Harvard Republicans Campaign To Reinstate ROTC Program

The Harvard Republican Club (HRC) launched a campaign last week to revive ROTC at Harvard.

Stephen J. Chapman '76, director of HRC campus action, said yesterday that members of his organization initiated the campaign because they believe that ROTC should exist as on option for Harvard students. He added that he has no interest in joining ROTC.

The 206-member club launched the campaign with a notice in the March 14 issue of The Crimson calling for student support for a revived ROTC program. However, no students responded to the notice, Chapman said.

If at least 15 students indicate an interest in joining ROTC the HRC will contact alumni and Faculty to solicit support for reinstating the program. If this support is not forthcoming the campaign will be dropped, Chapman said.

Chapman said that he expects "some flack from the Left" as a result of the campaign to revive ROTC but the HRC is willing to "withstand a controversial struggle" if enough students show interest.

Chapman attributed the apparent lack of student interest in joining ROTC to the termination of the draft. "The antiwar and anti-military hysteria which led to ROTC being kicked off the Harvard campus in 1969 does not prevail over present Harvard students," he said.

Following student demonstrations in April 1969, the Faculty voted to terminate all Harvard ROTC programs as of June 30, 1971.

In compliance with the protesters' demands the Faculty also voted that ROTC instructors should not hold Faculty appointments and that the University should not provide rent-free space or credit for ROTC courses in the interim.

President Bok indicated to HRC members at a meeting in January that the University still would be unwilling to provide space for ROTC offices, Chapman said. Bok could not be reached for comment.

Chapman said that he is "not optimistic" that enough students will respond to The Crimson notice to warrant the reinstatement of the Harvard ROTC.

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