Exciting New Details About the NROTC Forums
Written by Bwog Staff
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.