A version of this viewpoint appeared in the Marquette Tribune student newspaper on Jan. 27, 2011. See ROTC programs conflict with religious schools
Marquette University is the only Jesuit Catholic University to host officer training on campus for the Army, Navy/Marines and Air Force for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (See List of Catholic Universities Army Base Schools )
In 1968 Marquette students by nonviolent actions were able to open up the university to minority students. After this civil rights struggle, student attention was focus on the war in Vietnam. I was a graduate student at Marquette at the time and was part of the Milwaukee 14 , destroying over 10,000 Selective Service 1A files. The Selective Service system at the time forced young men to make a choice to kill or be killed. Marquette students focused their attention on officer military training for the Vietnam War on campus, the ROTC programs. (See 40 Year History of Nonviolent Resistance to the Military at Marquette ).
Now in 2010 Marquette has an integrated student body, the involuntary Selective Service was abolished in 1972 and most colleges and universities around the country have eliminated military training programs for war on campus. The reason public and private universities have eliminated military officer training programs on campus are: academic, ROTC programs do not meet the academic standards of many schools; ethical, most schools do not allow discrimination on campus that the military demands; moral, the military requires that military values take priority over religious values and conscience. (For more reasons see Letter to the Provost of Marquette University to Teach War No More.)
Also the reasons for ROTC programs have been eliminated since university students, like at MU, can get full ROTC scholarships by taking military training courses off campus. Universities, like MU, can receive all Federal monies without choosing to host military training on campus.
At the same time the military has radically changed its training, now adding ‘reflexive killing’, Killing without Conscience and other training techniques that violate Catholic teaching. (See Not Your Father’s Military).
There are only 21 Catholic Universities in the country that host base Army ROTC schools and one two that freely choose to host base Army, Navy/Marines and Air Force schools for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Marquette is the only one that is a Catholic Jesuit university (the other one with all three military programs is Notre Dame.) We, members of Catholics for Peace and Justice can stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by closing the schools of army, navy/marines and Air Force for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at home. To be involved in Breaking the Silence contact