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Governing Body OKs Reforms On ROTC

By Todd F. Braunstein

Ending the five-year debate over Harvard's involvement with ROTC, the University's highest governing body yesterday approved President Neil L. Rudenstine's amended proposal to cut financial ties with the discriminatory program.

"The Corporation affirmed it," Acting President and Provost Albert Carnesale confirmed yesterday upon being approached following the Corporation's meeting. He had no further comment.

Students can now continue to participate in MIT's ROTC program through an independent fund established by alumni. The fund will be administered wholly independently from the University.

In addition, the policy will allow the ROTC officer commissioning ceremony to continue at Harvard's commencement.

Rudenstine's November 23 report, issued just before the president took a medical leave, called for the University to set up an alumni fund to be administered by Harvard. Carnesale's February 1 addendum made the fund into an independent charitable trust.

Faculty expressed approval of the new ROTC policy.

Pforzheimer University Professor Sidney Verba '53, who chaired the 1992 committee recommending an end to direct financial ties with ROTC, said he supports the new policy.

"I think it's fine," Verba said. "I think Carnesale's addition is very important. It makes it a lot clearer that University funds are not being used."

He added, however, that the years of wrangling within the faculty may not be over.

"I can't guarantee it will end the debate,because I'm never sure what the faculty will do,"Verba said.

Faculty support of the new policy seems all butassured, however.

Even the most vocal of the faculty who spokeagainst the original Rudenstine proposal at aDecember faculty meeting expressed support of theamended compromise.

Professor of Philosophy Warren D. Goldfarb '69criticized the original Rudenstine proposal. Butin an interview last week, Goldfarb said hesupports the Carnesale supplement.

"I'm most pleased because this supplementarystatement will remove Harvard's financial supportof this discriminatory ROTC program," Goldfarbsaid.

Still, not everyone is pleased with the newUniversity policy. David E. Carney '89, whoseexpulsion from ROTC after telling his commandingofficer that he was gay started the controversy,said he does not feel the new policy goes farenough.

"I still think Harvard is missing anopportunity to be a leader here," he said. "Myvision of what Harvard should do is to sever allties. Having waited more than four years now andhaving asked them to change the policy, they stillhaven't done anything of substance."

Corporation members either did not return phonecalls or had no comment.

In May, 1990, after Carney's expulsion, theFaculty Council issued a statement "deploringdiscrimination by military services against gayand lesbian students." It recommended Harvardsever ties with the program in two years if thefederal government did not sufficiently resolvethe issues of discrimination.

In 1992 the Verba Committee also recommendedthat the University eliminate the ROTC option ifthe military's stance on gays did not change.

Last year, faculty members decided that themilitary's current policy of "don't ask, don'ttell" continues to violate Harvard'snon-discrimination policy.

In February 1994 Rudenstine began negotiatingwith MIT to allow students to participate withoutthe University paying MIT for their involvement.

Rudenstine wrote in his November report thatnegotiation with MIT were unsuccessful because MITcannot take any significant action on ROTC untilit convenes its own committee to review its statusin September 1996

"I can't guarantee it will end the debate,because I'm never sure what the faculty will do,"Verba said.

Faculty support of the new policy seems all butassured, however.

Even the most vocal of the faculty who spokeagainst the original Rudenstine proposal at aDecember faculty meeting expressed support of theamended compromise.

Professor of Philosophy Warren D. Goldfarb '69criticized the original Rudenstine proposal. Butin an interview last week, Goldfarb said hesupports the Carnesale supplement.

"I'm most pleased because this supplementarystatement will remove Harvard's financial supportof this discriminatory ROTC program," Goldfarbsaid.

Still, not everyone is pleased with the newUniversity policy. David E. Carney '89, whoseexpulsion from ROTC after telling his commandingofficer that he was gay started the controversy,said he does not feel the new policy goes farenough.

"I still think Harvard is missing anopportunity to be a leader here," he said. "Myvision of what Harvard should do is to sever allties. Having waited more than four years now andhaving asked them to change the policy, they stillhaven't done anything of substance."

Corporation members either did not return phonecalls or had no comment.

In May, 1990, after Carney's expulsion, theFaculty Council issued a statement "deploringdiscrimination by military services against gayand lesbian students." It recommended Harvardsever ties with the program in two years if thefederal government did not sufficiently resolvethe issues of discrimination.

In 1992 the Verba Committee also recommendedthat the University eliminate the ROTC option ifthe military's stance on gays did not change.

Last year, faculty members decided that themilitary's current policy of "don't ask, don'ttell" continues to violate Harvard'snon-discrimination policy.

In February 1994 Rudenstine began negotiatingwith MIT to allow students to participate withoutthe University paying MIT for their involvement.

Rudenstine wrote in his November report thatnegotiation with MIT were unsuccessful because MITcannot take any significant action on ROTC untilit convenes its own committee to review its statusin September 1996

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