Campus

BREAKING: Task Force releases summary of ROTC findings

The Task Force on Military Engagement has just released its executive summary of its findings to the members of the USenate. Of the 2,252 students who replied to the Task Force's survey on ROTC in February, 60 percent indicated approval of "a return of ROTC to Columbia's campuses" and 79 percent approved of “Columbia allowing the participation of Columbia students in ROTC, whether on- or off-campus.”

From the Task Force's executive summary:

The Task Force unanimously formulated findings and recommendations for the University Senate:

  • Our current relationships with the military enrich the Columbia community.
  • Columbia’s relationship with ROTC is  an issue of concern and the matter should be addressed formally by the University Senate at present.
  • Columbia should actively support the endeavors of individual students to participate in ROTC programs, whether on- or off-campus.
  • If ROTC is to return to Columbia,  the faculty and Deans must retain full jurisdiction over questions of academic credit, appointments, and governance.
  • The Task Force believes that Columbia’s non-discrimination policy is important and encourages a tolerant and open community.

Update: CNN reports that Harvard has just approved ROTC to return to campus. Harvard President Drew Faust is expected to sign an agreement with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus tomorrow.

Check Spec tomorrow for the full story and for coverage of tomorrow's USenate meeting. Read the full ROTC summary here or check after the jump for the full executive summary.

Executive Summary

In the wake of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the Task Force on Military Engagement was constituted with a mandate to inform the Columbia community and facilitate a debate, with a view toward providing the University Senate with adequate information to revisit policy regarding Columbia’s relationship with the U.S. military, with a particular focus on the question of the Reserve Officers Training Corps.

To that end, the Task Force conducted a broad three-pronged process involving public hearings, the receipt and publication of written statements, and targeted survey. Out of 11,629 eligible students, 2,252 completed the survey. Transcripts of the hearings and the e-mail record can be found in Appendices III-VIII. The hearings and statements frequently touched on issues of discrimination, perceptions of the military, opportunity and diversity, financial considerations, and intellectual diversity and academic freedom. The opinion survey was administered to students of Columbia College, the undergraduate program in SEAS, the School of General Studies, Barnard College, and the School of International and Public Affairs—schools that have had any level of ROTC participation in the last five years. The survey revealed that 60% of students who responded approved of “a return of ROTC to Columbia’s campuses”, and 79% approved of “Columbia allowing the participation of Columbia students in ROTC, whether on- or off-campus.”

Following deliberations on the findings of the survey and of the statements made during the hearings and received via e-mail, as well as additional study on Columbia’s preexisting military engagement and ROTC’s implementation at our peer schools, the Task Force unanimously formulated findings and recommendations for the University Senate:

  • Our current relationships with the military enrich the Columbia community.
  • Columbia’s relationship with ROTC is  an issue of concern and the matter should be addressed formally by the University Senate at present.
  • Columbia should actively support the endeavors of individual students to participate in ROTC programs, whether on- or off-campus.
  • If ROTC is to return to Columbia,  the faculty and Deans must retain full jurisdiction over questions of academic credit, appointments, and governance.
  • The Task Force believes that Columbia’s non-discrimination policy is important and encourages a tolerant and open community.

Comments

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Michael Segal posted on

And in a ceremony on Friday 4 March, Harvard will officially welcome Naval ROTC, in what sounds like an arrangement similar to what Dartmouth has.

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Anonymous posted on

yes!

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Just wondering posted on

So now the question is whether the military will be interested to establish ROTC at Columbia.

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Bob posted on

Did everyone know about the survey? Were there concerns it was not anonymous?

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low participation posted on

basically means actual support for ROTC return is way higher. the anti-ROTC crowd got right to their ballots, whereas most of the sensible folk had other stuff going on.

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TogetherColumbia posted on

Less than 20% of people participated in the survey. That’s worse than last year’s CCSC elections, in which only 37% of CC students voted in the executive board race. So much for their conclusion that “Columbia’s relationship with ROTC is an issue of concern.”

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Michael Segal posted on

The three page tfme_handout_3-4-11.pdf file seems to be just the executive report and some background material. I don't see the actual report on the Task Force site yet. We're also covering the Harvard developments on the Advocates for ROTC web site.

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