A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
ROTC as an Issue of Educational
protections against discrimination based
Opportunity  
on sexual orientation, not to mention
UCLA s own nondiscrimination policy,
For many, the issue of ROTC is clear cut:
such discrimination was being blatantly
ROTC discriminates on the basis of sex 
carried out "in our own backyard at our
ual orientation, this campus has a policy
own public university."
that prohibits such discrimination, ergo,
ROTC must be removed, period.  What
The project, which was funded by private
this view fails to consider, however, is
donations, was organized in two distinct
that for many students, particularly those
stages, preceded by in depth research
who are economically disadvantaged
about the relationship   contractual and
and/or are members of groups that have
otherwise   between UCLA and its
historically faced discrimination based on
ROTC programs.  Among other things,
race or ethnicity, ROTC may be one of
this research revealed that those aspects
few avenues leading to education or pro 
for which UCLA was directly responsi 
fessional training.  Additionally, the
ble, notably the Military Science course
scholarships that frequently accompany
curriculum, were open and accessible to
enrollment in ROTC are often the only
all students, regardless of sexual orienta 
means by which such students can
tion.  It was at the point of officer com 
finance a college or university education.
missioning and special training associat 
Thus, among those who believe that
ed with commissioning, aspects over
ROTC belongs on campus may be poor
which UCLA has no authority, that the
and working class lgbt people, including
lgbt people of color, who are not interest 
UCLA leaders may not have
ed in seeing this avenue closed down.
been  in charge,  but they
were not without power.
Freedom Project  Los Angeles  
As suggested above, some organizing
discrimination went into effect.  In other
against ROTC discrimination has
words, lgbt students could, if they so
occurred on isolated campuses in the
wished, proceed through an entire course
wake of "Don t Ask, Don t Tell, Don t
of study in Military Science but if they
Pursue."  One notable organizing effort
revealed their homosexuality they could
took place in Los Angeles between the
be barred from the commissioning
fall of 1993 and the fall of 1994.  Free 
process and, possibly, be stripped of any
dom Project Los Angeles (FPLA) was
scholarship money they d received or be
conceived as a joint effort between
forced to pay back that which had already
UCLA and the greater Los Angeles com 
been expended.  The research further
munity, the purpose of which was to per 
revealed that UCLA, in addition to pro 
suade UCLA to "end the partnership in
viding campus facilities for the ROTC
discrimination" between the University
programs, contributes approximately
and ROTC.  Organizers of FPLA includ 
$160,000 per year in direct financial sup 
ed lgbt student leaders from UCLA, and
port of the programs.   
lgbt political leaders from the greater Los
Angeles area who were incensed that,
despite California and Los Angeles City
E n d i n g   R O T C   D i s c r i m i n a t i o n     M     2 4 1






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