Members of the Committee
David A. Aronberg '93, 1991-1992 Chair Harvard-Radcliffe Undergraduate Council
Yared Belai '92, Co-Chair 1991-1992 Harvard-Radcliffe Undergraduate Council Ad Hoc Committee on ROTC
Roland Dunbrack, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Network
James Engell, Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Claudia D. Goldin, Professor of Economics
The Reverend Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Minister in the Memorial Church
Fred Jewett, Dean of Harvard College
Timothy P. McCormack '92, Co-Chair 1991-1992 Harvard-Radcliffe Undergraduate Council Ad Hoc Committee on ROTC Daniel J. Meltzer, Professor of Law
Joseph S. Nye, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs
Sidney Verba, Pforzheimer University Professor (Chair)
To the President and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences:
The faculty student University Committee on the Status of ROTC was established by the President and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) in February 1992 and charged with analyzing Harvard's present and future relationship to the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) of the various military services. We have completed our work and submit the following report.
EVOLUTION OF HARVARD'S RELATIONSHIP TO ROTC
We believe a brief history of the actions taken by Harvard with respect to ROTC serves as a useful starting point. These events clarify the present status of ROTC and the decision-making process by which that relationship has evolved.
FAS and University Actions vis a vis ROTC: In February, April and June 1969, the FAS faculty voted to withdraw all curricular and academic status from ROTC and to permit it to operate only
as other ordinary extracurricular activities with no special privilege or facilities granted either by contract or by informal arrangement.
The April 1969 vote provided that any student who wished to participate in ROTC do so in a manner consistent with this principle. The April and June votes acknowledged that FAS had primary jurisdiction over the curricular aspects of ROTC for FAS students, while final decisions relating to students of other faculties rested with those faculties, and that decisions concerning University policy on ROTC, including academic appointments and financial and contractual matters, rested properly with the President and Fellows.
As a result of these actions by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, after the early 1970's no ROTC units operated at Harvard. Harvard students holding Army, Navy, or Air Force ROTC scholarships and wishing to participate in ROTC courses and activities did so in units hosted by MIT. Harvard continued to receive ROTC scholarship funds for the benefit of participating students. In 1976, the FAS faculty voted to permit undergraduate students to cross-register in non-credit ROTC courses offered at MIT. This arrangement continues to the present.
The basis for the change in the status of ROTC in the early 1970's was disapproval of the military during and in the wake of the war in Vietnam and academic concerns that ROTC instructors were not chosen, and their courses not developed, in accordance with normal procedures in FAS. Issues of discrimination by the military against homosexuals or other groups played no apparent role in the debate or decision by the FAS faculty at that time. The Department of Defense (DoD) had then and has now a policy of excluding homosexuals from ROTC and from military service, and of requiring the discharge of any homosexual serviceman or servicewoman or ROTC cadet. The DoD policy, though the subject of several lawsuits, has not been held to violate any provision of federal or state law as currently interpreted.
In September 1975, Harvard entered into an "Educational Service Agreement" with the Department of the Air Force. The agreement provides that it may be amended by mutual consent of the parties or terminated by either party by giving thirty days' advance written notice. The Committee is aware of no document evidencing subsequent modification or termination of this agreement. The agreement imposes certain minor obligations on Harvard, such as a requirement to furnish the Air Force with current college catalogues and transcripts. The agreement provides, inter alia, that Harvard "shall not establish any tuition or fees which apply only to government [ROTC] students" and "shall not directly charge individual students for application fees or any other fee properly chargeable to this agreement." In other respects, the agreement is a boilerplate description of enrollment and payment procedures for students holding ROTC scholarships. The standard agreement was modified to permit the arrangement by which Harvard students satisfy ROTC requirements through cross-registration at MIT.
In February 1984, FAS voted to reimburse MIT for appropriate cost incurred by the inclusion of FAS students in ROTC units at MIT. The full faculty vote specifically stated that by so doing "the Faculty does not wish to imply support of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."
In March 1985, Harvard and MIT entered into a "cross-town" agreement with the Navy ROTC at MIT. The Navy has insisted on such an agreement with a university as a condition of continued participation in ROTC by the students of that university. This agreement imposes certain duties and obligations on the Navy ROTC and on MIT as the host institution; it imposes no substantive obligations on Harvard other than to continue its generally applicable cross-registration agreement with MIT. No cross-town agreement exists between Harvard and the Army or Air Force ROTC units at MIT.
In May 1985, the President and Fellows adopted a University-wide non-discrimination policy, which is set out here in full:
Harvard University's policy is to make decisions concerning applicants, students, faculty and staff on the basis of the individual's qualifications to contribute to Harvard's educational objectives and institutional needs. The principle of not discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job or course of study requirements is consistent with the purposes of a university and with the law. Harvard expects that those with whom it deals with will comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws.
In May 1990, the FAS Faculty Council passed a resolution and issued a statement deploring discrimination by the military services against gay and lesbian students. The Faculty Council recommended that Harvard's participation in ROTC programs be suspended if, within two years, insufficient progress had been made in resolving issues of discrimination by the military on the basis of sexual orientation.
In June 1990, then President Derek Bok and then FAS Dean Michael Spence wrote to Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney urging "prompt and careful review of the present policy." The President and the Dean stated, "Unless there are compelling facts and arguments of which we are unaware, the current policy seems clearly wrong not only because it discriminates against people solely on the basis of their sexual orientation but also because it is likely to weaken the national ROTC program by creating an increasing amount of antagonism toward ROTC on university campuses." In April 1990, then MIT Provost John Deutch wrote a similar letter to Secretary Cheney. The Secretary offered no substantive response to either letter.
In recent months, President Bush, Secretary Cheney, and General Cohn Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, have reaffirmed the present policy of exclusion. Presidential candidate Bill Clinton has expressed opposition to it. In May 1992, Representative Patricia Schroeder, a member of the Armed Services Committee who was instrumental in opening the service academies and certain combat roles to women, introduced legislation to prohibit discrimination in the military on the basis of sexual orientation. In June 1992, the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) issued an extensive report on the DoD policy on homosexuality. While making no recommendations, the GAO Report identified a number of factors (none supportive of the DoD policy) that it suggested Congress consider in acting on the pending legislation. While we see no strong reason to believe that the DoD policy of exclusion will be changed in the very near term, these are signs that a process for change may be under way.
In advance of the date for action specified in the 1990 FAS Faculty Council resolution, President Rudenstine established this Committee to provide analysis and advice concerning the future relationship between Harvard and ROTC.
CURRENT STATUS OF HARVARD'S RELATIONSHIP TO ROTC
Current Program: In academic year 1991-1992, 78 Harvard students were enrolled in ROTC units at MIT: 21 in Army ROTC, 51 in Navy ROTC, and 6 in Air Force ROTC. In academic year 1991-92, Harvard paid a fee of $128,125 to MIT as reimbursement for costs related to the participation of Harvard's seventy eight students enrolled in ROTC units located at MIT. Current Harvard students receive slightly over one million dollars in financial aid from ROTC scholarships. The estimated financial impact on Harvard of a discontinuance of ROTC scholarships is in a range from $150,000 to $315,000. The difference is attributable to the fact that ROTC scholarships, unlike Harvard aid, are not need based.
At present, the University's involvement with ROTC has these elements: (1) payment of the fee to MIT; (2) the 1975 agreement with the Air Force and the 1985 cross-town agreement with the Navy; (3) receipt of ROTC scholarship funds to pay the tuition and fees of cadets; and (4) the relatively recent practice of permitting ROTC units to publicize and to hold commissioning ceremonies for Harvard students at Harvard. The Harvard College "Handbook for Students" contains no reference to ROTC, except with respect to cross-registration for courses taken at MIT to fulfil [sic] ROTC requirements.
Other Instances in which Harvard Receives DoD funds: Harvard receives funds under a variety of DoD grants and contracts. These are distinguishable from ROTC because receipt of those funds does not involve or require the exclusion of any individual from participation in funded activities because of his or her sexual orientation.
Other Issues: In our discussions, we came upon a set of issues, besides the military's exclusion of gays and lesbians, that deserve brief comment. ROTC cadets may be under certain restrictions as to their freedom to select certain fields of concentration and their freedom of speech. Some ROTC scholarships specify a field of concentration, generally in the sciences or in economics, that the student will study. There is some flexibility in making changes, but a student wishing to concentrate in Classics may not be able to do so under one of these scholarships. The Committee did not think it appropriate for the University to deprive students of the freedom to obtain, in exchange for agreeing to study a particular subject, the opportunity to participate in ROTC and to receive an ROTC scholarship - provided that the restrictions are fully understood by the student from the outset.
Regarding free speech, the policies of the three services differ, but one or more of them may (1) require a cadet to inform a military public affairs official before speaking (whether or not in uniform) to the media on any subject, (2) prohibit a cadet while in uniform from criticizing ROTC or military policy, or (3) prohibit a cadet who does express opinions to the media (even while out of uniform) from being identified as a member of ROTC. There may be less formal efforts to "counsel" cadets that expression of views to the media on controversial topics, though not prohibited, may be regarded unfavorably by the military. At the same time, Commanders of the MIT ROTC units seemed to us to understand that Harvard and other universities are fully committed to free expression. In the end, we did not view the limitations imposed by the military, formal and informal, as substantially undermining a participating student's ability to take advantage of the freedom of inquiry and expression guaranteed by the University.
COMMITTEE PROCESS AND PRINCIPLES
The University Committee on the Status of ROTC has met regularly since February. We sought to consult broadly with interested members of the Harvard community. We invited and heard directly from students participating in the ROTC program of all three services and from representatives of the Harvard-Radcliffe Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Student Association (HRBGLSA) and the Committee on Gay, Bisexual and Lesbian Legal Issues (COGBLLI). We read materials submitted to us by organizations including the Harvard-Radcliffe Undergraduate Council (with some of whose members we met directly), the Civil Liberties Union of Harvard, and the Harvard Republican Club. On April 8, the Committee conducted a widely advertised open forum to hear further views from members of the University community. We studied voluminous written materials such as reports from other universities, including MIT, Washington University, and Princeton; reports commissioned by the Department of Defense and various advocacy groups; the GAO Report; legal analyses; Harvard's internal documentary history of its relationship to ROTC; and pertinent current information relating to financial aid, enrollment, military policy and practice, and a variety of other relevant matters. We met with appropriate administrators at MIT and with the commanders of the three ROTC units at MIT. One member of the Committee, at the invitation of the Navy, visited the Naval base at Norfolk, Virginia, for further discussion of the concerns of the service and to observe "close quarters" living conditions on an aircraft carrier. This list does not exhaustively describe our efforts.
The Committee tried diligently to obtain complete and accurate information, to evaluate it fairly, and to resolve apparent gaps or inconsistencies. We had open, frank, and immensely educational exchanges with individuals of differing experiences and points of view and among the members of the Committee. We found no hostility or animus in any of these dialogues. Indeed, we consistently discovered an extraordinary respect and forbearance among individuals whose priorities and perspectives on this hard question diverged widely. From student participants in ROTC and other supporters of the program, we heard compelling arguments for the value of ROTC to those who choose to participate, but we also heard respect and sympathy for the hurt and outrage experienced by gay, bisexual and lesbian students excluded from the advantages of participation. From gay and lesbian students and others opposed to continued support of the program, we heard of their opposition in principle to a discriminatory program as well as deeply affecting stories of personal loss and degradation caused by the military policy. But we also heard understanding of the value that other students found in the program. Many members of the University community expressed an appreciation of the difficulty of the dilemma faced by Harvard in fairly balancing competing values. We saw no hostility toward students able to participate in ROTC or supportive of continued University involvement with the program. We were impressed by the quality of the debate.
All members of the Committee felt educated by our experience. The question before us became increasingly difficult the more we learned. While no unambiguously correct course of action emerged nor one in which no sacrifice was required, consensus did develop among Committee members on certain central principles and goals. We believe that the options with respect to the University's future relationship to ROTC should be measured by the extent to which these central principles are honored and advanced.
First, the President and Fellows have promulgated a policy that forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by Harvard against Harvard students and others in our community. The policy states, and we agree, that such discrimination is inconsistent with the purposes of a university. ROTC is unlike ordinary curricular offerings and extracurricular activities: it is not a program offered, controlled, or administered by Harvard. It is not, therefore, squarely governed by the non-discrimination policy. At the same time, Harvard is substantially entangled with the ROTC program, most directly by the payment of a fee to MIT to defray the cost of participation by our students. Such direct financial support raises a serious question of non-compliance with our non-discrimination policy. We believe that our first concern should be the fulfillment of Harvard's mission and the proper application of our own policies within this community. Thus, in reaching a judgment on the question of a future relationship to ROTC, we placed very substantial weight on the importance of demonstrating adherence to and respect for such statements of core University values, even when the consequence of taking such a stand may be difficult.
Second, Harvard has already expressed its view, in the June 1990 letter of President Bok and Dean Spence, that the current DoD policy of exclusion on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong. This Committee has no special expertise in matters of military policy, and we do not purport to have undertaken a comprehensive review or assessment of the basis for the military policy. At the same time, we can say that the exclusion of individuals from participation in ROTC solely on the basis of sexual orientation does not appear to be supported by sufficient evidence to convince us that it is justified. We note that studies commissioned by the military itself have reached similar conclusions, and a like finding is suggested by the recent GAO report. Many of the factors asserted to justify the policy of exclusion are strongly reminiscent of those arguments - presented in the past and now discredited - used to bar citizens of color and women from military service or to segregate them within the services. The Committee hopes that the DoD policy will be abandoned.
Third, the opportunity to participate in ROTC is a valuable benefit. In addition to significant financial aid, ROTC provides skill, leadership, and career development opportunities legitimately viewed as important both by those who participate and those who are excluded from participation because of their sexual orientation. Involvement of Harvard students in an ROTC program is a benefit to individual cadets and, we believe, advances a national interest in a diverse and educated citizen military. We believe that ROTC should be preserved, if possible, as a choice available to students, acting as individuals.
Fourth, we have no illusions that Harvard's action with respect to ROTC will influence national policy or cause the military to abandon its policy of exclusion. This view is reinforced by considerations such as the general downsizing of the services and ROTC, the perception of the military that ROTC is only barely welcome at colleges and universities such as Harvard, and the fact that Harvard's tuition, and therefore the cost to the military of scholarships granted to Harvard students, is high. However, we also believe that we should not ignore Harvard's resources as an agent for changing what we think to be an antiquated and damaging public policy. In recent years, many colleges and universities have taken not only campus centered action with respect to ROTC, but have raised their opposition to the military's policy with elected officials, civil servants, and politically appointed federal administrators. The introduction of legislation barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the military could serve as a vehicle for an intensified debate and for change. It would seem wise for Harvard vigorously to join this growing dialogue. We are, therefore, attracted to the adoption of a future policy which encourages a continued and increased effort for individuals at Harvard - alone and in coordination with other institutions and associations - to place this issue more urgently on the national agenda, as well as on the agendas of individual institutions.
We believe that possible courses of action cannot be summarized neatly with the statement that Harvard is either "in" or "out" of ROTC. The institutional history; the complex nature of ROTC connections and scholarships; the context of other restricted scholarship funds and activities; the practical constraints of the present agreements with MIT, the Navy, and the Air Force; the varying policies of different branches of the armed services; and, most important, the competition of important and worthy interests and values, make an "in" or "out" model inadequate. Further, in light of the trend toward downsizing of the military and a corresponding reduction in the number of ROTC units and scholarship recipients, it is not at all assured that the participation of Harvard students in the ROTC programs could, in the wording of the 1990 FAS Faculty Council resolution, be "suspended" and then later successfully resumed.
In reaching its recommendations, the Committee found it useful first to identify and evaluate a range of possibilities for a future relationship with ROTC. No member of the Committee argued for adoption of an action at either extreme of the range; nevertheless, we found it useful to use these options to bracket the field of choice. We assessed these options principally for the extent to which each conformed to or diverged from the central principles set out above. We briefly describe these options below.
Reestablish ROTC units at Harvard.
This option would make it easier for our students to participate in ROTC, would bring Harvard fully into the program, and would eliminate some of the anomalies of the current relationship with MIT and ROTC. However, this option would involve Harvard directly in a discriminatory activity that would be in conflict with the University's non-discrimination policy. In addition, it is unlikely to be a viable alternative, even if it were not otherwise flawed. Given the current reduction in the size of the military it is unlikely that DoD would consider establishing a new program.
Maintain the status quo.
Thoughtful advocates have argued to the Committee that the status quo is acceptable and that action to disassociate the University further from the ROTC programs would have the consequence of foreclosing a valuable opportunity for financial support and career development for interested students. The predicted harm of taking action which may lead to the end of ROTC for Harvard students was described as the lessening of diversity, both in the military and at Harvard; isolation of the University from the national debate; and withdrawal of needed financial aid dollars. These are important considerations. They must be weighed, however, against the costs to Harvard and members of its community of continued direct University financial support of a discriminatory organization in contravention of our express policy prohibiting such conduct.
Certain aspects of the present arrangement seem to us to be acceptable and not to raise problems with respect to the non-discrimination policy. The University receives and processes the scholarships our students receive from ROTC. This is an involvement with ROTC but not different from our involvement with other outside organizations. Harvard is not and should not be responsible for the policies and practices of the wide variety of external organizations in which its students may choose to participate, or from which they may receive educational funding. Some of our students belong to organizations, such as religious or single-sex social clubs, that have membership requirements which would be impermissible under the University's non-discrimination policy. If they are not conducted as Harvard activities and do not receive direct University support, they do not come under University scrutiny. The actions or attitudes of external grantors are not within Harvard's appropriate sphere of control and Harvard may and does properly receive and process such funds for the benefit of particular students. We see no reason why ROTC scholarships should be treated differently in this regard. Further, intrusion by the University into the private choices of students, acting as individuals, to form such associations, receive such support, or participate in such external activities would, we believe, be unacceptably paternalistic.
End Harvard Support for ROTC.
Harvard could cease its direct support of ROTC. This action could be implemented in a variety of ways over different time frames. The most significant element of Harvard's support of the ROTC program is payment of the MIT fee. Harvard could stop paying that fee immediately. It could elect to decline to pay the fee for incoming students while grandfathering those now in the program. It is possible for Harvard to continue to pay the MIT fee for an additional fixed or flexible period of time to see if increased Congressional or private efforts or changed leadership in Washington result in recision of the DoD policy or to see if an alternative to the present fee arrangement can be worked out. In 1990, the MIT faculty voted that if there is inadequate progress toward eliminating the DoD policy on sexual orientation within a five year period, ROTC would be unavailable to students beginning with the class entering in 1998. Harvard could adopt a similar schedule. Harvard could leave the date it stops paying the fee flexible and require reexamination of the question if the military policy had not been changed within a certain time.
Among these options is an undertaking by the University to try to fashion a new arrangement with MIT and the military services whereby Harvard would no longer pay the MIT fee and ROTC would nevertheless remain an option for interested students. Discussions with MIT about the fee arrangement have been initiated. Possibilities for Harvard students to participate without direct University support in other local ROTC units could also be explored. While efforts by Harvard to preserve the opportunity for our students to participate in a program which we believe to be inconsistent with our non-discrimination policy may seem anomalous, we believe ROTC is a special case. Excepting the discriminatory DoD policy, all members of the Committee see ROTC as a worthy program that offers much of value to cadets, the University, and the nation. We would vastly prefer to see ROTC preserved as a choice for Harvard students and Harvard could work toward that goal by seeking an end to the military policy and, in the absence of such change, by doing what is possible to redefine existing relationships to permit the exercise of an individual student's choice to participate.
If elimination of the MIT fee does not prove to be an option, it may be possible to refashion the current arrangement to permit students wishing to take advantage of ROTC to pay the fee to MIT individually and directly. The fee is now approximately $1600 per student per year. This option, if achievable, would remove Harvard's financial support for a discriminatory external organization and place ROTC on the same basis as other outside activities. Even after payment of the fee, the net gain to participating students, in terms of financial aid, training, and career opportunities would be considerable.
There is uncertainty as to whether such an arrangement, even if acceptable to Harvard and to MIT, would meet the requirements of the military services. The Educational Services Agreement between Harvard and the Air Force contains an explicit provision that no special fees will be assessed on students participating in ROTC. Discussions with the services have been initiated and should continue with respect to the possibility of payment of the fee by participating students. If agreement can be reached on such an arrangement, the Educational Services Agreement with the Air Force must be modified accordingly.
We are mindful that the option of direct payment of the fee to MIT by participating students may be seen by some as an effort by Harvard to occupy the high moral ground at the expense of individual students. We do not think that is the case. We believe that this option, if achievable, properly places both the moral choice, and the costs and benefits flowing from that choice, on individual participants. This option comports with the vote of the FAS faculty to treat ROTC without special consideration and support; it accepts ROTC as a private non-Harvard activity; it complies with the University's commitment to non-discrimination; and it preserves a connection between individual students and ROTC such that Harvard has sufficient interest and stake in the issue to advocate for change in military policy.
Harvard could also seek to eliminate contractual relationships with the Navy and the Air Force. Such contracts create the appearance of inconsistency with the University non-discrimination policy. It is unclear whether Harvard students would be permitted by the services to continue to participate in ROTC programs at MIT or elsewhere if Harvard withdrew from the existing agreements and declined to enter into any future contracts with the services while the policy excluding gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals remained in force. Discussions with the Navy and Air Force about these contracts have been initiated.
In addition to the MIT fee, Harvard also supports ROTC by permitting the announcement of commissioning ceremonies in Commencement Day publications and by authorizing the conduct of these ceremonies on Harvard premises. This practice could be discontinued.
Regardless of which of these options may be pursued or achieved, we believe that the overriding value for Harvard is to act in a way that is clearly consistent with and supportive of our institutional policy of non-discrimination, even if the regrettable consequence of taking that position is that Harvard students will be foreclosed, by the military services or by MIT, from future participation in ROTC.
Prohibition against participation by Harvard students in ROTC.
Even if the University itself abandoned all direct support of ROTC, it could proceed further and seek to prohibit Harvard students from enrolling in an ROTC unit or accepting an ROTC scholarship because of the discriminatory policy of the military. This would be a paternalistic policy inconsistent with Harvard's general approach. It would single out ROTC for disadvantageous treatment compared to other outside organizations or funding sources, and would seek to extend the reach of Harvard's non-discrimination policy beyond its proper boundaries.
The Committee concluded (with one member dissenting and one member absent and not voting) that the status quo is unacceptable and that use of Harvard's general purpose funds to subsidize participation in an activity that excludes gay, lesbian, and bisexual students solely on the basis of their sexual preference violates Harvard's non-discrimination policy and should be discontinued. Further, this arrangement is clearly inconsistent with the April 1969 vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences providing that ROTC would thereafter be an ordinary extracurricular activity "with no special privilege or facilities granted either by contract or informal arrangement," and that students wishing to participate in ROTC could do so in a manner consistent with that principle. The evolution of the relationship with ROTC, particularly the agreement with MIT to provide financial support for the participation of Harvard students in MIT ROTC units, places ROTC in a favored position in relation to other outside activities.
The Committee was also troubled by the existing contracts with the services and would prefer that Harvard not participate in such arrangements. If, however, a cross-town agreement with the Navy and an "Educational Services Agreement" with the Air Force are required, we conclude that such agreements, if they impose no substantive obligations on Harvard, while an undesirable symbolic connection with discriminatory organizations, could be tolerated, if necessary, without material departure from the non-discrimination policy.
The Committee concluded (with one member dissenting and one member absent and not voting) that Commencement Day commissioning ceremonies, which are announced in University publications and held on Harvard premises with the authorization of University officials, should be discontinued. We believe this practice treats ROTC differently and more favorably that other external organizations which discriminate (such as, for example, the final clubs) and involves the University with ROTC in a direct way in contravention of the University non-discrimination policy. While discontinuance of commissioning ceremonies at Harvard is likely to disappoint cadets, their families, and some alumni, we can identify no principled basis for permitting this activity to continue while the discriminatory DoD policy remains in effect.
Guided by the principles and conclusions described above, the Committee (with one member dissenting and one member absent and not voting) arrived at its recommendations for a future relationship with ROTC and related actions:
This recommended schedule is an effort to strike a balance between a date that provides realistic time to assess the likelihood of change in the DoD policy after the presidential election, to seek a resolution of the fee and contract question, and to give adequate notice to affected students without permitting an indefinite or protracted extension of Harvard's support of the ROTC program. While we see some advantage in adopting the MIT time frame, we believe that deferring a decision and permitting the status quo to continue until 1998 is too long. Discontinuing the fee now or within the next year, if the result of that decision is that Harvard students may no longer participate in ROTC units at MIT, would unfairly surprise and disadvantage present and incoming students. Preparation of admissions materials for the class entering in 1993 are near completion, and it would be disruptive to amend them now to include notice about a change in ROTC policy. Therefore, in the event that DoD policy does not change and no alternative arrangements can be worked out, we believe it is fair and reasonable for Harvard to stop paying the MIT fee for students entering the University in 1994. For students in earlier classes already enrolled in ROTC, payment of the fee should be continued until their graduation.
Although the policies of the three military services vary, and additional differences in the rigor with which policies are enforced exist at the unit level, students should be warned that they may be required to repay scholarship funds received if they later learn, or it is discovered, that they are homosexual and are discharged from ROTC. Students should also be warned of the restrictions on the free speech of cadets imposed by one or more of the military services. Students accepting ROTC scholarships should be warned in advance by Harvard that they may be required to concentrate in certain subject areas in order to receive the ROTC scholarship aid. Finally, students and applicants should be clearly informed of the uncertainty of the future of ROTC at Harvard, including that participation may be foreclosed for students entering in the class of 1994 and thereafter.
This committee or person would be charged to develop initiatives, either alone or in concert with other institutions, to press for change in the military policy on bisexual, gay, and lesbian citizens. The committee or person would report annually to the President and to the community on its activities, progress toward change, and recommendations for future action.
This concludes the report of the University Committee on the Status of ROTC. If members of the Committee can answer questions or otherwise assist in your further consideration of this issue, please call on us.
Committee Members Adopting the Report
Committee Members Not Adopting the Report
Yared Belai (absent and not voting)