‘ROTC Is A Criminal Organization,’ Brown University Student Attempting To Ban The Group From Campus Says

Peter Makhlouf,

ROTC is an organization of criminals, a Brown University student attempting to get the group banned from college campuses claims. Peter Makhlouf, an opinion columnist at Brown University, stated in a Brown Daily Herald editorial that the Reserve Officers’ Training Corp wants to recruit “academically elite students” in a “calculated attempt to rope the best and brightest into the industry of state-sanctioned violence.”

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is a United States Armed Forces college training program that also offers scholarship opportunities for members and career placement services. “The anti-military ‘bias’ that certain students have is a firmly grounded ethical stance — an insistence that we will not support the aggression of the United States throughout the world,” the Brown University student said in the editorial piece published last week.

Peter Makhlouf also claims that “police have committed criminal acts against protesters,” and the “overflow of military technology and funding has spilled into our police departments,” in an attempt to draw a correlation between the ROTC campus program and the alleged “militarization of police” in the America.

Makhlouf is also involved with Brown’s Janus Forum, a student group that promotes political debate on the Brown University campus.

An excerpt from the Brown University student’s editorial about the ROTC:

“At a time when we most need a brave intelligentsia to speak out against the craven acts of U.S. imperialism, the thought of extending the poisonous branches of the armed services to our campus should be wholly denounced. A November 2014 Herald article described the lack of military support on Brown’s campus. The article outlined how students considering careers in the military and participating in ROTC programs on campus feel marginalized by “the anti-military — and even hostile — stigma attached to ‘schools like Brown.’ Students anticipating careers in the armed forces outlined ROTC as one of their central concerns, and while ROTC is only one facet of military presence on campus, it is undoubtedly one of the most important. On Tuesday, the faculty endorsed a resolution to create a partnership between Brown’s campus and the Navy and Air Force ROTC programs.”

Edwin Portugal is also a Brown University student who participated in the campus ROTC program. Portugal is slated to graduate in 2017. According to Portugal’s comments during an interview with Campus Reform, students who have been involved in such organizations feel “unwelcome” on campus because of “the proliferation of such harsh anti-military opinions, like Makhlouf’s.”

Providence College, located two miles away from Brown University, is utilized by students from the Ivy League school. Brown University passed a series of resolutions during Vietnam War protests in 1969 that mandated the removal of the ROTC program on the campus. Brown University students reportedly cannot receive credit for the ROTC courses taken at Providence College.

How do you feel about the Brown University student’s views on the ROTC program and the desire to ban the U.S. Armed Forces group from college campuses?

[Image via: The U VU Review]