Is ROTC an issue at Harvard? President Bok, Dean Rosovsky and the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) think it is not, despite Bok's June speech hinting it might return. The New American Movement and 2500 students who signed NAM petitions think it is.
Last week, the will of President Bok, Dean Rosovsky and CHUL prevailed as the Committee voted unanimously to refuse NAM s proposal that CHUL conduct a referendum among undergraduates on ROTC.
Rosovsky told the Wednesday CHUL meeting that there were no schemes in the works to bring the military back to Harvard, and the Committee was satisfied with his explanation.
"We asked Rosovsky some pointed, direct questions at the meeting," David L. Johnson '74, the Adams House CHUL representative, said last week. "He seemed to be pretty square on what he was saying. We were satisfied that ROTC is not an issue now."
The CHUL also elicited two other safeguards from Rosovsky--the Dean promised to inform them immediately if the ROTC issue does rear its head in the Faculty and he offered to invite Bok to next month's CHUL meeting to answer questions about ROTC.
Johnson explained that last week's CHUL vote was "not a final solution."
NAM spokesmen vigorously disagreed with CHUL's pronunciation that ROTC is not currently an issue. "The CHUL is assuming that students should wait for Faculty or Administration initiatives before voicing their opinions on issues," a NAM statement released after the vote said.
The statement accused CHUL of "saying that 2500 students are wrong and that it can define an issue by asking the advice of selected Administration spokesmen."
Johnson acknowledged CHUL had been "reluctant to turn down 2500 signatures," but he added that Committee members saw no need for immediate action.
Both he and Merrick B. Garland '74, the Quincy House CHUL member, stressed that the refusal to hold a referendum is provisional, and that CHUL discussion of the issue will revive instantly if the Faculty starts to move on it.
A lot of us don't want ROTC to ever come back here," Johnson explained. "We felt that today's CHUL resolution is the best way to keep that from ever happening."
For its part, NAM also retains a desire to insure that the military never again trains officers at Harvard. The organization will decide its future course of action within the next several days.
As one NAM member, Donald Goldstein '73-4, explained, "The issue isn't dead because CHUL and Dean Rosovsky say so."