Harvard ROTC Coverage: 1990 - 1999
Archive material relating to the Deans of Harvard College. Comment: This general archive listing contains much authoritative
information about the history of ROTC at Harvard. It documents how
Harvard terminated some of the required elements of an ROTC program
specified under the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964 (Part
1 Part 2), thus terminating the ROTC
- 8 January 1990 Harvard Crimson article "Faculty
Starts Debate On ROTC's Status". Note:
Harvard College Dean L. Fred Jewett '57 said that ROTC did not have official
extracurricular status on campus, but said that the College had made
"special provisions" to allow military drills to take place
periodically. The drills had taken place for several semesters and
were open to the public.
- 9 March 1990 Harvard Crimson article "U.S.
Reps Slam ROTC For Policy On Gays". Note:
An ROTC student at Washington University in St. Louis came out as gay in his
final semester of college and was told to repay $2,500 of his scholarship
- 17 March 1990 Harvard Crimson article "MIT
Students Criticize ROTC". Note: "MIT
student Robert L. Bettiker wrote last week in The Thistle, a liberal
student paper at MIT, that he had been denied a commission and asked to pay
back the value of his $38,000 scholarship by Navy ROTC because he was openly
gay", a demand later dropped.
About 1500 students signed a petition to "sever all ties" with
ROTC by 1994 if it continues to deny scholarships to gay students. At
Harvard, "the Faculty's steering committee is considering whether ROTC
should be able to continue holding occasional meetings in Harvard rooms,
recruit at career forums and hold special Commencement Exercises."
- 19 March 1990 Harvard Crimson article "Defending
Their Country, and Reputation: The
Reserve Officers Training Corps". Note:
ROTC students describe the "pervasive anti-ROTC feeling" at
Harvard and the Army explains that budget cuts led them to cut scholarships
at non-host institutions to 80% of tuition.
- 16 April 1990 Harvard Crimson column "Bok's
Deafening Silence" by Adam K. Goodheart '92. Note:
Goodheart compares the military policy against gays to exclusion of Blacks.
He relates that David E. Carney '89, a Navy ROTC student, came out as gay
and terminated from ROTC and given a $50,000 bill (later dropped).
- 24 April 1990 Harvard Crimson letter "Don't
Compare Blacks and Gays" by Karl W. Lampley '93. Note:
A Black student says he cringes every time he hears discrimination against
gays compared to discrimination against Blacks. "Discrimination
against homosexuals centers around morality and sexuality. Discrimination
against Blacks is racial and holds great historical significance in
- 25 April 1990 Harvard Crimson letter "Blacks
and Gays" by Matthew M. Shakespeare. Note:
The writer says the analogy between discrimination against Blacks and gays
- 28 April 1990 Harvard Crimson article "If
Harvard Talks, Will the Military Listen?". Note:
The Harvard faculty voted on 25 April to "issue a formal statement
condemning the military's policy" about homosexuality.
- 30 April 1990 Harvard Crimson editorial "Cut
the Ties That Bind: Faculty Council and ROTC".
Note: The Crimson calls for cutting some Harvard - ROTC ties
over the homosexuality issue.
- 4 May 1990 MIT Tech article "Harvard
faculty condemns ROTC".
- 9 May 1990 Harvard Crimson article "Navy
Reverses Stand On ROTC Funds For Two Gay Men". Note:
Harvard graduate David E. Carney '89 and MIT senior Robert L. Bettiker,
discharged from ROTC because of homosexuality, will not have to repay their
scholarships. At MIT, 47 percent of students participating in a
referendum said the school should cut ties with ROTC if its policies did not
change within four years.
- 16 May 1990 Harvard Crimson article "College
Consortium Questions Military". Note: Two
weeks previously, "Harvard's Faculty Council voted to sever the
University's remaining ties with ROTC in two years unless the military
starts allowing gays and lesbians to serve."
- 18 May 1990 Harvard Crimson letter "The
Case for Hypocrisy".
- 30 October 1991 Harvard Crimson letter "Trust
Requires ROTC Discrimination" by Richard E. Bennink '38.
Note: A Naval ROTC graduate says he is "opposed to any
discrimination in housing, employment or any other situation where close
physical contact and strict discipline is not mandatory--as it is in
positions of military command."
- 4 November 1991 Harvard Crimson column "Turning
Soft on ROTC" by Brian R. Hecht '92.
- 11 December 1991 Harvard Crimson column "A
ROTC Solution" by Gian G. Neffinger '93. Note:
The writer suggests that Harvard could have more effect protesting
homosexual discrimination in the military by turning down defense research
grants instead of opposing ROTC.
- 11 December 1991 Harvard Crimson letter "Rudenstine
Should Cut ROTC Ties" by Chad S. Johnson '89. Note:
The writer argues that the crucial difference between gays and member of
racial minorities is that gays are second-class citizens.
- 14 December 1991 Harvard Crimson letter "ROTC
Is No Place for Gays" by Conrad H. Carlson '38. Note:
The writer argues that mixing gay and straight men in the close quarters of
military housing is unwise.
- 16 December 1991 Harvard Crimson editorial "Stick
to Your Guns: The
Faculty's ROTC Decision".
The Crimson quotes from a 1941 Navy document justifying discrimination
- 29 January 1992 Harvard Crimson article "For
Some Students, ROTC Is Much More Than Money". Note:
Harvard ROTC students discuss their motivation for serving.
- 2 April 1992 Harvard Crimson article "Faculty
Council Votes To Delay ROTC Report".
- 4 June 1992 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Fights for Its Future: Faculty-Student
Committee Split on Generational Lines". Note:
Faculty were leaning more towards severing ROTC ties than students.
Harvard's current ties to ROTC consists of a $132,000 annual payment to MIT
to cover costs for Harvard students cross-enrolled in its program.
- 2 October 1992 "Report of the Harvard University Committee on the Status of ROTC".
Comment: The committee recommended restrictions on Harvard paying
ROTC-related charges for Harvard students undergoing ROTC training at
MIT. The report expressed concerns that the military discrimination
against gays and lesbians was illegal and against Harvard's
non-discrimination policy. The policy reads "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." However, such concerns were substantially
modified by the encoding
into law in 1993 of the "Don't ask, don't tell"
approach. Another interesting point in the committee report was the
comparison of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military to
previous policies to bar "women from military service or to segregate them within the
services". This implies satisfaction with the current role of
women in the armed forces, despite discriminatory policies regarding
separate housing for men and women. This suggestion that the gay and
lesbian issue could be treated as a gender issue was one that did not
receive much attention in the debate leading up to the 1993 law, and might
provide a model for gays and lesbians in the military that would be more
acceptable than the 1993 law.
- 3 October 1992 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Committee Report Offers Compromise Plan: Harvard Would Accept Scholarships, End Program
- 7 October 1992 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Report Defends Compromise Proposal".
- 9 October 1992 Harvard Crimson editorial "Not
Even Close: The ROTC
Report". Note: The Crimson is
"angry" that Harvard will continue to accept ROTC scholarships,
and wonders who is expected to pay the MIT ROTC overhead payments.
- 9 October 1992 Harvard Crimson editorial dissent "What
Else Can They Do?" by Beth L. Pinsker '93. Note:
The writer points out that Harvard accepts scholarships from Final Clubs,
which have discriminatory practices, so not accepting ROTC scholarships
would be inconsistent.
- 6 November 1992 Harvard Crimson article "Clinton
May Fix ROTC Problem". Note: Bisexual,
Gay and Lesbian Students Association Co-Chair Rachel E. Cohen '94 said that
if President-elect Clinton ended the military homosexual discrimination
"My main objection to ROTC will be gone...If Clinton does stop the ban,
there will be no moral principles on which there would be no ROTC at
- 6 November 1992 MIT Tech article "ROTC
Ban on Gays Faces Reversal under Clinton".
- 11 November 1992 Harvard Crimson article "Faculty
Discussion Over ROTC Heated".
- 12 February 1993 Harvard Crimson column "Living
With Gays in the Military: Postcard From Boot
Camp" by David L. Bosco '95. Note:
Navy ROTC Midshipman
Bosco says "an openly gay man serving among other men in cramped
quarters for will be a disruptive force. Similarly, a few women living and
working amongst a mostly male unit would likely disturb unit relations.
Though the debate over gays in the military has been compared frequently to
that over the integration of Blacks, the more relevant comparison is the
still continuing debate over women in the military."
- 23 April 1993 Harvard Crimson editorial "Unwise
Decision". Note: The Crimson opposed the
choice of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Colin L. Powell as
commencement speaker because he supported the ban on gays in the military,
in conflict with Harvard's policy relating to ROTC.
- 17 May 1993 Harvard Crimson article "Faculty
Will Likely Vote to Eliminate Funding of ROTC: Seen
as Signal to Powell on Gay Ban".
- 19 May 1993 Harvard Crimson article "Faculty
Votes to Stop Paying MIT for ROTC: Decision
May Prevent Students From Joining Program"
- 24 May 1993 Harvard Crimson article "Indecision
On ROTC". Note: The Harvard
administration ponders what to do about the faculty vote to stop paying the
MIT ROTC overhead charge.
- 13 July 1993 Harvard Crimson article "Gay
Ban Plan Won't End ROTC Dispute: Support
Weak for 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'". Note:
The head of the faculty committee on ROTC, Professor Sidney Verba '53 was
unsure of the effect of the military homosexuality compromise.
"We wrote the report very explicitly--if the ban was not removed.
Harvard should not continue to participate in ROTC... The report doesn't
anticipate something falling halfway in between."
- 27 July 1993 Harvard Crimson article "Provost
Says Harvard Should Reassess ROTC: Report
Didn't Anticipate Compromise".
- 30 July 1993 Harvard Crimson article "Rudenstine
Speaks on ROTC: President Says Faculty to Review
Compromise Plan in Fall".
- 13 September 1993 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Policy Battle Rages".
- 29 September 1993 Harvard Crimson article "Despite
Policy Change, ROTC Future Uncertain".
- 10 November 1993 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
- 17 November 1993 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
- 24 February 1994 Harvard Crimson editorial "Severing
ROTC Ties Would Hurt Students". Note: The
Crimson takes a very different position from its editorial of 9 October
- 26 February 1994 Harvard Crimson "news
Harvard Giving Up on Its ROTC Promises?" by Wendy M. Seltzer
- 28 February 1994 Harvard Crimson column "Yielding
to Bigotry: Harvard
Must Keep Its Promise and Break Ties With ROTC" by Lori E.
Smith '96. Note: Smith disagrees with the view that ROTC
scholarships excluding openly gay people are similar to other scholarships
favoring particular groups. "This argument ignores the
distinction between money that by design promotes the presence of
certain groups and that which by design excludes others."
- 11 March 1994 Harvard Crimson column "Proud
To Be Harvard ROTC" by Koma B. Gandy '95.
- 18 April 1994 Harvard Crimson article "Dartmouth
Decides To Maintain ROTC Ties".
- 28 April 1994 Harvard Crimson article "Rudenstine:
ROTC Talks Are On".
- 29 April 1994 Harvard Crimson editorial "Sever
Ties With ROTC". Note: The Crimson
decides "Under close scrutiny, the arguments for keeping ROTC on
campus--arguments we ourselves used two months ago--do not hold."
- 29 April 1994 Harvard Crimson editorial dissent "Don't
Limit Student Options". Note: The
dissenters observe: "the students who comprise Harvard's ROTC
contingent by and large oppose the ban on gays themselves. As members of the
military, they are more likely than other officers to demand a
liberalization of its policies."
- 4 May 1994 Harvard Crimson article "MIT
Official Admits to ROTC Talks".
- 4 May 1994 Harvard Crimson letter "Rudenstine,
Vest Have Discussed ROTC" by Sarah E. Gallop.
- 17 November 1994 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
- 21 November 1994 Harvard Crimson article "Groups
Pressure Rudenstine to Dump ROTC".
- 23 November 1994 Statement on ROTC
by Harvard President Neil L. Rudenstine. Comment:
President Rudenstine outlines his decisions on the ROTC issue and announces
a fund supported by alumni donations to pay the ROTC-related charges for
Harvard students undergoing ROTC training at MIT.
- 29 November 1994 Harvard Crimson article "Rudenstine
Decides on ROTC Funding".
- 1 December 1994 Harvard Crimson article "Report
Upholds ROTC Tie, But Without Direct Funding".
- 3 December 1994 Harvard Crimson article "Is
Rudenstine's Plan a Solution or a Capitulation ROTC".
- 6 December 1994 Harvard Crimson editorial "ROTC:
A Workable Compromise".
- 6 December 1994 Harvard Crimson editorial dissent "Compromise
Plan Is a Farce".
- 13 December 1994 Harvard Crimson article "U.C.
Committee Endorses ROTC Compromise". Note:
Committees of the Undergraduate Council supported President Rudenstine's
- 14 December 1994 Harvard Crimson article "Faculty
Criticizes ROTC Funding Compromise".
- 16 December 1994 Harvard Crimson news analysis "On
ROTC, No Faculty Unanimity" by Jonathan A. Lewin '96.
- 20 December 1994 Harvard Crimson editorial "U.C.
Right Not To Donate to ROTC".
- 9 January 1995 Harvard Crimson column "Keep
Tradition Alive: Harvard
Should Stop Hiding from the Military" by Bradley L. Whitman
'98. Note: Whitman argues "forcing heterosexuals to
share living quarters with homosexuals would be greatly damaging to morale"
and concludes that gays should not be in the military at all.
- 1 February 1995 Supplementary Statement on ROTC
by Harvard Acting President Albert Carnesale. Comment:
This specifies that funding of ROTC be done by a trust separate from Harvard
and rejects the suggestion of the 1992
Committee on ROTC to ban the annual ROTC Commissioning Ceremony.
February 1995 Harvard Crimson article "Altered
Plan Cuts Financial Ties to ROTC".
- 7 February 1995 Harvard Crimson article "Governing
Body OKs Reforms On ROTC".
- 7 February 1995 Harvard Crimson editorial "Harvard
Settles ROTC Well, Finally".
- 7 February 1995 Harvard Crimson editorial dissent "ROTC
Merits Support" by David B. Lat '96.
- 7 March 1995 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Bill Introduced in Congress: Would
Eliminate Funding of Universities Blocking Program".
- 7 July 1995 Harvard Crimson article "House
Approves Pro-ROTC Bill". Note: Amendment
sponsor Rep. Gerald H. Solomon said "Currently, dozens of colleges and
universities across this country, including the prestigious ones such as
Harvard and Yale, blatantly discriminate against students willing to serve
their country, and it is so aggravating to this member".
- 18 March 1996 Harvard Crimson article "UC
Seeks to Ban ROTC Ceremony At Graduation". Note:
The Undergraduate Council also asked that "the ceremony not be listed
in Commencement Week programs."
- 28 March 1996 Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus Letter
to Dean Lewis concerning the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony in Harvard
Yard, including the 7 April reply by Dean Lewis.
- Spring 1996 Harvard Gay and Lesbian Newsletter "ROTC
again???" by Robert W. Mack '71, JD '74.
- 3 April 1996 Harvard Crimson editorial "ROTC
Graduation Should Stay".
- 3 April 1996 Harvard Crimson editorial dissent "Ceremony
- 5 April 1996 Harvard Crimson article "Lewis
Vetoes Plan to Ban ROTC Ceremony".
- 19 April 1996 Harvard Crimson article "MIT
Faculty Ask ROTC Program To Admit Gays".
- May / June 1996 Harvard Magazine essay "Soldiers
& Scholars: Between Harvard and West Point, a deep - and dangerous -
cultural chasm" by Pat C. Hoy II. Comment:
This article does not address the ROTC issue directly, but it provides
important perspectives about differences between universities and the
military. The letters
in July / August issue about this article do discuss ROTC.
- 6 June 1996 Harvard Crimson article "Yard
ROTC Ceremony Held".
- July / August 1996 Harvard Magazine note "A
- 26 July 1996 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Bills Stalled in Senate Committee". Note:
"Because Harvard ROTC cadets participate in MIT's program, experts say
the University is not likely to be affected regardless of the fate of these
- 6 October 1997 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Students Struggle to Reconcile Careers and Military".
- January / February 1998 Harvard Magazine "The
Classes". Note: David Clayman '38 writes that he has
started a mail campaign to convince the administration to bring ROTC back to
- 19 February 1998 Harvard Crimson article "HLS
Ban On Army Recruiters Stands". Note:
Harvard Law School's policy faces the Solomon
- 24 February 1998 Harvard Crimson editorial "Standing
Firm at HLS".
- November 1998 Book "Harvard
Observed" by John T. Bethell. Note: The
book includes the history of ROTC at Harvard in the Vietnam years and
- 26 March 1999 Harvard Crimson article "Council
Sparks Debate With Proposal to Reconsider ROTC".
- 26 March 1999 Harvard Crimson article "Council
Sparks Debate With Proposal to Reconsider ROTC".
- 7 April 1999 Harvard Crimson article "Keep
ROTC Off Campus".
- 8 April 1999 Harvard Crimson article "Panelists
Debate Return of ROTC to Campus".
- 9 April 1999 Harvard Crimson column "Why
We Should Bring Back ROTC" by Noah D. Oppenheim '00. Note:
Oppenheim argues that ""don't ask, don't tell" is merely a
behavioral regulation--one of many in the military that govern the sexuality
of all servicemen and women. (For example, the military bans sex between
officers and enlisted personnel, and it criminalizes adultery.)".
He suggests "the same logic that demands that heterosexual men and
women be segregated in barracks and wash facilities ought to apply in some
extension to the matter of homosexuals in single-sex units."
- 12 April 1999 Harvard Crimson article "Council
Endorses Return of ROTC".
- 12 April 1999 Harvard Crimson article "We
Asked, They Told". Note: The Crimson
finds that "It is the cadets and midshipmen, rarely consulted on the
issue, who see the gray area in the debate".
- 13 April 1999 Harvard Crimson editorial "Politicize
the Council". Note: The Crimson describes
the ROTC resolution passed by the University Council as "a watered-down
resolution from a strictly "student-services" perspective"
that "saw fit to endorse ROTC--however tentatively--on the Harvard
- 15 April 1999 Harvard Salient column "Uncle
ROTC Wants You: The UC strikes a blow for patriotism and common sense"
by Bronwen McShea.
- 16 April 1999 Harvard Crimson article "Lewis
Says ROTC Will Not Change In Near Future".
- 10 June 1999 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Bill Sponsors". Note: A year-end article
reviews the University Council push for more ROTC support.
- July/August 1999 Harvard Magazine article "ROTC
- September / October 1999 Harvard Magazine article "The
30 Years' War". There were letters
in response in the November / December issue.
- 27 October 1999 Harvard Crimson article "Federal
Aid Changes Will Not Affect HLS Students". Comment:
This change to the Solomon
Amendment was made in 1999.
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