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March 13, 1992 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-13

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The Michigan Daily- Friday, March 13,1992- Page 5

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poiis stttdb university admninistra- said it is ikel6y thee nefivill soo be letter to Secretary of Defense ichard Allen Yarnell, UCLA assistant vice
tions, govern campus organizations, ban- extended to include all veterans, instead ofjust Cheney in May 1990, expressing con- chancellor for campus life, said student
ning them from discriminating on the basis "Vietnam era" status. cern over DoD's discrimination. They groups have to sign a non-discriminatory
of criteria such as race, gender and national University of Montana Legal Counsel Joan cited several universities whose non- agreement at the beginning of the year.
origin. Newman said the university's non-discrimina- discrimination policies conflict with However, he said, "We won't bestow
However, these colleges recognitionto.religiousgroups
and universities have often **tecause they can't get univer-
been blocked by federal gov- . , .sity funds because of the sepa-
enent statutes which permit 4 *ration of church and state.
discriminatory practices in"W eregisgrps
some employment and educa- have access to buildings but
tional programs - such as % no funds," Romero said of UC.
Reserve Officers Training She cited interapus mail as
Corps (ROTC), which ex- '.\ ' a service not available to stu-
cludes homosexuals from its ... **. dent religious organizations.
organization.:.::': "Ifthere isareligiousgroup
Some universities have that does not permit homo-
chosentofightthegovernnent :1 ..* **..* ... :' ........sexuals we permit them to use
head-on, and others have *facilities but don't fund them
framed policies around gov- ~ *.~~(or any other religious group)
emnent-imposed regulations, -' we don 't make any judg-
while hoping at the same time . ments." Romerodefended this
to curtail discrimination on ~poiy ascnsistent with the
campus. ' ' ' separation of church and state.
"In general we would per-
DoD policy ut students to organize and
The Department of De- operate on campus ... and as
fense policy requires students ..................long as they follow the uni-
to sign a contract specifying if , est oiy in terms of other
they are.omosexualwhen they Wpractices ... we would con-
join ROTC and every subse- " 'J.tinue to (let them)operate be-
quent year they are in the pro- <cause they're basically not
gram. 4.' subject to university policies
indicates that any one who has they're not part of the institu-
" r a" t


stated that they are a homo-
sexual is not eligible," said
Major Robert Shepherd, pub-
lic affairs officer of the U.S.
Army ROTC cadet command.
The policy is intended to ensure "overall
moral and welfare of the unit," Shepherd
Shepherd added that sexual orientation is
not the only discriminating factor. "There
are several different requirements that could
keep someone from being commissioned for
ROTC," Shepherd said. In addition to being
heterosexual, prospective officers must also
meet certain physical, mental, moral, loyal,
citizenship, and age standards.
Several schools have made changes or
amendments to their non-discriminatory poli-
cies, but the inclusion of "sexual orientation"
has created the most controversy, primarily
because its inclusion conflicts with the com-
missioning policy for ROTC.
The University of Michigan has two sepa-
rate non-discriminatory policies. A March
1984 presidential policy instituted by former
University President Harold Shapiro prohib-
its discrimination on the basis of sexual ori-

tory policy discourages ridiculing and harass-
ing people because of their sexual orientation,
but as a state institution, administrators say the
school cannot prohibit ROTC.
Newman added, "Sexual orientation is not
specified as a protected class for purposes of
employment or educational programs, but for
student conduct we include sexual orientation
as one of these irrelevant factors."
"We are in the position of a strong educa-
tional policy, not a legal prohibition."
A "strong policy" statement has been is-
sued by the office of the president, meaning
that there are no legal penalties at this point,
Newman said.
"It will take a large grass-roots movement
to get the legislation to do something," she
Jim Carleton, vice president of Student
Affairs at Northwestern University, said sexual
orientation was added to the school's policy
four or five years ago. However, the university
policy does not protect handicapped people
from discrimination nor does it prevent dis-

DoD's and requested a meeting with
Cheney to discuss the situation.
In a letter responding to the organi-
zations, Deputy Assistant Secretary Lt.
Gen. Donald Jones wrote that DoD had
no plan to reassess its policy on homo-
sexuality and that "a meeting with the
Secretary to discuss the issue would not
be productive at this time."
In November 1990 Charles Young,
chancellor of the University of Califor-
nia at Los Angeles, also sent a letter to
Cheney requesting the department "re-
consider and abandon the current policy
of discrimination based on sexual orien-
tation currently practiced in the several
military branches."
Young cited the DoD's past record
of leading the movement to end dis-
'crimination based on race and sex. How-
ever, Romero, a UC representative, said
DoD did not respond to the letter.
Benefits of ROTC
Most universities' ad-
ministrators said their
fires schools are unable to ban
ROTC from campus for
are reasons other than federal
law. They said their
schools would risk losing
valuable federal funding
and scholarship money.
"Part of the practical issue is that it's
just not ROTC scholarships. If you say
we won'tallow ROTC on (Vanderbilt's)
campus, we could risk losing all federal
money," said Madson.
Shepherd said banning ROTC from
collegecampuses would be anotherform
of discrimination.
"Young men and women

t:M Marian Swoboda, special
LOWMAN/Daily assistant to the president at the
University of Wisconsin said
religious groups are not university-con-
trolled or operated on the majority of the
27 campuses. She added they are not sub-
ject to university rules - only to the juris-
diction of the religious denomination.
Citizenship policy problems
Universities also face conflicts with
companies who recruit on campus and ask
to interview only U.S. citizens.
UC's non-discriminatory policy states
"nor does the university discriminate on
the basis of citizenship within the limits
imposed by law or university policy."
"We do allow companies to select who
they want to interview - not to interview
people who aren't U.S. citizens. It goes
against the university policy, but it is still
legal, so it's permissible," Romero said.
"A practical issue is when (companies)
ask to recruit employees, do we allow that?
Yes, because it is not illegal," she said.
"It's not consistent with our policy but it is
still allowed (at UC) because it's legal by
federal law," Romero added.
Romero said the university faces con-
flicts with defense companies where em-
ployees need security clearance. "It's a
fairly limited group of employers,butthere
are many in California."
Madson said Vanderbiltalso deals with
the citizenship issues. "There is an issue
under certain federal contracts where there
is a requirement of citizenship to work on
certain federal contracts (research)," he
Changes in the future?
University officials say they are not
optimistic about immediate change in fed-
eral legislation

belongs in
Dark Ages
Let me tell you a story about a
young man named Norman.
Norman is a typical high school
student. He attends a public school
in a metropolitan city. He does
moderately well in school - not a
valedictorian, but a hard worker.
He divides his time between
and his job at
a fast-food
restaurant. Matthew
Hehasa Rennie
brother and a
father works
in a factory,
and his
mother is a
teacher. Together, they can pay the
bills to support the family.
Like all high school seniors,
Norman is thinking about his
future. He wants to go to college
not the local juco, but a big
university away from home. But
Norman has a common problem:
his family doesn't have the money
to pay for a big school.
So Norman looks into scholar-
ship money, but comes up dry. His
grades are good, but not great. He
plays basketball and baseball, but
again, not exceptionally well.
Then, one day, the solution
occurs to him. He can't believe that
he never thought about it before
with all the television commercials
he'd seen during sporting.
He wants to join the army.
He remembers his friend, who a
year ago was in a similar predica-
ment but now attends Norman's
dream school on an ROTC scholar-
Norm tells his parents about his
proposed solution, and they, too,
are receptive to the idea. He makes
plans to visit his local recruiter's
office the next week. His spirits are
up. He tells his friends boastfully
about his plans, about going to a
big school in the fall, about living
away from home.
He makes his scheduled visit to
the recruiter's office prepared to
deal with all the necessary paper-
Only Norman doesn't get to
sign any papers. In fact, he doesn't
get to do anything except search for
another way to pay for school.
After a brief interview, the recruiter
looked across the desk at Norman
and sighed, "I'm sorry, son. You're
not army material."
Naturally, Norman is crushed.
His plans are ruined, and he's no
closer to finding a solution than
when he started looking. All this
after bragging to his classmates
about his intentions. Maybe he's
not going away to school after all.
Why was Norman rejected, you

may ask? He seems to be an ideal
candidate: young, strong, ambi-
tious, hard-working, athletic. He
has everything for which the army
advertises What could they
possibly be looking for?
Well, it's not what they were
looking for. It's what they weren't
looking for.
Norman has all of the qualities
listed above, but he's a homo-
sexual. That's the Department of
Defense's policy. They want
volunteers, but only their kind of
That this sort of discrimination
can take place at a country club is
disgusting. That it takes place in
our own government is appalling.
Who are the legislators who
made this policy? Do they really
believe that a homosexual soldier
would be a threat to national
security? If the safety of our nation
is in that delicate a balance, then
the problem isn't recruiting.
I have known students in the
University's ROTC program, and I
have tremendous respect for their
dedication and work ethic. The
program can be a tremendous
- opportunity for people who would
not otherwise be able to attend a
university like this one.
However, because of a ridicu-
lously close-minded Department of

The Department of Defense policy


students to sign a contract specifying if they
homosexual when they

join ROTC.
entation. Re-
gental Bylaw 14.06 bans dis-
crimination on the basis of gender, race,
national origin, Vietnam-veteran status, reli-
gion, creed, marital and handicapped status.
The presidential policy differs from the
Regental bylaw because it is an internal
document - it excludes the University's
relationship with outside organizations, such
as the federal government, the military, and
ROTC, said Associate Vice President for
Student Affairs Virginia Nordby.
In January 1988, after receiving many
requests from the community to add sexual
orientation to the regental policy, the regents
voted against including the language. How-
ever, they did endorse the presidential policy.
University of California(UC) protects its
students from discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation, but still permits Depart-
ment of Defense (DoD) campus recruitment.
"It is permissible for the Department of
Defense to discriminate on the basis of sexual
orientation. (UC) permits that kind of activ-
ity tooccur aslong as the law permits it," said
Patricia Romero, assistant director of Stu-
dent Affairs and Services.
The University of Arizona, like many
other universities, based its policy on the

on the basis of veteran status,
or citizenship.
"When we added 'sexual orientation' we
publicly said it would not include the ROTC.
It's not in the statement, but in everything
around it," Carleton said.
Vice President for Student Affairs Johan
Madson said Vanderbilt University has two
policies-one which pro-
vides for affirmative
action and another
policy implemented
this year which bans opportu
discrimination on the W
basis of sexual orien- because
"The lawyers felt
a general statement
mandated by law ...
should be kept as a
separate set of policies - there are two poli-
cies printed side-by-side," Madson said.
Fighting the policy
Many university representatives have taken
action against the Department of Defense to
request the department change its policy.
Members of the University of Virginia
School of Law tried unsuccessfully to prohibit
the Navy from recruiting in their school.
"The president (of the university) was

'Young men
and women may be denied the
nity to go on and get a college degree
they can't get a ROTC scholarship
it's been banned from campus.'

may be denied the opportunity to go on
and get a college degree because they
can't get a ROTC scholarship because
it's been banned from campus," he said.
"They had no say in the policy and they
are the ones being penalized," Shepherd
Shepherd said universities benefit
from ROTC's presence on campus.
"Universities feel it is a real opportunity
to be represented in the important na-

which would permit homosexuals to join
ROTC. They say the problems lie in cur-
rent societal and governmental attitudes
toward sexual orientation.
Madson said he believes higher educa-
tion officials will have to join forces to
change federal policies regarding sexual
"I think political pressure could change
it ... The current administration is not
about to do it but contrasted with Paul

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