Groups Not Informed of ROTC Survey Date

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As Bwog reported earlier, the ROTC survey now has official dates: the survey on the week of November 17th, and the pre-survey forums on the week on November 10th. Students have expressed concern about the proximity of the date to Election Day, and the corresponding long weekend when many students will be traveling. Furthermore, it appears that no student groups, pro or anti-ROTC, were told about the new dates. Instead, student groups found out from the same Barnard email that Bwog recieved. As of this time, there still has been no email announcement to any other undergraduate school from CCSC.

The move represents a sharp shift in policy from the student councils’ previous efforts to make their process more and more open. Previously, several groups had been approached at the start of the planning process, but that number expanded until the planning meetings were declared open late last month.

At this time, student groups are still considering how to react to the sudden announcement. Bwog will keep you updated as more develops.

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  1. Bwog,  

    Stop reporting no other president told his constituency.

    Peter Valeiras did it yesterday at 1AM, BEFORE you broke the story.

    Groups who attended the meeting on Sept. 26 (thank you all you rabble-rousers who complained but never actually showed when you were given an opportunity) were told that issues pertaining to the actual survey would be held at the council level to avoid bias getting into the wording.

    Here's what Peter sent at 1AM, Before Bwog posted its article about SGA releasing a statement. Note it was the FIRST item on the email outline:

    1. NROTC - Please Read!

    Dear Students,

    In an effort to be more transparent and get information to you about what is going on with NROTC we wanted to recap what has been happening in our planning process.

    First, we decided on the format for the forums that will happen before the survey. One will take place at Barnard and one at Columbia, with both using a pro vs. con setup. This means that there will be even representation for both sides of the argument and then questions about specific topics will be asked of the panel to stimulate conversation and inform the students attending the panels about NROTC. These questions will be submitted by each of your student groups and presented to the group again in our next meeting (TBA) so that students can prepare responses and not feel attacked.

    Further more, these panels will be composed of students. We ask that if you are interested or know someone who is, please have them email us at [email protected], stating whether they are pro or con NROTC, this way we can put all of the people who support or do not support this in contact with one another. This will allow all interested to meet and then select three representatives for each panel, making a total of 6 people from each side of the debate. It is important to remember that you can either support your entire group's point of view, or your individual point of view in these conversations and by no means does a group have to take a stance one way or another. Individual members can be on each of the sides if you wish. In the email please also put your availability so that we can help coordinate times that your side will be able to meet.

    From there you can consolidate all of your concerns on the questions given and present them so that the three people sitting on the panel will be able to answer any of the questions posed to them. The same questions will be asked at both panels so that students only need to attend one if they wish.

    The deadline to respond is Wednesday October 22nd. Our forums will take place the week of November 10th and the survey will go out to the student body the week of November 17th. We have had to postpone the dates due to difficulties in getting the survey technology set up. There will be one question on the survey: "Would you support NROTC on Columbia's campus?"

    We hope to hear from you soon.


  2. lol  

    who the fuck still gives a shit about this issue. It's dead. Stop beating a dead horse, councils.

    • ...  

      finally! what is still driving this issue? even if students vote to bring NROTC back, it isn't as if the senate or the trustees will let that happen. is it that people still need their egos fed?

      • Ugh

        While it may appear that the USenate and/or the Trustees may vote this down, it's pretty dang useful to at least get the students' opinion on this matter. No matter what happens on the issue, it's a step in the right direction for the councils in terms of connecting with their respective student bodies.

  3. Hmmm

    I don't see why the councils deserve to know about this prior to everyone else. Politics on Columbia campus is like children playing house prior to growing up. For once the university has to make a real decision and I think the referendum/survey is the fairest way to do it..councils be damned.

  4. the students

    have disagreed with the administration many, many times before (when ROTC left, for instance). Student opinion does make a difference, especially with an issue where Columbia (and student attitudes towards public service) is symbolically very important.

  5. Honestly

    I know more people who are militantly anti-ROTC. I think there is a less vocal, tacit majority on campus who wouldn't mind letting the ROTC back on campus. This isn't 1968 and I think most students are aware of that. Frankly, the only people you hurt by disallowing the ROTC are the kids who have to travel over an hour to get to training.

    p.s. before the flames come down on me, I'm both a liberal and a democrat...so don't be jumping to any conclusions about my political leanings as many are keen to do on this blog.

    • Sure, but

      Many still fail to understand that this has nothing to do with 1968 anymore. I know the official statements have been made public, but still--how many students do you think understand that the University's reason for maintaining the ROTC ban is that the army's policy of Don't Ask/Don't Tell violates our own non-discrimination policy? With the army's exclusion of openly gay cadets, we would be talking about an organization at Columbia that offers classes and services to some students but not to others. This isn't about Columbia students being spitting, anti-military liberals or whatever the media paints us as. It's about a clear violation of school policy and civil rights.

      And, perhaps more importantly to those who still don't buy that explanation, the cry to "bring ROTC back to campus" is misleading. Were we to once again allow ROTC to operate through Columbia University, it is highly unlikely that the army would actually set up here in Morningside. With the dozens of colleges in the NYC area, there is no way the army is bringing a program to every campus--it is simply more economical to continue what they do now and have a few scattered programs to service the many schools. I greatly admire the extra hours put in by our Columbia ROTC cadets, to say nothing of their actual service for our country, but this will not save them a commute.

      Seriously, we are not depriving those who want to serve of the opportunity to do so. So why shouldn't we stand up for something that's right? I'd rather be at a University that took a clear position (however symbolic) against discrimination than one that bowed into pointless pressure that wouldn't change anything anyway.

  6. Read Prof Silver


    When and Why ROTC Should Return to Columbia
    - - Position and Discussion Paper
    Allan Silver
    Department of Sociology
    Columbia University
    October 17, 2008

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