Senate Considers Removal of ROTC Ballot Measure

Last evening, the ASSU Undergraduate Senate debated for around an hour over the possibility of  removing the ROTC ballot measure from the ballot this April.  The ROTC question would ask students whether or not they support the return of ROTC to campus.

When the Undergraduate Senate initially voted to add the question, the senate was unanimously in favor.  However, tensions arose last evening as a motion was made to suspend the rules of order of the Undergraduate Senate to undo the senate’s previous action.

One of the senators remarked that the motion was “unprecedented” in recent years, and that the Undergraduate Senate should not be exercising the authority to turn back on its word.

Others, however, deemed the motion necessary, as the question could be “psychologically harmful” to transgender students who cannot fully participate in ROTC.  One senator remarked that it would be equivalent to “putting civil rights on the ballot.”

The Constitutional Council ruled earlier this month in a unanimous decision that the ROTC ballot question was in fact constitutional, and that that its non-binding nature rendered it harmless.

A number of the senators expressed concern that the initial vote was rushed, leading to a lack of clarity about what was actually being voted on.  It was noted in the meeting, however, that the senate did in fact deliberate on the issue, even amending it.

While 9 out of the 14 senators present voted to suspend the rules of order, the vote needed a two-thirds majority to pass before moving on to further votes on the matter, such as one to actually remove the question from the ballot, meaning that the Senate fell short by one vote in the motion.  For right now, the ROTC question is still on the ballot.

An excerpt from the bill:

At stake in the question of the return of ROTC to Stanford University are the rightsof LGBT students, all of whom are explicitly barred from open military service andthus from full status as ROTC students. It is the view of the ASSU that this policy ofexclusion constitutes an abridgment of the rights of LGBT students.
Therefore, in view of the mutual principles, values, and standards universallyupheld by the students of Stanford University, the ASSU expresses its oppositionto the return of ROTC.

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