Sep

26

Exciting New Details About the NROTC Forums

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Tonight’s NROTC Forum Planning meeting revolved around the logistics of the two community forums concerning NROTC on campus, to be held — according to CCSC VP of Policy Adil Ahmed and SGA President Sarah Besnoff — hopefully the last week of October. (Though Besnoff said again and again, with growing frustration, that the Councils were reluctant to confirm any dates.)

Here’s what’s been decided: As already mentioned, there will be two forums, one at Barnard, the other at Columbia. Both will be open to all students, and as of now, none will be open to non-CUID-holders. (Besnoff said that Fox News’ presence is a legitimate possibility, but to “assume at the moment we’re saying ‘no.'”)

The forums will occur in the week before the Survey is sent out, and their purpose, as described by Besnoff and Ahmed, will be to educate and inform the student body about issues surrounding NROTC on campus. Each forum will have three designated pro-NROTC on campus panelists and three designated con- panelists, totaling twelve total panelists.

Later this week, the Councils will be sending out emails to the student groups and governing boards to solict interest in representing either side of the debate at the forum, either as an individual or as representing a student group. In terms of who will actually participate as panelists, the Councils will be encourging the pro- and con- sides to organize and self-select the six students who would be representing them.

The panelists will be asked to-be-determined-at-another-meeting “target questions” by an unbiased moderator, possibly someone from ROOTEd. Students will also have the opportunity after the Q&A to ask questions of panelists.

As for the survey itself (the official language is now “survey,” not “referendum” — Peter Valeiras pointed out that “referendums don’t do anything”), the questions will be written by the Councils. As for their wording, Besnoff said, “This is a huge separate issue with a separate meeting.”

The Councils will also be sending out nonbiased information packets to students about the history of the ROTC on campus, which will highlight both sides of the issue.

— JNW

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11 Comments

  1. Senator  

    I don't know who is sponsoring this ROTC petition but it is not a Columbia Student (see the lack of a crown by the timestamp) and will not be considered by the University Senators of any school as there is no way to track authenticity or relevance.

  2. Rephrasing  

    To be more accurate - the sponsor of the above petition could be a Columbia student but does not live on the campus. The survey being conducted by the councils will only be made available to those whose opinions matter - you, the Columbia student. Thank you for your patience as we work with student groups to assemble the most educational and relevant forums for you.

  3. Please, Bwog!  

    It's ROOTEd, not ROOTed. *R*especting *O*urselves and *O*thers *T*hrough *Ed*ucation.

  4. Jim

    What is Bwog's opinion on ROTC?

  5. Adil Ahmed  

    I still want to have your babies. ~~ long time secret-admirer

  6. to # 5  

    Campus group... it was explained in #4

  7. ROOTEd  

    ROOTEd (Respecting Ourselves and Others Through Education) is dedicated to facilitating respectful informed discussions about diversity in the United States with regards to power and privilege issues.

    ROOTEd teaches anti-bias strategies in conjunction with conflict resolution to help students create a community that is truly anti-oppressive.

    This is seriously being bandied about as a potentially non-partisan moderator? Deconstructing power & privilege, and "anti-oppression." Think a little harder, councils.

  8. CPU

    I say let CPU moderate the forums.

    This initiative is from students, by students, about students, right? CPU moderates partisan issue events as a non-partisan student organization all the time. With so many people paying attention and judging not only the issue but the ability of Columbia to intellectually engage the issues, I'm sure CPU will try extra-hard to do a good job on NROTC.

    In the normal course, I would have said an administrator or a faculty member should moderate, but after Prezbo's recent e-mail, it's clear that the 'grown-ups' at Columbia can't be trusted to stay unbiased.

  9. I wouldn't trust  

    CPU (or the governing boards, or the councils for that matter) to be unbiased. Even outside that, they tend to only moderate partisan issue debates - I would doubt they have the actual facilitation skills needed.

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