Opposing proposal to return ROTC to Columbia's Campus sign now

We the undersigned, Columbia University faculty, students, and staff, oppose the Proposal to Return ROTC to Columbias Campus.

If reinstated, the ROTC will become a formal Columbia University program that explicitly discriminates against lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals with impunity. We view this as reprehensible and contrary to Columbia Universitys current policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. With this proposal the University is really asked to reexamine its commitment to nondiscrimination.

The University cannot justify and hide the adoption of this discriminatory policy by arguing that ROTC would provide benefits to some students, as is argued by the proponents of the proposal. Ensuring that benefits do not accrue to some on the basis of programs that deny the opportunity for participation to all is the point of nondiscrimination policy. The ROTC ban on lesbians, gay men and bisexuals clearly violates the spirit and letter of nondiscrimination. An alleged nondiscrimination policy that accepts the denial of educational, financial, and career opportunities to specifically targeted groups of Columbia University students (lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals) makes a mockery of the principle of nondiscrimination.

We view the value of nondiscrimination as surpassing immediate gains to any select group of the Columbia community. Although, as proponents argue, some universities that have confronted this issue state that accepting ROTC is compatible with their nondiscrimination policies, we strongly disagree. We believe that by reinstating ROTC Columbia University will in effect reverse its current nondiscrimination policy.

We call on the University Senate to reject the Proposal to Return ROTC to Columbias Campus and reaffirm Columbias commitment to nondiscrimination.

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Lois BurchBy:
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Petition target:
Columbia University Senate

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