Domain Names and War Games (or at Least Talk About ROTC)

SSNW logo, from their website.
The Stanford Daily [has reported]( that [Stanford Says No to War]( (SSNW) has lost its claim on the domain. Formerly, going to that domain redirected students to SSNW’s [page detailing arguments against ROTC]( Stanford’s Internet and Technology Services revoked the domain over concerns that use of that domain misrepresented the university policy on the issue by implying that the SSNW position is that of an actual ROTC program at Stanford. Lisa Lapin, a university spokeswoman, cited other domains as having been revoked earlier, after the university found more “appropriate” uses for them, notably []( and []( (As a sidebar, this blog is not among those listed at, although [The Unofficial Stanford Blog](, the Stanford Solar Car Project (blog apparently moved [here]( from [here](, the Leland Quarterly, and even the LSJumb blog (not updated since last May) are listed. This blog has, however, managed to carve out a spot at [](

All in all, this doesn’t seem like an unreasonable step on the part of the administration. So long as the content of SSNW’s original page was not deleted before they had a chance to save it (which doesn’t seem to have been a problem), then asserting university control over a page that seems relevant to future activities is not out of the realm of reason. I really don’t have much more to add on that point – the Daily article has the details on the case, including quotes from SSNW – so read it there if you’re interested. So what else interesting have I found?

More interesting is exploring the actual SSNW site. One of the first thing that we notice is that the site, although maintained by SSNW, has attracted a few other endorsement. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we see Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) – a consistent opponent of ROTC – endorsing the page. More surprising is the stamp of approval from Students Confronting Apartheid by Israel (SCAI) – a group that spearheaded the short-lived attempt to divest from Israel last year. SCAI’s stated mission is exclusively tied to “secur[ing] Stanford University’s divestment from apartheid in Israel and the Occupied Territories.” It’s thus interesting to see them branching out to other causes. Perhaps it’s not surprising to see that there’s overlap in the ideologies (and perhaps memberships) of SCAI and SSNW, but to see SCAI moving outside its conventional mission is still interesting. Is it a relic of earlier action or an attempt to stay relevant after divestment fizzled last year? Just interesting to think about.

Daily poll results as of 10:15 PM, 01/18/2011.
Another interesting note, while we’re on the Daily website, is to look at the poll results. As of 10:20 PM on Tuesday, 66 percent of votes favor ROTC’s return, 24 percent oppose it, and 10 percent don’t know. Clearly, at least in terms of people who care enough about the issue to comment, there’s a strong push for it to return. The vocal opposition from groups like SSNW and SSQL doesn’t seem to have galvanized popular opposition. We’ll see what happens once the recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee on ROTC come out and the Faculty Senate gears up to vote.

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