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House Approves Pro-ROTC Bill

Some Say DOD Funds Threatened, But Carnesale Says Harvard Is Safe

By Manlio A. Goetzl, Special to The Crimson

WASHINGTON, D.C.--The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure last month that would eliminate Defense Department funding of universities with "anti-ROTC policies."

Some inside the Beltway say it appears that Harvard, which booted the ROTC program off campus more than two decades ago, would be in violation of the language of the measure, jeopardizing the $12 million in research monies the University receives from the Defense Department each year.

The House approved the measure in support of ROTC last month as an amendment to the Fiscal 1996 Defense Authorization Bill. The amendment passed decisively, by a vote of 302-125. The House approved the bill several days later by a vote of 300-126.

During debate on the amendment, several representatives singled out Harvard for criticism.

"Currently, dozens of colleges and universities across this country, including the prestigious ones such as Harvard and Yale, blatantly discriminate against students willing to serve their country, and it is so aggravating to this member," said Rep. Gerald H. Solomon (R-N.Y.), who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.).

The ROTC scholarship provides significant financial aid to students who make a commitment to enter the military upon leaving college.

Harvard ended its on-campus ROTC program in 1970 in response to anti-war demonstrations. Students continue in the ROTC program at MIT, just a few miles down the Charles River.

But the House-approved measure defines ananti-ROTC policy as one which "I) prohibits, or ineffect prevents, the secretary of defense frommaintaining or establishing a unit of the senior[ROTC] at that institution, or 2) prohibits, or ineffect prevents, a student at that institutionfrom enrolling in a unit of ROTC at anotherinstitution of higher education."

Congressional aides to two of therepresentatives who supported the bill said thatHarvard would certainly be subject to the measure.

And another member of Congress, Rep. JackKingston (R-Ga.), specifically pointed to Harvardas an "offending university" during debate on theHouse floor.

University officials say they are not sure thatthe bill applies to Harvard's ROTC program.

Kevin Casey, a lawyer and Harvard's director offederal and state relations, said yesterday thatthe language was somewhat ambiguous.

He pointed to the two requirements of the billas somewhat difficult.

"It would seem to me in my quick reading of itthat you would not need the second ifyou were justintending to accomplish...the first," Casey said.

Casey said he would try to work with the Senateto "see if we can come up with some languageto...accommodate Mr. Solomon's efforts andHarvard's policy."

But Provost Albert Carnesale, who is also deanof the Kennedy School, indicated in an interviewyesterday that that would be unnecessary.

The provost said that Harvard's present ROTCpolicy would not be a violation of this measure,if it indeed became law.

"I belive that Harvard is in compliance withthe language of the bill," Carnesale said. "Andwe're certainly in complicance with the overallpurpose of the proposed amendment, which is toensure that students are not deprived of theopportunity to participate in ROTC programs. Ithas long been our procedure...to ensure that."

Carnesale said that in an era of defense cuts,the federal government is actually encouragingarrangements like the Harvard-MIT cooperativeprogram on ROTC.

"I don't believe the language of this billdiscourages that," Carnesale said.

Carnesale, however, said he would take noaction to try to block the measure's passage inthe Senate.

"I believe that our current policies accomplishthe [measure's] objective, and therefore I see noneed on those grounds to try to get involved indiscussions of the future of this amendment," hesaid.

Those in Washington, however, appear to betargeting Harvard.

"It's intended to affect schools that havethrown ROTC off campus," Diana D. Burns,Kingston's legislative director, said in aninterview. "If Harvard falls under that, they'renot going to get any more money."

Carnesale refused to say whether he hasconsulted with Harvard's Office of the GeneralCunsel in reviewing the measure.

Rationale

Several members of Congress said they supportthe measure because thay object to universitiesthat push away the Defense Department with onehand while accepting its money with the other.

Solomon, for example, blasted Harvardspecifically for its "hypocrisy" in acceptingDepartment of Defense money while at the same timebanishing organized ROTC on campus.

"Vocal minorities, in the name of politicalcorrectness, are pressuring...institutions toforce ROTC off campuses--often campuses receivinglarge amounts of taxpayer support," amendment'sother co-sponsor, said on the House floor. "Thisis outrageous. It is a slap at the honor anddignity of service in our nation's military."

"I believe that when a college vents its policyprotests by denying its students the opportunityto participate in ROTC, then that school should bedenied Department of Defense dollars," Pomboadded. "It'sjust that simple."

Kingston, during the floor debate, also sharplycriticized Yale for its treatment of one student.That individual had to travel 65 miles twice eachweek to participate in ROTC as a result of Yale'sban, Kingston said.

The representative said that it isreprehensible that while ROTC is not allowed onthe Yale campus, students may take courses such as"The Story of lncest."

He added that despte its anti- ROTC policy,Yale recently accepted a $5 million contract fromthe U.S. Army.

"If they want to have "The Story of lncest" asone of their main academic majors, let them,"Kingston said. "But do not come back to us withthe other hand, while you are kicking...young menand women who want to join ROTC off campus, andthen take a $5 million grant."

But despite congressional pressure, returningROTC to the Harvard campus would likely be apolitical nightmare.

Many members of the University's Faculty ofArts and Sciences (FAS) oppose any ties to ROTC.They believe that the military's ban on gays wouldplace the University in violation of itsnon-discrimination policy if ROTC were returned tocampus.

But at least one faculty member who hasexpressed anti-ROTC sentiments in the past saidthat the University would likely work out afeasible, satisfactory solution, even if themeasure became law.

"My sense of where the Harvard faculty andadministration are on ROTC is to do their verybest to work out a compromise," said Professor ofSociology Theda Skocpol. "I think Harvard hasalready maneuvered so much to find a compromisethat this is not a big problem."

The most recent ROTC debate revolved around anadministrative fee Harvard paid MIT for runing theprogram.

For a decade, the fee, generally in theneighborhood of $120,000 per year, was paid out ofthe FAS general pool.

Some faculty members objected to thisarrangement, charging that the University wasfunding a program that discriminated against itsown students.

Last December, President Neil L. Rudenstinereleased a report detailing a compromise. He saidthat several alumni donors had come forwardoffering to pay the fee.

In February, Carnesale, who was then serving asacting president while Rudenstine recovered from about with fatigue, released a supplementarystatement.

In it, the acting president proclaimed that thefund would not be administered by Harvard,effectively ending the University's financial tiesto ROTC.

For now, representatives would seem to have theupper hand. All concerned agree that it would besignificantly more difficult for the University toend its $12 million financia ties to theDepartment of Defense

But the House-approved measure defines ananti-ROTC policy as one which "I) prohibits, or ineffect prevents, the secretary of defense frommaintaining or establishing a unit of the senior[ROTC] at that institution, or 2) prohibits, or ineffect prevents, a student at that institutionfrom enrolling in a unit of ROTC at anotherinstitution of higher education."

Congressional aides to two of therepresentatives who supported the bill said thatHarvard would certainly be subject to the measure.

And another member of Congress, Rep. JackKingston (R-Ga.), specifically pointed to Harvardas an "offending university" during debate on theHouse floor.

University officials say they are not sure thatthe bill applies to Harvard's ROTC program.

Kevin Casey, a lawyer and Harvard's director offederal and state relations, said yesterday thatthe language was somewhat ambiguous.

He pointed to the two requirements of the billas somewhat difficult.

"It would seem to me in my quick reading of itthat you would not need the second ifyou were justintending to accomplish...the first," Casey said.

Casey said he would try to work with the Senateto "see if we can come up with some languageto...accommodate Mr. Solomon's efforts andHarvard's policy."

But Provost Albert Carnesale, who is also deanof the Kennedy School, indicated in an interviewyesterday that that would be unnecessary.

The provost said that Harvard's present ROTCpolicy would not be a violation of this measure,if it indeed became law.

"I belive that Harvard is in compliance withthe language of the bill," Carnesale said. "Andwe're certainly in complicance with the overallpurpose of the proposed amendment, which is toensure that students are not deprived of theopportunity to participate in ROTC programs. Ithas long been our procedure...to ensure that."

Carnesale said that in an era of defense cuts,the federal government is actually encouragingarrangements like the Harvard-MIT cooperativeprogram on ROTC.

"I don't believe the language of this billdiscourages that," Carnesale said.

Carnesale, however, said he would take noaction to try to block the measure's passage inthe Senate.

"I believe that our current policies accomplishthe [measure's] objective, and therefore I see noneed on those grounds to try to get involved indiscussions of the future of this amendment," hesaid.

Those in Washington, however, appear to betargeting Harvard.

"It's intended to affect schools that havethrown ROTC off campus," Diana D. Burns,Kingston's legislative director, said in aninterview. "If Harvard falls under that, they'renot going to get any more money."

Carnesale refused to say whether he hasconsulted with Harvard's Office of the GeneralCunsel in reviewing the measure.

Rationale

Several members of Congress said they supportthe measure because thay object to universitiesthat push away the Defense Department with onehand while accepting its money with the other.

Solomon, for example, blasted Harvardspecifically for its "hypocrisy" in acceptingDepartment of Defense money while at the same timebanishing organized ROTC on campus.

"Vocal minorities, in the name of politicalcorrectness, are pressuring...institutions toforce ROTC off campuses--often campuses receivinglarge amounts of taxpayer support," amendment'sother co-sponsor, said on the House floor. "Thisis outrageous. It is a slap at the honor anddignity of service in our nation's military."

"I believe that when a college vents its policyprotests by denying its students the opportunityto participate in ROTC, then that school should bedenied Department of Defense dollars," Pomboadded. "It'sjust that simple."

Kingston, during the floor debate, also sharplycriticized Yale for its treatment of one student.That individual had to travel 65 miles twice eachweek to participate in ROTC as a result of Yale'sban, Kingston said.

The representative said that it isreprehensible that while ROTC is not allowed onthe Yale campus, students may take courses such as"The Story of lncest."

He added that despte its anti- ROTC policy,Yale recently accepted a $5 million contract fromthe U.S. Army.

"If they want to have "The Story of lncest" asone of their main academic majors, let them,"Kingston said. "But do not come back to us withthe other hand, while you are kicking...young menand women who want to join ROTC off campus, andthen take a $5 million grant."

But despite congressional pressure, returningROTC to the Harvard campus would likely be apolitical nightmare.

Many members of the University's Faculty ofArts and Sciences (FAS) oppose any ties to ROTC.They believe that the military's ban on gays wouldplace the University in violation of itsnon-discrimination policy if ROTC were returned tocampus.

But at least one faculty member who hasexpressed anti-ROTC sentiments in the past saidthat the University would likely work out afeasible, satisfactory solution, even if themeasure became law.

"My sense of where the Harvard faculty andadministration are on ROTC is to do their verybest to work out a compromise," said Professor ofSociology Theda Skocpol. "I think Harvard hasalready maneuvered so much to find a compromisethat this is not a big problem."

The most recent ROTC debate revolved around anadministrative fee Harvard paid MIT for runing theprogram.

For a decade, the fee, generally in theneighborhood of $120,000 per year, was paid out ofthe FAS general pool.

Some faculty members objected to thisarrangement, charging that the University wasfunding a program that discriminated against itsown students.

Last December, President Neil L. Rudenstinereleased a report detailing a compromise. He saidthat several alumni donors had come forwardoffering to pay the fee.

In February, Carnesale, who was then serving asacting president while Rudenstine recovered from about with fatigue, released a supplementarystatement.

In it, the acting president proclaimed that thefund would not be administered by Harvard,effectively ending the University's financial tiesto ROTC.

For now, representatives would seem to have theupper hand. All concerned agree that it would besignificantly more difficult for the University toend its $12 million financia ties to theDepartment of Defense

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