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Brown to keep ROTC off campus

October 20, 2011

Brown President Ruth Simmons says she will begin discussions with the Department of Defense about expanding student access to the Reserve Officer Training Corps. However, ROTC programs will not return to the Brown campus.

Cuirrently, Brown students can participate in Army ROTC at Providence College. Simmons says she will look into relationships with other institutions that might provide students access to Navy and Airforce ROTC.

Some Brown students and alums have called for the University to bring ROTC back to campus, where it has not had a presence since the late 1960’s. In a letter to the campus community, Simmons says she does not see the need for ROTC to physically return to Brown.

“The presence or not of an ROTC unit on the campus is not a litmus test for Brown’s commitment to serve the country loyally and honorably,” Simmons writes. “I believe that we should proceed to explore the possibilities for Brown students to participate in cross-institutional Naval or Air Force ROTC programs housed on other campuses.”

Simmons convened a committee on ROTC following the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members. The committee recommended expanding ROTC programs but also raised concerns about military discrimination against transgendered people.

Simmons says the Brown community should continue to advocate for acceptance of transgendered individuals. She adds that ROTC will continue to be an extracurricular activity at Brown and therefore not eligible for course credit.

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