How serious is Obama about ROTC on elite campuses?
11:15 AM, Jan 27, 2011 • By CHERYL MILLER
Both sides -- the military and the university -- have reason to be wary of one another, but as President Obama said, it's time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. Elite schools like Harvard and Columbia were hardly bit players in creating the current atmosphere of distrust, and so they too have a responsibility to help heal the rift and meet the military halfway. Even if the result is not a new ROTC detachment on campus, there is a lot colleges can do to support their cadets, often at little trouble to themselves. Columbia, for instance, could ease one of the biggest burdens on NYC cadets -- their commute -- by simply providing them with training space on campus.
The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell represents an enormous opportunity to repair the breach between the university and the military. However, there is a real danger that momentum will be lost, and the status quo will prevail. Old habits die hard, after all. As the commander-in-chief and the product of two Ivy League schools, President Obama is perfectly poised to ensure this does not happen. He can keep the issue in the news cycle, and more importantly, empower those within both the military and the university who want real change.
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