I could talk about what I found problematic with what went on in the Faculty Senate meeting, about how I felt the vote was rushed, that I felt that the Faculty Senate wasn’t educated enough (and they admitted it, too). I could criticize all of the shady deals that went on, like the subtle change to the nondiscrimination clause that added the word “unlawful” such that it no longer tolerated just “discrimination” but “unlawful” discrimination (which brings up the question of what counts as “lawful” discrimination). But honestly, that’s a conversation that I’m too emotionally exhausted to engage in right now.
If I had to summarize the report and recommendations of the Faculty Senate’s ad hoc committee on ROTC in two words, they would be “Country First,” the shallow, populist slogan of John McCain and Sarah Palin’s presidential campaign. These words come to mind because, having dismissed “some of the most trenchant arguments…against ROTC” on the basis that they were “marred by naïve and derogatory stereotypes” (without providing any examples of such stereotypes or enunciating the basis on which the committee found them to be “naïve and derogatory”), the ad hoc committee proceeds to justify its recommendation that the military be given special treatment, compared to other, more peace-promoting and international-law-abiding institutions, by wrapping Stanford University in the American flag.
Recently, an ad hoc committee consisting of Stanford students and faculty was formed in order to research the merits of the return of ROTC to campus. Last week this committee released a statement supporting the return of ROTC. Section 5.1 of the statement specifically addresses the argument of ROTC’s violation of the nondiscrimination policy.
The ASSU Undergraduate Senate heard from representatives of the Faculty Senate’s ad hoc committee on ROTC at its weekly meeting Tuesday evening and discussed the issue of ROTC’s possible return to campus.