Group objects to military presence in education

By Kelly Canright

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors held a meeting yesterday regarding the presence of ROTC on the UA campus.

"The CCCO is looking to help people get out of the military and find alternatives. We are looking to demilitarize schools because violence and militarism are antithetical to education," said Sam Diener, a spokesman for the Central Com


mittee for Conscientious Objectors.

Diener discussed the possibility of a movement taking place on the UA campus that would critique the Reserve Officers Training Corps.

Members of the Bisexual Gay and Lesbian Association attended to protest what they called the discriminatory policies of the ROTC.

People with sexual orientations other than heterosexual and people with disabilities are not allowed to be hired, Diener said.

"The University of Arizona is clearly and overtly violating their own discrimination policy," he said. "They cannot reconcile the ROTC and a non-discrimination policy."

Individuals of faith organizations such as the Catholic Newman Center and the Quaker Organization attended to express opposition to genocide and war's loss of life.

"Compared to other countries, our military is a huge empire. It could be downsized considerably," said creative writing senior Rob Paxton, a Newman Center member.

"What should be the purpose of a public university?" Diener asked. "The motto doesn't say anything about encouraging killing. It propels truth, justice and critical thinking," Diener said.

"How appropriate is it to have an entity like the military on the campus of an educational institution?" Diener asked.

"If an organized crime unit, a gang or the enemy du jour wanted to sponsor scholarships, I don't think the UA would say 'OK, great.' When the U.S. does it, it's no different," he said. "Absolute obedience to orders is essential in the military. Obeying orders blindly does not encourage thinking."

The faculty who are employed by ROTC are not Ph.D.s, and the curriculum is not reviewed because it is set by the Pentagon, Diener said. He said he believes that should not be allowed at the university.

The discussion was sparked by an Oct. 8-9 helicopter landing on the UA Mall. This was a publicity stunt to sell football tickets to the military.

"There is a normalization and a virtual acceptance of the military by our society," said Father Miguel De Las Casas, the Catholic chaplain of the Newman Center. "Why do we take it for granted?"

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