Editor, Daily Nexus,
In response to your editorial, “All’s Not Fair in War and Education” (Daily Nexus, Feb. 16), your position against the faculty proposal to ban military recruiters on campus is contrary to the values of our university. First, your editorial speaks of individual rights and the rights of students who want to associate with a military recruiter. While claiming to be a proponent of individual rights, you are quick to dismiss the individual rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). The United States military is an institution that openly and unapologetically discriminates against LGBT people. This policy of discrimination is wrong and unjust, and it has no rational justification.
Do most of us really believe that people who happen to be LGBT are not capable of serving their country? The basis of the argument in favor of this policy is a supposed moral issue, which speaks to the actual problem — that homophobia and bigotry permeate our society. LGBT people are not the problem; the problem is the inability of the rest to treat them fairly and respectfully.
It is also not accurate to frame this discussion in terms of ROTC students versus LGBT students. Indeed, the current military policy is harmful to all UCSB students and everyone in our country.
The LGBT people at the university are not trying to spoil it for the rest “just because we don’t have access to military recruiters, then no one should.” Instead, we need to examine the will of the university to uphold its standards of equity and nondiscrimination. Does the university have the moral strength to do what is right? If the university truly believes in justice and equity, then should it not exclude an employer that so blatantly dismisses these values? It would be hypocritical not to.
Your editorial also asserts that it would be wrong for the university to “impose a particular viewpoint” by not permitting military recruiters on campus. In fact, the university imposes its own viewpoints in virtually every way that it does business. As an institution, the university expresses its values through its policies and procedures all the time. Values such as “scholarship, leadership and citizenship,” for example, are espoused by the UCSB Division of Student Affairs. In fact, the university ought to “impose a particular viewpoint:” Discrimination is wrong, and we should seek a more just and equitable society in which all of our citizens are able to fully participate.