L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
"gays in the military" became part of the
ROTC.  A third reason for inaction on the
lexicon of the lgbt movement.  As lgbt
part of many campus officials was that,
people in academe began examining the
by the early 1990 s it began to appear as
ways in which their work lives and their
though the military ban might be lifted by
studies were being compromised by
homophobia and discrimination, ROTC
The dichotomy created by
became a target of their anger and of their
the presence of ROTC (and of
organizing.
military recruiters) is particu 
larly problematic on the
In the late 1980 s and early  90 s, this
growing number of campus 
organizing reached its apex.  On many
es governed by policies that
campuses, student bodies, along with fac 
prohibit discrimination on
ulty, staff and administrators, weighed in
the basis of gender, race,
with denunciations of the U.S. Military s
ethnicity, disability, religion
anti gay policy, asking that, unless and
and sexual orientation.
until the DOD changed its stance, their
presidents, chancellors and boards of
the DOD, a move that would, in effect,
regents remove ROTC from their cam 
solve the problem of discrimination
puses.  In response, many institutional
against lgbts in campus ROTC programs.
leaders wrote letters to federal officials,
Especially encouraging along these lines,
including the President and the Secretary
of course, was Bill Clinton s promise dur 
of Defense, imploring them to lift the ban
ing his campaign for the presidency to
on gay men and lesbians in the military,
see the ban lifted.
but only a handful actually removed
ROTC.  
As a result of these and other factors,
most campus activity related to removing
The failure of most institutional leaders
ROTC became stalled as presidents,
to move against ROTC stemmed from
chancellors and regents took a "wait and
several sources.  First, many campuses
see" posture, hoping and/or believing that
depend on government grants, some of
the decision would be removed from
which are military contracts, and institu 
them.  This, of course, was not to be.  The
tional leaders were loathe to threaten
ban was not lifted.  There was more "wait
those income streams.  A second and
and see" by institutional leadership (and
related barrier to banning ROTC was the
by the lgbt movement) to ascertain the
fact that many public universities are
effect of "don t ask, don t tell."  By the
"land grant" institutions.  This means, in
time the dust had settled and the "new "
part, that they were originally established
policy was in place, much of the momen 
on federal land and, in exchange for the
tum had been lost.  As of mid 1995,
property being given over to the institu 
despite occasional flare ups on isolated
tion, the institution in turn was required
campuses (e.g., in 1994, Harvard Univer 
to offer military training.  Despite the fact
sity withdrew all university support from
that the Morrill Act, which established
its ROTC programs.  Though still
land grant status in the late 1800 s, was
offered, these programs are funded
passed long before ROTC existed, many
through private donations.), the issue of
institutional leaders believed that "mili 
campus ROTC is largely moribund.
tary training" was synonymous with
2 4 0
M
P r a c t i c a l   A p p l i c a t i o n s






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