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Brown president backs continued ban on ROTC

October 20, 2011

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Brown University President Ruth Simmons is supporting a recommendation to maintain the campus ban on ROTC, though she backs a possible expansion of students' options for participating in the military officer training program at other institutions.

A committee studying the university's ROTC policy recommended that an existing program allowing students to participate in the program at Providence College remain in place. Simmons says she also supports discussing with the Defense Department an expansion of other, off-campus opportunities.

The repeal last year of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prevented gays from serving openly, prompted Brown to reconsider its ban on ROTC. Harvard University lifted a similar ban earlier this year.

Simmons has asked the Brown community to push for ending discrimination against transgender individuals, whom the military still does not allow to serve.