R.O.T.C. and Education


(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be withheld.)

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

The Continuations Committee of the Harvard Anti-War Conference of April 19, 1934, has sent messages to the presidents of Ohio State University, the College of the City of New York, Cornell University, Maryland University and the University of New Hampshire protesting against the expulsion of students for their refusal to participate in R.O.T.C. activities and demanding the immediate reinstatement of all the dismissed students. We have urged that encouragement of war preparations in the colleges and universities through the R.O.T.C., and other military devices is vicious to the enlightened purposes which educational institutions should serve. Whereas the United States appropriates millions of dollars for the R.O.T.C., it finds itself forced to close free schools and colleges for lack of funds. This amounts to the manifest declaration on the part of the United States Government that military training is preferable to an education. It goes further, for, the very rights of students to choose whether they do or do not wish to subscribe to such military training courses continues to be completely disregarded. We regard this as the worst form of abuse that any democratic organization can institute; a direct violation of the spirit of freedom and tolerance.

At Ohio State University, seven pacifist students who refused to take R.O.T.C. on the ground that they were conscience-bound to oppose military training in any form, were expelled. . . . At City College, New York, thirty-four students were expelled or suspended for "past activities," which turned out to be parades of protest against the continuance of military training at a liberal college.

The expulsions that followed these anti-war and anti-R.O.T.C. activities make manifest to us the calculative manner in which authorities in our leading universities are trying to smash the student anti-war movement. We are convinced that student protests such as these are commendable, and we therefore wish to go on record as demanding the immediate reinstatement of these expelled students. Further, we feel that the R.O.T.C. should be abolished in all institutions, and the funds that have been utilized for its maintenance should be diverted to the building and furtherance of free schools and colleges. (signed)

Malcolm S. Knowles '34, Chairman,

E. M. Warner '37,

E. M. David 1G.

Continuations Committee for the Harvard Anti-War Conference.