Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 authored an editorial that appeared in CNN’s Schools of Thought blog on July 17 about the debate on campus over whether to allow credit for ROTC participation. Read on to find out how student LGBTQQ group ALLies, ROTC cadets, and faculty worked together to reach consensus.
From CNN’s Schools of Thought:
Civility Lesson: Are you listening, Congress?
By Janet Morgan Riggs ’77
Congress has been trapped in gridlock for much of President Obama’s term. Politics seem to consistently trump bipartisan civil discourse.
I’d like to offer Congress an example that might inspire them to move beyond politics.
My institution, this past semester, confronted an emotionally charged controversy with respect and civility. We forged a solution, and we shook hands across the aisle. We even shed a few tears of pride - because it was students who led the way.
Decades ago, the Army withdrew Reserve Officer Training Corps instruction from Gettysburg College as part of a consolidation of military programs. Students who wished to enroll in ROTC remained able to do so at another college about 45 minutes away.
However, the military’s rejection of gays and lesbians and subsequent don’t ask, don’t tell policy ran counter to the college’s values: We welcome all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.
Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 is president of Gettysburg College and a professor of psychology.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.