From hate campaigns to acts of intimidation to revisionist curricula, people on the Left have used an array of tactics to disrupt whatever they find offensive, inappropriate, or “culturally insensitive,” especially on college campuses.
Often, they try to eliminate a group’s presence altogether if they don’t approve of its mission — which is what’s happening now at the City College of New York (CCNY) in Hamilton Heights, New York.
The Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) chapter there is calling for an end to the ROTC program on campus, proclaiming that “the rich will never die for you, [so] don’t die for the rich,” according to Campus Reform.
ROTC, of course, stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. It prepares college students to become officers in the U.S. armed forces. While in college, cadets are eligible for scholarships that cover tuition, fees, and textbooks for four years; they also can receive a monthly stipend for personal expenses.
Some of our nation’s top leaders — from Walmart founder Sam Walton to NFL coach Lou Holtz to astronaut Nancy Currie –– were involved in ROTC in their college years.
A few days ago, Emma Caterine, a CCNY student –– describing herself as an “angry feminist nemesis of predatory finance, and a bored law student in Democratic Socialists of America” on Facebook –– took to social media to air her grievance toward ROTC.
She posted a picture on Twitter of a poster with the words, “R.O.T.C. OFF OUR CAMPUS,” and under that, “The Rich Will Never Die For You, Don’t Die For The Rich.”
The top part of the poster presents a quote from a 2011 case study by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). It reads: “The absence of ROTC in CUNY [City University of New York, the state’s network of public universities] prevents the military from taking full advantage of their large, ethnically diverse populations.”
It continues, “The plan is to put the diversity of the CUNY student body in service of the U.S. military, especially as military engagements are increasingly in the Middle East and the global South.”
But oddly and suspiciously, that second line — “The plan is to put the diversity of the CUNY student body in service of the U.S. military” — does not appear anywhere in the AEI paper as it was published. So it appears to be a cut-and-paste job by angry and unfocused students aiming to rattle others around them based on their own beliefs.
Despite demands by members of the Young Democratic Socialists group to ban ROTC from campus, the training organization has not changed its course in any way.
“Cadet Command continuously evaluates the effectiveness of its recruiting efforts and adjusts those efforts based on the feedback we receive from our recruiting operations officers, current cadets, potential candidates, and the American public,” Lt. Col. Christopher Belcher, based Louisville, Kentucky, told LifeZette.
He added, “The U.S. Army Cadet Command is on approximately 1,000 campuses nationwide, and continues to successfully recruit quality candidates for those programs.”
“I was simply sharing that and in no way was involved in putting it together.”
Via Facebook chat, LifeZette reached out to Emma Caterine, the law student who posted the questionable content.
Her reply was short: “Hi, I was simply sharing that and in no way was involved in putting it together. You need to contact City College YDSA: [email protected]”
So she appeared willing to post the content — but was unwilling to defend it, apparently.
Not surprisingly, the Young Democratic Socialists group has demanded in the past an end to a police presence on campus; it also participated in last month’s anti-gun walkout, noted Campus Reform.
The City College of New York was originally founded as the Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847, and was the first free public institution of higher education in the United States. It is also the oldest of CUNY’s 24 institutions of higher learning.
The concept of “free tuition” continues to expand in the state of New York. Under Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s excelsior scholarship proposal, which was signed into law last year, some 940,000 families making up to $125,000 a year are entitled to tuition-free college at New York’s public universities.
Many in the Big Apple may be wondering if this is the type of activity they want their tax dollars to support.
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.