Let me add to Carol’s post from Saturday about the ROTC at Harvard.
Consider the irony: Three of the last four commanders-in-chief were educated at Yale. Meanwhile, the ROTC, which trains the very soldiers the chief is supposed to command, has been banned from Yale for the last 40 years.
In recent years, the university has cited the military’s discrimination against gays and lesbians through it’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as a reason to continue to ban the ROTC from training students on university grounds. Yet, tellingly, Yale has no problem accepting tens of thousands of dollars from the military on behalf of students who hold ROTC scholarships.
While other Ivy League schools have ROTC programs on campus or nearby, Yale students must travel to the University of Connecticut in order to attend ROTC classes. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive, round trip.
Currently, there are only two ROTC students at Yale. By way of contrast, Cornell hosts a thriving on-campus ROTC program; there are 40 students in the Army ROTC alone. Navy and Air Force ROTC programs are also hosted on campus. Institutional support makes all the difference.
President Obama called it “a mistake” to ban the ROTC in a speech at Columbia University last year. But the folks at Yale obviously did not get the message. You might think that the university administration would go out of its way to accommodate these young men and women. But Yale continues to play the hypocrite in its quest to keep the military at arm’s length. They take ROTC money, then shove ROTC students out the back door.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” provides a convenient smokescreen for Yale’s abiding anti-militarism. Year after year, students who wish to serve their country pay the price for Yale’s political posturing.