Faculty Council Votes To Delay ROTC Report

A Faculty Council vote yesterday effectively voided their May 1990 ultimatum recommending that Harvard sever all ties with ROTC on May 2 if the military had not changed its policy banning gays.

The vote gives the committee on ROTC an extension on its report to the council until next fall, Acting Council Secretary John B. Fox '59 said yesterday. The council will not commit to a concrete action on the ROTC issue until it receives the report.

The council voted on May 2, 1990 to recommend suspending Harvard's participation in the program if at the end of two years ROTC did not progress in resolving issues of discrimination against gays and lesbians. Currently, the program does not admit homosexuals.

While the report, originally due early next month, is not expected before the fall, Fox said that the council would like to examine it earlier if it is ready. The latest possible deadline, he said, would be the council's first meeting of the 1992-93 school year.

Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles said yesterday that the council granted the extension so that the committee could "produce a through and considered report and a well-argued discussion of the issues."

In order to elicit further responses from the University community, the committee will hold an open forum next Wednesday night, April 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Sever 113, said Pforzheimer University Professor Sidney Verba '53, who chairs the ROTC committee.

"There are lots of people who have views on the subject," Verba said. "We wanted to make sure that we had heard from everyone."

Verba said that because the committee was onlyformed this February, assembling all the variousfaculty and student members would make itdifficult to produce the report by its originaldeadline.

With more time, Knowles said, the committeewill also be able to consult MIT and othercolleges more thoroughly.

Once the committee presents its report, Verbasaid, the council can either make a recommendationdirectly to President Neil L. Rudenstine and theHarvard Corporation, or bring the matter beforethe full Faculty.

Rudenstine and the members of the corporationwill make the final decision on whether to severties.

Fox said that because application material forthe class of 1997 will be published withoutknowledge of the final decision on ROTC, incomingstudents from classes until that year or possiblylater would not be affected by the decision.

Students interviewed last night said that theextension will provide council members with thenecessary facts for an informed decision.

Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Students AssociationCo-Chair Sandra Cavazos '92 said she thinks thereport's timing is less important than itsaccuracy.

Cavazos said she, BGLSA member Jed D. Kolko '92and a law school student met with the committee,and were pleased with the responsiveness of itsmembers.