Over 700 friends and foes of ROTC turned out for a Faculty-sponsored convocation in Sanders Theatre yesterday and heard the last public debate over the role of the military at Harvard before the Faculty meets on the issue today.
Spokesmen for four alternative resolutions for the future status of ROTC summarized the arguments behind their respective groups' proposals and rebutted anticipated objections from the other participants. A general floor discussion followed.
Consistent With Ideals
David Karapetian '69, cadet commander of Army ROTC, defended the presence of ROTC at Harvard as "consistent with the ideals of a liberal arts institution in light of its obligations to the realistic needs of the larger society."
Representing the SFAC-HUC-HRPC resolution to deny ROTC academic credit, Kenneth M. Glazier '69 stressed the "impropriety" of ROTC's privileged status on campus. He pointed out that the SFAC resolution leaves open the option for ROTC to organize as an extra-curricular activity.
In defending the CEP resolution to allow ROTC courses to reapply for credit through existing Harvard departments, James Q. Wilson, professor of Government, said that the CEP's proposal is the only one consistent with Faculty policy, since it leaves the Faculty the power to decide "what courses are given and who gives them."
Alan Gilbert, a graduate student in government, stated that the SDS resolution for complete expulsion is justified by its belief that Vietnam is not merely an "aberration" of American foreign policy. He agreed that "extracurricular genocide remains genocide."
During the floor discussion, Samuel H. Beer, professor of Government, warned of the dangers of political and moral debate over the ROTC issue. "This cavalier way of taking academic credit away from a department makes me fear for many of my colleagues," he said.