The Origin of the NROTC Professor Statement of Support

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Sociology Professor Allan Silver forwarded Bwog the following email, which was the impetus for yesterday’s NROTC professor statement of support. “I am simply responding to an item in Bwog mentioning that it is inquiring into the origin of the faculty statement in favor of ROTC. There is no mystery, nothing is concealed, all is transparent,” he said.

Silver said he “didn’t count” how many professors this support-seeking email was sent to, but that “it was sent to people we knew and/or those we had reason to think are in favor of ROTC at Columbia. […] This was not a sample in the statistical sense, so the rate of return, or the percentage agreeing, among those to whom the statement was sent, is not relevant or meaningful.”

Dear Colleagues:

Student initiatives in support of returning an ROTC program to Columbia are culminating in a public debate November 19 and a survey of undergraduate student opinion on November 24.  We hope that in this short interval in which to express faculty support for this initiative you can subscribe to the statement below.

It obviously cannot address every relevant nuance, but if you broadly agree, please send your assent to [email protected] with Subject Line: “ROTC Statement”, if possible by Return. The need for a faculty support group has arisen suddenly and  time is of the essence.

Please forward this message to colleagues who might be prepared to support it. The statement follows:

We broadly support the return of ROTC to Columbia University — some of us unconditionally, others if legislation prohibiting military service by open homosexuals is reformed, and/or provision made for faculty control of appointments, curriculum and credit. We all believe, in principle, that an ROTC program at Columbia is an appropriate educational responsibility of this university.

Co-sponsors: Prof. James Applegate, Department of Astronomy

                      Prof. Allan Silver, Department of Sociology

These links…

… are to recent statements offering some reasons for supporting an ROTC program, and background for the issues.

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  1. Bravo!

    As an alum who was at the 2005 senate vote as a student, I applaud these Columbia professors for taking the principled stand on ROTC at Columbia. The times, they are a-changing.

  2. Michael Segal

    The Silver statement on is the same as the one at, except that the latter has lots of useful hyperlinks.

  3. hmmm....  

    the statement covers such a a broad swath that is almost meaningless. it only excludes those who don't want ROTC under any circumstances. so really it's only excluding the most stringent anti-ROTC group, which is probably a small group.

    BUT, because it is, basically, "in support" of ROTC's return, and thus in the pro-ROTC camp, it is misleading. Many (including me) who would vote against ROTC's return may be included in this statement.

    • Noticer  

      Yeah, I wondered about that too. Seriously, is there anyone (sane) who opposes the return of ROTC under the condition "if legislation prohibiting military service by open homosexuals is reformed, and/or provision made for faculty control of appointments, curriculum and credit." For most people, with the exception of a wholly anti-military fringe, support ROTC in the absence of two huge problems:

      - DADT
      - Curriculum

      What is the point of this statement?

    • Fringe?

      If it's such an anti-military fringe, then why are they featured at every anti-ROTC event and rally? It's sad because by wrapping them with opposition to DADT, it reduces real opposition to DADT to just another version of anti-military fringe. The CU Dems aren't fringe yet their statement against ROTC was notable for its broader opposition to ROTC at Columbia.

  4. hahah  

    Economy is in the dumps. Crime rate is going to skyrocket. All you idiot transplants from Nowhere, USA are going to be in for a pleasant surprise when your "beloved" "working class" friends start stabbing and shooting. At you.

  5. Uber-Noticer

    You would be surprised at the number of people who wont commit to supporting ROTC even without DADT or curriculum control. This statement is useful because it shows professors support the idea that military presence is useful in an academic environment. A lot of professors disagree with ROTC on principle, but would rather attack it on DADT than engage the real issue.

    The fact that more professor wont sign this statement shows how little sanity there is in the debate against ROTC.

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