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Stanford Faculty Group Votes To Let ROTC Return

Publication Date: 
April 29, 2011
Source: 
Los Angeles Times
Author: 
Larry Gordon

Professor Lawrence Marshall spoke with Larry Gordon of the Los Angeles Times on why he voted to invite the Reserve Officer Training Corps back to the campus for the first time since the Vietnam War era.

Reporting from Palo Alto -- Stanford University's Faculty Senate voted Thursday to invite the Reserve Officer Training Corps back to the campus for the first time since the Vietnam War era, a turnaround prompted by the end of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy against gays serving openly in the military.

Stanford's President John L. Hennessy said he would soon start discussions with the military branches to return ROTC to the university, joining other elite schools in welcoming back the officer training units that had been pushed off campus or denied academic standing during the antiwar movement of the 1970s. Columbia University took similar steps last week, Harvard did so last month and several others are considering the actions.

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Stanford law professor Lawrence Marshall said he struggled with his decision to vote yes. He said he believes that the military wrongly discriminates against transgender people but that having future military leaders meet such students on campus would eventually lead to the end of that policy. "The answer is exposure to diversity," he said. Marshall proposed and won support for a faculty statement urging the military to change its transgender policy.

Earlier this month, a non-binding student election showed divisions, with 2,406 voting for ROTC's return to Stanford, 929 opposing it and 2,117 abstaining. Some ROTC opponents had urged students to abstain.