ROTC is Controversial Issue on Campuses Once Again

12030__330__This year, Wesleyan has its first ROTC trainees ever – Marty Buxton ’12 and Lowell Wood ’12.  According to an Argus article, Wesleyan has never had an ROTC program because of lack of interest. The students travel to UConn and Sacred Heart for their classes.

Despite our anti-war slant – I remember seeing the “Divestment Office” tent next to Admissions as a prefrosh – Buxton and Wood said that students and professors have been supportive and respectful of their service.

The ROTC program has been praised for inspiring leadership in students, and its payment of college tuition.  However it is also fraught with controversy – in my high school, parents could sign a waiver against having ROTC contact their students and ROTC recruiters were eyed with suspicion when they visited our cafeteria.

A New York Times article in the Education Life section shows that renewed interest has become a trend on many college campuses – however, unlike Wesleyan, these elite schools – Harvard, Yale, Brown, Tufts, among others – outright banned the presence of ROTC in the 1960s.  Some of the schools try to support students that take ROTC courses at other campuses, and provide transportation.  Harvard, however, still has a strict ban and does not provide transportation.  President Drew Faust says that the reason for the ban’s continuance is not pacifism; the army’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy does not align with the university’s anti-discrimination stand.

Should these schools lift the ROTC ban?  Discuss.

Wesleyan Argus: Campus Boasts First ROTC Trainees
NY Times: The ROTC Dilemma

Rachel M Pincus <rpincus@wesleyan.edu>,
Samuel Plapinger <splapinger@wesleyan.edu>,
Otis Poisson <opoisson@wesleyan.edu>,
Bodo Pratt <bpratt@wesleyan.edu>,
Micharri Pratts <mpratts@wesleyan.edu>,
Valerie Pucilowski <vpucilowski@wesleyan.edu>,
Adam R Purdy <apurdy@wesleyan.edu>,
Stephen Redden <sredden@wesleyan.edu>,
Victoria R Redding <vredding@wesleyan.edu>,
Carlos Richardson <carichardson@wesleyan.edu>,
Averill L Roberto <aroberto@wesleyan.edu>,
Moonsik Shin <mshin01@wesleyan.edu>,
Wen Chi Wong <wwong01@wesleyan.edu>

16 thoughts on “ROTC is Controversial Issue on Campuses Once Again

  1. anonymous

    To #5, The military can’t repeal DODT — it’s the law; however, they could recommend such a change. In the meantime, call Congress.

    BTW, congrats to Buxton and Wood.

  2. anonymous

    To #5, The military can’t repeal DODT — it’s the law; however, they could recommend such a change. In the meantime, call Congress.

    BTW, congrats to Buxton and Wood.

  3. Student

    I have nothing ROTC-esque programs, but by virtue of allowing and supporting the program here, Wesleyan is supporting the Army’s ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’ policy.

    This is a little problematic. If they repealed the policy, I’d be ecstatic to have more people doing ROTC at wes. Maybe we’d see a more diverse student body.

    Maybe this is what they’re planning for additional financial aid.

    Scary!

  4. Student

    I have nothing ROTC-esque programs, but by virtue of allowing and supporting the program here, Wesleyan is supporting the Army’s ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’ policy.

    This is a little problematic. If they repealed the policy, I’d be ecstatic to have more people doing ROTC at wes. Maybe we’d see a more diverse student body.

    Maybe this is what they’re planning for additional financial aid.

    Scary!

  5. anonymous

    Interesting that we’re not allowed to study abroad in programs with discrimination policies that don’t match our own, but DADT is not a problem.
    -someone who thinks the ROTC program is generally a good thing

  6. anonymous

    Interesting that we’re not allowed to study abroad in programs with discrimination policies that don’t match our own, but DADT is not a problem.
    -someone who thinks the ROTC program is generally a good thing

  7. dirty hippie/rotc supporter

    to #3:
    what an incredibly ignorant thing to say. if you actually read the argus article you would see that your fellow classmates did not join rotc because they want to kill people. this program allows people serious opportunities that they wouldn’t necessarily otherwise have. in the article, lowell said that he believes the army will allow him to help people (their sole job is not blowing up civilians in iraq, believe it or not, and marty believes he can parlay his experience into a career outside the military. why is this such a bad thing? just because you don’t have to worry about how you’ll pay for college and your parents’ connections will get you jobs for the rest of your life doesn’t mean everyone else is in your position. these guys work really hard and it’s incredibly to unfair to make such derogatory comments about people you know nothing about.

    and embarrassed to be an american? are you fucking kidding me? i’m anti-war too, but i’m not dumb enough to think that we don’t need an army.

    jesus, no wonder people think wesleyan kids are a bunch of privileged, ignorant white kids. it’s “disgusting human beings” like you who make me embarrassed to go to this school

  8. dirty hippie/rotc supporter

    to #3:
    what an incredibly ignorant thing to say. if you actually read the argus article you would see that your fellow classmates did not join rotc because they want to kill people. this program allows people serious opportunities that they wouldn’t necessarily otherwise have. in the article, lowell said that he believes the army will allow him to help people (their sole job is not blowing up civilians in iraq, believe it or not, and marty believes he can parlay his experience into a career outside the military. why is this such a bad thing? just because you don’t have to worry about how you’ll pay for college and your parents’ connections will get you jobs for the rest of your life doesn’t mean everyone else is in your position. these guys work really hard and it’s incredibly to unfair to make such derogatory comments about people you know nothing about.

    and embarrassed to be an american? are you fucking kidding me? i’m anti-war too, but i’m not dumb enough to think that we don’t need an army.

    jesus, no wonder people think wesleyan kids are a bunch of privileged, ignorant white kids. it’s “disgusting human beings” like you who make me embarrassed to go to this school

  9. a please would be nice

    They are disgusting human beings – trained killers – who make me embarrassed to be an American.

  10. a please would be nice

    They are disgusting human beings – trained killers – who make me embarrassed to be an American.

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