University Senate††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Proposed: May 6, 2005

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Adopted:

 

TRANSCRIPT OF SPECIAL SENATE MEETING ON ROTC:

APRIL 15, 2005

102 JEROME GREENE HALL, 2:30 pm

 

PRESIDENT LEE BOLLINGER:All right.A beautiful day inside the Law School.Here we are. So weíre going to start with the report from the committee, then go to a discussion with senators, and then have a discussion Paul says of opening it up beyond that.So weíll have a report from the committee.

 

SENATOR NATHAN WALKER (STU., TC):Good afternoon everyone.My name is Nathan Walker, and I have served on the Senate as the Teachers College representative for the last three years, and it has been an honor to serve this last year as the co-chair of the ROTC task force with my colleague Professor Jim Applegate.After six months of deliberations we are ready to report our findings.Before we do, Iíd ask that the members of the task force take a minute just to introduce themselves, and then youíll hear from each of them after this initial report.So if you donít mind just standing and introducing yourself.

 

[Everyone introduces themselves, but canít be heard because there is no microphone near them]

 

SEN. WALKER: There are two members of the task force who are unable to attend:School of the Arts Professor Juliana Fusco and Law School alumnus Peter Wooden.Iíll begin our report with an overview of the current relationship between the university and two local ROTC programs, and then proceed with a summary of our deliberations.Then you will hear personal statements from each of the task force members who are present, and then we will take your questions.It is important to note that we are not voting today.In the next week we will draft a proposed resolution to be reviewed by the Executive Committee.Once approved, senators will be asked to vote on that resolution at our final meeting on May 6th.Therefore the purpose of this special session is to give senators ample time to deliberate about the potential return of ROTC.

††††††††††† As many of you know, Columbia University is one of forty schools that send students to train at the regional Air Force ROTC program which is housed at Manhattan College, seven miles from our campus. According to Colonel Bob Ciala, there are five Columbia students currently enrolled and all five receive funds that apply to their Columbia tuition.In a recent e-mail he writes [that] four of them receive four year full scholarships.The other one is a three-year scholarship.He states if they have a type one scholarship they receive up to $30,000 in tuition each year.When asked whether the program could accommodate more Columbia students, the colonel replied in all caps in this e-mail:ďYES, AS MANY QUALITY STUDENT LEADERS ASYOU CAN SEND US.ĒHe also brought to our attention Title 10, United States Code, Section 2102, which outlines the requirements Columbia University would have to meet should it reinstate ROTC.In summary, it says:(1) The university must make the request to establish an Air Force ROTC program. The senior officer assigned to that institution (2) will be given the rank of professor.(3) The institution adopts as part of its curriculum a course of military instruction which the Secretary of the Military prescribes and conducts, and (4) In order to establish a detachment, there will be no less than forty students enrolled.The colonel also states that ďthe opening of a detachment at Columbia University may necessitate the closure of another and would not allow the optimal use of our limited resources.The Air Force ROTC is not planning to open any new detachments except in areas where a large minority population is not currently being served.ĒEnd quote.

††††††††††† Weíll now turn to another affiliate program. Columbia University is one of 50 schools in the area that sends students to participate in the New York City Army ROTC program, which happens to be housed at Fordham University, which is seven miles from here.According to Major Riley, there are four Columbia students who participate, two of whom are on scholarship.He says, ďOne will be on scholarship in the fall and the other is deciding if Army ROTC is the right choice for her.ĒWhen asked about the potential increase in seats for Columbia students, the major replied, ďWith the number of cadets currently enrolled, we could accommodate triple the number of Columbia students we currently have.ĒHe goes on to say, ďVirtually all students qualified will receive at least two year scholarships of $17,000 each year.ĒThat is the same amount for any of the 113 cadets who currently enroll in the New York City Army ROTC program.

††††††††††† If we decided we wanted our own Army, Air Force and/or Navy ROTC detachment, then Columbia would most likely follow the Princeton model.Their elite Army program grants full tuition and fees, plus an annual book stipend of $600 and monthly spending allowances, which adds up to $31,000 for your freshman year, and $32,500 for seniors.

††††††††††† Hypothetically, if 40 students who were previously admitted to Columbia University were to enroll in our own Army ROTC program, then the Department of Defense would provide $1.2 million in tuition benefits for these students.In turn, [if] any of these students previously demonstrated [eligibility for] need based financial aid, then that institutional fund would then benefit other needy Columbia students.

††††††††††† It is important to note that the task force agrees that ROTC funds are not necessarily scholarships, but rather advance contracts.Meaning, in order to receive the funds, one must become contracted as a cadet, signing an agreement to complete the ROTC program and to serve for a set number of years after graduation: four years on active duty, or eight years in the Reserves.Students continue to receive funding for the remainder of their involvement.

††††††††††† As you know, not all members of our community are eligible for these funds because of the Donít Ask, Donít Tell, Donít Pursue policy, a Federal law preventing gays from serving in the military.For example, an undergraduate student enrolled in ROTC could be tried publicly for being accused of engaging in ďa homosexual act,Ē which the Department of Defense defines as the following:ďAny bodily contact actively undertaken, passively permitted between members of the same sex for the purpose of satisfying sexual desires and any bodily contact, for example, hand holding or kissing, that a reasonable person would understand to demonstrate a propensity for intent to engage in such act.ĒIf found guilty, the homosexual would be discharged and the student would be required by law to reimburse any funds previously received.

††††††††††† In light of these and many other facts, I will now present the results of our deliberations.Iím sure you can imagine how our process was extremely peaceful, collegial and pleasant.Wasnít it, gentlemen?

††††††††††† We were charged with answering the following question:Should ROTC return to Columbia University in the 2006/07 academic year?As noted in the report that you have in front of you, five voted yes, five voted no.Youíll hear the various reasons for this in a moment.In spite of this split, everyone who voted no on the first question, voted yes on the following question: Should ROTC return to Columbia if there is no longer discrimination against lesbian, gays, bisexual servicemen in the military?All of the original opposition agrees with this statement.Four of the proponents also agreed and one abstained, leaving a 9 to [of] 10 supermajority of the task force agreeing that yes, Columbia should reconsider the return of ROTC when Donít Ask, Donít Tell is overturned.

††††††††††† In the meantime, a strong majority agreed that Columbia should strengthen its relationship with local ROTC programs to accommodate more Columbia students.Nine out of 10 also recommend that the University Trustees establish a financial contingency plan to protect queer students who enroll in affiliate ROTC programs.Meaning, we should mirror the MIT policy that states [that] if a Columbia student were discharged because of Donít Ask, Donít Tell, then the university will reimburse the Department of Defense on behalf of the victimized student.

††††††††††† Finally, it was unanimous 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.

††††††††††† In summary, at first glance it may seem as if we are a split committee; however, that is not the case.There is a remarkable consensus about this very complex debate and our solution is simple.We recommend the university revisit the question on whether or not ROTC should return if and when the military no longer discriminates.A comprehensive report, complete with the discussion of our unanimous agreement that the U.S. military is in desperate need of reform will be distributed to the Senate at the end of the month.

††††††††††† Now, in the spirit of collegiality I invite each member of the task force to briefly state their opinion on the results of our deliberations.After we share our personal comments, we will open the floor for questions for senators, and then open the floor for visitors.I now welcome fellow co-chair Professor Jim Applegate.

 

PROFESSOR APPLEGATE:Hello.My name is Jim Applegate.Iím professor of astronomy here and I am co-chair of the task force on ROTC.Weíve been meeting on this issue for pretty close to a year now, and I have to tell you one thingóthat despite Nateís little jokes in here, the discussion on what can be a very emotional and rather intense topic has in fact been remarkably collegial.So letís not get the wrong impression on that.

††††††††††† I voted in favor of the return of ROTC because I believe the Armed Forces of the United States are an essential, unique and permanent part of our country.Neglecting the military and shunning it is a choice that a private university is free to make, but it is not a choice that Americans collectively are free to make.And I believe it is a choice that Columbia should not make, and it is time to welcome ROTC back.

††††††††††† I believe a number of things.One is that America and the world are best served if the Armed Forces of the United States have the best educated leaders that they can.They will be able to carry out their duty well and represent our country abroad.I also verymuch oppose the policy of Donít Ask, Donít Tell, which I believe to be fundamentally wrong and just plain bad policy.However, I and four of my colleagues part company with the five who voted no in believing that the best course for the university is not to withdraw from the issue and boycott the military, but rather to engage it.In other words, the University should engage this issue and do what we do best as teachers, and that is to educate.And if we involve ourselves, the best agent of change that we can provide are Columbia-educated leaders for the military.The boycott and avoiding ROTC I think just makes us irrelevant.

††††††††††† I have to disagree with Nate about something, and that is resolution number 2, and this is a bit of fine point.We did not agree 9-0-1 that ROTC could return, but subject to the precondition of the abolition of Donít Ask, Donít Tell.That was something on which we did not vote.†† We did discuss, and it was clear at least five people would have voted against it.Nine people said we are willing to, we would like to have ROTC back if the military does not discriminate.But that does not preclude the possibility of bringing ROTC back under current conditions, and that is why you got a supermajority.

††††††††††† I also must say that we all agreed that it is absolutely essential that certain conditions are met.Columbia must maintain control of the things that an academic institution should retain control of: awarding of academic credit, the titles of the instructors, and control of its physical space.Thank you.

††††††††††† Now Iíd like to introduce Jim Schmidt from the Business School.

 

SENATOR JAMES SCHMID (STU., BUS.):Thanks, Professor Applegate.I just want to second the final point in terms of clarification that was just made, and that is I think that the second vote.Itís clear that in a vacuum everyone on the committee would like to see the ROTC come back under the condition that there was no Donít Ask, Donít Tell.I donít think it was at all clear that given that policy is not changing today that the five people who voted in favor of the second statement would necessarily vote in favor of that as an only condition, which is what Professor Applegate stated.So I just wanted to make that point clear.

††††††††††† I actually tried to beg off this committee a few times.It wasnít necessarily something I wanted to spend the last year at Columbia University doing because it was, you know, very time consuming and, you know, it consumed a lot of my thoughts throughout the year. But at the end of the day I thought it was important after having been here for six years to take on an issue like this.And I basically narrowed down my feeling to three points.

††††††††††† The first is that for the last thirty years, approximately since 1968, the University has essentially said weíre not going to have the ROTC on campus, and that was the Universityís way of stating to the military, We donít agree with some of the things youíre doing.The fact of the matter is, within that time period nothing has changed regarding the Donít Ask, Donít Tell policy.And for the University to continue to support the ROTC off campus basically says that they can have their cake and eat it too. They can take money from the ROTC, allow their students to go there and to train, but they donít have to house it here.They donít have to put up with any of the issues that would come with having cadets on campus.And thatís obviously a difficult task to engage.So why not stash them up at Fordham so that no one can see the program, still take the money? And to me thatís somewhat disingenuous.

††††††††††† If I was an advocate for saying I wonít allow the ROTC back on campus until Donít Ask, Donít Tell was eliminated, then I would support the issue also that the University should not take money from any cadet thatís involved in the ROTC program anywhere.One necessarily follows the other.

††††††††††† The second point I boiled down to was that there is a substantial hypocrisy in keeping the Donít Ask, Donít Tell ROTC off campus and allowing groups such as Greek organizations, fraternities or sororities, or for that matter Barnard College, to continue to be actively involved in student life here because the fact of the matter is, all the organizations that I just mentioned discriminate in some way or another based on certain conditions.And back when this discussion was had in the late Ď60s, if you look at the Columbia record, that same point was made by a number of people on the university Senate, and I think itís a very compelling one.

††††††††††† The last point that I think is important is that this University does not act in a vacuum.Just because itís a private university and can make its own decision, doesnít mean it shouldnít take notice of the reality of the rest of the United States and the rest of the world from time to time.I think itís important to remember how everyone else feels outside of these walls.Because itís sometimes easy to get wrapped up in whatís just happening here.

††††††††††† So, with that Iíd like to introduce Joe McManus to share his thoughts.

 

JOSEPH MCMANUS (NONSEN., NT, SDOS):Good afternoon.I really donít have any prepared remarks.Perhaps what I do have is an observation.This has been a very educational experience for me, being up at the Dental School, to be appointed to this task force. As a matter of fact, I even received a new title because of this.One of the senators here sent us an e-mail to the task force.As a matter of fact, that e-mail was distributed to you today.And it characterized the military as professional killers and those who served in a capacity to keep them healthy were assistants to professional killers.Now I had the privilege of serving in the Dental Corps of the United States Navy during the Vietnam conflict, so I suppose I am an assistant to professional killers.

††††††††††† But having said that, I would defend the senatorís right not only to think that, to say that and to write that, but I would be remiss in my obligations to this committee, to this body of Columbians, if I would not characterize that comment as inflammatory, uncalled for, and demeaning to everyone in the Columbia family who has put on the uniform of their country.Now the politics will be over.

††††††††††† The reason I voted in the affirmative to return ROTC on this campus: I feel that we are a country at risk, a country at war, and in a theological sense I am willing to grant the Department of State absolution for their egregious discriminatory policy.I firmly believe with some of my other colleagues that constructive engagement within the military is the way to change the military, that if we withdraw from this, I donít think weíll ever have a change.

††††††††††† So I thank you for your attention and Iíd like to introduce Sean Wilkes.

 

SEAN WILKES (NONSEN., STU, CC):I approached this issue with a bit of a personal connection being that I am a cadet myself and have been heavily involved in this issue from the start.So it is somewhat personal to me, but I also appreciate the opportunity to have the discussion and to have participated on the task force so far.

††††††††††† The primary reasons why I believe so strongly about this, that ROTC should return, can be broken down into just a few points.First off, Columbia has an obligation to develop leaders in all areas of society.Itís been known for this for years, for decades, for centuries even.And this includes the military, this should include the military, and it should not only allow these opportunities for students to engage in this area of society, to train with the military and to participate as military officers, but to embrace this and to foster it as part of its mission. Columbia is a flagship institution, and its students should have the opportunity to prepare for service to their country on their own campus, and not have to do so at another institution, at Fordham or at Manhattan College.

††††††††††† I also find it anomalous that Columbia is not actively engaged in the education and production of military leaders, because itís inconsistent to make the criticisms that they do, for instance, that there is an overrepresentation of the poor and minorities in the military while Columbiaís not doing what it can itself to help change this, to help its own students join the same ranks of those in the poor and middle class. So itís somewhat, again, I donít want to use the word ďhypocritical,Ē but it really is.

††††††††††† In addition the status quo discourages national service.Without ROTC at Columbia, cadets only get partial reimbursements and tuition for the most part, and they also have to commute to several locations.Granted, this has to occur as other universities as well.Most other universities in the area have to commute.But doing this discourages students from doing ROTC, from participating in ROTC, and also discourages students who are interested in ROTC, who are interested in national service, from attending Columbia.Not only does this make Columbia appear to be discouraging national service, but it has a concrete effect of decreasing the diversity of the student body and excluding students aspiring to national service.

††††††††††† Finally, on the issue of Donít Ask, Donít Tell, I will agree that ROTC should be reinstated to Columbia under protest.Meaning, that we do recognize that allowing ROTC serves a greater good, but it is contrary to the Columbia non-discrimination policy.And I would mention that other schools have managed to incorporate ROTC with their non-discrimination policies in the same fashion, MIT being a prime example.

††††††††††† Finally, as far as the institutional concerns are regarded, those being professorships, granting of the title of professor to ROTC instructors or the granting of credit for ROTC classes, weíve approached this on the task force under, as Nate mentioned, the Princeton model.And that is that Columbia would have the authority to set up the program on its own terms, modeling it after Princeton for instance, where the instructors, military instructors, are not given the academic rank of professor.The head of the program is given the title of director, as a student extracurricular organization or student extracurricular program, and the instructors under him are all given the title of instructor.Additionally, at Princeton the students donít receive credit for their ROTC classes because it does not fit into their program, their liberal arts college program.So as such, that is the model that we are looking towards.

††††††††††† I honestly canít tell you whether thatís possible for Columbia.It will have to ask the Department Defense, and itís part of the negotiation process, but that is the model that weíre looking at.

††††††††††† Thank you very much for your time.Iíll introduce Professor Kendall Thomas next.

 

KENDALL THOMAS(NONSEN., TEN., LAW): Thank you Sean.I too will try to be brief.I voted against the reinstatement of the Reserved Officers Training Program at Columbia University in the absence of the full repeal by the Federal government of the policy known as Donít Ask, Donít Tell, Donít Harass, Donít Pursue.In fact, itís worth noting that the popular name of the policy is a misnomer, since in fact the Donít Ask, Donít Tell, Donít Harass, and Donít Pursue prongs of the policy are a function not of the law but of regulations developed by the Department of Defense, which can be revoked by the Department of Defense any time.The characterization of DADT has formed the basis for the claim, utterly without foundation, that Donít Ask, Donít Tell was a legislative compromise between opponents of service of any kind on the part of gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals, and those who feel that gay men, lesbians and bisexuals, like all other qualified Americans, have the right serve in the military.

††††††††††† The current policy is in fact an absolute ban on military service by gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans.If ROTC were to be reinstated at the University, Columbia University would become complicit in a regime which has as its centerpiece the only law in the United States of America that authorizes firing someone for his or her sexual orientation.

††††††††††† Now, some members of the task force have suggested that we ought not be troubled by the fact that Columbia would be moving from its neutral position to a position of active and open collaboration with the Department of Defense, indeed with the United States government, and its policy of discrimination.I must say that, although I find the rhetoric, ďWe agree with you in principle, we disagree on matters of strategy and tacticsĒ not utterly implausible,I keep hearing the voice of my grandmother, who would say actions indeed do speak louder than words.And the fact of the matter is, is that if Columbia re-establishes a full relationship with ROTC, all the protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, I have no doubt that that collaboration would be publicized by the military as Columbiaís full and complete endorsement of the U.S. military program of ROTC.

††††††††††† Now, and therefore, I must say that Iím not persuaded by the constructive engagement argument, an argument with which many of you in the room are no doubt familiar from the years when universities and others debated the question of whether or not we ought to divest stock from corporations that did business in South Africa during the years of the Apartheid regime.I do not think thereís any evidence at all that the constructive engagement policy will work.The expression of faith by my fellow members of the task force and others that it will work is just that, and thereís no basis, it seems to me at all, given the hierarchical command structure of the U.S. military, to believe that Columbiaís noble mission of sending our enlightened students to serve as officers in the military is in any way going to change the structure of the military with respect to this policy of Donít Ask, Donít Tellówhich I might note, by the way, disproportionately affects women.

††††††††††† A couple of other points very, very, very quickly.Professor Applegate in his statement, distributed to you at the entrance to the room, argues that the universityís non-discrimination policy should be understood as one of its supporting policies, not as a defining policy of the University.I could not disagree more.It seems to me that one of the core values that make the institution and practice of academic freedom possible is precisely the notion that each and every member of the University is entitled to equal concern and respect, and that in the absence of an ethic of equality that extends to all members of the University community, the possibility of academic freedom for all will be undermined.If Columbia re-establishes an on-campus relationship with the U.S. military through an ROTC program, Columbia in effect will be saying to those of us who are gay, lesbian or bisexual that we are not entitled to a campus climate which observes the principle of equal concern and respect for all its members.Columbia will in effect be saying to its gay, lesbian and bisexual members that we are second-class citizens.I find it very hard to square the acceptance of that with the commitment to the principle of non-discrimination.

††††††††††† I will say in closing, finally, that I also find it very, very hard to swallow the claim that my colleague Professor Applegate makes that Columbia in fact does discriminate, that we discriminate for example through our policies of affirmative action.I would simply point out to him a distinction that I very often make in my constitutional law class between invidious and non-invidious discrimination.Thereís a very real difference between a helping hand and a slap in the face. As far as Iím concerned, the reinstatement of ROTC on the Columbia campus is a slap in the face which will make Columbia complicit not simply in the everyday and ordinary incivilities that characterize life in the military, but in a pattern, a well-documented pattern, of harassment, violence and indeed death for persons whose sexuality has been revealed when they have served in the U.S. military.And I think the members of the University Senate ought to think hard and long about taking action that would make this university an accessory to that culture of discrimination, of violence, and indeed death.Thank you.

Iíd like to introduce Aaron Lord, who, as you may be able to tell from his garb, comes to us from the Medical School.

 

AARON LORD (NONSEN., STU., P&S):Thank you.Professor Thomasís eloquence is something hard to follow, but I will make an attempt.My name is Aaron Lord and Iím a second year medical student.So this task forceóI voted, just to let you know, against ROTC coming back.This task force was created to evaluate a student proposal to bring ROTC back, so the debate has always been framed from the beginning as such.But there really is another way to frame the debate so that one views it from a different angle, and that is, Does the university believe that it should violate its own non-discrimination policy for the benefit of a few students and the U.S. military?

††††††††††† Indeed, is there any situation in which the non-discrimination policy should be disregarded?I realize that members voted t bring ROTC back despite their disagreement with Donít Ask, Donít Tell, favoring an idea that ROTC program at Columbia will offer this community a chance to reform the militaryís policy.However, I viscerally disagree with the logic, as I really can see no way how actively participating in the denial of somebodyís human rights or to our queer communityís human rights is a very strong statement that you find that very same denial of human rights wrong.

††††††††††† Thereís been a lot of talk on the task force about, and this is to reiterate Professor Thomasís point, that the university already violates its own non-discrimination policy with respect to Barnard and in race and in admissions.But let us not confuse benign discrimination of affirmative action with the hateful discrimination of homophobia that the university would be endorsing, I believe, by allowing the military and their policy of Donít Ask, Donít Tell back on campus.

††††††††††† So arguments have been advanced for a policy of constructive engagement with the military and often references to China and the burgeoning democracy have been made, and with respect to our education of scientists that have since gone back there to promote such movements.Now while I agree that active trade and education of Chinese scientists has been a major reason for the human rights situation changing there, by no means did the U.S. ever, ever, ever deny our own citizens their human rights in the process.We never invited China over to our country or on to our campus to practice a little denial of human rights on our soil.So while the militaryís already actively discriminating against homosexuals on our campus, this is true, I donít believe that Columbia itself is doing so very actively.

††††††††††† To bring ROTC on to campus would be effectively facilitating the denial of these rights, and to me that is unconscionable.A lot of evil has been done in this world in the name of advancing good.At some point we have to be responsible for the actions that are ours and that are made by the institutional bodies that are closest to us, and analyze what those actions are at face value, not what the hopeful and uncertain consequences of those actions might be.

††††††††††† So lastly I just want to remark that, and I say this in all honesty, that it was definitely the low point of my career at Columbiaóand believe me as a medical student you have a few low momentsówhen I was sitting at the task force open town hall, and I watched a lot of the lesbian and gay students line up, literally waiting in line, and to do what?To stand up and go through the humiliating process of having to beg, literally beg, for your rights to be treated just like everybody else.It was sad, and I never expected it to happen at this institution.

††††††††††† So I would like to introduce Scott Olster, at the General Studies School.

 

SCOTT OLSTER (NONSEN., STU., GS):Hello.Like Aaron just said, Iím Scott Ulster.Iím from the School of General Studies, and I approached this task force with the idea that it would be absolutely wonderful to have another program on this universityís campus that will help students out, that will give them the necessary funds to afford a school like Columbia.Columbiaís incredibly expensive, and as a student who is going to be leaving this spring with a number of loans to pay off, I completely understand the sentiment.And I also understand the sentiment of the value of helping our country.

††††††††††† However, I found as I was going through my experience on the task force that I couldnít support its return to Columbia simply based on the fact that the Columbia community has a non-discrimination policy that they do believe is worthwhile in respecting, and I really feel that we need to honor the ideals of this community by holding fast to that non-discrimination policy.

††††††††††† Now, a lot of that was already said by the other speakers, but what I want to respond to right now is just a few points that I heard from some of the other speakers.There was the idea that itís inherently hypocritical to allow students or to have Columbia students come to other campuses, other environments, to participate in ROTC, and not actually have an ROTC program ourselves.Itís, as far as I know, legally unacceptable for Columbia University as an institution to keep students from going to an ROTC program on a separate campus.Itís not within our bounds.Itís not within our control.So to pose that argument as hypocrisy seems to me as a misrepresentation.

††††††††††† Now another point that I wanted to express is the simple fact of diversity.Thereís another argument that bringing the ROTC program on to our campus will promote diverse ideas, diverse groups, different types of people to come to Columbia.Now as far as I know, our admission standards arenít going to change.The people who are admitted to Columbia as undergraduates, the makeup isnít going to considerably change because of the institution of the ROTC program as I see it.So I donít really understand how ROTC could inherently create this new-found diversity.

††††††††††† On the flip side, what I do see isóit just came to the fore to me when I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who I graduated high school with who went to Syracuse University and enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program there, and sheís enjoyed her experience, but when we were having a very honest conversation, she told me that sheíd fear going to a rally or expressing public support for gay, lesbian, bisexual rights because that would be inherently interpreted as an act of, you know, homosexual persuasion, homosexual support. And while that is not, as far as I know, as far I understand the specific policies, an act of homosexual behavior in any way, the idea is that she feared to do those actions.No matter how she felt, it was the fear that kept her from expressing her ideas or from pursuing the possibility of coming up with those ideas.And to me what that shows is that the ROTC program encourages a climate that is not tolerant, not even tolerant, not even equal.So I fear that bringing back the ROTC program will create a climate on this campus that as a student I know I would not feel comfortable with.I would not feel comfortable endorsing such a community.

††††††††††† So thatís all I have to say.Iíd like to introduce Nate Walker, whoís the co-chair of the committee. Thank you.

 

SEN. WALKER:Before we take questions, I want to give one personal statement.For me the most fascinating thing about these deliberations is something that has emerged in my own thinking which I never would have expected.For the last couple of months I have been continually imagining myself actually enrolling in the military.Who would have thought?Not as a cadet, but as a chaplain.Some of you know Iím a candidate for Unitarian Universitalist ministry and that I come from Nevada, where many of my friends with whom I grew up near the Army base and the Air Force base are currently in Iraq.This has compelled me to consider potentially serving for a year as a chaplain.But the fact is, I cannot.The United States of America denies openly gay citizens their right to serve their country.It is self-evident that this is the ultimate betrayal of patriotism.An equal betrayal would be if this university turns a blind eye to a non-discrimination policy that we have upheld and compare it and demean it in the name of a mission of a historically black institution or Barnard or a sorority.

††††††††††† The fact is, I came to Manhattan and to Columbia University because I had to leave my home state for three very simple reasons.One, the community college for which I taught for five years denied my request to add sexual orientation to their non-discrimination policy.Two, the state denied my request to adopt a child because I ďdo not meet their definition of family.ĒAnd three, because members of my family supported the referendum that helped Nevada to become one of the first states to constitutionally ban gay marriage.

††††††††††† Then I came to Columbia University in the City of New York.This place has certainly been liberating.For example, this last Valentineís Day, when riding on the F train, I gave my date a rose.Then a man approached and spit on us.It is in this context, I turn to my Columbia family and ask simply, What is the price of our non-discrimination policy, knowing that the exchange of a rose in this time and age can provoke somebody to spit?And in this same time denying me the right to adopt, to get married, and to serve my country.Iím sure you can imagine how Columbiaís non-discrimination policy is a safe haven for someone like me.

††††††††††† With that said, I hope that you will join the task force in saying that yes, ROTC should return if the military no longer discriminates.Until then, I trust that we will all continue to uphold the principles of human decency.

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER:Thank you very much.Now weíll have a discussion among the senators on the issue.

 

SENATOR MATAN ARIEL (STU., GS):Hi. My name is Matan Ariel.Iím a senator for the School of General Studies.Iíd like to make five points.The first one is, thank you to the committee.I think that this task force has worked very, very hard this past year.We gave you a very difficult task and having these discussions, I think, is probably the most important thing that this body has made in the past year.

††††††††††† My second point is, I would like [it] at a certain point if there would be some kind of clarification from the Senate staff as to what exactly was agreed upon in section number 2, because I felt that maybe the members of the task force had disagreement on what exactly was voted on.So I would be happy if that would be clarified, that we just all know what exactly was voted at a certain point.

††††††††††† My third comment: Iíd like to read out a resolution was passed by the General Studies student council in March 12, 2003.Two years ago the General Studies student council spent most of its year debating this exact issue, because we were approached by students and we were asked to endorse the return of ROTC to Columbia:

ďWhereas the Columbia community is committed to diversity in both demographics and intellectual discourse, and whereas the ROTC program would provide a new, alternative voice on campus, and whereas Columbia Universityís policies clearly state that any form of discrimination, be it based on religion, race, gender, and specifically sexual orientation, will not be tolerated in any form; therefore be it resolved that the General Studies student council will not be willing to endorse an ROTC program at Columbia University until openly gay members of the Columbia University community are allowed to participate in any and all aspects of the ROTC program.Ē

††††††††††† I feel that this resolution that was passed two years ago represents how I feel.Which brings me to my fourth and my fifth comments.What we do here today and what weíre going to do on May 6th is important, and I donít think itís important that much about what goes onóit is important about what goes on at Columbiaóbut I think thereís a greater issue here.I donít think itís about whether four students or ten students or forty students are allowed to participate in an ROTC program at Columbia University.I think what we do here sends out a message to the world.There is a lot of value in what we say, and I think that a certain message, if worded properly, would be printed in the Times, and might actually one day influence policies made in this country.Therefore, I think that whatever we do here is important about what goes on at Columbia, but is even more important on what will happen in the United States.

††††††††††† Finally, my fifth point.Iím a dual citizen.Iím American and Israeli, and I was proud to serve in the Israeli armed forces, Israeli Defense Force.I think that military service is very important.I think it would be beneficial to Columbia to have cadets on campus.I think it would be beneficial for the Armed Services to have Columbia students go into the service.But I think it would be more important for this university to protect all its members.Thatís why I would oppose an immediate return of ROTC to Columbia, but would quickly change my position had the policies of Donít Ask, Donít Tell been changed. Thank you very much.

 

SEN. WALKER:To answer your question, Prof. Applegate is correct. The way that I phrased the question earlier in my report is inaccurate. The way that it should read (question #2) is, ďThere 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.Ē

 

SEN. APPLEGATE:I canít believe Iím saying this in the senate.The problem is, believe it or not, the word ďifĒ in fact has two different logical connotations, in English.There is one way of phrasing this question which is essentially a hypothetical question:If discrimination did not exist, would you vote for the return of ROTC to Columbia?Thatís the interpretation that got 9 votes.Would you return ROTC to Columbia if and only if discrimination did not exist in the military?We havenít voted on that yet, but that would not have gotten 9 votes.Thatís certain.

 

PROF. THOMAS: Iím not a member of the Senate, but if I mayÖ

 

PROF. APPLEGATE.Youíre a task force member.Task force members can speak.

 

PROF. THOMAS:I was alerted in fact to the difficulties that Professor Applegate was having in drafting language for a resolution that might be presented to the Executive Committee of the Senate, and so this morning at 12:17 a.m. in my office I sent the following message off to him, and will read just a little of it:ďI believe there was ample time to call a special meeting of the task force to take up and reach a collective decision about the content and wording of any proffered resolutions and about the proper characterization of the nine questions or statements that Nate Walker distributed on March 23rd, 2005, and on which we voted on March 25thThe second of the nine propositions on which each of the members of the task force was asked to vote reads:ďROTC should only return to Columbia University when the Donít Ask, Donít Tell policyĒ Ė Iíve interpolated the word policy Ė ďis overturned.ĒJim writes that the executive summaryóand Iím quoting Professor Applegateóďhas nine of us agreeing that the end of discrimination is a pre-condition of the return of ROTC.That is a misrepresentation.We cannot present item 2 as summarized in the executive summary as a majority position.We have not voted on the pre-condition of item 2.Ē

††††††††††† Jim is absolutely right to say that we did not vote on the pre-condition interpretation of proposition 2.What we voted on was the language of proposition 2, and to state the obvious, the language of the other propositions.I do not know and cannot express a view regarding the precise interpretationof proposition 2 individual members had in mind or not when they voted the way they did.I do not know and cannot express a view regarding each memberís precise thinking about the logical entailments of a vote for or against any one or more of the total of nine questions that we were considering.

††††††††††† What I do know is this.Proposition 2 received aóand here weíre going to disagree again about the numbersóProposition 2 received 8 agree votes, 0 disagree votes, and 2 abstain votes.More agree votes than either proposition 1 or proposition 3.To the extent the interpretation of the items on which we voted is contested, I think we are obliged to adhere to what we lawyers call the ďplain meaningĒ rule.Most reasonably competent speakers of American English would understand the plain meaning of the language of proposition 2 to be that ROTC should not return to Columbia unless and until Donít Ask, Donít Tell is repealed.Proposition 2 received the most agree votes.Accordingly, I do not believe that the characterization of the recorded agree votes on proposition 2 as a majority position is a misrepresentation.I vigorously oppose any effort to spin the recorded vote to suggest otherwise.As for the language of such a resolution, I think it should be, ďTherefore, be it resolved that the ROTC should return to Columbia only after repeal of the laws and polices which currently exclude persons who are known to be lesbian, gay or bisexual from military service.ĒThank you.

 

SEN. APPLEGATE:Okay, let me answer that. Kendall, you were not at the meeting.Eight of us were.The word ďonlyĒ was dropped.Nateís original wording of that contained what you read.The word ďonlyĒ was in there.It was very quickly realized that the five people who voted for resolution 1 not only would vote against resolution 2, but were in fact actually logically obligated to vote against it because you canít consistently vote for both.So ďonlyĒ was dropped which causes the confusion as to the meaning and the difficulty with writing a concise resolution.What I think we need to do is to go back and vote on the original version of it before we can write a resolution.

 

MIGUEL ESCOBAR (NONSEN.):My name is Miguel Escobar.Iím from Union Theological Seminary.Union Theological Seminary has had a very strong reaction to the prospect of ROTC returning to the Morningside Heights area, and so itís drafted a statement in response to this, and itís been signed by the executive senate, the executive student senate, chairs of the senate, and also by myself and another student who were the authors of the statement, and I would like to read that.

††††††††††† We, the executive committee of the student senate of Union Theological Seminary, strongly oppose ROTCís return to Columbia University.We believe ROTCís warmaking and policy against homosexuals are violations of the sacredness of human life.While the current debate in the Columbia Senate has focused almost exclusively on ROTCís Donít Ask, Donít Tell policy, the rationale provided below pays particular attention to the violence of militarism.As a recruiting arm of the U.S. Army, ROTC participates in predatory recruitment practices that offer financial incentives to the poor and people of color to participate in military activities for which few U.S. Americans, including our policymakers, are personally willing to sacrifice their lives or take the lives of others.We reject such solutions to systemic injustices and support more equitable and life-giving programs to address the severe economic and educational disparities in our country.As members of the Morningside Heights community, we do not wish to have further military presence in our neighborhood than already exists through Columbiaís numerous departmental contracts with defense and intelligence agencies.Furthermore, we urge Columbia to sever its ties with such agencies until drastic democratic reforms are made to U.S. foreign and domestic policy.The militaryís discriminatory policies against gay and lesbians are not only deeply damaging to gays and lesbians serving in the military, but further instill homophobic views in heterosexual soldiers.†† Given that these soldiers are necessarily trained to be violent and are put in high-pressure situations in which moral judgment is often compromised, we consider this institutionalized homophobia a safety issue for gay and lesbian civilians in the U.S. and in countries where there is U.S. military presence.We also note that the U.S. militaryís treatment of rampant and much more harmful deviant sexual behavior within its ranks, including rape, is treated lightly if at all.We invoke the spirit of justice and peace that led to Columbiaís banning of ROTC during the Vietnam War.We question why ROTC should be allowed to return to the campus during a similarly unpopular war.The Solomon Amendment that economically punishes universities who will not accept ROTC onto their campuses exposes an attempt by the U.S. government to further entrench its vision of a militarized country.We call on Columbia University not to surrender to such coercive pressure, but to use the substantial intellectual resources at its disposal to dispute and reject the amendment.Some of us are pacifists and others of us simply reject the U.S. military in its current manifestation.We urge Columbia to reject ROTC at least until the military has made major reforms in the areas of human rights training, counseling, health and support services for soldiers and veterans, and its treatment of women and homosexuals.Statistics for domestic abuse, suicide, homicide, and other violent behavior in active duty soldiers and veterans are unacceptably high.Our rejection of ROTC and the U.S. Army does not imply a rejection of the inherent worth and good will of the enlisted men and women themselves.It is largely because of our concern for their physical and psychological well being that we call on Columbia to withhold its support for ROTC until guarantees are made that army recruits will be better supported within the military institution and until U.S. foreign and domestic policies better reflect the enormous potential for just, visionary and democratic policies that remain untapped in our society. Signed on this 14th day of April, 2005.

 

SEN. SCHMID:I just want to make a clarification to a question that came up.In regards to my statement on hypocrisies, Scott was actually absolutely right in stating that, according to the law, if the University went ahead and rejected all funds from students taking ROTC courses off campus it would be breaking the law.That is correct.And that is in a sense precisely the point Iím trying to make.If people really want to substantiate the argument for not supporting the military under the current policies, then by all means they should advocate the university to take a philosophical stance against taking funds from the military.And much along the lines of the speaker that just came before me, the University shouldnít do this in a halfway fashion.It should be all or nothing.If youíre going to make a stance and make a strong philosophical argument, you should make the stance that we under no circumstances will support this organization, and if that means breaking the law, then thatís an act of civil disobedience that the University needs to stand up (if theyíre really supportive of that philosophy) and take.

 

ILAN MEYER (NONSEN.):My name is Ilan Meyer.Iím an associate professor at the School of Public Health.I want to read the text of a petition that was signed by about 600 Columbia University faculty, students, staff and alumni.ďTo Columbia University Senate:We the undersigned, Columbia University faculty, students and staff, oppose the proposal to return ROTC to Columbiaís campus.

If reinstated, the ROTC will become a formal Columbia University program that explicitly discriminates against lesbian, gay men, and bisexuals with impunity.We view this as reprehensible and contrary to Columbia Universityís current policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.With this proposal the university is really asked to re-examine its commitment to non-discrimination.

The university cannot justify and hide the adoption of this non-discriminatory policy by arguing that ROTC would provide benefits to some students, as is argued by the proponents of the proposal. Ensuring that benefits do not accrue to some on the basis of programs that deny opportunity for participation to all is the point of non-discrimination policy.The ROTC ban on lesbians, gay men, bisexuals clearly violates the spirit and letter of non-discrimination.An alleged non-discrimination policy that accepts the denial of educational, financial and career opportunities to specifically targeted groups of Columbia University students makes a mockery of the principle of non-discrimination.

We view the value of non-discrimination as surpassing immediate gains to any select groups of Columbia University.Although, as proponents argue, some universities that have confronted this issue state that accepting ROTC is compatible with their non-discrimination policies, we strongly disagree.We believe that by reinstating ROTC Columbia University will in effect reverse its current non-discrimination policy.

We call on the University Senate to reject the proposal to return ROTC to Columbiaís campus and reaffirm Columbiaís commitment to non-discrimination.Sincerely, the undersigned.

††††††††††† And Iím going to present this to whoever wants it. [He gives it to the Senate Secretary].

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER:We will just allow people to come up.Go ahead and speak.Anybody whoónon-senators are free to also line up to speak.

 

PROF. MEYER:I also have a statement personally.Iím sorry.I want to add a few words as an expert in psychiatric epidemiology and social psychology.My research is on the impact of prejudice and stigma on public health of minority populations, including gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals.Making an exception to non-discrimination policy against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, the University in effect will sanction prejudicial anti-gay attitudes.Besides being morally wrong, this can have a harmful impact on the health and well-being, and therefore on the education, of lesbian, gay and bisexual students.My own and othersí research has shown that prejudice and stigma, even without overt acts of discrimination and violence, can be harmful to the health and well- being of the targets of prejudice.The proponents of the proposal claim that they merely seek to create what is basically a separate but equal system where gay people are somehow still equal despite not being eligible for the full benefits that Columbiaís education would offer.This principle of separate but equal has been renounced in the United States with regards to race.It is interesting to note that a central focus of the Supreme Court in its 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was the impact on students of the message conveyed and the atmospheres created by a separate but equal system.Referring to black students, the court said ďTo separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds.ĒI suggest to you that this is pertinent here.Sanctions, prejudice and discrimination on Columbiaís campus will be similarly harmful to the ďhearts and minds of lesbian, gay men, and bisexuals.More recently, in Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court invalidated sodomy laws in the United StatesOne of the rationales was provided by a group of public health experts led by the American Public Health Association.The brief noted that gay people ďhave been the object of some of the deepest prejudice and hatred in American society.ĒAnd stated, ďthe sodomy law adversely impacts the mental and physical health of lesbians and gay men.The law serves to stigmatize gay people as deviants.This stigmatization leads in some gay people to internalized self-hatred, and consequential depression and other mental health problems.ĒAnd they quote my own and othersí research as evidence.Sanctioning prejudice and discrimination as the proposal to reinstate ROTC does will be especially harmful to the health and well-being of lesbians and gay men students because of the young age at which people enter college, an age when cues from the environment are crucial to the development of sexuality and self-identity.Thank you.

 

SENATOR REBECCA BALDWIN (STU., NURSING):Havenít heard from a woman all day.Itís high time.I just want to say that I appreciate the intense, deep thought that everyone clearly has put into this.This is an emotional issue and Iím impressed by the care with which this was looked at.But thereís a problem of logic that was brought up in Mr. Schmidís statement that Iíd like to question, and that is, if we currently allow students to attend another campus ROTC program, arenít we already condoning the militaryís policies?But if you look online for a scholarship, there are clearing houses that allow scholarships for all kinds of groups, for all kinds of beliefs.I know because Iíve looked, and I donít qualify for anything except the DAR.[Laughter]But the fact is that Columbia does not look at whoís sending us the money that allows somebody to go to school.Conceivably there is a KKK scholarship--who knows?óthat says weíll sendyou money to go to school if you believe in our beliefs, and Columbia does not question where that money has come from.They take it, they educate the child into an adult that hopefully changes their mind if theyíre there on the KKK scholarship.

††††††††††† But, so itís not the same thing to say, You, young man, can go to another campus and do what youíre doing without credit, without our specific condoning of the policy.†† Youíre getting your money for doing your work, and you will fulfill your obligation, but itís not the same thing at all to say we invite you to our campus.And thatís a point of logic that needs to be separated.Thatís it.

 

STEVE BROZAK (NONSEN.):Thank you.My name is Steve Brozak, Class of í82 GS, the Business School í94.I am that military face.I retired after 22 years in the Marine Corps, serving in places like Bosnia on the peacekeeping missions, Haiti, and the year before last in Iraq.I left the Marine Corps after twenty-two years to run for Congress.Iím sure if I were to ask for a show of hands in this room how many people would support Donít Ask, Donít Tell, not a hand would go up.But Iím equally sure that if I asked for a show of hands of how many people in this room had active U.S. military service, not many more hands would go up either.Right now I ran for Congress because the U.S. military is literally on its last legs.There are not that many people that understand what the problems are and are willing to challenge those problems.

††††††††††† When I retired, I was the senior Marine officer as a lieutenant colonel retiring having attended Columbia University.That is definitely not a good thing.When Donít Ask, Donít Tell was proposed, it was proposed as an ad hoc solution.I like to think that if there had been voices from Columbia, from other Ivies, then maybe Donít Ask, Donít Tell would never have been created.Maybe there would have been a voice there that would have said, No, this is wrong.Maybe there would have been someone that had received their education here that would have understood how to negotiate the system.

††††††††††† Now, if you think that just putting Columbia Universityís ROTC program in, that youíll have to wait 30, 40 years before you can see any change, thatís wrong.I worked with many a general officer, many a secretary of defense in formulating policy on my last tour of duty.I volunteered to go back on active duty after 9/11 because my offices were a few blocks away from the World Trade Center.I volunteered to make a difference, to go out there and protect the guardsmen and women that were going out there and were being put in harmís way, not only them but their families.And I was certain of one thing as wellóthat in this countryís past, gay men and women have given their lives, that today in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places in the world, gay men and women that serve in the military are giving their lives, and tomorrowís the same. But what we need today is a voice that understands how to negotiate the system.

††††††††††† I had heard that actions do speak louder than words.Columbiaís denial of ROTCís return is not news.Yes, Columbiaís acceptance of ROTC with a strong affirmation that they do not hold to Donít Ask, Donít Tell would be a message that would be far stronger.It would be a message that would challenge the system.It would be a message that would say, We understand how bad the system has fallen apart now, and we need to go and actively participate in changing it.

††††††††††† Iím a voice, unfortunately too few in the military, that say we need to change things.This can be a unique opportunity for this university, for the Senate members here, to put forward a disproportionate effort, and not just appearing in the New York Times, but appearing in the Washington Times and literally all over the world, saying that we challenge the system.Thank you very much.

 

SEN. WALKER:I have a question.Were you involved in the ROTC program?

 

MR. BROZAK:No.Unfortunately ROTC at that point wasnít even advertised to the point.I didnít get any finances, and frankly the way I was able to fund school is not possible for someone like me today.

 

SEN. WALKER:[Canít hear the question]

 

MR. BROZAK:I would say that I was a complete aberration in terms of the numbers, that there is no chance for someone today in Seanís position to go out there and really change the system.They are just too few in numbers.Itís not realistic.Iím looking about realistic change.Iím looking about advocating for changing things.What I was able to do was an unusual circumstance.If you multiply me by forty or fifty, then you have a shot at affecting change.

 

SEN. WALKER:Okay.Is there a [?].Right now [canít hear the question]Second, Manhattan College has the Air Force.So the question is if there were [?] running the [?].

 

STEVE BROZAK:Iíll answer the first question.You received word from one of the local officers, talking about ROTC.I would like to see what one of the secretaries of defense involved with the ROTC would have to say and what statement they would make. That would have been the way to approach the system and ask specifically, Can you tell us policy concerning that?

††††††††††† On the second part, as far as ROTC goes, as far as the ability to change the system, the individuals that are taken in will become platoon leaders.The men and women there will go to work on staffs.These staffs will provide information.These staffs will provide reports that will be kicked up the chain.These staff people will also leave the military.They will join Congressional staffs, they will join Senate staffs.They will go out there and start to bring a voice.

††††††††††† Iím, as far as I can tell, the only person that spoke here today so far that has been a member of the U.S. military in any capacity thatís going out there and explaining how difficult the situation is, and first hand giving a report of what can be done by only a few.Think of what can be done by more than a few.Thank you again.

 

SENATOR BRADLEY BLOCH (ALUM.):Thank you.Bradley Bloch, alumni senator.A couple of comments and actually just a question.First I want to say, the vigorous internal debate over the exact wording of proposition 2, I donít know if that means that the task force had too many lawyers or not enough.But an open question that perhaps the task force could address that I think it would be very important for our deliberation is really to go into for a moment exactly what Donít Ask, Donít Tell specifies and what it means.Because weíre sort of making an assumption that we all know what the ins and outs of it are, and I think itís probably important that we all have a similar understanding of exactly what it means.

††††††††††† The other thing I just sort of wanted to share.I mean this is a really, really difficult issue, and I was sort of hoping the task force would solve it for me, and of course it came back deadlocked.But I just wanted to share that last night I was wandering through the Strand Bookstore, just sort of randomly pulling books down and browsing through them, and I came across this book that was written by Claudia Kennedy.It was her autobiography, and she was the first three-star general in the Army.And I browsed through it, and itís very interesting because she talked about how when she joined the Army as a second lieutenant in 1969, women were not allowed to advance above the rank of colonel.And furthermore they were not allowed to command men.I think weíd all agree those were rather significant strictures, and she decided that she would go ahead with the military career because she felt that the only way to combat that type of discrimination was to work within the system in a form of constructive engagement.And of course she concludes by looking out at her retirement ceremony, and not just of herself but all the other women who have risen to general officer ranks in the various branches.And it just seemed to me that it was an interesting sort of thing to look back on, another sort of parallel situation and put into the hopper for us allto consider.

††††††††††† Thatís all I had to say, but I would if the task force members would want to elaborate on Donít Ask, Donít Tell, and what exactly it means that would be very helpful.

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER:You want to speak.

 

SENATOR EUGENE GALANTER (TEN., A&S/NS):I think I should first give my bona fides.I was supported throughout most of my career by the military, the Office of Naval Research, the United States Army Research and Development Command, and the Air Force Office of Research and Strategic Services, along with the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, etc., etc., etc.Some of my work for naval aviators resulted in saving the lives of many pilots.I hope that in fact I saved more Navy pilotsí lives than I killed in Germany, but thatís a hard measure to make because we werenít very careful during that war in what we did with people shot.

††††††††††† What Iím concerned about is that some of the technical content of the discussion has been raised by several of the people including questions of logic and counter-factual conditionals and so on.And I think that some of those questions have to be reviewed and considered carefully.For example, that we donít discriminate.It makes no sense.Of course we discriminate.If we didnít discriminate, we would accept students by a random lottery.We donít do that.We discriminate by selecting students which, from our intellectual point of view, are going to be people who will rise above the whatever class and become heavy-hitting contributors to a new society.So donít talk to me about discrimination.I mean, thereís no question about it.

††††††††††† There is no need for Columbia University to adopt the military attitude in order to permit ROTC on campus.Military rule is predicated on the maintenance of good order and discipline, and an organization run by a chain of command, notions of command, structure, order and discipline are rightly absent from any campus.Thereís no good reason that should prohibit any student who wants to from getting a taste, as an undergraduate, of the military.Actually the numerous people who are opposed to this would probably welcome it because it would be an opportunity to parade detestation of things military on a routine basis.So it might very well help.

††††††††††† There is in my view also no possibility that Columbia is going to make the military change its mind.I think the military will change its mind as a result of careful consideration by staff and general officers, along with the civilians in the Department of Defense.I think they probably will, but I donít really think that thatís going to satisfy a lot of people because I also suspect that a great deal of the anti-gay prejudice in the military is in my view a pretext for unreconstructrd pacifism, which is also a reasonable position to take, but itís a position in which I find it impossible to engage in any rational discussion.I have no objection to pacifists, but there is no way that I know that Iím going to change any of their minds.After all, after the military, I joined the World Federalists for a while and thought that that was going to be a solution to various problems.It turned out not to be, as you know.

††††††††††† Those points and other things in some e-mails that arrived from various of the professoriate who e-mailed me that students would be exposed to an environment unlike the campus.Yeah, thatís true.But it they worked part time in a business office or a supermarket or a tavern, theyíre going to be exposed to environments unlike the campus just as well.So those kinds of arguments strike me also as empty and not really worthy of an institution that prides itself on intellectual power.

††††††††††† I have other things I could say, but I donít want to take any more time than anyone else took in making these comments.Iíll be happy to receive e-mails and respond to them at any time.Thank you.

 

SENATOR VARUN MUNJAL (STU., CC):Hello.My name is Varun Munjal.Iím actually a senator from Columbia College.And actually Iím just coming here with a question,maybe just for some legal clarification because some people Iíve spoken to outside the Senate raised this concern.

††††††††††† The stated goal of one brand of the conservative movement is the denial to gays of the right to marry. ††And yet they want to write this into law, and yet on this campus we still do allow the Columbia College Conservative Club and the Military and Business Club in the Business School as well.So a number of people are wondering, you know, isnít this an analogous situation, just one step removed.That is, they donít discriminate based on membership, but being a member as a gay person would be self-denying.But notwithstanding the answer to this legal question I have, I think the concern raised by Professor Lewis Cole, which is, I think, particularly appropriate.It is the appropriateness of students doing academic work with an organization to which they must be responsible that has a command structure separate from the universityís, and also follows rules and regulations separate from the universityís.

 

SHANE HACHEY (NONSEN.):Hi.My name is Shane Hachey and Iím GS í04.I was in the Army for five years right out of high school, came to GS.Iím at my first year at Harvard Law School now.I would just like to say from my personal experience that I would not have been able to afford to attend Columbia if it hadnít been for the GI Bill, for the financial support that I got from the military.And I feel like, to paraphrase Professor Thomas, that if we deny ROTC and opportunities that ROTC scholarships can provide to lower-income students, then that is definitely a slap in the face to those who could not afford to come to Columbia without those scholarships.Thatís my personal take on this issue.

††††††††††† I also think that the claims of bigotry in the military have been exaggerated.I donít think itís fair to paint the military with a broad brush of homophobia and bigotry simply on the basis of isolated incidents that happen every day in civilized civilian society.I think itís akin to saying that because of what happened in Wyoming with Matthew Shepard, that Americans as a whole, with a broad brush, are those kind of homophobes.Itís just not true.

My experience in the military was that we had, in my five years in several units, there were two or three people who wereówe all knew they were gay.They werenít open about it to the commanders.It wasnít much discussed within the leadership, and basically you had a couple of people who, not to insult anybody from the south, a couple of ignorant red necks who said a lot of things that you would associate with homophobic, military, aggressive people, and basically the rest of us just kind of laughed them off and saw them as idiots, the same way as Columbia students would see those sort of people as idiots.

So I think we need to really reconsider what sort of people are in the military and what the attitude and day-to-day experience is for people. Thatís not to excuse violence, right? Thatís not to excuse those people who have that mentality, but I donít think itís as prevalent, at least any more prevalent in the military than it is in everyday society.

For me the return of ROTC is not about discrimination.It is about allowing Columbia students the opportunity to train to serve their country on their own campus.Iím a little unclear as to why we would want to make it difficult for our students at Columbia to serve their country.I think Columbia should make it easier for its high-calibre students to train for military service, and I think we should make no mistake that lives depend on the quality of the leadership in the military.Thatís something that should not be overlooked.

I believe personally that allowing ROTC is not an endorsement of Donít Ask, Donít Tell.I think itís an endorsement of our students who choose to serve their country.I think just as we can support our troops overseas without supporting every military policy, for example the current war in Iraq, we can support our students who serve without supporting Donít Ask, Donít Tell.Again, this is about our students and their opportunity to serve and should not be an ideological battle.

To address another comment made by Professor Thomas, I believe whether authority for Donít Ask, Donít Tell comes from Congress or comes from the Department of Defense internally in the military, I think to exclude ROTC is to punish Columbia students who wish to join the military for a policy over which they have no control, and I think we should consider the actual benefits that would be gained by prohibiting ROTC.††††††††††

Another point that I would like to make is that the discrimination of Donít Ask, Donít Tell is not based on bigotry.The military is not like other employers because people do not just work together. They eat, sleep, shower, live together.This is not to justify Donít Ask, Donít Tell.This is to point out that the military as an employer has to consider factors that other employers donít.Itís not like a law firm where you come to work, push some papers around, and go home and have your personal life.Everybodyís personal life is entailed in the military and there are issues that the military has to be sensitive to that another employer doesnít have to.So I think it should be noted that the military might have good reasons for having policies that seem bizarre and unfair if they were practiced by other employers.

 

SEN. BALDWIN: The military is not the only employer where people work, live, eat, sleep together. For example, people in medicineóask any resident who they shower with, their wife or the other residents?

 

MR. HACHEY:Okay.Do people live for months at a time in a foxhole in the medical profession?I think itís a different analogy.Okay. Sorry.As far as the benefits of ROTC, again, it would help turn high-calibre students into high-calibre military leaders.I think this will have a positive effect in the field and on military policy and has great potential both to save lives and to affect positive change on military policy.

††††††††††† This is not a benefit for a few students or for the military.It is a benefit for our whole country because highly educated military leaders save lives and enhance national security.

††††††††††† The other benefit, of course, is providing scholarships to low-income students.I believe that these concrete, real-world, positive consequences outweigh the sense of righteousness that some at Columbia might feel by excluding ROTC.I believe that voting against ROTC serves no purpose other than to make an ideological protest, which, though it may make us feel righteous and ease our consciences, in reality it will have a negative net effect.We will lose the positive effects of the program to our school, to our students, and to our country, and at the same time we will have zero impact, make zero impact on actual military discrimination and policy.It is highly doubtful that any legislator in charge of making policy will be swayed from believing in Donít Ask, Donít Tell simply because an East Coast, Ivy League school decided to ban ROTC.If anything, it will embolden the opposition who sees New York and East Coast elites as well, whatever they think we are.

††††††††††† In sum, the benefits of returning ROTC to Columbia outweigh the costs, and we should move forward allowing Columbia ROTC cadets to train on their own campus while financially protecting gay students and noting our protest to the Donít Ask, Donít Tell policy.Thank you.

 

SEN. WALKER: [Off mike, mostly inaudible]

 

SENATOR MICHAEL ADLER (TEN., BUS.): [Inaudible]

 

SEN. WALKER: [Inaudible]

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER:I think we probably should make sure we get a full opportunity for everybody to express themselves.

 

MR. HACHEY:Can I just address one of Nateís points?I think itís sort of a backwards argument to say that we only have five students enrolled in this ROTC program and four students enrolled in this ROTC program, because we donít know what the interest would be if it was known that Columbia had an active program on its own campus.†† So I think thatís sort of an unknown arguing counter-factually.

 

SENATOR SAMUEL SILVERSTEIN:I do not understand at this point what ultimately weíre voting on. [Inaudible].

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER:So is the answer, Paul, that the task force has been set up to consider this?It will present to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committeeóthis is a choice now to have an open senate hearing on this.The Executive Committee will then decide whether to bring a resolution to the Senate at the last meeting or at any other time.But thatís the way it will happen.

 

SEN. APPLEGATE:But not today.

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER:So this is sort of an open discussion following upon a task force report.

 

SENATOR HOLLY SNOW (STU., BUS.):Okay.Iím Holly Snow, a Barnard senator, í06.I just wanted to say that as a member of the Barnard College of the greater Columbia community it hurts me to hear another college student who proudly has been through Columbia College and a professional school here at Columbia equate the discrimination in the United States military with affirmative action in [inaudible].

 

SEN. SCHMID:May I make two pointsÖ.[Inaudible]

 

TAYLOR WONG (NONSEN.):Hi.My name is Taylor Wong.Iím a 1992 SEAS graduate.Iím a current Business School student, and I went to ROTC while I was here at Columbia down in midtown through the Fordham program, and I wanted to relate just a little bit of my experience as a real data point, and what itís like to be in the military, and why for me it was invaluable to be both a Columbia graduate and an ROTC Army officer.

††††††††††† First of all, when I was in ROTC here I did have to make it down to Fordham once a week.The opportunity was there.I did have a scholarship.It certainly helped.Whether I could have afforded it without that or not, itís tough to say.But that was sort of beside the point.The program was small also when I was here between í98, or excuse me between í88 and í92.There were probably about five cadets at any one point.But I think that having the program off campus does discourage some students, which I think is part of what Shane was alluding to, because those students will self-select not to come to Columbia.So to some extent we do lose a certain type of student who is interested in participating in the military and availing themselfof an education like that which Columbia offers.

††††††††††† When I, after I graduated, I got a graduate degree at Berkeley and then I was on active duty for a total of about six years with a break in the middle as a management consultant.And while I was in the military I was stationed in Kansas, in Missouri, in Cutter, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and my experiences there I felt were reallyóI had some wonderful experiences in all of those places, and I believe that my education enhanced my ability to perform as an officer.I never had to write more persuasive documents than when I was in Afghanistan working with the ministry, working with other U.S. government agencies, working with foreign governments, with foreign militaries.Iíve never had to make more high-level presentations than when Iíve been in the military, which entailed a certain maturity that I felt that Columbia certainly helped with.

And then when I went into the civilian world as a management consultant, I really felt that I benefited from my experience as a military officer working with people at all different levels, working all around the world, working on different kinds of technical projects as well as things that had a lot more of the personal nature with US AID and the State Department.

So all of that also is in the context of having lived in all these places and all over the world. I donít think I ever experienced any kind of homophobia or gay hitting.Call me oblivious or just call me lucky.There was, I believe, one incident of domestic violence in my platoon, which we took quite seriously and we addressed immediately.It turns out it was kind of two-way. Both my soldier was being injured, as well as his wife.So those things do happen, and that is reality. But I donít think the military takes it lightly or turns a blind eye to those things.

So, in sum, Iím very appreciative that I both went to Columbia and was in the military.I felt that they were mutually supportive, and Iíd very much like to see ROTC back on campus.

 

PROF. THOMAS: Mr. President, if you think it is appropriate,I did want to respond on factual grounds to the speaker who spoke earlier about the consensus about the proposition that the military is differentóclose quarters, showers, fox holes and all thatóby simply pointing out that American troops have been serving side by side with openly gay members of the allied forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, including the UK, Canada and Australia.Thirteen coalition partners in Operation [?] Freedom allow lesbians, gay and bisexuals to serve openly, as do eleven coalition partners fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom. And service members have been working side by side on the war on terrorism with CIA, NSA, and FBI agents, all of whom cannot only be openly gay, but are protected from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.I might note also that itís simply wrong to say that incidents of harassment and violence towards persons who are or who are thought to be gay, lesbian or bisexual in the military are rare and categorically condemned by the command officers in the military.In June 1994 the Navy Manpower Analysis Center issued a memorandum suggesting that public displays of support for gay activities by Navy members may be inconsistent with good military character, contrary to Donít Ask, Donít Tell.The Navy issued this memo in response to the discovery that an active-duty sailor was a member of a gay choir.In another memo the Navy instructed psychologists and other health care providers to turn in service members who sought counseling for issues related to their sexual orientation.

††††††††††† Again, from all indications, Congress had no intention [?] within the mandate Donít Tell, a prohibition that would prevent members of the armed services from obtaining adequate medical assistance by requiring them to lie to their military health care providers.Nonetheless this guide would serve as the basis for a number of the more than 10,000 discharges which have occurred under Donít Ask, Donít Tell.

††††††††††† A November 1994 memorandum from Richard A. Peterson, Air Force Judge Advocate General, instructs investigators to question parents, siblings, school counselors, roommates and close friends of suspected gay servicemembers.The memo also tacitly promotes witchhunts in that it states that commands may take actions against servicemembers discovered to be gay during the course of an investigation into another servicemember.Nothing in Donít Ask, Donít Tell or its legislative history even hints at a prohibition on telling the parents and family members.The only justification asserted for the Donít Ask, Donít Tell component of the law lay in the unfounded premise that unit cohesion would be impacted negatively by open gay service.No one ever argued that coming out to oneís parents would impact military readiness.There is no evidence to support the ban.There have been four reports authored or commissioned by the Department of Defense since 1957, each of which has concluded that there is no evidence to support a ban on military service by gay people.The Navyís 1957 Crittenden report challenged the assumption that gay people in the military pose a security risk.†† Two reports issued by the Personnel Security Research and Education Center in 1988 and 1989 concluded that there was no empirical evidence to support the ban, finding that gay people performed as well as heterosexuals.Finally, a 1993 Rand Report commissioned by the Department of Defense itself concluded that allowing gay people to serve openly in the military posed no threat to readiness.When the Department of Defense heard this conclusion, it suppressed the report.And a survey in 2004 of some 72,000 soldiers found that 80 percent of them claim to have heard anti-gay sentiments being vocalized by both enlisted men and officers. I would submit that that percentage is certainly higher than the comparable percentage one would find if one were to do such a survey among civilians.

 

MR. HACHEY:May I defend my point, please, quickly?

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER:Quickly.

 

MR. HACHEY:First thing Iíd like to say, my point about living conditions, and how the military and other employers, wasnít to justify Donít Ask, Donít Tell or to justify discrimination. It was simply to say that the policy is not [inaudible].Also, anecdotal evidence aside, statistically I think 80 percent of the people in the civilian population have probably heard some sort of anti-gay comment or example of homophobia also.Weíre hearing a lot of anecdotes [canít hear some] but I think statistically the military is not any more homophobic than the general society is.And if it is, it only speaks to the fact that we need more people from our demographic than the other demographic that might be more homophobic.

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER: I think this will probablyóthis will be the last comment and then we will go.Yes.

 

TED GRASKE (NONSEN.):I will be the last comment.My name is Ted Graske, and Iím associated with an alumni group thatís supporting ROTC, so you know where Iím coming from.However, my comments today are going to take us away from DADT for a minute and those issues, and try and put another perspective, the perspective of a former Barnard graduate, MA Columbia í69, Ph.D. in biology.Thatís Dr. Davida Kellogg of the University of Maine.Briefly, she has for the last twenty years done an oral history on returning combat veterans from all wars.She has also taught ROTC, and she has published in many journals both here and abroad on subjects of military ethics.So sheís not a military instructor; sheís an ethicist.And last but not least, she has made six trips to Antarctica for her biological research.So thatís where sheís coming fromóa different perspective.And Iím going to, in the interest of time, leave the rest of the credentials out, but just read her statement:

ďIn the course of my work I have come to know cadets in a way that can only come from hauling on a line alongside them in a storm; sitting under a main mast on a starry night discussing life, the universe and celestial navigation; grieving with returned medical personnel over casualties, civilian and military, whom they were unable to save, and working out with cadets at physical training four days a week.ĒShe still does that.ďAnd I must tell you with all due respect, that many of the speakers at the town hall meeting did the military great injustice in characterizing their vocation, in the ancient and honorable profession of arms, their attitudes towards their civilian countrymen whom they serve and the purpose of that service.

††††††††††† ďIn the wise words of British General Sir John Winthrop, there are many ways of looking at a soldier.He or she can be regarded rather emotionally and too simply as a hired assassin.Only those who do not know many soldiers can maintain this view with confidence.Particularly unfair was a mentality several speakers attributed to cadets by their assertions that they joined ROTC for the scholarship money.Having sat on scholarship boards for Army ROTC, I can tell you that there are no quotation marks around these awards.All are highly competitive and selection is made entirely on the basis of merit, both scholastic and personal.They are contingent on meritorious achievement and good GPAs.Many cadets receive no financial aid from ROTC and some work twenty or more hours a week on or off campus while maintaining academic standards in order to participate in these programs.Scholarship money is hardly the first consideration in most of these studentsí decisions to train to become officers.By and large what drives the student soldiers, sailors and airmen I have known is what noted military ethicist James Toner called the ďsense of owningĒ that makes us worthy of the unprecedented right to civilian control of the military.That is the greatest legacy of this nationís first president.

††††††††††† ďAnother misperception expressed more than oncein the course of the town hall meeting was that our military constitutes sort of a praetorian guard, a police force for a sitting government hell bent on curtailing our civil liberties and diversity and self-expression.We do not have such a military in the U.S.If we did, this debate would not be taking place openly.Such militaries exist and where they do, they are a society apart from the civilian society at large.As a result, their members feel little or no compulsion to serve or protect that civilian society.The many and sundry misperceptions of our military that have grown up at Columbia since the banishment of ROTC from this campus are a product of the marginalization of the entire segment of society.We are charged as citizens of this country with the control of the most powerful military force in history.That is to my mind the most urgent reason for reinstating ROTC on campus.Part of our responsibility for civilian control is to provide education and training for those who accept the limited liability of bearing arms in our defense.The primary purpose of ROTC is to develop officers who will lead their troops on our behalf in a manner consistent with just war tradition, international law of armed conflict, and societyís values.

††††††††††† ďThis brings me to the apprehension voiced by several speakers that ROTC courses and instructors might not measure up to Columbiaís standards.There is a great deal about ROTC curricula that I would be pleased to share with you at another time, but in the interest of brevity, I would leave you with the following to consider.Of the three subjects I taught for ROTC, celestial navigation may be counted among the ten greatest intellectual achievements of mankind.Likewise, because of its effects on all other aspects of human history, military history may be viewed as ahe driving sub-discipline.†† As for military ethics, to paraphrase Michael Waltzer, war is the hardest place, and if one can make ethical decisions there he can do it anywhere.Military ethics instruction runs the gamut from Aristotle, who coined the term ďjust war,Ē to Catholic thinkers like Iberstein and secular thinkers including Durochea, Warrez, Patel, Hobbes, Locke, Bentham, etc.Through modern international law of conflicts it is perhaps the hardest professional course they will take to suit them to discharge their duties in the hardest places.Ē

††††††††††† Bear with me just one more secondójust a couple of paragraphs.Finally, finally, excuse me.ďFinally, among the many misperceptions voiced at the town hall meeting is that of a culture of intolerance that pervades our military. Such has not been my observation.Some years ago when the issue of DADT was raised at my own campus, by the untimely coming out of a cadet colonel of the Air Force ROTC at the urging of his friends in the campus gay community.His fellow cadets closed ranks around him, to a man and woman supported him, but because DADT was a Federal law there was little they and their professor of aerospace studies could do to retain him, however much they wished to do.His story does not have a conclusion that was envisioned for it by those who set the events in motion.In the end everyone lost.The cadet lost the only chance he will ever have for a career in the military.The university lost its Air Force ROTC .The exceptional students who want Air Force ROTC must now attend an institution in another state many hours from our campus, and DADT remains the law of the land.This is a cautionary tale of how the road we pave with all the good intentions in the world may indeed turn out to lead to disaster.This young man had a true vocation for the profession of arms, and had he continued to exercise discretion he would have had the career he so desired.Ē

And Iíll just stop at that point, with Prof. Kelloggís words.Thank you for the time.

 

PRESIDENT BOLLINGER:Thank you very much.And that ends the discussion for today.Thank you to the task force.Thank you to the Senate.

 

END OF MEETING