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Rice announces support for ROTC

Professor Condoleezza Rice recently announced her support for the “full reinstatement” of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Stanford.

Her support came in the form of a letter co-signed by former Secretary of State and Hoover fellow George Shultz on Jan. 27. The letter was addressed to the ad hoc committee currently investigating the issue and was made public to The Daily today.

(The Stanford Daily File Photo)

“Given the complexities of the threats we face and the missions we demand of our military in the twenty-first century, this is an appropriate and necessary time for the Faculty Senate to restore ROTC programs to Stanford’s campus,” the letter stated. “We can think of no better way to prepare future servicemen and women—many of whom will become national leaders—than by enriching them with a Stanford education.”

This showing of support comes is the latest development in the ongoing debate surrounding ROTC. Several petitions about the issue began circulating among the student body last week.

When asked if the committee had any response to the letter, chair Ewart Thomas, professor of psychology, declined to comment.

“The committee is in ‘retreat’ so that we can figure out what should be done,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Daily.

Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) recently released a petition in conjunction with the National Marriage Boycott (NMB) opposing the recognition of ROTC, citing violation of Stanford’s nondiscrimination policy because the military does not currently allow transgender people to serve. A counter petition in support of the program was initiated earlier this week.

The ad hoc committee is expected to report its findings to the Faculty Senate in May.

Rice_Shultz_Letter_ROTC

  • vet

    Full letter please.

  • bobo

    Since Condi supported torture, should Stanford torture its students?

  • lol

    Considering how much the Stanford campus hates Condoleezza, it’s great that she expresses support for ROTC; it’ll just make the community reject ROTC even more. :)

  • EC

    Secretaries Rice and Schultz make a simple but fundamentally important point: Stanford has an opportunity to ensure America’s future by producing the exceptional individual officers that we need as the threats and missions our military will face grow more complicated.

    Basic JFK: My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what Stanford can do for your country.

    Answer: ROTC return to Stanford.

  • @EC

    “Stanford has an opportunity to ensure America’s future by producing the exceptional individual officers that we need as the threats and missions our military will face grow more complicated.”

    Stanford has an even better opportunity to ensure America’s future by producing far more important leaders in science, public policy, law, etc. Let’s face it: these areas require a far more complex education than a military career does. This isn’t bias or intellectual snobbery; it’s fact.

    “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you”

    Yeah but when you’re a disenfranchised American (e.g. transgendered individuals; or even LGBT individuals who, while being able to serve in the military officially, had the right to marriage taken from them after it was put up to a vote, making them second-class citizens), you don’t give a ****, because if America doesn’t care about you, why should you care about America? (And no, don’t start that BS about the military “fighting for my right to say this,” because that right isn’t impinged right now, and I’m contributing a helluva lot more right now to the country than most of the people that join the military.)

  • Jim

    @EC,

    “Stanford has an even better opportunity to ensure America’s future by producing far more important leaders in science, public policy, law, etc. Let’s face it: these areas require a far more complex education than a military career does. This isn’t bias or intellectual snobbery; it’s fact.”

    That’s fact? Why, because you said it is so?

  • Robin Thomas

    Well, if you’re contributing a helluva lot more right now to the country than most of the people that join the military, wouldn’t it be great if we had some more educated people go into the military so we could turn it around?

    Look, as much as anyone, I wish it wasn’t necessary for every nation to have a military. But how is it working toward that goal, keeping ROTC away from Stanford? I guess you could say, “It makes a statement.” But to who? To other Stanford students, maybe. But to the rest of the world? Nah, no-one’s going to care. Keeping ROTC banned is just inaction. It’s not going to change any national policy. If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

    On the other hand, imagine how much more intellectual and open-minded our military could be if there were more intellectual and open-minded people going into it — like, theoretically, the people who come out of Stanford.

    I mean, here I am, another disenfranchised American, raised in an educated and Liberal household, and I’m pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, anti-way, and pro-raising taxes. And I support ROTC coming back to Stanford because it’s giving students another world to explore. It’s giving students a chance at more intellectual freedom. And hey, this is where the wind of freedom blows.

    No, it’s not fact that science, public policy, law, etc. require far more complex education than military careers do. For one thing, each of those fields makes up a very big component of what military personnel do. How much scientific research and legal precedent have come from military research labs and court rooms? Also, I’m curious, are Stanford’s art majors and French Lit majors engaged in educations that are complex enough for you?

  • Robin Thomas

    What really frustrates me is how many Stanford students seem completely ignorant of how the military works, what it does, and how it’s structured. How many students have I heard saying the Navy and the Marine Corps are part of the Army? We’re supposedly producing global citizens here. How can we hold that claim when we have so little understanding of one of the most enduring aspects of civilization?

  • Jim

    The United States Military Academy, which exists only to train military officers, has produced 88 Rhodes Scholars, while Stanford has produced 82. Yes, West Point is behind Stanford for Trumans, Marshalls, Hertzs … but not far and Stanford has about a 40% larger class. Not too bad for a bunch of apparent simpletons in @EC’s book.

    I find it difficult to see any argument that the military doesn’t value or require a “complex education,” particularly if you want officers to be successful. It’s certainly not a fact – at best it’s an opinion.

  • Re: EC

    Someone ought to smack you upside the head. Your ignorance is astounding, and only slightly more offensive than your elitist, pampered existence.

  • bobo

    “The United States Military Academy, which exists only to train military officers, has produced 88 Rhodes Scholars, while Stanford has produced 82.”

    This is not true. Stanford has minted 99, the US Military academy has minted 70. Stop making things up, please.

  • Jim

    Nice try bobo. My numbers come from the USMA Dean’s website – which probably doesn’t reflect 2010 when Stanford had 3 and USMA had 0, so yes my numbers may be a little off the current totals. Where’d you get 99 and 70? USMA definitely has more than 70 …

  • bobo
  • john

    I was against the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan since day one. My problem is that Obama is doing exactly what Bush planned to do. Why not the same condemnation for Obama?

    @EC says some stupid things. He doesn’t seem to understand the difference between fact and opinion.

  • re: rhodes

    I think Stanford had 99 before this new batch, so it’s at 102 now. And why are we considering Rhodes here? It’s like looking at Nobel Prize winners to judge an entire faculty.

  • Jim

    re: rhodes,

    The point isn’t so much to compare who has more but to respond to @EC’s comment on the “complexity” of a military officer’s education.

    I don’t know where you get 99 from. If you pull the current states off the Rhodes website (go to the “Winner Statistics By Endorsing Institutions” link) it lists Stanford at 83, USMA at 87. Add the 3, and you get current totals Stanford 86, USMA 87.

  • @Jim
  • @Jim

    It’s possible the site is only listing living Rhodes scholars? Tried to post a link, but it didn’t work–go to facts.stanford.edu and click on ‘undergraduate studies’ — the Rhodes figure is at the bottom.

  • Jim

    Thanks for the info – that helps clear up things. My guess is that the discrepancy arises from how they account for international winners that may be sponsored by the home country as opposed to their undergraduate institution. (Which is likely the same reason that USMA claims 88 instead of the 87 you’d derive from the Rhodes statistics). So, accurate totals are Stanford 99 or 102, USMA 88.

    Apologize for the tangent, but the original point was directed at @EC’S comments.

  • An Khe ’69

    It’s about leadership—period. Not academics,not social engineering, not about anything you know in your
    bubble. Rhodes scholars? So what. Unless they’ve been awarded the CIB it means nothing.

  • Engineer

    I can’t think of anything that would be better for America than to have more military officers with Stanford caliber educations. The military academies put out the maximum number of officers that Congress allows, with ROTC producing most of the rest. The Stanford community should embrace ROTC. Most who oppose the military do not realize (I’m not going to say that they are ignorant) that Congress set the policies (such as DADT) and that the military is totally under civilian control. Don’t blame the military if you don’t like the wars or the policies, and certainly don’t blame the remarkable men and women who sacrifice for us, but instead use your vote to elect political leaders who represent your views. I want to express my admiration for the Stanford kids who currently participate in ROTC — they pull a full load of Stanford academics and then commute across town several days per week. I’ve read about the challenges they face — the time, the expense, the energy, the commitment — and they don’t even get a single unit of credit for this extracurricular. Good for Secretaries Shultz and Rice to come out for ROTC. The arguments about discrimination in the military have to be put into proper context. Yes, they “discriminate” against people who are unfit, uneducated, physically handicapped, emotionally unstable, morally corrupt and who have exceptional medical needs because soldiers must be able to perform the toughest of jobs under the toughest of conditions. God Bless our military and their families.

  • @Engineer

    You forget that they discriminate against transgendered people. Just because Congress is the reason for the military discriminating against transgendered people does NOT mean that it’s therefore okay for the military to come on campus. The Stanford community embraces transgendered people, as it is part of the nondiscrimination policy. Allowing ROTC back will bring that discrimination on to campus. That is not acceptable. And before you say “you’re just saying that because you don’t want ROTC back on campus,” remember that there are quite a few trans students at Stanford who would be discriminated against. Whether they would want to join is irrelevant; it’s the principle. (And no, being trans does NOT mean you have a health risk or have had surgery, etc.)

  • Robin Thomas

    No, I don’t think he forgot that the military discriminates against transgendered people. No-one’s forgetting the military discriminates against transgender people. The LBGTQ groups have done a great job of representing themselves.

    I wish we could stop using the word “discrimination” in this issue, because that’s become a very loaded word; it calls to mind thoughts of lynch mobs and NINA signs. I feel like the implication is that if ROTC came to campus, we’d start seeing blatant disrespect of transgender people. I can’t imagine that happening. During my year in ROTC, the vast, vast majority of military personnel I met were thoughtful, intelligent people, and disrespect wasn’t tolerated. If there ever is any sort of verbal or physical discrimination against transgender people on campus, then I’ll always be one of the first people to protest it.

    Transgender people would still be able to take all ROTC classes. They could even train with the ROTC cadets and midshipmen. They would have far, far more opportunities to influence military policy, and to gain a better understanding of military thought (and vice versa) than they do now. But you’re right, they wouldn’t be able to become officers. Yet.

    I would love to hear an anti-ROTC person respond to the idea that the best way to get policy changed, and to help the military become a more educated and wholesome part of our government, would be for ROTC to be made more accessible to Stanford students. Keeping it off this campus is doing absolutely nothing, nada, zilch, to support the agenda of those who want equal rights for transgender people, nor the agendas of those who oppose war. It’s simply inaction. It’s not helping anyone.

  • Trans not as important as military

    I feel sorry for my transgender classmates, but transgender concerns just aren’t as important as restoring Stanford’s relationship with ROTC. DADT was different – that needed to change and more importantly, it was time for DADT to change. It’s just not time yet for the military’s transgender policy to change.

  • Robin Thomas

    (Yes, it is discrimination that transgender people aren’t allowed to serve. But that word, discrimination, still carries a lot of negative connotations that can be misleading. Just saying.)

  • Robin Thomas

    …all right, two more points and I’m done for a bit.

    1) Why is it kosher for Intel to be granted such a huge presence on the university’s campus?
    http://www.stanforddaily.com/2011/02/03/intel-invests-100m-in-university-research/

    2) What also really grinds my gears is that, apparently, none of the transgender people at Stanford would want to serve in the military even if they were granted the opportunity. “But it’s the principle of the thing!” you say. Okay, sure. But how the heck are you doing anything to change that principle by not allowing ROTC at Stanford? You might think you’re making a statement, but to who, outside of the Stanford bubble?

  • EC

    Barring ROTC has been a shameful endorsement of anti-military discrimination by Stanford. Stanford’s exile of ROTC has been festering sore on Stanford’s important place in American society. The greater good for our nation and the university’s pedagogical mission, as well as Stanford’s duty to present and future ROTC students, are served by ROTC at Stanford.

    Denying Stanford’s nation-building role for a critical part of society is a dangerous interpretation of non-discrimination. The principle of non-discrimination is meant to promote engagement and diversity on campus, and protect inclusion, which rightfully includes ROTC along with other critical relationships. Advancing the university’s higher educational and public service missions through engagement of real diversity and inclusion will necessitate, at times, some sensitive trade-offs; measures such as Stanford’s non-discrimination policy address any friction that may result from diversity. Stanford’s principle of non-discrimination becomes grossly corrupted when it is misused as a tool of exclusion and segregation, as has happened with ROTC at Stanford.

    Moreover, as a practical matter, the addition of ROTC to Stanford would not subtract nor replace anything that currently exists for transgender students. Nor could a lawful military policy violate the university’s non-discrimination policy. Stanford already recognizes that not all things at Stanford can be available to all students at Stanford. The open aspects of ROTC already surpass the availability of those areas of Stanford that are closed off to the general student body. ROTC and its manifestations on campus (office, classes, training, etc.) would not be a separate zone on campus that allows discriminatory harassment. ROTC cadre and participating students would be held to the same standards of behavior as all Stanfordians. A transgender student should feel as safe in ROTC offices as anywhere else on campus.

    Stanford’s voice is made powerful when the university is contructively engaged with ROTC and investing graduates into the military as leaders. By restoring ROTC on campus, Stanford can regain its effective voice on civil-military concerns such as transgender issues. Barring ROTC from Stanford only weakens Stanford’s influence on the military while validating and empowering those who prefer to limit Stanford’s social values in the military.

  • Mark

    THANK YOU Robin for pointing out that the transgendered could potentially take ROTC classes as non-contracted students! The leaders of SSQL and NMB clearly have no idea what the difference is between contracted vs. non-contracted is or how ROTC even works….

  • Alum

    “I feel sorry for my transgender classmates, but transgender concerns just aren’t as important as restoring Stanford’s relationship with ROTC.”

    I really hope that by the time you graduate, Stanford will have taught you that the needs and rights of a marginalized minority are never ‘less important’ because you or someone else happens to think so. Stanford has done quite well without ROTC, and vice versa, for a long time now.

    “Why is it kosher for Intel to be granted such a huge presence on the university’s campus?”

    Because they’re giving a bunch of money to do research? Because that research is not contracted/automatically patented to them, but instead is supposed to expand knowledge? Because Stanford always relies partly on research funding from private companies? Because Stanford is seeing an increasing need to rely on industry funding to do science research, since funding from traditional agencies like DOD has been on a nationwide decline? Need any more reasons?

    And Robin, it’s discrimination, plain and simple. No sense in not calling it for what it is. You don’t like it because it doesn’t paint the ROTC in a positive light. And it shouldn’t. ROTC is NOT in a positive light for discriminating.

    “none of the transgender people at Stanford would want to serve in the military even if they were granted the opportunity.”

    This shows how immature you are–so presumptuous, just to make your petty case.

    “But how the heck are you doing anything to change that principle by not allowing ROTC at Stanford?”

    Are you honestly making this nonsensical argument? Do you even believe what you’re saying? Allowing them on campus will NOT change anything; it will just discriminate. It’s not going to be allowed on campus until that policy changes.

  • Trans not as important as military

    @Alum

    I hope by the time I graduate I don’t become as parochially narrow-minded as you are. It’s a simple balancing of interests. Adding ROTC to Stanford is good for the nation, enriches the university, allows Stanford to contribute in a fundamental way to the well-being of our republic, provides better learning and professional options for students, and improves conditions for future ROTC students. The harm of ROTC on transgender students? There’s no actual harm, certainly not in any legally enforceable sense. Adding ROTC to Stanford takes away no “rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available” to transgender students at Stanford. In fact, because some ROTC classes will be open to the student body, transgender students, along with all Stanford students, would gain the benefit of the “generally accorded or made available” parts of the ROTC program.

    It’s a no-brainer. Transgender students wouldn’t suffer any actual harm with ROTC at Stanford. While students, including transgender students, the university, and the nation would gain from ROTC at Stanford.

    If they want, Stanford transgender students could continue to lobby the military to change its transgender policies while attending ROTC classes on campus.

  • Robin Thomas

    Agh, we need to have another town hall on this. Alum, are you local? I’d love to do coffee or something with you. My e-mail’s robthom@stanford.edu…please let me know!

  • @Robin

    I wouldn’t waste my time. SSNW has convinced SSQL that if they can blow up the ROTC movement, the display of power will take the transgender cause center-stage. Their angry one-note mantra is taken whole from the DADT-based anti-ROTC strategy. The strategy is purposefully designed to force an either/choice for the university that excludes ROTC’s merits.

    You won’t change their minds. Though no harm for transgender students would result from ROTC on campus, your desire for collegiality cannot move their uncompromising ambition to sacrifice the ROTC cause for their interests. The tragedy is that defeating ROTC will not further the transgender cause. SSQL has been conned by SSNW, but by now, it’s too late to save SSQL from their destructive course. The best thing you can do for SSQL is save them from their own folly by doing everything you can to make sure ROTC returns to Stanford.

  • john

    Robin, those were some good, thoughtful, and respectful posts. That doesn’t happen often.

  • Alum

    @Robin — I am, unfortunately, not in the Stanford area or I would take you up on that–this issue, though it’s far away from me, is one I will continue to be involved in. If they have another town hall, I might just make it. (By the way–unrelated–great poem on the waffle-making abilities of students; always annoyed me when students would leave the waffle-makers a mess because they were too stupid to follow directions.)

    @@Robin This “one-note mantra” is not from DADT, which has nothing to do with transgender issues. Your unwillingness to separate the two issues demonstrates your inability to see others’ concerns, simply because you don’t want to. Go ahead, write off my and others’ concerns as simple and unjustified opposition to ROTC, and while you may be right that others and I wouldn’t be convinced to change our position, don’t act as though you would be ready to change yours. Your post stinks of hypocrisy; I’m sure that if I had another reason against ROTC, you would oppose that too and say I’m just making up excuses. Until you realize that there are legitimate concerns regarding ROTC’s return to campus, there’s absolutely no hope in getting you to understand the troubles of a small but vocal minority on Stanford’s campus, which values every voice, much to your chagrin. Defeating ROTC may or may not further the transgender cause (I have a feeling it will in a small way), but allowing that discriminatory program on this campus will definitely harm it.

    I can tell you this now, from a stance of comfortable certainty: ROTC will not return to Stanford, or any other sensible institution, until it fixes these injustices. It is wrong. Similar arguments to yours were made when DADT was first instituted, and people wrote them off as mere complaints of an ignorant minority crying for attention; when the issues with DADT became significant enough, people began to see them as legitimate (though given your myopic post, I wonder whether you even see even the repeal of DADT as legitimate). This will, I can guarantee, happen with trangendered issues as well. ROTC considers them psychologically incapable; that same logic accompanied LGBT objections to DADT (remember when being gay was considered a serious disorder able to be ‘remedied’ by psychological therapy, by the APA?).

    In the meantime, this debate is raging across the US. Harvard does not anticipate a speedy return of ROTC; nor Yale, nor many of other similar institutions, and why? Because they are sensible. They will not haphazardly accept ROTC, which comes with MANY strings attached (like the Pentagon approving military instructors, rather than Stanford itself); it isn’t prudent. I’m proud that my alma mater has taken cautious steps toward this issue, rather than blindly re-institute it as you would seem to want it to.

  • @Alum

    Alum, read what I said again: “Their angry one-note mantra is taken whole from the DADT-based anti-ROTC strategy.” Emphasis on STRATEGY. Said another way, transgender protestors are following a battle-tested playbook by rote. Their ‘outrage’ is purposeful, the design taken directly from the tactical ‘outrage’ deployed for the DADT-based protest. Transgender protestors are transparently attempting to pressure Stanford to follow the fresh precedent of opposing ROTC over DADT.

    However, you have identified the fatal flaw in the transgender protest strategy: “DADT… has nothing to do with transgender issues”.

    The case against DADT was obvious. In fact, the premise of DADT was that sexual orientation was not a bar to military service. The key to the Senate passing the DADT repeal was the 2010 DoD report that concluded very little needed to be changed to accomodate openly gay soldiers. By the time it was repealed, DADT was clearly obsolete.

    In contrast, the issues surrounding the military’s transgender policy are complicated and nuanced. Compared to openly gay soldiers, trans soldiers face significantly more personal difficulties that impact themselves and their units, and accomodating their needs would be much more difficult for the military. A reasonable case is made to keep military’s transgender policy that could not be made for keeping DADT.

    As you point out, the DADT issue “has nothing to do with” the transgender issue. Therefore, Stanford should not follow the DADT precedent in considering the transgender protest against ROTC. The transgender issue far murkier than the DADT issue ever was. Conflating the DADT issue with the transgender issue is intellectually dishonest, confuses an already complicated and nuanced subject, and ultimately discredits transgender protestors. Sadly, the transgender community is a sacrifice that SSNW and the anti-military community are very willing to make.

  • Alum

    @the above comment

    “Said another way, transgender protestors are following a battle-tested playbook by rote. Their ‘outrage’ is purposeful, the design taken directly from the tactical ‘outrage’ deployed for the DADT-based protest.”

    You’re only proving my point; instead of considering the transgender objections on their own, by their own merits, you group them in with the DADT objections, and conclude they are unjustifiable as a result. It’s wholly different. Very different. The transgendered community has continually found a separation from the gay/lesbian community–rights and privileges they championed for are often separated from those who are transgendered, I think mostly because we (I say ‘we’ because I am gay) have enough trouble fighting for our own (gay) rights, that it would be near impossible to fight for transgendered causes too with the hope of change. The repeal of DADT represents a victory for L and G; but not for T.

    “In contrast, the issues surrounding the military’s transgender policy are complicated and nuanced.”

    As someone who has been following the LGBT (vs. Military) cause for over 10 years, I can say that this is EXACTLY the argument offered several years ago against LGBT members serving in the military. You’re simply repeating the arguments against LGBT people joining the military. And it turns out none of them were justified.

    “trans soldiers face significantly more personal difficulties that impact themselves and their units, and accomodating their needs would be much more difficult for the military. ”

    Could you please offer some evidence, if any, to support this notion? This same argument was used in favor of DADT, and it turns out it was wrong. (IMO, it sounds like pure bigotry floundering for some justification, just as it had when DADT was implemented. I’d love for you to prove me wrong in this regard, not even kidding.)

    “Therefore, Stanford should not follow the DADT precedent in considering the transgender protest against ROTC.”

    You’re right, only in that DADT has *absolutely nothing* to do with transgender issues, as a simple matter of policy.

    “Conflating the DADT issue with the transgender issue is intellectually dishonest, confuses an already complicated and nuanced subject, and ultimately discredits transgender protestors.”

    No, it’s not; LGBT, in case you didn’t know, stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, TRANSGENDER, and it is far from intellectually dishonest, for a variety of reasons, the most blaring being that Stanford’s nondiscrimination policy explicitly states (emphasis mine): “…age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and ***gender identity*** to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University.” L and G may have been ‘figured out.’ But if you think they’ve gone ‘far enough,’ and therefore the rest is “intellectually dishonest,” you are sadly mistaken.

    If you have to selectively address which points I make (as you have before, no doubt you will), please address this final point; it is the most important.

  • Jim

    @Alum,

    I think it is important to note that in order to qualify to serve as an officer in the military you need to 1) be a U.S. citizen and 2) be medically qualified (physically and medically). There does not seem to be much disagreement over the military having these conditions for those who serve as officers. (Note: You can enlist in the military while not a citizen, but you do need to be a citizen to be an officer because you need to qualify for a security clearance).

    International students are also not able to become contracted cadets or officers in the military, though I have not heard any arguments addressing this, so I assume there is general acceptance for the requirement that officers in the U.S military need to be U.S. citizens.

    If those making this argument had an issue with the military having medical requirements in general, then they should expand the argument to include those with asthma, insulin diabetics, overweight, or those needing ACL reconstruction surgery (unstable joint), ect because all of those folks are also unlikely able to pass initial medical screenings. I have yet to hear anyone really make an argument against medical standards in general, so I assume there is general acceptance that the nature of the role brings some level of medical requirements, and that it is ok for the military to reject some who don’t meet these medical requirements without being labeled a discriminatory organization.

    The military currently rejects the service of transgender personnel based on medical concerns. These concerns are related to 1) mental health 2) requirement of hormones and 3) potential requirement for a future surgery (and thus potential loss of service for a period of time). These issues would not likely present a significant risk or issue for non-deployed jobs, but they certainly could for deployed roles. The military, generally, is not looking to take on individuals that are ineligible for deployment. Yes, they will retain some in those roles, but the uniformed services generally do not want to accept someone that will be ineligible for deployment from the start.

    That said, where the debate should really be around is whether the current medical regulations makes sense or not given current medical opinion and research. It may well be that the current policies are archaic, particularly given that other countries are looking at allowing transgender individuals to serve. But I have yet to see any arguments that have focused on the current medical regulations and why they are wrong/outdated. I would agree that if a transgender individual had no ongoing requirement for mental health visits, no requirement for hormones, and no reason to expect a surgery in the near future, then they shouldn’t be barred from uniformed service simply because they are transgender. However, if they do require mental health visits, or they do require hormonal treatments, or they do want to have surgery in the near future and their deployability (military word) is in question, I certainly agree with the military’s position that they are not medically fit to serve in uniform at this time. In the event the medical issue are resolved, ie they have the surgery and complete any recovery, they get off hormone requirements, ect – then talking about uniformed service makes more sense.

    I’d have much more respect for SSQL/SSNW/Other’s arguments around transgender issues if they were to take a more in-depth, critical look at the issue instead of continuously crying “discrimination!” without also mentioning age and disability – two other categories covered by nondiscrimination policy that no one seems to have an issue with the military’s policies around.

    And, as others have pointed out, all students would be eligible to take the courses on campus. [Unclear whether uncontracted cadets can participate in off-campus training on weekends and summers. That'd be a good issue to investigate.] If it’s the inability to get a scholarship/funding because they can’t become a contracted cadet that people have an issue with, then I’d like to discuss with them the plethora of scholarships offered at Stanford that I am ineligible for as a Caucasian male.

    The notion that transgender individuals [or any other individuals currently denied ability to serve in uniform due to medical regulations] are unable to serve their country is a bit of a stretch. There are plenty of ways to serve the country out of military uniform, to include many civilian positions within the Department of Defense.

    So, if both sides wish the debate to move forward instead of staying immobilized, as I feel this issue has become, I think it would be valuable to recognize that 1) there is some validity behind the military’s concerns over mental health, required medications, and pending surgeries but 2) that all transgender individuals don’t have these concerns and thus should not be excluded from service based on gender identity alone. If we can do that, then the focus could turn to where, specifically, the policy can and should change, which I think would be a much better discussion.

  • @Alum&Jim

    Alum, what Jim said. Is the military’s transgender policy groundless? No. As Jim described, the policy’s basis is justifiable. Could the military’s transgender policy be finer tuned? Perhaps, but that discussion is too complicated and nuanced to hold Stanford ROTC hostage to it.

    For example, transgender protestors are missing a critical step by targeting ROTC at this point. The military is relying on the American Psychological Association’s classifications, so the protestors need to first convince the APA to change its transgender positions: (from wikipedia transgender page) The terms “transsexualism”, “dual-role transvestism”, “gender identity disorder in adolescents or adults” and “gender identity disorder not otherwise specified” are listed as such in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) or the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) under codes F64.0, F64.1, 302.85 and 302.6 respectively.

    If transgender protestors can convince the APA to change position, then they can start making a legitimate case for changing the military policy.

    Jim: “2) that all transgender individuals don’t have these concerns and thus should not be excluded from service based on gender identity alone. If we can do that, then the focus could turn to where, specifically, the policy can and should change, which I think would be a much better discussion.”

    That’s a sensible position, but it is too murky where to draw the line in finer tuning military policy. In military vernacular, that complicated and nuanced discussion is “outside the lane” of the ROTC discussion. Moreover, oversimplifying transgender issues for the sake of barring ROTC from Stanford, such as the conflation with DADT issues that Alum keeps insisting on, is a disservice to transgender people.

  • @Jim

    I hope your points have been made directly to Professor Ewart Thomas and Stanford’s ROTC committee so they won’t react to the transgender protest by blindly following the precedent of the university’s position on ROTC over DADT.

  • Michael Segal

    The draft of the American Psychiatric Association’s new DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medical Disorders) is on the web. The relevant sections are at http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/SexualandGenderIdentityDisorders.aspx. “302.85 Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents or Adults” is still there, but so is “302.72 Male Erectile Disorder” so I don’t think anyone will argue that everything listed is a disqualification from military service.

  • Michael Segal

    I am re-posting the following without the hyperlink since the original went into moderation limbo.

    The draft of the American Psychiatric Association’s new DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medical Disorders) is on the web. The relevant sections are at [search for "Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders" on dsm5 dot org]. “302.85 Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents or Adults” is still there, but so is “302.72 Male Erectile Disorder” so I don’t think anyone will argue that everything listed is a disqualification from military service.

  • Friend Howdy

    Bookstore is cutting benefits, firing experienced workers and saying to all to help the students- To: All Associates
    From:Bob Scholl, Sr. Vice President, Retail Operations
    Subject:A Message from Bob Scholl
    Date:11/08/2013

    Earlier today, managers across many of our stores took a series of
    difficult actions tied to an important Follett initiative. These actions
    were necessary to not only improve the experience of our customers, but
    also to allow Follett to continue to grow and invest in the future.

    In order to deliver the hassle-free shopping experience that our
    customers expect, we are adjusting our store staffing model to put more
    hours on the sales floor whenever students are shopping most. This
    involves shifting our ratio of full-time hourly and part-time store
    positions, and following scheduling practices to ensure our stores are
    always staffed at the busiest times.

    This shift gives us more scheduling flexibility each day, week and year.
    The result will be more customer-facing labor hours in our campus
    stores, generating more selling opportunities with increased customer
    satisfaction.

    While this is the right decision for our business and our customers,
    there’s no doubt it will impact the associates in positions we are
    converting. We have provided as much support as possible to help
    associates affected by this transition, including encouraging them to
    apply for the new part-time positions. (The majority of the hours will
    be placed back on the sales floor in new part-time roles.) These
    associates will receive a cash severance based on the length of their
    service, whether they take a part-time position or not. In addition,
    associates choosing not to stay with Follett will receive outplacement
    assistance and counseling.

    Putting this flexible scheduling approach in place over the coming weeks
    is a critical part of creating new customer relationships and repeat
    business. It’s also a part of Follett’s much broader and comprehensive
    transformation, which is reflected in the fact that we’ve invested more
    than $200 million in technology, distribution, digital content and
    ecommerce over the last three years alone.

    These investments are creating more efficiency at the store level,
    allowing us to deliver even more hours of store service and support when
    students and faculty expect it. Follett will continue to invest and
    grow our campus store locations because we understand the enduring value
    our stores have to the campus communities they serve.

    Your support during this important time is very much appreciated. If you
    have any questions, please contact your manager.

    As always – thanks for everything you do, thanks for living the Follett
    Values and most importantly, thanks for continuing to take care of
    customers.