Dec

17

QuickCPR

Written by


The new issue of the
Columbia Political Review is out on shelves and online! Unfortunately, it’s only online in  PDF form, so we can’t link to individual articles, but CPR has updated its website, and the issue is now available both as PDF (55mb, be warned) and as individual articles:

Professor Jenny Davidson on politics and politeness

What a Democratic state senate will do (or not do) for abortion and gay marriage

The NROTC debate analyzed: “Both sides have staunch answers, but neither has it completely right” 

Internet piracy and industry inflexibility

The Internet’s role in the South Korean mad-cow protests

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7 Comments

  1. CC '10  

    I will go out of my way to not read the cover story. Am gay, btw.

  2. that graphic  

    is sexy/disturbing

  3. CU alumnus-veteran

    Thoughts on Bryan Lowder's article:

    Lowder fudges the prominence of the gay rights protest in the 1968 events and shrinks the history of the 02-05 movement, but those are quibbles.

    Over-all, I found his piece to be a fair and thoughtful effort, and it speaks well of him. At least, he does an impressive job accounting for my observations, views, and concerns based upon my 1st hand experience with the Columbia ROTC debate, although our interpretations differ by degree.

    Slick use of the '70 percent solution' adage as a moral equivalency construct. However, for those unfamiliar with military adages, it means an ad hoc action that makes functional progress in the immediate time frame, however imperfectly. CU's policy on ROTC only amounts to continuing a 40 year old status quo and fails to make any functional progress.

    Good recognition that the willingness at Columbia to treat the military in a 1-dimensional manner stems from an endemically vague understanding on campus of the military, relative to popular understanding of religions and blood drives.

    Again with the misconception that ROTC is in "direct conflict" with CU's discrimination policy. Do people just refuse to read our discrimination policy? ROTC on campus would NOT conflict with the university's discrimination policy.

    "Safe space". Clearly, I'm not understanding the concept of "safe space" for LGBT students, because I don't see how NROTC on campus threatens "safe space" for LGBT students. The purpose of NROTC is not to be anti-gay; it's to prepare future Naval and Marines officers within a short time for highly difficult duties and to lead. Moreover, the policy against discriminatory harassment would apply to NROTC cadre and midshipmen. Lowder's assumption that NROTC would diminish any "safe space" strikes me as simple fear-mongering.

    NROTC as contradicting CU's "liberal arts ideology" implies our multi-disciplinary university does not already offer vocationally or technically oriented courses. That's just not true. Further, ROTC is not meant to replace a liberal arts education, but to train officers with a liberal arts education. Nor am I convinced that even taken in isolation, the ROTC curriculum is wholly incompatible with a liberal arts orientation. Due to the array of challenges today's officers are dealing with, often simultaneously, there is a rapidly growing understanding in military education that languages and cultures, economics, civics and government, history, pick the field, are critical in the preparation of today's officers who must be prepared for full-spectrum engagement.

    Finally, I disagree with Lowder's skepticism of the "osmosis" argument. His conclusions about socialization in the military are not wholly wrong, but they're not right either. There is indoctrination into a heirarchy, traditions and rituals, and team, but you don't become dehumanized and absorbed into the Borg when you become a soldier. People in the military continue to adapt to and respond to cues from each other. A mindless soldier is an ieffective soldier; soldiers are taught to solve problems. Every officer and sergeant knows it takes a lot more than just rank and authority to lead soldiers effectively. If anything, the structure and intimate team nature of the military means our servicemembers - most of all the officers - affect each other more profoundly than civilians do. As well, the practical results-oriented nature of the profession means there are universally recognized standards of performance. Those standards mean soldiers can prove themselves to the group on merit. Justin Johnson, whom Lowder cites as the openly gay Marine officer and Columbia NROTC advocate who made a difference among his fellow Marines, made a difference, first and foremost, because he was a good Marine officer who led his troops well. In other words, the military, by its nature, provides readily available (really, unavoidable) methods of overcoming personal prejudices. Therefore, from an individual standpoint, a Columbia-educated officer - provided he's good at his or her job - will make a bigger difference with the people around them than their fellow CU grads can in the private sector. I can't stress enough that NROTC graduates become officers, which means they are the leaders of a community in which leadership is a sacred duty.

  4. ...

    is it just me or does the figure in the back of that picture look like he's sexually harassing the cadet?

  5. CPR website  

    The CPR issue can be viewed at http://cpreview.org.

    Enjoy.

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