Zero Tolerance for Cadets

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Those diversity mavens in academia want to keep at least one group out of their big tent—the U. S. military. The Young America’s Foundation (YAF) has compiled a report showing the campuses most hostile to the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).

Interestingly, YAF found that some of the worst offenders occupy honored berths in the U. S. News & World Report rankings of American colleges and universities. Here, according to YAF, are the “Dirty Dozen” that make both lists:

  • “Harvard University: No ROTC programs on campus, and no credit is given for ROTC-related classes. Harvard’s ROTC webpage states: “Current federal policy of excluding known lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals from admission to ROTC or of discharging them from service is inconsistent with Harvard’s values as stated in its policy on discrimination.” Elena Kagan, now a Supreme Court justice, oversaw that policy and stood by it. In 1995, Harvard ended its financial support of ROTC completely, and it has been all downhill from there. The funding cutoff came after the Clinton administration declined to let gays serve openly in the military. It was the oldest Army ROTC program in the country before it was eliminated.
  • “Yale University: No ROTC programs on campus, and no credit is offered. Yale removed ROTC from campus in 1969 in response to the anti-Vietnam movement. Today, Army and Air Force ROTC students have to travel 150 miles round trip to the University of Connecticut for classes and training.
  • “California Institute of Technology: No ROTC programs on campus and no credit offered.
  • “Stanford University: No ROTC programs on campus, and students must pay a second tuition to get credit. Banned on-campus ROTC programs since 1969, claiming the classes that comprised the ROTC curriculum did not meet Stanford’s baseline academic standards. (This decision was made after anti—Vietnam protests.) Today, ROTC students must commute one hour away to programs at UC-Berkeley, 40 minutes to San Jose State, or 30 minutes away to Santa Clara University. History professor Barton Bernstein, who helped lead the movement against ROTC, said that those that claim anti-Vietnam war ideas played a role in the ban were “not wrong — that was an important motivating factor — but then people began looking closely at ROTC and saw that it was a cluster of anomalies.” He said that his own college’s ROTC classes had “the intellectual depth of a high school freshman course.”
  • “University of Pennsylvania: Navy ROTC program on campus only, and some credit offered. ROTC was disbanded in the late 1960s due to the anti-Vietnam movement. Since then, the school has cited the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy as its reason for disallowing ROTC programs on campus. In 1996, provost Stanley Chodorow stopped all possible negotiations to reinstate an ROTC program. He was also quoted in saying that any student who leaves the ROTC program because he or she is gay will be offered financial aid by the University.
  • “Columbia University: No ROTC programs on campus, and the closest ROTC friendly location is 20 minutes away. A Fordham University ROTC officer said that Columbia University doesn’t welcome the program with open arms. Columbia University banned the ROTC program in 1969. Despite a 2003 vote in favor of readmission of ROTC programs by the student body ( in a 2-1 margin), Columbia University President Lee Bollinger voted in 2005 to not reinstate an ROTC program on the grounds of the discriminatory DADT policy regarding gay service members.
  • “University of Chicago: ROTC was banned due to DATD policy, yet the school stresses that the administration retains ideological neutrality. One former teacher at the school, Martin Levit, worked to get ROTC programs out of all high schools, stating that they trained impressionable teenagers in “unthinking conformity and militarism.”
  • “Dartmouth College: Army ROTC program on campus, but no credit is offered. Although once an integral part of the Dartmouth culture, the Army ROTC program was forced off campus during the Vietnam War due to protests from the student body. The program returned in a limited capacity in the 1980s with an Army instructor from Norwich University coming down to Dartmouth several times a week to teach classes.
  • “Washington University in St. Louis: Army ROTC program on campus, but no credit is offered.
  • “Brown University: No ROTC programs on campus, and no credit is offered. No transportation is offered to the nearest ROTC-friendly location, Providence College. After voting to remove academic credit for ROTC courses, the faculty at Brown successfully banned the Army ROTC program from campus in the early 1970s. The Air Force ROTC was eliminated in 1971 and the Navy ROTC followed in 1972. The faculty cited the program’s “failure to convert from departmental to extracurricular status” as the reason for removal.
  • “Emory University: No ROTC programs on campus, transportation to nearby schools is denied to ROTC students. In 1970, protests of the Vietnam War lead students to protest the existence of an ROTC program on campus. ROTC was banned on campus since 1974 to avoid further controversy.
  • “Georgetown University: Army ROTC program on campus, but only partial credit is offered. In 1970, some students and faculty disrupted ROTC classes so much that they were cancelled, and after harsh debate, Georgetown discontinued full academic credit for the courses.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org

 

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