Anti-NROTC Coalition Holds Meeting with Councils, Dems Put Up New Posters; UPDATE: Pro-NROTC Responds
Written by Bwog Staff
The anti-NROTC coalition (Lucha, Dems, CQA, SDS, CCAW, EAAH, Chicano Caucus, Proud Colors) have invited council members to a meeting tomorrow night, to discuss concerns about “communication.”
“Up until the past day or so,” one spokesman told Bwog, “we had no information about how the forums would work.” This is not the first time that groups have expressed concern over the transparency of the council-controlled survey process: several groups that are now part of the coalition have previously expressed doubt about the openness of it.
In other pre-Wednesday news (the day of forum in Barnard’s Sulzberger Parlor–which, thanks to space constraints, will be the only pro-con forum held before the survey): While the pro-NROTC group has set up a table on College Walk, the College Democrats have been putting up new posters (pictured at right). Dems Media Director Avi Edelman told Bwog that the photos are of Columbia students, and that “the message is that the spirit of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell not only leads to direct discrimination, but operates by encouraging people to conceal their identities. As a school with a nearly 20% LGTBQ population, we cannot allow an organization that wants students to hide their identities.”
E-mail requests for a source on the 20% figure were not immediately returned, but Bwog will update with a source as soon as one is provided. UPDATE (3:55 PM): Bwog has been told the 20% figure comes from this year’s NSOP Diversity Workshop.
UPDATE (2:55 AM): The pro-NROTC group sends Bwog an e-mail from their alias, saying that the College Democrat posters are “factually incorrect.” Full email after the jump.
STATEMENT FROM COLUMBIA STUDENTS FOR NROTC
The poster put out by the College Democrats is factually incorrect. LGBTQ students would not be “legally barred from taking any ROTC-specific courses.” Schools such as MIT have ROTC classes that are open to all students, regardless sexual orientation. In fact, any student, even if they are not part of the ROTC program, can take these classes.
MIT has also created a fund to “reinsure” any LGBTQ student who loses scholarship money due to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which is a federal law, although so far, no student has been kicked out of MIT ROTC due to sexual orientation. If NROTC was allowed to return to our campus, Columbia could establish a similar policy.
Tags: 2008 ROTC referenda