Oct

19

ESC: Whispers of ROTC

Written by

Sean Zimmermann reports from last night’s ESC Meeting.

  • The last ESC meeting opened with a question and answer session with advising Deans Rinere and Plaa. The deans began by explaining how the SEAS department liaisons operate: incoming SEAS freshmen are assigned an advisor based on their expected major. If a student’s major changes, then their advisor also changes. This is different from the Columbia College students, who are assigned an advisor independent of their major.
  • The advisors also warned that engineering students should check with their CSA advisors about non-tech electives. In the past, students have been “led astray” about non-tech electives by departmental advisors (advisors assigned to an engineering students by their department after they declare their major).
  • CSA is in the process of implementing an advisor assessment project. Assuming the plan is approved by the Deans, students will be able to fill out surveys about their advisors that can be used to determine weaknesses in the CSA advising system.
  • Senator Tim Qin said that the Senate may be reviving the ROTC issue. He explained the issue to the council: “Why are we denying our students the opportunity to get an education for free?” Columbia students are currently able to enroll in ROTC programs through a “consortium agreement” with other NYC schools.
  • Dining survey results are in: only 25% percent of students who filled out the dining survey are satisfied with the dining, and engineering students are completely split regarding whether Ferris or John Jay should be open on weekends.
  • When developing new minors, the council determined that the important question was: “What would Jack McGourty do?”

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22 Comments

  1. Jessica

    "Dinning survey" hehe - do you think the noise level in Ferris is too high? too chaotic? (sorry, you have a typo in the fifth bullet!)

  2. Anonymous

    "what would Jack McGourty do?"

    Design a program geared entirely towards his ego, and with no practical or educational value.

  3. Anonymous  

    no ROTC. I support the military, and I highly respect people who choose to join. But, so long as the university support equal rights in some other capacity, it should not support ROTC. It is a simple matter of consistency.

  4. Seriously? ROTC AGAIN??  

    "the senate may be reviving the ROTC issue. He explained the issue to council: “why are we denying our students the opportunity to get an education for free.”"

    Why? I don't know--maybe because it's an option that's extended only to heterosexual students?

    Until DADT is repealed, I don't see what the point is in returning to this issue.

    • Columbia is much more selective

      than the Army but you don't seem to have a problem with that.

      • Anonymous  

        Columbia doesn't discriminate during admissions.

        This all might well have changed today. I know something DADT related went down, but idk what.

        • The very fact that they select

          who gets in means they discriminate.

          DADT exists for the same reasons women don't serve in the front lines and for that reason its going to be nearly impossible to overturn it in full. The day may come when gays can serve in a support role like women do but they won't be serving in the front lines.

          • Anonymous  

            Oh lolz. I'm glad you brought up the women-in-combat ban, actually-- I'd look for a change to that policy within the next five to ten years for the same reason that DADT is changing: the thing it's trying to prevent is already happening. Women are serving and have served throughout these wars in positions that put them in danger. In the day-in-day-out combat model that's replaced the huge-scale battles of earlier wars, lots of "support roles" involve the sort of risk the ban purports to avoid. It doesn't keep them out of danger, but only out of posts that could advance their careers. I agree that there will continue to be all-male units for the forseeable future, largely because the PFT scores required for some assignments are physically impossible for most women to achieve. The assignment process is a lot more private for the kind of covert roles in which the gender barrier is more subjective. Similarly, gay soldiers are already serving. Quite aside from the policy's obvious violation of civil rights, it's plain dumb. The military has dealt with having women in its units without the kind of apocalyptic social breakdown that was predicted for a force with intersecting sexualities (I realize there's a significant problem with sexual harassment and assault, but it isn't chaos). It dealt with racial integration in 1948-- once the Army is given a rule telling it to implement a certain system, then by God they implement it. People bitch and are uncomfortable, and then most of them grow the hell up and learn to respect the fellow soldiers on whom their lives depend.

            tl;dr: ...Yeah, I really don't want to study for this midterm.

  5. yes to ROTC  

    complain to the US govt. Columbia U can't do anything about the policy. And those who are willing to risk their lives for us should be allowed to received their education at this school

  6. screwed senior  

    i love andrew plaa. he the best!

  7. Anonymous  

    The reason why ROTC is being brought up again is because DADT will most likely be repealed very, very soon.

    As of October 12th there has been and injunction issued against DADT:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/12/politics/main6951101.shtml

    Obama has said that he is going to end the repeal:
    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-01-27/politics/obama.gays.military_1_repeal-policy-that-bars-gays-servicemembers-legal-defense-network?_s=PM:POLITICS

    It isn't like someone is stirring things up just because. There is a legitimately good reason for this.

  8. ...  

    i think the best scenario would be for the councils and the senate to pass resolution that declares ROTC is welcome on campus the minute that discrimination based on sexual orientation is barred in the military. ideally, this resolution would be heavily publicized.

    • Univ Senate  

      1. The councils can't "pass resolutions". They have no policy making power. Unless they want to get laughed at. The Senate is the only body with policy-making power.
      2. "Contingent" resolutions are, in general, a very bad idea.

  9. CU ROTC advocate

    The university senate is taking up ROTC precisely because the DADT law is very close to repeal. Notwithstanding the drama in the courts, the legislative process is on schedule, ie, Congress will follow the recommendations of the DoD report due on Dec 1. The Republicans who opposed the DADT repeal amendment are not committed to upholding DADT; their position is review Dec 1 DoD report first, then vote to repeal DADT. All indications are thet the DoD report will recommend repealing DADT. More importantly, the report will map an orderly plan for transition from the law within the military. When DoD's position on DADT is established, Congress will follow suit.

    The court stuff is interesting, but it's a distraction from the real change. When the law is changed, the court drama will be moot. And the university senate will formerly take up the ROTC issue again.

  10. Cadet Anonymous  

    I'm an ROTC cadet and I hate DADT, but the best way to help change policies like this is reform from the inside-out. If we have progressive, open, and intelligent officers going into the armed forces we can help institute reform.

    Also, Columbia hosts other discriminatory institutions. No one is outraged that mass is held in St. Paul's on Sundays when the Catholic Church actively discriminates against people because of their sexual orientation. Why aren't priests, chaplains, or bible study groups banned from campus?

    Some campus political groups also wish to deny people their rights based on sexual orientation by campaigning against same sex marriage and same sex adoption rights. Why aren't these groups banned from campus?

    Most of the people who argue against ROTC on campus because of DADT are NOT active members in the queer community, do NOT participate in clubs or events to advance the cause, and are NOT passionate about LGBT rights in general.

    They simply use this excuse of DADT to oppose the military on "moral grounds", even though in reality they're just too cowardly to publicly denounce the military: those men and women who are dying in Afghanistan every day for their right to speak their minds freely.

    "It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the the flag." - Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, Sgt, USMC

  11. CU ROTC advocate

    FYI add: Columbia ROTC advocates website:

    http://advocatesforrotc.org/columbia

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