<< The Body Politic

Columbia round-up

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Three smart takes on the Columbia ROTC debate…

First, VA blogger Alex Horton on Columbia and the civil-military divide:

The university campus is a flash point for Vets reintegrating back into society, and can often be the first interaction young people have with former service members. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders of the country, and what happens in the classroom has the power to affect civilian and Vet relations for decades after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end. We have to remember what Vietnam taught us: the way Vets reintegrate has a profound impact on their success later in life.

Second, Matthew Gallagher, a former Army officer and Columbia student, on anti-military sentiment at the university:

[T]here is a strain of thought in the Columbia legions that they must be against anything military-related, because they are Columbia, after all. This is a leftover from the 60s, when Columbia became Columbia with their in/famous Vietnam protests. Some of the faculty still walks around viewing the world through this black-and-white prism, and occasionally, one will stumble across an undergrad who feels the same way. Or, more accurately, feel like they need to feel that way, because they Wikipedia’ed Columbia after getting accepted, and a perverted sort of romanticism followed. It’s as organic as most anything else in 2011, i.e. a regurgitated derivative from an age deemed more “real” and “authentic.” These kids are clowns, obviously, but certainly not indicative of the student population as a whole.

[…]Just remember, before the inevitable anti-Ivy League backlash occurs, that Columbia has gone above and beyond their fellow Ivies in terms of GWOT veterans outreach. The last numbers I saw had more than 300 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on campus. That matters a hell of a lot more than a couple of discontents acting out some hippie fantasy.

And finally, Tom Ricks, short and sweet:

As for Columbia, where my father taught and three of my siblings were students:

1. They should have ROTC, or lose federal monies.

2. The girl in the balcony with the poster should be asked if she wants to deny young people who otherwise could not afford Columbia the opportunity to attend on a ROTC scholarship.