This letter was written as a response to one of the participants on the Debate Forum and also due to the Marquette administrators breaking their promise for an open debate of the moral issue of Marquette training soldiers for war on campus and their ignoring my request for information about the financial benefits of Marquette hosting the four departments of the military.
Dear Son of Liberty,
You raise a very good question on this Debate Forum Is it moral or ethical for Marquette University to host military training on campus? The question you raise: “Would any other local college or university host four departments of the military if Marquette did not?”
My first response is that I am not sure military courses need to be offered on a college or university campus to receive credit for that school. All the local schools offer off-campus courses for credit. Also, I believe ROTC students receive credit for the courses they now take away from any college or university campus, such as at a military training facility.
However, the bigger question your words raise is why UWM, Alverno, Concordia and other local colleges and universities have ROTC programs but, rather than host the military on campus, send ROTC students to Marquette for military training. The answer can be found in an article called ROTC at Catholic Universities by Katie Millar in the Sign of Peace Journal of The Catholic Peace Fellowship, Easter, 2003, Vol. 2.2. Basically, she discusses the two great financial motivations to recruit students on campus and to offer military training, albeit at another location. One is obviously the full tuition scholarships that the military departments offer to students; the other is that the 1995 Solomon Act, upheld by the Supreme Court of the USA, forbids the Department of Defense from granting funds to any university that removes ROTC or military recruitment on campus. In 1997, this provision was expanded to include funding from other federal agencies, including the departments of Education, Energy, Transportation, and Health and Human Services.
The above answers beg the real question I have been searching for an answer to: How much money does Marquette receive from the government for hosting the four departments of the military, over and above the large amounts of money in scholarship funds, research grants and other dollars given to colleges and universities for having an ROTC program? I have asked this question of Father Simon S.J. Director of the Center for Peacemaking; Stephanie Russell, Executive Director of Office of Mission and Identity; and Fr. Wild S.J., President of Marquette. Although I know Fr. Simon and Ms. Russell were looking into this question last year, they have ignored my request for this information, as they have ignored their own promises to conduct an open debate and discussion of the moral issue of Marquette hosting military training for war on campus.
I am asking Marquette students, administrators and staff, media in Milwaukee, and military personnel this question. What are the financial benefits for Marquette from hosting four departments of military training for nine colleges and universities?
Does money once more trump morality? I hope and pray not.