Fox News Talks About You Talking About ROTC

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Ooh, what’s going on over at Fox News? Much the same thing that’s happening here, in fact! It’s a debate about ROTC at Columbia, with a special Fox twist. And by “twist”, we mean that they chose a photo of a 1972 student riot to accompany the article.

But no matter, let’s see what the Good Ship Fox has to add to the matter. Well, for one, they talked to Avi Edelman, he of the Dems and EAAH. “I think we need to say, ‘No, we’re not gonna bring it back right now because of discrimination. Let’s work to end “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” on a federal level. Let’s make sure people know what our objection is and then let’s fix it,'” Edelman said.

Arguing the opposite is Spec columnist/CUGOP leader/Republican-About-Campus Lauren Salz, who said that “only half of the Ivy League institutions have ROTC on their campuses and I think that needs to change. Our university’s going to be a force for change in making the military more diverse.”

Whether you fall on the Salzian or Edelmanian side of the spectrum (or somewhere in between), don’t forget to vote and then tell us all about it.

UPDATE 7:51 PM: There’s also a video report.

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  1. who started

    the war in Iraq?

    the US kill-itary!

    • Senator  

      Are you serious? That was so wrong.

      Bush started it and don't fool yourself. The "kill-itary" has had a lot of losses and those are good men and women who are your peers.

      Don't fool yourself. You're here by the grace of god. Don't ever try to dishonor those who want to give their lives for their country.

  2. btdubbs  

    Salz needs to stop trying to replace Kulawik. We get feel like an underrepresented minority on this campus, and you want to become a resume-padding, fame-whore. It's already gotten old

  3. lauren salz  

    is definitely not as inflamatory as kulawik

  4. argh  

    stupid blond fox news bitches

  5. or...

    you could not call her a whore. that'd be almost...decent of you.

  6. holy shit  

    fox news claims we voted in 2005 to bring it back. less than 10% of the student population voted in 2005. that's hardly representative...

    fair and balanced my ass

  7. Lauren Salz

    She's a sweetheart and 100x as principles as Kulawik.

  8. no rotc  

    Avi is awesome! love him!

  9. okay  

    Lauren Salz might be a nice person, but she makes no sense in her writing.

    From her latest editorial (11/19/08):
    "Policies such as DADT are outdated and are not reflective of the values our military and American society."

    The problem is that DADT DOES reflect the values of the military. Telling me that 100 retired admirals disagree with DADT means nothing when people like Peter Pace and George Bush ARE the military. That's how the military is set up. It does not work by consensus; it operates under the viewpoints of the top leaders. Thus, the military values ARE reflective in DADT. To say that they are not means that you have no understanding of military structure.

    As for the American people, it is true that 75% of Americans believe that DADT should be changed, but I wonder if that is a "values" judgment or a pragmatist approach. I am not convinced that people are "tolerant" or "accepting" of gays at large, and such makes me question if the "values" of the American public include NOT DISCRIMINATING BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

    Recent repeals of rights for gays in states like California and Arkansas tell me otherwise.

    Lauren Salz tells us to "check our premises." I feel like she should take a writing hiatus for a while and check her own.

  10. interesting

    since the likelihood that any of you actually attended a high school that was predominantly Latino or African-American where armed forces' recruitment tables were set up is something that is laughable, none of you would be joining the NROTC esp not that jewish, white girl from barnard, Lauren Salz. im sure her parents would be thrilled after paying 50Gs a year plus private high school to have their kid do a tour of Iraq. Oh wait, lets leave that up to the "colored people" who need to be baited for college "by putting their lives on the line for their country". So, stop sipping your rich white privilege like its fine Veuve and fucking drink a 40 before you shoot off at the mouth about shit you don't understand...Columbia has no business fighting in this poor man's war.

    • Why

      would you assume this is about race? And for the record, I did go to a high school that was predominantly Latino or African-American.

    • what  

      are you talking about? Having NROTC will help take the burden off of poor people. You really make no sense, you say that the military is racist/classist ect. but you deny it the opportunity to recruit white and priveldged people. You are the spoiled brat. Just so you know, many people that do ROTC do it because they want to serve their country, not because they want a fat pay check like you. People like that wouldn't join the military.

      • ...  

        puh-lease... if you think the 2.66 columbia students per year that would actually join NROTC would somehow take a measurable burden off of anyone, you're smoking crack.

        there are plenty of legitimate arguments for it. lets go ahead and shelve the far fetched "we need it because it will help the poor" psuedoarguments aimed at somehow appealing to the liberal side, ok?


    • seriously?  

      stop being so sensationalist and check out the facts: you're so-called "colored people" make up a similar proportion to the general population. that is, in the active component of the military, blacks are only slightly more represented (15 % in the military to only 14 % of the general population), while hispanics are actually underrepresented (12 % to 17 %).

      Now, please put down your 40 of Corona, and pick up a case of Natty light. You're obviously just as clueless as the "rich white privilege" kids.

    • check your facts  

      Actually, the army recruiters set up a table in our hs cafeteria about 1x a week, and I went to a predominately white school. They were pretty forceful and kept trying to convince us to listen to their little speeches while we ate.

  11. Michael Segal

    Among the errors in the article was the name given for the student group. It is Columbia Students for NROTC (

  12. more interesting

    I'll bet that, if I asked you if you think you're a racist, you would say know. Any reasonable person would laugh at you for that. (I'm not suggesting there may be that many around here, so don't fret.) Anyway, why are you against ROTC exactly? Because you oppose bigotry? What a waste of space you are.

  13. interesting

    well, actually the bitch isnt white, shes asian, but that doesnt qualify her for the armed forces. go fight for women's rights, honey. us, blacks and latinos will do your bidding while we have on political blindfolds...

  14. interesting

    thanks for calling me a waste of space, and yes the military is all about race...answer to if im racist: sure, i am, historical implications and US politics are too. i believe that this country wont change whether obama is in office or not.

  15. fox news  

    FYIW, the report chyron said she was Lauren Salzberg, not Salz. Interesting.

    • EAL  

      is a joke.

      and #41, thanks. I'm in support of ROTC now.

      • Liberals for ROTC

        As a liberal, I'm personally embarrassed by the CU Dems' position on ROTC. Do the CU Dems even understand why President-elect Obama supports ROTC at Columbia? The case for ROTC at Columbia is classically liberal. I'm disappointed that the CU GOP is representing the liberal position on ROTC while the CU Dems have apparently lost touch with their own values.

  16. giving your life

    for your country is the stupidest shit.

    I do not cheer for people who make bad decisions to go into other walks of life (colorblind interior decorators, etc.); why should I support them?

  17. Unacceptable  

    The poorly-informed, ad hom attacks on Lauren really need to stop now. It is totally fair to examine her ideas (see: Commenter 17). It is unacceptable to refer to her using epithets designed to denigrate.

    As much as we may disagree politically, she is a decent, compassionate person. Unlike Kulawik, she does things out of principle, not for self-advancement purposes.

  18. the change is now

    obama camp denies reports that it will wait to repeal DADT

  19. haha  

    i like how bwog and salz, not necessarily on purpose, have effectively made salz into the new campus conservative. She is now the conservative student voice on campus...easily lump all conservatives into her viewpoints!!!

  20. Yay!  

    I love Avi! :) He's so wonderful.

  21. Liberals for ROTC

    Real liberals support ROTC at Columbia.

  22. Liberals for ROTC

    Also, I notice that ROTC supporters tend to be much more tolerant and optimistic than ROTC opponents. ROTC opponents are reductive and pessimistic and that's not what I want Columbia to be.

    • lol  

      You do realized that you were extremely reductive and dismissive of the ROTC opponents right?

      Pro-ROTC opponents have yet to suggest how the ROTC can exist on campus without making an exception to the discrimination policy, and how exactly the military would be more likely to change if all universities allowed ROTC vs. all of them did not allow ROTC.

      • Liberals for ROTC

        47: "Pro-ROTC opponents have yet to suggest how the ROTC can exist on campus without making an exception to the discrimination policy"

        Discrimination policy:

        Using the discrimination policy as the reason for excluding a critical segment of society from the university is a dangerous interpretation of the policy. The discrimination policy is meant to promote organic diversity and engagement on campus, and protect inclusion at Columbia, which rightfully includes ROTC along with other institutions that may be cast as discriminatory in some aspect, such as a women's college and religions. Real diversity, engagement, and inclusion will entail, at times, some conflict and friction. The non-discrimination policy addresses that. Columbia's non-discrimination policy becomes grossly corrupted when it is misused as a tool of exclusion, as has happened with ROTC at Columbia.

        As an extreme example, Barnard's admissions policy is the clearest example that, when justified, accomodations with the discrimination policy are made for other of Columbia's associations. When older applicants inquire about admission to CC or SEAS, for example, they are routed to GS. I believe more examples at Columbia can be found that do not conform fully to the letter of the discrimination policy. The question is not whether accomodations can be made with the discrimination policy, because they clearly are; the proper question is whether an accomodation is justified.

        "Columbia University is committed to providing a learning environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment ... " -- Key phrasing: "unlawful discrimination". Columbia NROTC advocates are in the right to lobby for reform of DADT, but until we successfully lobby for changing the law, DADT is not unlawful.

        "Columbia University does not discriminate against any person in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other University-administered programs ... " -- Key phrasing is "its ... policies". DADT is not Columbia's policy and is limited to a defined jurisdiction. Other universities with ROTC on campus and discrimination policies similar to Columbia's discrimination policy distinguish between the university policy and the federal policy. As Johns Hopkins University does with their Army ROTC, Columbia can even take the extra step of supporting ROTC on campus while explicitly objecting to DADT. President Bollinger, as the former provost of Dartmouth AROTC and former president of UMichigan AROTC, AFROTC, and NROTC, is prepared to manage the NROTC relationship on campus.

        "Discrimination is defined as: • treating members of a protected class less favorably because of their membership in that class; or • having a policy or practice that has a disproportionately adverse impact on protected class members." -- While we are united in our objection to DADT, the addition of NROTC would not, as a practical matter, subtract nor replace anything that currently exists for Columbia students nor would it require Columbia to rewrite the discrimination policy. "Military status" as a protected class also raises the question of Columbia's responsibility to cadets and aspiring midshipmen.

        "Discriminatory Harassment - Discriminatory harassment is defined as substantially interfering with an individual's educational experience by subjecting him or her to severe or threatening conduct or to repeated humiliating or abusive conduct, based on his or her membership in a protected class. This includes sexual harassment, which is described below in further detail." -- NROTC and its manifestations on campus (office, classes, training, etc.) will not be a separate zone on campus that allows discriminatory harassment. NROTC cadre and midshipmen will be held to the same standards of behavior as all Columbians. In fact, if Columbia NROTC hires civilians to work in their office, as the military does elsewhere, an LGBT person should feel as welcome and safe there as anywhere else on campus.

        • what a load  

          of crap. Seriously. That was a totally convoluted argument, where you essentially said that a Women's college is discriminatory, the fact that a post-Bac must go to GS is discriminatory, and that allowing "Religions" at columbia are discriminatory. That is a totally idiotic argument that your side keeps spewing, but Religions do not recruit, & if anything seek to include those who do not identify with their current affiliation. No student group at Columbia can exclude a member of another religion from their programming, nor a homosexual from their membership. That is in their explicit policy statement, even if it may not occur in practice. They would be declared unlawful if they actively tried to exclude homosexuals or non-believers in their constitution.

          "Columbia University does not discriminate against any person in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other University-administered programs or permit the harassment of any student or applicant on the basis of race, color, sex, gender (including gender identity and expression), pregnancy, religion, creed, marital status, partnership status, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, military status, or any other legally protected status."

          By having a program like ROTC that does discriminate against homosexuals, that policy is violated. End of.

          • to clarify  

            Every student group becomes an affiliate of Columbia and hence is bound by the University's policies: eg cannot have as its primary mission, the lobbying of a candidate.

            Similarly, even if ROTC is not run by Columbia, it would be a columbia affiliated program.

          • Liberals for ROTC

            Look, I'm not going to defend DADT. The law needs to change so otherwise qualified openly gay Americans can serve with as much pride as, and no less reservation than, anyone else. I add my voice to all those calling for President Obama to move with all haste on this issue.

            My answer is not meant to judge the merits of a single-sex college at Columbia versus a federal DADT policy I believe is unfair, unnecessary, and needs to be reformed. I believe that there is a place for a world-leading womens college at Columbia and Barnard should not be absorbed for the sake of co-education, as Radcliffe was at Harvard. I'm only pointing out that accomodations are already made at Columbia with the discrimination policy. It's not even clear that NROTC would require much of an accomodation given the qualifications (ie, regarding 'unlawful discrimination' and Columbia's policies versus non-Columbia policies) already written into the university's discrimination policy.

            Moreover, my answer does not propose anything innovative nor original. Columbia will not be the first university with a discrimination policy and ROTC on campus, nor even the first university managed by President Bollinger with a discrimination policy and ROTC on campus.

            I'm only attempting to answer the question that was asked: "how the ROTC can exist on campus without making an exception to the discrimination policy".

            Columbia students should not be misled into believing NROTC cannot be at Columbia due to the discrimination policy. Clearly, it can be. The question they need to answer is whether NROTC should be at Columbia on its merits.

          • random guy  

            "Religions do not recruit, & if anything seek to include those who do not identify with their current affiliation."

            Are you fucking kidding me? Religions do not recruit? Their recruiters are called missionaries.

  23. wow  

    The quotes from Edelman and Salz both succeed admirably at saying absolutely nothing.

  24. but

    not all universities do not allow ROTC, so that argument does not work. If every school had taken Columbia's stance, this would be a different ballgame. As it stands, ROTC simply moves to other (oftrn less progressive) schools while Columbia maintains its 40-year ban. The military is likely to change (not in terms of DADT, but in terms of general discrimination) based on its ranks, and Columbia produces some of the brightest and most progressive minds in the nation.

    As for the discrimination policy, I don't think Columbia should deal with federal discrimination by banning NROTC, especially when it can mandate that classes be open to all students (like MIT did).

  25. People freak out

    about the religious argument, but what about JTS, which only recently allowed gays? This was also a "Columbia affiliated program."

    Look, DADT is the law of the land. This sucks, but keeping military program off campus does nothing to address the fact that we live under unjust laws. Work on Congress and in the meantime allow columbia students to engage with one of the central institutions of our society. It may be easy to ignore the military and pretend it doesn't affect us, but Columbia should not encourage this delusion.

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