University Senate††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Proposed:
TRANSCRIPT OF SPECIAL SENATE MEETING ON ROTC:
102 JEROME GREENE HALL,
PRESIDENT LEE BOLLINGER:† All
right.† A beautiful day inside the
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
many of you know,
now turn to another affiliate program.
we decided we wanted our own Army, Air Force and/or Navy ROTC detachment, then
if 40 students who were previously admitted to
††††††††††† 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.Ē† If 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?†
were charged with answering the following question:† Should ROTC return to
the meantime, a strong majority agreed that
it was unanimous that if ROTC returns, then
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
††††††††††† 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.
voted in favor of the return of ROTC because I believe the Armed Forces of the
believe a number of things.† One is that
††††††††††† 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.
also must say that we all agreed that it is absolutely essential that certain
conditions are met.†
Iíd like to introduce Jim Schmidt from the
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.
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
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
††††††††††† So, with that Iíd like to introduce Joe McManus to share his thoughts.
JOSEPH MCMANUS (
††††††††††† 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.
primary reasons why I believe so strongly about this, that ROTC should return,
can be broken down into just a few points.†
††††††††††† 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.†
addition the status quo discourages national service.† Without ROTC at
on the issue of Donít Ask, Donít Tell, I will agree that ROTC should be
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
honestly canít tell you whether thatís possible for
††††††††††† Thank you very much for your time.† Iíll introduce Professor Kendall Thomas next.
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,
some members of the task force have suggested that we ought not be troubled by
the fact that
††††††††††† 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.
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.†
††††††††††† 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
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
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
††††††††††† 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.†
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
††††††††††† 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.†
I would like to introduce Scott Olster, at the
SCOTT OLSTER (NONSEN., STU., GS):†
Hello.† Like Aaron just said, Iím
Scott Ulster.† Iím from the
††††††††††† 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.
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
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
††††††††††† 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
fact is, I came to
I came to
††††††††††† 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
††††††††††† 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.
third comment: Iíd like to read out a resolution was passed by the General
Studies student council in
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†
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
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
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
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 25th.Ē† The 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
††††††††††† 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 interpretation† of 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.
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
SEN. APPLEGATE:† Okay, let me
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.
the executive committee of the student senate of Union Theological Seminary, strongly
oppose ROTCís return to
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
If reinstated, the
ROTC will become a formal
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
We view the value
of non-discrimination as surpassing immediate gains to any select groups of
We call on the
University Senate to reject the proposal to return ROTC to
††††††††††† 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
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
††††††††††† 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
I retired, I was the senior Marine officer as a lieutenant colonel retiring
if you think that just putting
had heard that actions do speak louder than words.†
††††††††††† 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,
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 all† to 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
††††††††††† 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.
is no need for
is in my view also no possibility that
††††††††††† 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
sum, the benefits of returning ROTC to
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.
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
I, after I graduated, I got a graduate degree at
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
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
††††††††††† 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.
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
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
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.Ē† She 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.
misperception expressed more than once†
in 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
brings me to the apprehension voiced by several speakers that ROTC courses and
instructors might not measure up to
††††††††††† 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