ROTC: When the military meets the quad

Cadets train at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Over the last few years, ROTC programs have begun to return to elite universities including Harvard, Columbia, Stanford and Yale. It’s the latest development in a century-long struggle between university and military culture in the United States.

Next month, Cambridge University Press will release the first comprehensive analysis of this fraught, ever-evolving relationship: “Arms and the University: Military Presence and the Civic Education of Non-Military Students,” by Donald Alexander Downs and Ilia Murtazashvili.

In 14 chapters, the book traces ROTC history from the program’s meager beginnings in 1916 to its banishment from campuses in the ’60s and from the “don’t ask, don’t tell” controversy to ROTC’s return to the Ivy League. Along the way, Downs and Murtazashvili argue for a more substantive military presence on all U.S. campuses.

“It’s not a left-right issue in the end. Bringing the ROTC back was originally kind of a right-wing issue, led by conservative groups on campus,” says Downs, a professor of political science, law and journalism at the University of Wisconsin. “But after 9/11, people on the left started agreeing that there is something to this argument of equal recognition for military students — civic equality, and broadening the university’s mind to this reality.”

Closing the gap

After authoring “Arms and the University,” Downs is pleased to see ROTC programs returning to revered institutions — but dismayed by the growing gap between privileged universities and the military.  
   
“America has the most prominent position in the world, and the military helps secure that. There’s just something wrong when members of the elite don’t contribute in a direct way to that, because they’re the ones that get the most privilege out of the system,” he says.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

South Korea ferry disaster: captain's actions 'tantamount to…

The captain and some crew members of the sunken South Korean passenger ferry Sewol have been accused of 'murderous acts' by their own president, after…

News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.