Constitutional Council Issues Ruling: ROTC Will Be on the Ballot


The Constitutional Council issued a ruling today in Vaid-Menon v. Cardona after deliberating for an hour, with a rapt (ok, maybe not always) audience of between 7-10 students, sitting quietly in Old Union 200. The deliberation proceeded along each of the major points raised by the petitioner (Vaid-Menon) and the respondent (Cardona), disqualifying some points and honing in on others. **The final decision was 4-0 in favor of Angelina Cardona. **The majority opinion will appear within seven school days of today as required by the Constitution – there will be no minority opinion – just as this public deliberation occurred within three days of the hearing.

The Council ultimately threw out the respondent’s point on jurisdiction, saying that it is able to rule on the by-laws as well, drawing on earlier precedent. It also decided that the petitioner was correct in “suing” Cardona. However, it found the argument that the advisory question was not inherently discriminatory compelling. The petitioner’s case was not found to hold water, largely because the Council found that it was not ruling on impact, but rather on the ballot question itself, which was neutrally worded and not directly discriminatory. SSQL’s arguments about ROTC’s discriminatory nature were not found to be relevant.

A question for consideration: what would be the difference between an ROTC scholarship and an athletic scholarship? The underlying question would be whether one is born without the capacity to receive such a scholarship. Perhaps if I had worked my whole life to become a tennis pro, maybe I would get a tennis scholarship (even if my physical gifts were not great), but if I were born transgender, I would not be eligible for an ROTC scholarship, in which case, it would seem as though there is a difference (although having minimal physical gifts makes a tennis scholarship more difficult to achieve). However, it’s also then plausible to compare the fact that someone who is born paraplegic would not really have a chance at getting a swimming scholarship. Is athletics then discriminatory as well? Just a question for consideration as the ROTC debate proceeds.

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