By Jack Mandaville I want to make a few of my...
The New Columbia University Excuse Contest!
In recent student body polls, roughly 40% of Columbia University is against adding an ROTC program. The reasons are diverse: the military doesn’t allow entry to the trans-gender population, they fear a militarization of their campus, a military guy once threw a snowball at them (actual cited reason by a Columbia student), but what it really boils down to is that they don’t like us.
They just don’t like us. They find us unpalatable. They believe we don’t understand what they understand. They think we didn’t have other options or are too ignorant to realize we are just government pawns.
And you know what? If they said that, honestly, it would be cool. It’s a private organization. It’s America. The military isn’t even really interested in having ROTC there. Let’s face it – Columbia is hardly going to be an officer-producing hub. Hell, half these kids’ parents would cut them off from their trust funds if they even looked at a military uniform.
But they can’t say that because they are self-important, over-analyzing, out-of-touch, spoiled little douchebags. As I monitor the debates by their student body and administration with, honestly, very little interest and even less surprise, I am reminded of my time at Duke, and how much I hated it there.
While I was fairly certain that Columbia’s douchery was going to be roughly on par with what we had going on when I partook in the majesty that is Duke, I reached out to my ex-infantryman friend currently attending Columbia for his thoughts. Here is his completely unedited response:
What I can say is that the majority of the people who are taking up the anti-ROTC position have no idea what they’re talking about. Their arguments aren’t logically flawed. They’ve just completely missed the point of the issue, so they don’t even know what premises to start from. For example, there was a girl – must have been an undergrad – who was in line with us last night holding a sign that said NO MILITARIZATION OF EDUCATION. That educated people can have this sort of sentiment astounds me. They seem to think that allowing ROTC on campus would entail the military replacing the dorms with barracks and putting the entire student body through its own curriculum. They don’t seem to understand thatno one in the military is proposing any change to their education whatsoever. It’s like, Congrats, you’ve managed to COMPLETELY miss the point of what’s actually at issue here. The only change being proposed is Columbia University’s institutional relationship with the Reserve Officer Training Corps, a commissioning source for officers in the US military. The only actual on-the-ground implication is that some of her fellow students would be affiliated with the program as students, and would then be commissioned as military officers upon graduation. That’s it. The program doesn’t even draw on university resources. In other words, think of it this way: If Columbia University were proposing adding a soccer club whose members would be considered for employment as professional soccer players upon graduation, this girl should be just as willing to hold a sign saying NO SOCCERIZATION OF EDUCATION.
It’s important to note that this complete ignorance about the military among the academic elite is a result of the schism that took place between elite academia and the military during the Vietnam era. Those two segments of society have now been almost mutually exclusive for 40 years now. So we have a full generation of academic elite – and I’m including both students and professors in that strata – who have no family in the military, no friends in the military, no interaction with any military members, and no knowledge of the military or how it actually works whatsoever. By preventing ROTC programs to return to elite academic institutions, they’re proposing that we actively prolong and exacerbate that problem so that they can continue to live in their little bubbles rather than learn about something that apparently makes them uncomfortable. This from people who champion open-mindedness and diversity.
Yup, that’s pretty much exactly the same thing I experienced, except that Duke, for all its faults, DID have an ROTC program (without which I might add, Ranger Up never would have started).
Now, it’d be easy to go on and provide an analysis of all the things wrong with these Columbia students, to argue their value to our society, to get in a protracted and heated battle of words, but let’s face it: they’ve convinced themselves they are right and furthermore, righteous, and nothing I write here is going to change that. In fact, even reaching out and trying to engage them, simply gives them power they haven’t earned and don’t deserve. Instead, I propose we just make fun of them.
The Contest: The Best Columbia Excuse for no ROTC
1) Post the best excuse you can think of for why Columbia SHOULD NOT have an ROTC Program.
2) Excuses will be rated on: Creativeness, Funniness, and Rangerifficness.
3) We’re holding two contests: One in the comments section here and one on facebook.
4) Contest ends Friday at 4:00PM
Grand Prize: $100 gift certificate to RangerUp.com
Runner Up: $50 gift certificate to RangerUp.com
Honorable Mentions (3 per contest): $25 gift certificate to RangerUp.com
Furthermore, if the grand prize entry is completely awesome, we might even make it a shirt.
P.S. Remember folks, no matter what happens with Columbia and the ROTC program, I, and everyone else at Ranger Up is still 100% AGAINST the SOCCERIZATION OF EDUCATION.