According to a leaked advance copy of President Obama’s State of the Union speech, the president will, with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on the way out, ask America’s colleges and universities to let ROTC back in:
Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. And with that change, I call on all of our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and the ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.
There’s one problem with that call, though — the doors aren’t closed now.
As Professor Diane Mazur noted in the New York Times three months ago, no college or university currently bars ROTC from campus. Not one. Some faculty and students are opposed to such programs, and some universities choose not to grant course credit for ROTC, but the ban is entirely a myth.
Update | It should be noted that the Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the federal government can withhold funds from any campus that bars military recruiters, and that many campuses have allowed recruiters to return since that ruling was issued. I don’t know whether any are currently still keeping them off.
It should also be noted that the DADT policy still remains in effect, and that the military is thus still discriminating against lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers. Congressional repeal of DADT was a step toward ending that discrimination, but it wasn’t the final step.