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View Diary: Should we kick ROTC off campus? (25 comments)

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  •  Three Comments on the Situation (none)

    1. Military Recruiters. Removing military recruiters may result in your university losing all federal funding, "including . . . funds to be available for student aid." As Jeffrey Toobin relates in The New Yorker, the Solomon Amendment, 10 U.S.C. § 983, provides "that if only one part of a university limited recruitment by the military, the entire university would forfeit federal funding." In November, 2004, a split panel of the Third Circuit held that the Solomon Amendment  violated universities' First Amendment right. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights v. Rumsfeld. The Supreme Court will hear this case this term, i.e., it is one Roberts will hear, if he is confirmed. You may want to consider modifing the proposed resolution to provide either that it would cease to be effective if the Solomon Amendment's constitutionality is upheld, or that it only goes into effect if the Solomon Amendment is held unconstitutional.

    2. ROTC. The Solomon Amendment also applies to "a policy or practice (regardless of when implemented) that either prohibits, or in effect prevents" (a) ROTC from existing on campus or (b) a student from enrolling in a ROTC unit at another campus. FAIR v. Rumsfeld does not deal with this part of the Solomon Amendment. You may want to consider asking the university to challenge its constitutionality rather than jump immediately to conduct that could endanger all federal funding, including student aid.

    3. At Harvard during the Vietnam War. At that time ROTC was an academic department, ROTC "professors" were members of the Faculty, and students could get academic credit for taking ROTC "courses." During the 1968-1969 school year, two student petition campaigns were launched regarding ROTC at Harvard. The SDS campaign calledfor its abolition; IIRC, the more successful campaign, in terms of signatures gathered, was by a democratic socialist student group that called for elimination of ROTC's special academic privileges, i.e., for ROTC to remain on campus, it would have to exist as an extracurricular activity like SDS, College Republicans, etc.

    If federal law currently does not require any special academic privileges for ROTC, about which I'm ignorant, then it would seem that students have the same First Amendment right to associate with it as they do with College Democrats or any other student group. If federal law does require special privileges, then a legal attack on those special privileges should be considered.

    f/k/a one of the people "`Our country, right or wrong!' . . . when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." (Sen. Carl Schurz)

    by another American on Thu Aug 11, 2005 at 05:55:09 AM PDT

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