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Written by Student Rights on 5 May 2011 at 12pm

St. Andrews University votes against Ban of Armed Forces on Campus

Students at St. Andrews University yesterday voted emphatically against the motion “to give no platform for military...organisations whose primary mission is to conduct or glorify war”. The bill did not achieve a single vote. Prince William

This proposal showed that individuals wish to defame the military as a threatening entity when in fact this is entirely counter-intuitive; the military is Britain’s bastion against threats posed to our society. The proposal implies that the military uniform and its occupants are menacing, to whom may they be menacing? To the enemies of our society who wish to destroy it, yes.

To individuals who label British soldiers the ‘butchers of Basra’, yes. But, to people across the world who appreciate the work that the British military does in an attempt to achieve the globally beneficial goal of defeating oppression and spreading security, it is in no way threatening. The proposal claims that “the Ivy League Universities banned the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) from its campuses during the Vietnam War, a ban which remains in force to this day”.

The claim that the ban is still in place is wholly false and misleading and in fact the US has legislation which prohibits the banning of the ROTC from university campuses. “The Solomon Amendment, passed in 1994, withdraws federal financing from any college with a “policy or practice” preventing the military from “maintaining, establishing or operating” R.O.T.C. on its campus”.

One fact the proposal does manage to get right is that “half of British officers are recruited through university-based military organisations”. What must be realised in light of this fact is that if bans are passed, as they were at UCL, LSE and Goldsmiths University this would be to the detriment of our armed forces and as a result our national security.

We should follow suit with the United States and enact a policy which would allow individuals who wish to be involved with the military at university to do so but also most importantly stop any demonisation of our armed forces.