTC-Taskforce@columbia.edu.† All of the transcripts from tonight and the e-mails that we receive will go into a document that will be attached to the report that will be developed by this task force when we bring it to the Senate, hopefully by the end of this semester.† At that point the Senate will review the material, they will deliberate about the recommendations of the task force, and that report will go directly to the executive board of the University Senate, and in turn the Trustees, who make the final decision.
††††††††††† So we are not the final body that will determine whether or not ROTC will return, but we are the deliberating body that take very seriously our role in hearing your opinion.†
††††††††††† With that said, we ask that your opinions be expressed with the utmost academic excellence.† If you have points to make, please use supporting evidence to explain your position, and I say this because after having read about a hundred e-mails that weíve been receiving in the last few days, not all of them are very persuasive.† Others are.† So this is your opportunity to use your skills as a scholar within this community to help us deliberate about this very complex topic.†
††††††††††† Now that thatís said, I will pass the microphone around to ask each task force member to introduce themselves, and if they have any opening remarks, they can do so at their leisure.
JAMES SCHMID:† Good
evening.† Iím James Schmid, Columbia
College Class of 2000. I now represent the
AARON LORD:† My name is Aaron Lord.† Iím a second-year at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, and I would just also like to thank you guys for coming out.
PETER WOODIN:† Good evening
everyone.† My name is Peter Woodin.† Iím a
SEAN WILKES:† My name is Sean
JOSEPH McMANUS:† Good
evening.† My name is Joe McManus.† Iím an associate professor of pediatric
dentistry, not surprisingly at the
APPLEGATE:† I guess Iíd like
to say one last thing before we open the floor to comments, and that is that
the request for advice on the issue of ROTC at Columbia has come from the highest
levels of the university administration: the president, Lee Bollinger, the
provost, Allen Brinkley, are members of the Senate executive committee.† Paul Duby, the chair of the Senate Executive
Committee, is at this meeting, and I think that you should interpret the
mandate for what we are here to do today rather broadly. There is a proposal to
bring ROTC back to
ANOTHER VOICE:† I have a clarifying question.† You were saying that thereís going to be a Trustees meeting where this is going to be decided.† Can† you tell us when thatís going to be and the time line?
APPLEGATE:† My understanding of how this works is that the task force will make a recommendation to the Senate, the Senate will discuss it and vote on it, and then the results of that will go to the Trustees, and the Trustees will make the final decision.
APPLEGATE:† I do not speak for the Trustees so I canít say when theyíre going to do that. Sir.† Oh, before you speak, can I ask that people identify themselves and their affiliation just for the record so we know whoís talking?
ILAN MEYER:† My name is Ilan
Meyer.† Iím an associate professor at the
APPLEGATE:† Okay, let me answer that right now. There is an e-mail address which is given up here.† Itís ROTCfirstname.lastname@example.org .† If you want to send your comments to that, feel free to do so, and I promise Iíll read them.
MEYER:† But I think it will be important to reassure people that their comments actually get into the written record of this task force because when you send an e-mailóI actually sent an e-mail to this task force, and I never received a confirmation or an answer, not that you maybe need to, but I did have a couple of questions that were not addressed. So just for the purpose of maintaining the record, and so people know that their e-mails are in fact taken in.† Some people may want to submit more than an e-mail.
MEYER:† So other materials can be submitted also to the committee and be included?† Other materials that people may wish to submit in writing?† Is that possible?† Any document or anything?†† Okay?† And also that it should be noted on the web site?†
††††††††††† The second proposal is that on the same web site there will be published also the opinion of the people who are opposing.† Because currently there is the proposal only, but not the statement of those opposing.† There are answers to some of the questions that were raised by those opposing within the proposal,† but there is no statement of an opposing side.†
MEYER:† Right.† Well, we didnít know about this.† I personally didnít.† So there is a group who is interested in proposing a con side.† Okay.
MEYER:† Okay.† Well, Iíll let some other people talk.† I have other comments for the actual thing, butÖ.
MATAN ARIEL:† Hi.† My name is
††††††††††† I just wanted to share this, and this might not be representative of the current council. This is from March 2003, but I wanted to share this with the task force and thank you for your work.
LEHR:† Iím Quincy Lehr.† Iím a graduate student in history.† Iím also on the Spartacus Youth Club on
campus.† And first off, Iíd just like to
say, comments about civility aside, I hope that we can understand that we are
dealing with a political issue here.† In
a period in which the
under these circumstances, the question has to become one, particularly in a
period when you can look at the current witch hunt thatís going on. And I do
not think I exaggerate by saying thereís a witch hunt against professors in the
MEALAC Department in particular who hold opinions contrary to those of the
JEFF WILLIAMS:† My name is
Jeff Williams.† Iím a law student
graduating this year, and I also was a graduate of the undergraduate program,
VICTOR COCCHIA:† Good evening
everyone.† Victor Cocchia,
talk here as well about the fact of the Donít Ask, Donít Tell program.† But again as it said in the literature, that
is a federal law, and itís not something that the ROTC can change. But when we
talk about inclusion, do we have to exclude the ROTC and the opportunities that
it gives to people who donít have enough†
money to attend
††††††††††† So I think if we start preaching inclusion, if we start preaching diversity, diversity of opinion, diversity of people, then thereís no way that we can ethically keep out the ROTC because of some peopleís objections to what the military does politically.† Because then where do we start?† Do we start excluding Republicans, do we start excluding conservatives, do we start excluding libertarians because they donít follow what the majority of the students believe?† Thank you.
JAMES SCHMID:† Can I ask you a clarification?† Whereís Sean? Sean, do you want to clarify just what the current scholarship structure pays for right now, and what the difference is between attending classes at Fordham and how that financial aid varies, please?
SEAN WILKES:† Sure.† As far as attending an ROTC program at
Fordham, youíre limited by what the Fordham scholarship offers, which is based
on Fordhamís tuition.† So if you attend
the Fordham program, which you can as a
ROBERT WRAY:† I think I joined the line at the right time.† My name is Robert Ray, CC í06.† And just two quick things.† One, I was vice president, Columbia College Student Council, last year when they took a referendum basically to gauge student opinion on this, and just to present it.† It was basically about a two-to-one opinion of those who voted for who were attending at that year (so itís obviously not representational of this yearís freshman class) in support of the idea of investigating bringing ROTC back. So I do think that this is an important issue that should be discussed.
addition, I have personally visited, just because I have friends there, at ROTC
programs at other schools of our caliber, such as
CHAN CASEY:† Hi, Iím Chan
Casey.† Iím a first-year law
student.† And while Iím very
uncomfortable with the message that
a gay man.† I did not realize that I was
a gay until I was a senior in college at William and Mary.† I think there will be people relying on these
scholarships to come to Columbia that may not know that they are gay, and what
happens to them when they realize they are, and they have this duty to serve in
the military or pay back their scholarships they relied on not having to pay
back when they come out of the closet, or conversely, if they donít come out of
the closet as a result of the Solomon Amendment?† You know, the difficulties that theyíll have
in their lives that I think
JEFF SULT:† Jeff Sult.† Iím a graduate of Teachers College, 2003.† I was formerly a student observer on the University Senate here.† Professor Applegate, you talked about the history of this issue coming back.† I wanted to just add something to it because I was involved in it at the beginning.† That was in fall of 2002.† President Bollinger had asked, put out the word to us and asked if there were any questions for him, and I brought up the ROTC issue at that time with the diversity argument.† And he seemed to be receptive to that.† And that was again fall 2002, September, October, and it was after that, I wrote some letters, some other people wrote some letters, and thatís what got the ball rolling and the referendum came about.
point I want to make is not to pat myself on the back, but to let you know that
this was a grass-roots movement.† It came
from the student body, and after it was brought up in the Senate, then the
undergraduates properly took the initiative because it concerns them, and
theyíre the ones that are being harmed by the policy of keeping ROTC off
campus, as students do need the money for scholarships.† And also I believe that
APPLEGATE:† Well, I mean the
short answer to that question is federal money that comes to
††††††††††† My involvement in it, I mean, I thought it was an extremely interesting issue, and I remember looking at it and thinking, Well, thatís an issue I might like to get interested in.† And be careful what you wish you for because wishes occasionally come true.† And, in fact, when the University Senate formed this task force, I was first asked to be on it and asked to co-chair.†
SULT:†† All right.† Thank you.† I just wanted to mention that.† Thank you.†
STEPHEN MADSEN:† I am tired and I am sick so I will be brief.† Just as one might ask what right does the federal government have to discriminate against homosexuals, I would like to know what right does this university have to impede a patriotic citizen like myself who wishes to serve?† Thank you.† Iím sorry.† Iím Stephen Madsen, GS í08.
SOREN BECH:† Good
evening.† My name is Soren Beck.† Iím the president of Cluster Q, the LGBT student
organization at the
on the surface this appears to be a matter about patriotism in a time of war
and national security concerns, the actual issue that we all should consider is
equal rights.† This is because there are
at least thirty-five members of the
††††††††††† ďThe current policy that does not allow ROTC to use facilities or have formal status on our campus is appropriate, and as a graduate of another university that also does not allow the ROTC, that being Yale, I believe that there are plenty of other economic programs that can benefit the students and allow them to get access to a wonderful education such as at Columbia University.† But as a university we have the moral obligation on these matters to do what is right, and not allow discrimination on our campus.
††††††††††† ďBefore the Equal Rights Amendment would we have stood by and allowed firms to recruit on campus that discriminated against Latinos, African-Americans, against Jews?† No.† We would not have.† Would we have allowed organizations that didnít allow women to join their ranks?† No. We would not have.† By welcoming the ROTC back on campus, we are endorsing discrimination of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, and continuing to propagate homophobia in this country.Ē Thank you very much.† [Applause]
MICHAEL WOODLEY:† Hello.† My name is Michael Woodley.† I am a student of the
JAKE BENNETT:† Hi.† My name is Jake Bennett.† Iím a student at the
main argument against ROTC that weíre hearing tonight is that the
come from an army where thereís universal service, and regardless of sexual
orientation or background, whether you came from rich parents or poor, you do
your duty.† And I think that when you
have a democracy where the military is also representative of all the aspects
of society, you get the best out of your military.† And when you have an institution such as
this, which is an elite intellectual institution, denying the military a place
here, you are in effect denying the intellectual elite of
one might ask, okay, sexuality of individuals, it goes to the core of† your being.†
Itís a part of your, you know, your most basic urges and a part of who
you are.† But is it right to deny your
classmates or your students here at
††††††††††† And if the students of Columbia wish to change the Armyís policy towards homosexuality and openness of homosexuality, I think that should† be done through lobbying Congress and making an effort in that way.† But when whatís in this case a thirty-three percent minority of the student body wants to make their stand here by stopping ROTC from existing here, there are penalties that weigh against the benefits of this political speech. And thatís what I wanted to say about that.† Thank you.† [Applause]
SCOTT CARDIFF:† My name is Scott Cardiff, and Iím in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and I believe that there are many reasons to oppose ROTC returning on campus, most importantly, perhaps, because of their policy with regards to gays and lesbians, but I would like to dwell on two particular issues: mainly the life of ROTC members on campuses, and second, more about the political aspect.
I was an undergraduate at
APPLEGATE:† A comment on
that.† Participating in ROTC requires you
to serve in the military.† And you have
to accept that up front.† If you are participating
in ROTC and you are going to graduate in the spring of 2005 from an Army
program, I will virtually guarantee you that you will not only be a second
lieutenant in the Army, youíre going to be in
APPLEGATE:† Yes, continue.
††††††††††† Now, my last point is regarding the political aspects.† I believe that returning ROTC to campus, especially during the current administration, is a sort of tacit endorsement of the current policies of our administration, and makes in some way the university complicit in what is going on in the world with our militaryís activities.† And so I believe that the university is faced with a choice: either supporting its educational goals and the aspirations of its students, and perhaps lobbying for more federal financial aid, or becoming complicit in promoting the militaryís murderous assault on peoples all over the world today. Thanks.† [Applause].
JONAH BIRCH:† My name is
Jonah Birch.† Iím a senior in the
College. First of all Iíd just like to echo what Scott had to say about the
issue of funding because thatís entirely a separate issue.† There really is a problem where, you know, it
costs way too much to come to
††††††††††† The second thing that I wanted to point out was that the undergraduate referendum that was referred to by the representative from the Columbia College Student Council was actually written by proponents of ROTC intentionally in such a way that it would be confusing. Actually, on the referendum a no vote was actually a vote to return ROTC to campus.† So most of the people I talked to that voted were, one, against ROTC, and actually voted yes because they were confused about the wording of the referendum.
SEAN WILKES:† One comment on that was that weóthe proponents of ROTCódid not write the referendum.† It was written by the members of the student council.† It was recommended, we had asked for it to be written, and we had presented our own questions, and then they took it and then wrote their own question.
BIRCH: Thatís fine.† But the people who wrote it were pro ROTC. The only way that the question could have been worded in that way was if they were supporters of ROTC.† Thereís no other way that that happened.
the other thing is that itís really disingenuous to say that this isnít a
political question, because it is.† In
the real world what weíre discussing here is whether the next generation of
officers are going to be recruited and trained here at our campus, who are then
going to be in Iraq, like you said, or in Afghanistan, or possibly in Syria,
depending on what happens in the next year, and theyíre going to be the ones
who are sending, you know, front-line soldiers, poor kids usually,
predominantly black and Latino, into these wars, into battles, into the
assaults like on Fallujah.† So we have to
be clear about what weíre dealing with right here.† If you want to go join the military, go join
the military.† You know what Iím saying?
There are recruiting stations all over. The question is whether weíre going to
allow the remilitarization of our campus here at
JOSEPH McFADDEN:† My name is
Joe McFadden.† Iím a third-year in the
††††††††††† Beyond that, Donít Ask, Donít Tell isnít just a simple policy that keeps gays and lesbians out of the military.† Iíve worked with national organizations that work with service members who have been kicked out of the military.† Iíve worked with private attorneys who also work with those service members, and this is a policy that literally destroys peopleís lives.† You hear people say that they donít investigate or that they donít pursue these members, and thatís just not true.† I mean, I would urge you all to really look at the way this policy works.† Iíve spoken with several, many people whose lives were literally destroyed by this policy when some kind of allegation came out about them and their sexual orientation.† Itís not some simple thing that keeps people out of the military.† It really wrecks lives.
TIM FRASCA:† Good
evening.† My name is Tim Frasca from the
Mailman School of Public Health uptown. First of all, Iíd like to say that Iím
a little surprised and disappointed that there seems to be no female
representation on this panel.†
[Applause]† And weíre discussing
the relationship of an academic institution with the military, the national
military, it seems to be a perspective thatís required, and itís not just a
knee-jerk response.† I also am old enough
to remember and feeling a bit of dťjŗ vu about this, and the incident that I
most recall in my undergraduate days was a very difficult situation that arose
because one of our professors of anthropology taught a course in Southeast
Asian cultures.† And at the same time as
mention that because† the
APPLEGATE:† She couldnít be here tonight.
APPLEGATE:† On the other hand, we donít view it as a fundamental problem either.
JEFF WILLIAMS:† I do appreciate that comment.† I would also first like to echo the comments of Mr. Galey and Mr. McFadden.† While I donít think it is fair or reasonable to hold ROTC responsible because an individual does not realize their commitments, I do believe it is fair to hold ROTC or, more specifically, this university responsible if an individual does not realize his or her sexuality and are treated unfairly as a result of that.† Returning to the question I asked in my first comment, I do not see and would love an explanation from anyone in this house or from the panel members who are actively involved in this conversation as to how we realistically expect to treat homosexuals in the ROTC program fairly and equally.† I have not heard that answered yet.
APPLEGATE:† The short answer to that is that Donít Ask, Donít Tell is a discriminatory policy against homosexuals.† It is written to be precisely that.† The military does not want you if you are gay.
APPLEGATE:† Thatís that.†
WILLIAMS:† Yes.† And we as a Ė
APPLEGATE:† But on the other hand by saying ROTC is barred from campus, you will essentially bar everyone else on campus from participating in ROTC as well.
WILLIAMS:† Or from going to the Fordham program, correct?
APPLEGATE:† Thank you.
ANOTHER VOICE:† Thank you.
THOMAS:† Or that the views expressed by the chair in response to a particular speaker are the views of the committee as a whole.† And I would prefer to err on the side of silence as far as that particular risk goes, at least as Ė Iím speaking as an individual member of a committee in that regard.† So the suggestion simply is that people be allowed to speak, and then if there are responses after theyíve spoken, then that would be appropriate. Thatís my suggestion.
APPLEGATE:† Thatís fine with
me. The ground rules that I circulated among the task force, which of course
are advisory only, were that the purpose of this was for us to hear your
opinionsónot for the task force to report on ours.† This is by no means a press conference being
held by the task force.† The task force
members sitting up here were free to speak as they wish, but I advise that
people probably confine their remarks to brief statements of fact, things like,
you know, how does
WILLIAMS:† While I did
appreciate that comment, Professor Thomas, I certainly didnít take anything
amiss.† And in fact I think our
conversation was quite useful in pointing out that openly homosexual members of
††††††††††† I also believe as regards speech and as regards inclusion, I do think, and this is what Iíll leave on, that it is appropriate to note that it is not as if we are an entirely and completely inclusive campus.† We do make efforts, but we also make practical decisions.† And Iím sure if you speak to, excuse me, identity groups or representatives of minority cultures, we can understand historically that the administration has not been blindly sympathetic to the call of inclusion.† Similarly, without risking civility, I think it would be naÔve to say that the administration has been blindly open to the suggestions of the student body, or has really put much credence in those consistently.† I donít mean to belittle any of the individuals or institutions involved in student government, but I think an empirical rundown of the voting numbers, of the campaign slogans, etc., might bear out explanations for this.
††††††††††† The last thing that I want to say regards the question of free speech, because while I think individuals are certainly entitled to free speech, I think most people here would agree that organizations and associations are as well.† If conservatives or proponents of ROTC or questioners of gay rights would suggest that the Boy Scouts, as an organization, have the ability to chill the speech of an individual scout master who says, Iím gay, because they have speech associated with themselves, I fail to see how we as a university are not entitled to stick up for our own speech and our own values as well.†
MONIQUE DOLS:† My name is
Monique Dols.† Iím a senior in the
just had a couple thoughts.† One of the
things that really angers me the most about this discussion is when you have
people talking about how the ROTC will help diversify
††††††††††† I really wanted to thank the brother for, okay, I guess thereís one woman on this panel, but given the recent statistics about violence against women in the militaryóthat one in three women in the military get sexually harassed in some wayóany task force that does not take this into considerationówhat it would mean to remilitarize our campus, what it would do to violence against women on this campusóand has one woman I guess is not legitimate in my eyes.
I just wanted to speak to the issue of what it actually means.† I mean weíre talking about civility here, but
the reality is that thereís a very uncivil war going on in the
††††††††††† Iíd just like to read a quick quote.
APPLEGATE:† Very quick, please.
DOLS:† Okay. Well, you know
what,† Iíll skipóIíll just read a quick
quote about Fallujah:† ďI remember being
approached by an elderly woman, her eyes raw with tears.† She grabbed my arm and told me how her house
has been hit by a
APPLEGATE:† Could you maybe conclude?
DOLS:† So Iíll conclude with
one thing.† There are a number of
veterans that are coming back from
APPLEGATE:† Are you asking me if these people going to testify before the task force?
DOLS:† Iím asking you if you would allow for some of these people, like Pablo Paredesís brother, like Benderman.† I can name a few more.† Would you have them testify before your group?† Because clearly you have one studentó
APPLEGATE:† No.† This is not a referendum on the war in
DOLS: But it is a referendum on whether or not ROTC, whether or not we should have a military programó
APPLEGATE:† Weíre discussing
DOLS:† So you wonít hear from vets who are to be against ROTC?
ANOTHER VOICE:† As outlined by the co-chair?† Heís the one determining what the outline of the discussion is?
DOLS:† What about the fact that thereís only one undergrad whoís written very publicly inó
END SIDE ONE, TAPE ONE; BEGIN SIDE TWO, TAPE ONE.
APPLEGATE:† This committee is actually dominated by students.† We need to go on.
DYLAN STILLWOOD: Hi, my name is Dylan Stillwood. Iím
to me, the idea that the military is just another organization or just an
embattled minority subject to the tyranny of the majority is just insanely
naÔve.† Itís actually the best-funded
institution in our society.† Trillions of
dollars go to it every single year.† To
me the idea that theyíre being discriminated in the same senseóthere was once a
cartoon that compared it to the civil rights movementóis like unreal in its
absurdity.† Actually it has so much
leverage that the federal government is able to withhold to colleges if they
donít allow military recruitment on their campus.† That shows the type of power, the type of
pernicious influence over higher education, a type of manipulation of the
aspirations of poor and working-class people that I donít think that
know, itís not an issue of discrimination.†
Itís an issue of
STEVEN BROZAK:† My name is
Steve Brozak.† Iím a graduate of the
class of GS 1982, and
believe that ROTC is a terribly important thing for three reasons. The first
one:† I came to GS in 1982 as a transfer
student.† I couldnít afford to come here.† Unfortunately people like Sean canít afford
worst part about it is that today, I should say yesterday, men and women have
given their lives that are gay.† Today, I
am certain that men and women have given their lives that are gay as well.† And tomorrow itís the same situation.† But unfortunately there isnít an eloquent
voice that can go out there and that can address the issues of why we have to
change this.† There isnít enough
familiarity within the system. There isnít enough familiarity even in this room
here today to start to address the points, point by point.† By itself, this is an important issue, but
††††††††††† I like to think if there had been more people from the Ivies, men and women, if there had been an eloquent voice that could have gone out there and said no, Mr. President, no, Mr. Secretary, this is not right.† These are the facts.† We can go out there and do things differently.† We can go out there and make a difference.†
††††††††††† Now people might argue, well, what is one cadet, or two, or twenty or fifty going to do in the next few years?† The disproportionate effect that having ROTC return to campus would be that the academics, the faculty, would start to realize what needs to be done to change our military today.† I came off of active duty because I was very disturbed by what I saw.† The people that surrounded my campaign realized that there had to be a voice.† I was the only person leaving active duty to run for Congress from either side.† I was labeled a liberal because I believe that you should not discriminate against anyone because itís a womanís right to choose.† But unfortunately there are a lot of people today within the military that donít understand, and even fewer in Congress that can start to address these issues.
an example of what one person can do, when we were trying to figure out how bad
it was for the people that were called back to active duty, we were short on
statisticians.† In the back of the room I
drew from one of
JOSHUA SPODEK:† Hi.† My name is Joshua Spodek, Columbia College Class of í93.† Prof. Applegate probably remembers me in his class.† I think I got a good grade.† I got my masterís in physics in í95 here, master of arts, master of science, and a Ph.D. in physics in 1999 and 2000.† Iím getting my MBA now, expected next spring.† My sister has a masterís from Teachers College and a masterís from SIPA.† My father has a degree here, a BA from 1963.† [Iím] A longstanding member of the community, myself and my family as well.†
an undergrad I had a suitemate who was a veteran of the first Gulf War.† He had served his active duty there, actually
fired his weapon and seen people he was with killed.† In his time here at
had already done his active duty.† And it
was not a question of fear or anything like that.† It wasnít a question like he didnít believe
that he had something to follow through or some contract, but he came to oppose
it.† As I read it, when it came time,
when there was a disagreement between the beliefs and values of the
††††††††††† Itís all well and good when everybodyís saying, Letís all work together, and weíll give† you your money, and weíll give you whatever weíll give you.† But when it came time for disagreement, my reading of the situation was that they exercised power and disrespected him.†
††††††††††† Later on in graduate school I had a classmate who was ROTC undergrad and he was continuing his ROTC as a graduate student.† He was very proud of his service.† He liked it a lot.† What I do remember is that when he sat down and actually calculated the financial benefit that he had for being in ROTC and what he would have had had he just gotten regular jobs or worked in other ways, and at least according to his calculation, he found it to be a net loss, that it did not work out for him in his favor.† The amount of time that he spent would have been better served doing other things.† I apologize.† Iím not privy to those calculations.† I canít pass them on to you.† But that was the case for him.
being on campus and being actively on ROTC, I donít understand.† Some people here have been saying that if
when I joined the
APPLEGATE:† Josh, Iím going to have to ask you to wrap this up.
SPODEK:† All right.† To me, I donít see how we can support part of this community, this group that tortures, that kills.† Itís difficult for me to see how we can allow them on campus and not actually be supporting those things.† [Applause].
IMAN BHULLAR: Yeah, Iíll keep it really short.† My name is Iman Bhullar.† Iím a GS senior.† Iím an Army vet.† I spent two years in the military, and the
last person actually said mostly what I wanted to say.† One thing I wanted to address to the speaker
over there was that the issue is not that you can come here and go to Fordham
as well.† The issue is that your ride is paid
for if you come here fully, and that weíd be more diversity.† More people can apply to
the people who actually want
know, thatís just lack of bravery, lack of faith in
MOEZ KABA:† Hi, Moez
Kaba.† Iím a third-year at the
KABA:† And I have reasons for that which Iíll get into in a second.† Your hand is sort ofóI donít know if you want to say something.†
APPLEGATE:† No.† Please, go ahead.
KABA:† Thereís a couple of
things.† I think thereís lots of
arguments against ROTC on campus.† There
are lots of questions about what we want to accomplish.† I come before the panel suggesting I want to
accomplish nothing.† But the message that
this university sends by letting ROTC back onto campus is that we are willing
to tolerateóindeed we are willing to endorseówhat the military is doing, which
is discriminating against gays and lesbians.†
Iím happy to join the military.†
I, in fact, have talked to people at the
of patriotism I find even more offensive because nearly 700 patriots were
dismissed from the military last year under Donít Ask, Donít Tell, nearly 800
dismissed the year before.† Several gay
Arab-Americans who were translating for the military to win this war were also
dismissed. So donít question oneís patriotism, or
finally, I mean, and just to sort of keep this short and under a minute and
what not, I think the panel needs to acknowledge that the question is not so
specific.† It is not, Should ROTC be
allowed back on to campus? And maybe thatís the question posed to you.† The question really is, Are you willing to
recommend to the University Senate and to tell the entire student body,
graduate students and undergraduate students, that
LYMAN DOYLE:† Hello.† My name is Lyman Doyle.† Iím a second-year student at the Business
School, and many of the points Iím going to say Iím certainly not going to say
them as eloquently as the gentleman sitting in the front row did, but I think I
have a couple of other things to add.† I
was in the Army for five years, graduated from
point.† Why is the military such a
conservative, some would argue a red- state institution?† Over my five years in the Army I met one
graduate of an Ivy League institution.† I
certainly would have loved to have had them as fellow lieutenants.† I think they really would have done something
good, good for our country.† I just want
to make the point that I donít think this gives
third issue is money.† Iíd just like the
panel to take a look at the tuition reimbursement differences between Sean
going to Fordham and other students: how much money they get now and how much
money they would get if Army ROTC or the other ROTC branches would come back to
††††††††††† Number four.† Some have argued that the faculty standards will be lowered because the military professors may not have a masterís degree, may not have any qualification that the university would accept.† And Iíd just like for the panel to take a look at, Iím just curious what Princeton, MIT, or Cornell does† Iím just curious, you know, how they do that.† I think that would be a useful thing to look at.
fifth thing is, I really believe the military leadership experience is
excellent. †In fact, the
DOYLE:† My closing comment is
this.† People have brought up politics as
a reason, a tacit endorsement, and whether you agree with the wars with
SARAH CARLEY:† Sarah
Carley.† Iím a second-year at the
I hope you all know, the Solomon Amendment has two different prongs to it, one
dealing with ROTC and one dealing with military recruiting.† All the litigation out there has been over
the military recruiting.† Hence, thereís
been a stronger move in government to push ROTC on campus because itís the next
gradual step.† I mean, quite simply,
everyone has already described that
††††††††††† And then on an entirely different point, I would suggest that the next time we have a meeting, it would be helpful to have a timer for people who are speaking because it seems like some people are being arbitrarily based on their viewpoint, and it would just be a lot more civil. Thanks.
DENNIS SCHMELZER:† Hi.,† Iím Dennis Schmelzer.† Iím
I am not at Fordham because I want to be in the Navy and not in the Army, and
there is a difference between the two.†
And I think it would be quite appropriate for
SCHMELZER:† Can I address
that? And youíd have to ask the Navy for more information on it.† But I have been speaking with the navy about
different programs they have.† They do
have a JAG program which Iím looking into, which would require being in another
program.† ButóI† donít know if you know thisóthe Army needs
more people right now.† The Marines need
a lot more people, and they might be willing to take me.† But I know as far as the Navy, itís very
unlikely right now that they will be accepting new officers when they are
letting old ones go.† And so it is very
unlikely that I would be able to change the culture of the Navy without having
been in an ROTC program.† Now at this
point it canít help me, but Iíd like to help people like me when they go to
APPLEGATE:† Okay.† My understanding is that it is very difficult to be a military officer if you have not either graduated from a service academy or participated in an ROTC program as an undergraduate.† Now there are several people in this room who have served in the military; I have not.† And so if any of them would like to correct me, please do so.† And I gather that was very popular.† So somebody say something.
ANOTHER VOICE:† I actually
was a graduate of
THOMAS:† But you can become an officer?
APPLEGATE:† Can you give me a
sense of what fraction of the officers come from
ANOTHER VOICE:† Itís not terribly large.†
ANOTHER VOICE:† It depends on
the branch of service and it depends on the year and it depends on what service
youíre going into.† So absolutely there
are opportunities to go become an officer through not academies and not ROTC,
but it depends on whatís going on in
APPLEGATE:† Also, Weíre getting quite pressed for time.† A couple of comments.† Weíve got about twenty minutes to go at nine.† We donít have to stop exactly at nine, but Iíd like not to run too much over.† So people please keep your comments brief, and if it is absolutely essential, we will do another one of these.
ERIC CHEN:† My name is Eric
Chen.† Iím a student in General
Studies.† My prep is that I served in the
Army for four years.† In fact, I think,
like Iman [Bhullar], Iím in the same situation.†
If it wasnít for the army, I wouldnít be at
thing thatís worrying me about discussion of sort of this rigid framework around
sexual orientation.† I hope weíre not
setting up a reason to kick Barnard off campus here as an all-womenís
college.†† In terms of gay students at
††††††††††† You know, dissent, disagree, protest, make sure the cadets hear your protests and engage in that dialogue.† I think itís very healthy as a progressive.† I think thatís one of the reasons ROTC here is that I want that progressive influence, and I want it to affect the military more strongly than it is now.† And right now if you just look at side by side, if ROTC returns, gay and lesbian students will still be here.† Theyíll still be supported by the university.† Theyíll have my support as a classmate.† But unfortunately you look at the other side of the equation, ROTC is not here, military representation is not here, and that is exclusion and all the ill effects that come from that.†
††††††††††† And I want to make a personal point.
CHEN:† Yes, this is my
closing point.† Itís about the issue of
ROTC and its wider effect in the society and specifically in the military
community.† As the gentleman brought up
STEFAN HASSELBLAD:† Good
evening.† My name is Stefan
Hasselblad.† I am
in terms of the political discussion that weíve been having this evening, which
I donít think often is related to the issue of ROTC,† Iíd just like to say that I was at BU last
yearóIím actually a transferóand a lot of people talk about it like a
militarization of a campus or a hold, this really abstract notion of a hold on
a campus because there is an ROTC program there.† And Iíd just like to say thereís a very
vibrant, healthy ROTC program at BU, and thereís no government hold on this,
and none of these issues are present.† So
Iíd just like to say that Iím completely in support of bringing an ROTC program
PATRICK PEARSALL:† Good
evening.† My name is Patrick
††††††††††† Second, just invoke the entire history of employment nondiscrimination in this country and that it has been brought to bear by institutions like Columbia and other elite institutions and then the U.S. government, demanding, demanding that discriminatory employers change or they will not get the benefits of a diverse society and all of the brains and all of the great elite that this country has to offer.
and very briefly, imagine what it would be like to be eighteen years old in a
dorm room, and youíre not necessarily out, but youíre coming to
SARAH CLARKE:† Iím Sarah
Clarke.† Iím a sophomore in the
††††††††††† Whether or not thereís an ROTC program here, a lot of people have been saying, and I completely agree with this, there will be still be homosexual people at this school.† The fact that there is not an ROTC program at this school, I almost didnít come to this school.† And I think [it] actually kind of discriminates against people who want to be in ROTC because itís a lot harder to participate in the program when itís not on campus.†††
Someone mentioned how it was very difficult for their roommate at Cornell to be in ROTC because he had to get up early to go to PT in the morning, and you know he had a lot of commitments to it, but if the program isnít on campus, you still have to do all those things.† You just have to travel to go to them.† So itís even worse if you donít go to a school that has the program.
other thing a lot of people have been saying is how people end up in ROTC and
then canít quit.† If youíre in ROTC, you
can quit.† If you go to
ANOTHER VOICE:† If you go, you can.
CLARKE:† Oh you can?† My dad told me you canít.† But you can quit in ROTC even if youíre on scholarship. After your first year you can quit, and you donít necessarily always have to pay the money back. I still havenít contracted.† Iíve been in ROTC for two† years, and I can quit any time that I want to.† So what everyoneís been saying about, you know, being sucked into it and tied into it isnít necessarily true.† And even though at this point I can fully participate in the program and graduate as an officer, there are a lot of things in the program you canít do because youíre not on campus.† Like, thereís a lot of groups that youíd be able to join if they were on campus.†
††††††††††† So itís not just about the fact that you canít get the full amount of money from Fordham because you donít go to Fordham.† There are programs at Fordham you canít participate in.† [Applause]
PHILIP BERGOVOY:† Hi.† Iím Phil Bergovoy.† Iím a í50 graduate of
this is what happened July, 1951.† I took
my commission in the Marine Corps.† I was
in ROTC.† July, 1951. there were a great
many black people in the Marine Corps who were officers.† A lot: there were three. And on this
particular hot summer day two were posted to
††††††††††† Now the commander, the base commander at that time, called a meeting the next day of all people, all officers on campus, and boy did he rip into everybody that got out of the pool.† He didnít name names, and he also thanked those who went down to the pool. They were all Ivy Leaguers except one kid from Tufts.† And a lot of people aliveóa few, it was a long time agoówill back up what I say.† So donít ask what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.†
you believe in
MARGARET YARDLEY:† Hi. My name is Meg Yardley.† Iím a Social Work student graduating this year.† I want to comment.† Iíve heard a lot of people say, Well, obviously Iím against Donít Ask, Donít Tell.† I think itís wrong.† But is it really that important?† Is it really a priority?† Is it really so important that we should ban ROTC?† Iím here to say yes.† Gay rights are human rights.† This is a human rights issue.† If Columbia believed that we should have a nondiscrimination policy, which it does, then what kind of message are we sending by giving some resources of Columbiaís, resources which could be devoted to other things, to an organization that openly and clearly discriminates against gay people?† I donít think that we want to send that message.
also want to comment on the diversity issue.†
I think if
I want to point out that some people have said, Well,
STEPHEN MADSEN:† Again, Iím Steven Madsen, GS í08.† Let me begin by saying that of course change from within is the best way to change any organization or institution.† And I think it is an excellent argument to have, to say that you must introduce the academic elite into the military.† There is no reason for the academic elite to shut itself out from the military.† You cut yourself off from one of the most important elements of this society, the element which protects the society.† Let me also say that a point was raised about a question of losing years of your life.† Well, how many years of your life do you lose with student loans?† For people in their twenties itís a crisis now.† You can read about it in Newsweek.† People in their twenties are paying thousands and thousands of dollars to repay their loans.† They spend an entire decade repaying student loans for an education which the military could pay for, and you could be done in five years.†
me also thank Mr. Birch for helping reaffirm my determination to join the
military, and say that I will do so whether
ANOTHER VOICE:† It hurts me.
STEPHEN MADSEN:† Very sorry to hear that.† But I donít see how it does.† Anyway, thatís all I have to say.† Thank you.
LAURA BRENNAN:† My name is
Laura Brennan.† Iím a student at the
††††††††††† Secondly, my second point is more of a question.† It talks about ROTC providing scholarships.† My definition of a scholarship is money given for school, based on academic merit, where you donít have to pay it back.† Itís not a loan.† You donít.† So is that accurate towards ROTC?† Iím assuming that if you get a scholarship, you are then required to pay back the military by enlisting or?† Can you clarify that?†
APPLEGATE:† Accepting support at an ROTC program obligates you to serve in the military. And in the sense of your definition of a scholarship, it is not properly a scholarship. †It is essentially an up-front compensation for work that you will perform in the future.
BRENNAN:† Because I think that should be changed from a lot of this material calling it a scholarship, because I think that implies something that itís not.
okay, anyway, the third point is when I was an undergraduate at the University
of Washington, my parents after my second semester told me they couldnít afford
to send me to school anymore, and I was desperate to find some way to stay
there, and I seriously considered joining the ROTC.† Luckily I got a job as a resident adviser,
and I took three part-time jobs, and my grades plummeted and I was miserable,
but today I am here at
DONAVAN LOWTAN:†† Don Lowtan,
APPLEGATE:† Can I ask one thing in light of the time, and we only have a few minutes left, that we can hold the applause?
LOWTAN:† Less than one percent of all officers who take a commission will make it to the grade of admiral.† We know that, sir, and weíre both there.† Those are the people that make the difference in the policy, and in order to get there you have to spend about twenty-plus years in the Navy.† And in order to spend those twenty years and survive, you better fit in like any corporation.† And if you canít fit in, youíre not going to make admiral to make a difference.† I wish you well, my friend.† I hope you do make a difference, but you got a tough road ahead of you.† Thatís all Iíve got to say.† Thank you.
MICHAEL SEGAL:† My name is
Michael Segal.† I spent about ten years
††††††††††† One thing I wanted to say was that as I run the Advocates for ROTC website and am involved with both the group here and the group at Harvard, where I have my undergraduate degree.† And in that role I was asked by the Congressional leadership for my opinions about what they should do legislatively about the ROTC issue.† I recommended that the policies that I found to be completely unsupported by anybody that Iíd ever spoken to, which are the exclusion of gay lawyers and gay doctors, should be gotten rid of immediately, and that I felt that that was something that could be done by a Republican administration and a Republican Congress.† They didnít do it, but I felt it was an important point to make, and I bring it up for two reasons.
††††††††††† One is that itís important to have people who are invested in the issue, whether by being concerned that we would have ROTC here, or whether by being in the military or pushing from within. Itís important for our voice to be heard, and by excluding ROTC, we really create a gulf between the military and the Ivies, which is a bad thing.†
††††††††††† And the second is that the exclusion of the military for this reason, even though thereís good parts to the reason and thereís worthy goals, is heavy-handed and if weíre going to denounce things like the Solomon Amendment, which is also heavy-handed, we should recognize that excluding ROTC because of Donít Ask, Donít Tell is also heavy- handed.† And we frankly shouldnít do any of these.
MATTHEW SHAW:† Thank
you.† My name is Matthew Shaw.† Iím a Columbia Law student, Class of
2005.† And I agree with everyone who said
that ROTC provides benefits to the students who are enrolled and who
participate, and I agree with everyone who said that ROTC may provide a benefit
to campus.† Of course we donít know that
yet.† I agree with the people who say
that service in the military provides a common good to the community, and that
the question I have for you is, Will the university abandon its
anti-discrimination policy?† Because if
the university does bring ROTC to campus while it still has its discriminatory
policies, it will in effect abandon that portion of the discrimination
policy.† Because you canít really
effectively say, on the one hand, we donít advocate, promote or allow organs or
organizations associated with
JAMES SCHMID:† Just a quick point of order to respond to what you just said.† To give you an illustrative example, at MIT what they do is they actually footnote, when they make reference to the ROTC, that the ROTC does not abide by the policies of non-discrimination that MIT has instituted on its campus, and that MIT has taken note of that.† Iím just saying that the program happens to co-exist, and that is the way they treat it.† Itís not here or there.† Itís just what they choose to do.
SHAW:† Yes sir.† But itís still on MITís campus and that was the point that I was makingóthat youíre basically saying two different things at the same time.† Youíre being very disingenuous in doing that.
ANYA ALLEN:† My name is Anya
Allen .† Iím
saying that if we donít allow it,
††††††††††† So I have several other comments, but Iíll leave that to an e-mail.† [Applause]
YI-SHENG NG: Hello, my name is Yi-Sheng Ng.† Iím a
as a group leader, I find it disturbing that, if ROTC returns to campus, you have
to fight for the already scarce and resources with the ROTC, and the fact that
I am one of the groups under the office of multicultural affairs makes me feel
even more strongly that itís important to apply the word inclusiveness to only
groups which are inclusive themselves.†
The Queer Alliance is co-sponsored with black history month, with Latino
heritage month, and I feel this aspect of crossover, of overlap, of
inclusiveness is what makes
also like to mention that no matter whether you think allowing ROTC should not
change the mood on the campus, there will be a perceived change in mood.† No matter whether you think ROTC is not
connected with war, people who come now to
ILAN MEYER:† My name is Ilan
Meyer.† Iím an associate professor at the
also a kind of strange moral parallel in what was positioned, that
there is a question about the role of
END SIDE TWO, TAPE ONE;† BEGIN SIDE ONE, TAPE TWO
THEODORE GRASKE: [The first portion of these remarks was not recorded. It included the information that Mr. Graske, CC í59, was an NROTC cadet, a varsity football player, and a history major in college.]
I am not going to repeat the eloquent arguments that weíve heard tonight, on both sides.† Itís a dilemma for the students and the faculty.† But I would like to add some information as you go forward, some suggestions on how to decide.†
it was already stated by a young lady before.†
The role of the military versus
††††††††††† Second, the arguments both pro and con about the Donít Ask, Donít Tell have been stated.† I will not restate them.† I will add somethingóthat it seems to be a policy dilemma,† because the policy of sexual orientation in almost any organization not only covers homosexual students but heterosexual students as well.† You have the choice.† And I think in going forward, itís a real dilemma because there may be many gay people, and they are serving now, who are wired for the military.† Conversely, there are straight people who could care less about the military.† So military is something that people may be motivated.† So I see a real dilemma here because certainly you want to not have discrimination.† On the other hand, you want to leave students with choice.† If they voluntarily wish to give up eight years of their life and theyíre straight, fine.† If they want to stay in the closet, that should be their choice. Not peer pressure.†
††††††††††† So Iíll leave it at that with one final question for everyone.† If† Donít Ask, Donít Tell was abolished tomorrow, tomorrow, just by fiat, how would that change your feeling towards ROTC?† Would it make it more positive?
††††††††††† A third point is that one thing I didnít bring up in my background.† Maybe it makes me a four-time loser, but I spent quite a few years as a human resources executive in corporations.† They used to call us the hall monitors.† Why were we the hall monitors?† Because our job is to go around and make sure that people were enforcing the affirmative action, the equal employment laws, and I can guarantee you students, youíve heard a lot about the military, but those of you who have been in the corporate world will know itís a continuing battle to keep things right.† So do not just focus in on the military; realize that in society there are issues that need to be solved.
††††††††††† One last comment. Credentials. In the Ď50s I guarantee you the credentials were not so popular.† But today, and this was brought up before, in many of the enlisted ranks you cannot get into the job category without a college degree.† I would bet, and Iíll bet anybody in this room $100, that if the ROTC was in here, that the Department of Defense would send in every Ph.D. they got, and they would not load it up with a bunch of high school graduates from someplace.† So credentials would be negotiated.† They would be worked on.† With that I wish you luck in your deliberations.†
JESS CLANCY:† Hi.† My name is Jess Clancy and Iím an undergraduate in the College, and I guess I want to talk about the issue of opportunity and specifically financial aid.
CLANCY:† Oh, sorry.
ANOTHER VOICE:† Pull the mike down a little.†
CLANCY:† Pull it down?† Is this good?†
Thanks.† Well, I want to mention
that, when you enroll in ROTC you are aware that your financial package is tied
to military service.† I think itís
important to think about issues of choice where there exists an inequality of
opportunity, and how we want
HEIDI WILLIAMS:† Hi.† Heidi Williams, Teachers College.† And Iím also engaged to a
††††††††††† I donít think the goal is to create a safe space because I think thatís non-existent.† I think thereís never a safe space, and you all just have to deal because the real world is that itís not safe.† You just have to go out there and state your opinion and do it, and you canít have everyone protecting you.† So I think it should be, because of free speech, you have to go out there and allow for a diversity of opinions.
††††††††††† Also I think you learn from your peers in a university, and so I think that would be something you should consider, that, you know, you have someone next door to you whoís in the ROTC, you can have those late night debates.† And I think thatís something I learned at Brown as an undergrad, and I think thatís a really important point to have.† I also am worried about precedent setting.† If you ban the ROTC, who else do you have to ban?† Whoís next?† Whose opinion donít you like?† And then do they have to be kicked off?† That includes religious groups that donít support anyone whoís gay, etc.
also think the officer versus enlisted.†
You want to make an impact, you want to make a change, you have to go in
as an officer.† I think thatís, you know,
the place you can make the greatest impact.†
I have relatives who are
††††††††††† Also, I just think itís condescending to tell students what to do, and not allow them to have opportunities.† I think you should have a university to have that free speech, have opportunities and go for it that way.† And whoís the university to tell you what to do and what you canít do?† And I think that should be for everything at a university.† And you know I come from a really liberal university, so thatís the background.†
††††††††††† And I thank you for this opportunity to debate this, and allowing Teachers College people as well here.† Thank you.†
JOSHUA McNEY:† My name is
Josh McNey.† Iím a student in General
Studies.† Iím a former Marine.† I spent seven years with Third Force
Reconnaissance Company and left the Marine Corps as a sergeant, and Iím a gay
man.† Itís difficult for me to sit and
listen, because I sort of hear what sounds to me to be a claim that we think
Donít Ask, Donít Tell is really bad, but we still want ROTC to be here on
campus.† And my question is this.† If the argument is that
question that I would ask is that for those of you that have stood up tonight
and said that you donít believe in Donít Ask, Donít Tell, why is it such a
heroic thing to ask that you would stand by the gay community, to stand by gay
and lesbian men and women, and say that--you know what?--Columbia can exert
institutional pressure to change this policy?†
One of the most disappointing things that I heard tonight came from the
co-chair, when you said that the military doesnít want gays and lesbians, and
MICHAEL THADDEUS:† Iím
Michael Thaddeus.† Iím a faculty
member.† Well, I guess the follies of a
Donít Ask, Donít Tell policy have already been addressed in a lot of
detail.† Some people, I think, have even
pointed out that itís now possible to be legally married to someone and yet
legally unable to discuss that condition with your peers in the military.† But letís recall instead why the ROTC was
donít criticize the individuals in the military or the Reserved Officers
Training Corps.† I admire their bravery
and in many cases their sacrifice.† But I
question the behavior of a machine that takes brave and patriotic people and
incorporates them into a device that is responsible for causing killing on an
untold scale.† Unless youíre an absolute
pacifist you have to concede that the
think itís proper to resist that sort of arrangement.† I want to resist, and I think many on the
campus want to resist the growing remilitarization of our civil society and our
campus society.† Iím confident my views
are shared by many, and I think those are the moral values of
ADAM ROMAN:† Good
evening.† My name is Adam Roman.† Iím a first-year student at the
††††††††††† The other thing is, like a lot of people here, I donít and never did believe in or felt that the Donít Ask, Donít Tell policy was the right thing to do.† But I do firmly believe in this idea of change from within.† And two things on that. First of all, if this issue of ROTC coming back on campus wasnít a debate, we wouldnít be here today having this debate.† If you go for years without even this being an issue, then we donít get to have this dialogue. So I think that in itself is kind of proof positive.† I know as an undergrad every year there was protest and debates about the militaryís policy, and I think that was good.†
Secondly, there are lots of examples of negative experiences with homosexuals in the military.† I can only speak to two positive ones† On two of the three ships I served on, we had two guys that were openly gay, and it was a non-issue up and down the chain of command, senior officers, junior, enlisted folks.† People didnít care that they were homosexuals just like they didnít care that I was heterosexual.† All they cared about is, Could they do the job as well as the next person? And they did, and thatís all that mattered.† And I think itís important to kind of be able to bring progressive, open-minded people into the military and help to foster that change from within.† Thank you.
TAYLOR WANG:† Good
evening.† My name is Taylor Wong.† Iím a
††††††††††† I would have liked to have seen greater participation among my classmates from the school and other top-notch academic institutions in the country.† I think it would have stimulated more intellectual debate.† I did find my experience both physically and intellectually demanding, and I think that participation and integration between academic communities and the military is a much better way to try to push change from withinóIím also an advocate of change from within, [rather] than excluding them.† I just donít see how exclusion can foster any more productive debate than integrating the program. †Thank you.
MARK XUE:† Good evening.† My name is Mark Xue.† Iím
this protest of having ROTC off campus.†
Make no mistake about it.† Itís
not going to influence Donít Ask, Donít Tell.†
The loss of 48 cadetsóthe military is not crying over the loss of 48
DAVID JUDD:† My name is David
Judd.† I am a student in the
††††††††††† If you think about how this will perceived in the wider world, I think itís pretty clear that this will be perceived as a signal of support for the Iraq war in the context that this is a movement happening just like two years after weíve entered Iraq, which is a war thatís killed 100,000 civilians, and in the context that weíre making the only exception toward discrimination policy specifically for the military.† This is a political statement that the university will be making supporting whatís existing now.† Even if itís not intended that way, if will be perceived that way, and it is a statement that itís acceptable.† And I donít think we should be doing that, for reasons others have eloquently explained.† Thatís why our universityís values shouldnít be those of the military torturing people in Abu Ghraib.†
like to address the point of change within the military.† While I agree that certainly nothing
††††††††††† And one final point.† On the issue of financial aid, I think that if weíre worried about the lack of access to this university, which we should be, we should change our policies to provide more financial aid and divert issues to that rather than to the ROTC.† Thank you.
NADIR JOSHUA:† Hi.† My name is Nadir Joshua.† Iím a third-year law student.† I just wanted to say that at first, to some extent what isnít being talked about is, it becomes an issue of resources.† In that the military and the Federal government gives universities a certain amount of money annually, and the ROTC from what I understand supplements that funding, or the funding that the ROTC would get is subtracted or in some way accounted for in the money that gets given to universities.† So that would mean that people that the university is supporting or getting money or not having money for a group, for an organization, for students, that an entire class of students wouldnít be allowed to participate in simply because of their identity.
††††††††††† And then the second thing is, Iím a little concerned and somewhat offended by the notion that weíre looking at this as two comparable forms of discrimination, and I think itís important for us to reframe the issue so that we look at it not as whether or not, as someone said before, the military should be allowed on campus, but instead whether or not the university has a compelling reason to violate its non-discrimination policy.† And there hasnít been, I think, proposed, at least in this meeting, a legitimate justification for why we should say that weíre willing to break our anti-discrimination policy because we want people to join the ROTC or we want the ROTC to be on campus.
when we talk about it in terms of choice and when we talk about it in terms of
discrimination, I think it becomes disingenuous, because in reality itís a
choice.† Itís not that students who come
††††††††††† So if weíre looking at the issue, it should be, Is there a compelling justification for the university to deny or no longer abide by its anti-discrimination policy?† And even if we have sort of footnotes or other ameliorative efforts, that doesnít seem to be enough.† Either we abide by the policy or we donít.† And to whatever extent weíre unwilling to abide by it, then there should be a legitimate reason.† And people wanting to be a part of the military doesnít strike me as a legitimate reason because there are other choices and other avenues.†
GABRIEL ZUCKER:† Good
evening.† Thank you for your
patience.† My name is Gabriel
Zucker.† Iím a junior at General Studies.† Iím also a graduate of JROTC through a
military school in
was kicked out of the navy basically for being gay.† I was admitted in í96 out of high school,
recruited, scored perfectly on the ASVAB physical, psychological exams.† Perfect candidate.† Offered a very generous contract and GI Bill,
etc.† Kicked out.† Homeless.†
Stripped of the GI Bill, stripped of the contract obviously.† So thatís just kind of a personal note that I
wanted to share.† And Iíve listened to
the arguments this evening.† Iím still
kind of mystified why thereís still a debate, basically because of
integrity.† I would imagine that the
university wants to produce students and alumni who have integrity, and as
such, should have integrity as an institution.†
And integrity to me is keeping your word.† And the university has made their word clear
through their policy.† If you
discriminate against people on the basis of many things, including sexual
orientation, you have no place here.† You
rightly said, chairman, the Navy, or the militaryís policy is, if youíre gay,
we donít want you.† And
PAUL HACKETT:† Paul Hackett.
AMY OFFNER:† Hi.† Iím Amy Offner from the Graduate School of
Arts and Sciences. The point has already been made, I think extremely well,
question of whether
guess finally Iíll just say if
KEVIN CARPENTER:† Hi.† My name is Kevin Carpenter, and Iím an
as another gentleman noted (you know, Iím a gay individual as well), no gay
person has come up here and been in support of that.† And Iím certainly not in support of ROTC
coming back to campus.† But I can also
say that I would not be up here and I would not speak to say that we want a
racist group on campus either just because I happen to be white.† So I think that, you know, again I cannot
reconcile this from an employee perspective, and I canít reconcile it from a
student perspective.† And I do think that
tonight, you know, Iím glad that I did join in.†
I think there are some very intelligent, articulate people that are
involved in the military.† So Iíd say to
these folks, Donít wait for
RONALD LEWENBERG:† Hi.† My name is Ron Lewenberg.† I studied at General Studies, and I founded
††††††††††† Itís very easy to say that , Oh, I oppose the ROTC becauseóyou know something?óitís going to hurt a bunch of people, and I donít really care for them anyway.† Itís very easy for us to say, Iím going to be offended.† Well, a lot of things offend me.† A lot of things offended me when I was here.† We have a bunch of Communists here and professors who are Communists offended me just as much as if they were Nazis, because both killed members of my family, but Iím not crying about it because Iím an adult.† And I expect everybody here to be adults.† For the most part weíre over eighteen.
††††††††††† If youíre actually discriminated against for any reason, you have redress in the university to go to teachers, to go to professors, to go to the administration.† But to say point blank that any group is going to discriminate against them or theyíll feel bad, frankly infantilizes everyone at the university and everyone whoís ever been here.† Thank you.
ALLAN SILVER:† My name is
Allan Silver.† Iím on the faculty.† Apart from my short, inglorious career as a
rifleman, I have one other status to report.†
I am arguably the only member of the faculty who was on the faculty in
the Ď60s and who lived through exactly the events that formed the baseline of
this discussion.† And if you feel old,
imagine how I feel.† NROTC was sent
packing in í69, I vividly recall.† No one
who was here does not recall about the Ď60s because of a convulsive cultural
and political upheaval going far beyond this campus, but peaking at this
campus, involving the war in
military, love it or leave it, is a permanent, major institution in the
American polity.† And that circumstance
must be sundered from oneís attitude towards this administration and toward the
current military endeavors, which in any case bear no resemblance to those of
I do know is that not doing so, symbolically as well as literally, continues or
rather reinforces a cultural isolation of the military from civil society. That
was okay in the Ď30s and Ď40s, which produced a General Marshall.† It is not okay now.† It makes
††††††††††† I was there in í68 and í69 and itís a different world.† You have to accept your responsibilities.
DYLAN STILLWOOD: Hi.† My name
is Dylan [Stillwood], and Iíll try to be pretty brief.† Itís just that I heard people earlier on,
speaker after speaker, getting up and talking about this civilizing and
soothing influence that well-educated, elite Columbia students would have on
the barbarous institution of the military.†
It has insulted me so much that I wanted to point out the rather obvious
fact that the current commander in chief of the military went to
††††††††††† Itís really insulting to me, to be perfectly honest.† The previous speaker mentioned napalm, not to mention Pupin Hall, where the development of the atomic bomb was begun.† If anyone here is wondering why theyíve never had a class in this building, wonder what kind of research goes on it.† I mean you can look into it. And the same goes for Mudd next door.† I mean itís Department of Defense-related projects, are largely what goes on.
††††††††††† So I just wanted to say, the speakers who got up were reflecting an extremely elitist attitude towards the military; it just doesnít reflect reality.† Actually, thereís a huge relationship of elite universities to the military, and actually Iíd say the most significant change in military culture that happened in the twentieth century was not as a result of well-educated people, but as a result of enlisted soldiers during the war in Vietnam refusing to fight, refusing to take officersí orders, openly rebelling against the war in Vietnam and often identifying with the rebels in Vietnam, and causing the so-called Vietnam syndrome that prevented countless, you know, military invasions by the U.S. Army.†
††††††††††† So I would say that we need to flip it on its head and really look at the effect of the relationship of elite universities and the military, and I think itís not progressive at all.
ANYA ALLEN:† Okay.† Anya Allen.†
I do want to comment on the opportunity for changing leadership and, you know,
bringing the discourse into the military.†
I think that
APPLEGATE:† And thank you all very much for† your patience.† Any further comments can be sent to the e-mail address up on there ROTCemail@example.com† Thank you very much.
END OF SESSION ()