Today, the University Senate held its usual monthly plenary meeting—but anything “usual” about it ended there. The meeting was held in Jerome 104, a larger space to accommodate the many guests, which included extra-stern Public Safety officers. In what was pretty much expected based on past ROTC business, the Senate passed an amended ROTC resolution, effectively opening the door to dialogues with the military about a potential ROTC branch. Conor Skelding gives a blow-by-blow of the parliamentary bickering.
Anticipation and tension in the crowd was palpable at the meeting’s outset. Public Safety ushered Senators and media in through one door, and relegated people not “on the list” to a long line at the main entrance. PrezBo began the meeting by tabling the fringe benefits update until the April 29th meeting—to the dissatisfaction of a few professors—and kept the rest of his opening remarks brief. Manhattanville, he said, is going great, especially the fundraising, and there are “major new gifts” are in the works. With that, he allowed another board member to carry on.
The meeting proper began with an overview of the Task Force’s process, then of “what the ROTC is and is not,” and finally a section-by-section analysis—a near defense, really—of the resolution to be presented. After this followed a point-by-point presentation on why Senate was the right body to deal with the ROTC and what the Task Force had done well. A faculty member and student each spoke for and against.