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R.O.T.C. May Return to Columbia

My dear friend Bari Weiss reports for The New York Sun:

Senator Obama’s opposition to Columbia University’s ban on the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is reigniting a campus debate, with several student leaders pushing for a student-wide referendum about whether the military program should be allowed back to Morningside Heights.

A vote to gauge the opinion of the entire student body on a repeal of the 40-year-old ban could come as early as this week.

A Columbia junior who is a marine officer candidate, Austin Byrd, said that the campus is abuzz about Mr. Obama’s opposition, which he discussed at a forum on community service held at the university last week. He said he was surprised by the Democratic presidential candidate’s “unabashed support” for allowing the program back on campus.

Other students said that the crowd of 7,500 that had gathered to watch the speech outside was similarly shocked.

A junior at Columbia, Jordan Hirsch, said that Mr. McCain was booed by students when he voiced his opposition to the ban, but that when Mr. Obama expressed a similar sentiment, the crowd had a different response.


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