Last Sunday, the Undergraduate Senate voted to reject AU’s policy of allowing military recruiters on campus because of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The university is unlikely to adopt the Senate’s recommendation because due to the Solomon Amendment, the university would lose all federal funding if it denied recruiters access to campus.
This policy presents AU and open-minded universities like it with a catch-22. The universities can’t risk losing federal funding, but at the same time don’t want to condone “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a policy that goes against what they are teaching students.
It’s outstanding that the Senate took a stand on this issue, even if it won’t have any real effect. The resolution shows that the body is representative of the student body as a whole, which gives students confidence in the people who represent them.
In addition to fighting a discriminatory policy, the SG helps raise debate about the practical implications of the policy. The armed forces are having trouble meeting recruitment goals and have recently relaxed enlistment requirements. At a time when rumors of reinstating the draft abound, the armed forces are turning away thousands of patriotic gay people every year.
Everything considered, this is really the best that could be done with the situation. Without federal funding (including student aid), hundreds of students would be unable to attend AU. This statement is a responsible choice to demonstrate student opposition to the policy but save the university from financial ruin.