Don’t ask, we’ll tell

Earlier this week, in my Weekly Standard column, I described how Columbia University seeks to limit dissent from the rabidly anti-Israeli teachings of its Middle East studies professors by funneling it into the university’s bureaucracy, where it can die a quiet death. Now we learn that Columbia isn’t interested in debate about its ban on ROTC, either. 65 percent of Columbia students voted to reinstate ROTC, absent since 1969. (Presently, Columbia students interested in serving their country through our armed services most do so at other schools). The University is stalling, citing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as the basis for its reservations.
A group called the Columbia Law School Center for the Study of Law and Culture is leading the opposition to reinstating ROTC. In today’s New York Post, Charles Millard recounts how Columbia professor Michael Adler, who supports bringing back ROTC but is willing to make common cause with opponents on aspects of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” offered to debate the issue in conjunction with the Center. However, the Center’s co-director Kendall Thomas responded that “a teach-in is being planned, which I believe will be a more productive use of the law school’s resources, and its members’ time.” Thus, no debate took place.
When it comes to debate, Columbia’s policy seems to be “don’t ask, we’ll tell.”

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