ROTC should be an option at Ivy Leagues

It has been a long time coming for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs to return to Ivy League universities.

Yale and Columbia universities have announced ROTC will be offered on campus starting next fall, and Harvard University has welcomed the programs back to campus this fall.

ROTC programs were originally asked to leave these schools due to tensions felt on campuses in the 1970s after the strong student protests against the Vietnam War draft.

Since then, the culture found in today’s military has left little for university officials to disagree with.

Instead of war protesters sweeping across campuses, students today rarely make a spectacle of any military official’s presence. That is in contrast to campuses in the ‘70s, who were much more hostile to military presence.

The fact that enlistment is now voluntary and has been for a while is one reason why ROTC programs should have returned to Ivy League schools a long time ago. If students wish to turn to the military as a career path, that should be made available to them like any other career path.

More is offered by signing up than being sent to fight in foreign countries — enrolling in courses pertinent to a particular field of study, such as computer science or meteorology. You can also develop leadership skills that would be applicable in numerous fields.

Besides historical evidence, some Ivy League universities said they were reluctant to request ROTC programs to come back due to its discriminatory ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Since that’s been repealed, there are no remaining excuses left for these schools to justify banning ROTC programs.

Some dissenters will be ready to fight against any kind of change to Harvard’s or Yale’s policies, but this change is a step in the right direction to make up for shutting out the military for so long from these institutions.

Banning ROTC programs from these schools is disrespectful to what the military represents now. Today’s generation does not share the same mistrust for the establishment as have generations past.

Students shouldn’t suffer from an opportunity lost because of an outdated decision made decades ago.