Columbia University students will vote this week on whether to bring the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps back to Columbia's New York City campus after a 40-year ban...
Columbia's ban includes ROTC for all military branches, but this week's vote determines the future of NROTC programs because Columbia students who are Air Force and Army cadets have access to programs at nearby universities...
This week's vote is not entirely up to the students. If they vote yes, the issue will go once again before the school Senate, but ultimately it is Columbia's board of trustees that will have the final say.
The issue came up during the presidential campaign.
"Shouldn't the students here be exposed to the attractiveness of serving in the military, particularly as an officer?" said McCain.
"I recognize that there are students here who have differences in terms of military policy, but the notion that young people here at Columbia or anywhere, in any university, aren't offered the choice, the option of participating in military service, I think is a mistake," said Obama.
McCain didn't make a strong argument, if that was his best line. He could have mentioned diversity and tolerance. And anyone who thinks that "don't ask, don't tell" is the reason people oppose ROTC on campus is naive. It would be like believing that people oppose saying the pledge of allegiance in high school because it contains the words "under God."