United Issues, Divided Tactics

[![](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2011/02/calrotc-193x300.jpg "calrotc")](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2011/02/calrotc.jpg)
Stanford students must currently travel to UC Berkeley, where these ROTC cadets recruit, in order to participate in Navy ROTC. (Flickr - creative commons)
ROTC returning to Stanford has been an exciting issue at Stanford for the past few months, since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Proponents from the Left and the Right have published responses in publications on campus that have brought ROTC conversation to a new level. A large part of the debate has recently been focused on the issue of ROTC not being available for transgender students.

The Review Editorial Board’s article No Excuses Left for ROTC’s Banstates, “We agree that banning transgender people from the military, or treating them differently from anyone else, is stupid and wrong.”

However, some members of the transgender community seem to have missed this detail.

“[The Review’s] editorial told them that they cannot change the military themselves, that their voices do not matter, that if they want change, they need to shut up and let other people do it for them,” wrote Cristopher Bautista, author of today’s Daily article, The Transitive Property: An Argument against ROTC’s Return, from an Actual Transgender Person’s Perspective.

I disagree. I believe that The Review was saying that arguing against an institution such as the military with so few voices would not get very far. However, if ROTC does return to campus, those who join can be advocates for change. Why fight against an institution that is unlikely to change in the immediate future, when instead, we could all band together as a unified voice to advocate for change from the inside? Voices may then be able to be amplified to a larger extent.

I do not want the transgender community to silence their opinions. I do, however, believe we should all be joining together with one cohesive stance. Yes, transgender people are discriminated against. Do I agree with this? No. It’s time for things to change, and that starts with the return of ROTC to Stanford.

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