Two weeks ago, Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) started an online petition to gather support for the prevention of the return of ROTC to campus. The Stanford Daily covered it on their front page.
Yesterday, a petition written by Thomas Schultz was released to the Stanford community, calling for the Faculty Senate to recommend the return of ROTC.
As of Wednesday morning, the SSQL petition had 162 total signatures, while the pro-ROTC petition has amassed 654 signatures in its first day.
The pro-ROTC petition does not directly address the concerns raised by the SSQL petition, nor does it acknowledge the repeal of DADT as a motivating factor. However, it does address discrimination,
Presently, ROTC students make unnecessary sacrifices simply because Stanford upholds a policy from a bygone era. In sustaining that discrimination, the Stanford community loses valuable interactions with future military leadership and with one of the most important institutions in our country. We not only betray current and future students’ commitment to service, but also those alumni remembered on the walls of Memorial Hall.
It’s worth noting that the accuracy of online petitions is questionable. The website used by both petitions, PetitionOnline.com, doesn’t require signees to have a Stanford ID No. or even a legitimate email account.
Signees of the SSQL petition include “Osama bin Laden” and “Tupac.” The pro-ROTC petition does not display the names of its signees.
It’s unclear how much the Faculty Senate’s Ad Hoc Committee on ROTC will take student support or opposition into account when it makes its recommendation this May. But, it is undebatable that the ROTC debate has captured the attention of Stanford’s usually apathetic student body.