Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unsurprising Result at Columbia University

Columbia University Sophomore, Learned Foote, on reinstating ROTC to campus:
Last week, this latest argument over ROTC ended when results of an undergraduate referendum were tallied. The pro-ROTC side lost by 39 votes.

A few gay students, I among them, publicly supported the return of ROTC. Today, opposition to ROTC's return focuses predominantly on the federal law known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which prevents gay people from serving openly in the armed forces. Columbia Students for Naval ROTC, a coalition of roughly 30 students, included four gay people. Notably, the other three gay members were veterans, men and women who had served under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Every member of Columbia Students for NROTC -- gay and straight -- opposes that policy, and yet we strongly believe in NROTC's return. Why?

And unbelievablely, here's OYE Hall of Famer Jason Mattera's thoughts on the issue (not that he'd ever man-up and sign-up):
Columbia University recently polled students on whether or not they would support the return of the Navy’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) to campus after a 40-year absence. Columbia claimed the referendum lost by 39 votes. However, the University inexplicably closed the online poll at different times for different students and discarded more than 1,900 votes out of the 4,905 cast. To boot, the university showcased its “anti-fraud” measures, revealing they caught one person who purportedly voted 276 times! So much for secure, front-end identification control. In the end, 1,502 “valid” NAYs trumped the 1,463 AYEs. Does anyone else smell some anti-military electioneering rats?


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