ROTC Hearings to Begin Tomorrow
Written by Bwog Staff
The USenate’s ROTC Task Force‘s first town hall style hearing will be held tomorrow night, from 8 – 10 PM in 417 International Affairs Building (Altschul Auditorium). Sharyn O’Halloran, Chair of the Senate Executive Committee, will be making the opening remarks.
The point of the hearings is to “hear the community voice,” said Ron Mazor, Law ’12 and Student Co-Chair of the Task Force. He kindly explained to Bwog how the hearings themselves are going to work. A near-identical procedure was followed in 2005:
- There will be a 2.5 minute time limit per comment.
- A timer and several prompts will be projected on the back of the room to confine the conversation to the issue at hand.
- The comments will be transcribed and published on the Task Force’s website. Individuals may request to have their comments redacted if they are not comfortable with making them public. Update: The Task Force have changed their mind, and decided against redacting records and transcripts from the hearings. They explained that since public media are allowed into the event “it is unrealistic to suggest that comments made during the public hearings will be insulated from public record.”
- The Co-Chairs of the Task Force will moderate the discussion. They will not reply to comments, and neither will O’Halloran.
Over the weekend it was confirmed that Roosevelt Montás, Associate Dean of the Core Curriculum, will be the faculty co-chair of the Task Force. He is not a University senator (but he does have a great taste in music). The other three faculty members are Peter Awn, Dean of GS; Jim Applegate, Astronomy Professor and co-chair of the 2005 task force; and Julia Hirschberg, of CS. Of these four faculty members, only Applegate’s name appeared (in favor of return) on the rival statement/petitions issued on NROTC 2008.
In December, we compiled a comprehensive guide to the issue of ROTC and its history at Columbia, which might provide useful background for those interested in attending. We’ll also be covering each of the hearings. Mazor expects at least 6 of the 9 members to attend, but says the full Task Force may not be able to make each hearing. He also noted that submissions to the task force email will also be made public record, again allowing for individuals to redact. They will be released throughout February, and the first batch is expected to be online by Thursday. Mazor described the volume of e-mails as “pretty fair.” He estimated the Task Force had already received about 50 submissions via e-mail— “a steady trickle every day. I’m very happy that its being used and people are reaching out to us.” You can offer your input at [email protected]
The next hearings will be held on:
- Tuesday, February 15, 2011 – Focused on the undergraduate population
Opening remarks by Michele M. Moody-Adams, Dean of Columbia College
309 Havemeyer Hall, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
- Wednesday, February 23, 2011 – Focused on faculty and graduate students
Opening remarks by Claude M. Steele, Provost and Dean of Faculties
417 International Affairs Building (Altschul Auditorium), 8 PM – 10 PM