According to MajaStevanovich

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ROTC Back on Ivy League Campuses?

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have read a few posts that talk about the ban of ROTC programs on Ivy League campuses across the country. To get background on this issue follow this link: https://majastevanovich.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/rotc-ban-on-ivy-league-campuses-part-two/

Recently, Ivy League campuses are starting to reconsider this policy that is over thirty years old and was first instated during the Vietnam War era. While these institutions have the right not to offer these programs, it sends a very poor message about military service to some of the most elite college students across the country. The fact that these colleges and universities don’t offer ROTC on their campus makes it difficult for some of the brightest minds in the country to think about entering a career of service. While military service is by no means for everyone, it is important that top candidates are attracted to a career field in the military and given ample opportunities to learn more about the career path.

Ivy League universities pride themselves on developing future leaders. Not allowing ROTC programs on their campuses goes against that belief, as ROTC programs train future military leaders and are very important in developing new officers. Admiral Mullen, the highest ranking member of the military had a meeting with Columbia University earlier this month and is hopeful that the ban will be lifted in the near future

“I think representation . . . in particular [at] universities in the Northeast would be of great benefit to both the universities as well as the military, as well as the country,’’ Mullen said. The Northeast region is historically known as one of the toughest for military recruiting. Having military presence on some of the finest universities in this region would slowly change perception of the military amongst these students and give an opportunity to more bright individuals to learn about what it means to serve their country.

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4 comments on “ROTC Back on Ivy League Campuses?

  1. Carla Pampe
    April 28, 2010

    Maja, what a great post! I think that Ivy League schools banning ROTC programs on campus does indeed send a very bad message. Joining a program like ROTC should be a student’s choice, and not a decision the school should make for them by not allowing the program to even be offered. Serving my country as an officer in the United States Air Force was the absolutely best thing I’ve ever done, and every college student should have the chance to learn about the opportunities available as an officer in the military.

  2. majastevanovich
    April 28, 2010

    Thank you for sharing your story Carla! I am very passionate about this issue and have also interviewed ROTC candidates at Yale that have to travel over 3 hours to meet their ROTC requirements because they cannot do so on their campus. No students should have to travel outside of their campus in order to serve their country.

    -Maja

  3. Eric
    April 28, 2010

    Hi Maja,

    If you would like to learn more about ROTC advocacies at elite universities, please go to http://www.advocatesforrotc.org/ . I assume from the blog title you’re a NYer? The Columbia U ROTC advocacy is one of the most active and has developed some interesting tailored arguments, eg, ROTC in NYC. If you would like to contribute locally to the ROTC cause, you can contact the CU ROTC advocates at their website. They’re linked on the left-hand column of the main page, or you can go to URL http://www.advocatesforrotc.org/columbia/index.html . I’m sure they’d welcome your help.

  4. Sean
    April 28, 2010

    Maja,
    You hit it right on the nose! I was a cross-town Army cadet while at Columbia and have been heavily involved in Advocates For ROTC (www.advocatesforrotc.org) since then. This has been a long time coming, and I am hopeful that continued publicity about this issue will help to bring both the universities and the military together into a mutually beneficial relationship.

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