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ROTC Documents

One of your friends is a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). It is a program whereby students receive financial aid for college by participating in military-type training. They took a very active role in the Vietnam conflict. Their presence at Rutgers led to a strong and vocal opposition. Here are some of the events which occurred while you were at Rutgers.

Document #1

Photograph of Pro-R.O.T.C. Demonstration
Photograph of Pro-R.O.T.C. Demonstration. Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives.
Document #2
Photograph of Anti-R.O.T.C Demonstration
Photograph of Anti-R.O.T.C Demonstration. Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives.
Click on image for text
Mimeo flyer from R.O.T.C. Policy Committee. November 6, 1967. Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives

We are protesting the presence of R.O.T.C. on this campus: We are preventing it from functioning by blocking its building for we feel that it is the only way to induce the Administration into recognizing its obligation to keep our university autonomous and independent of any external control. Dean Flynn has issued summonses to all those participating in the protest charging interference with the freedom of other members of the academic community ("disrupting a university department"). We think that this charge carries implicit in it the assumption that R.O.T.C. has the right to be considered a member of the academic community. We believe that it has no such right, and since the Administration has declared itself to be legally bound and powerless toalter its policy, (see the R.O.T.C. Policy Committee.), this demonstration represents the assumption on the part of the students of the responsibilities which the administration has abdicated

Document #4
Mimeo flyer from Rutgers College Judicial Council. November 9, 1967. Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives.

Disrupting a University Department and preventing the entrance of faculty, staff, and students to the University building at 157 College Avenue on Monday, November 6, 1967.


Disciplinary probation until May 28, 1968, to be implemented through the successful completion of a Special Seminar, "The Roles of Rebellion, Reason and Responsibility in the University" including the preparation of an essay; the Seminar to be under the direction of the Dean of Rutgers College.

November 9, 1967
Proclamation by Office of the Mayor, City of New Brunswick. October, 1969. Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives
Proclamation by Office of the Mayor, City of New Brunswick. October, 1969. Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives.

WHEREAS, This year the nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of military training on the college campus and

WHEREAS, the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps, today continues the tradition started in 1819, and

WHEREAS, Army Military Science has been offered to the students at Rutgers University since 1866, and

WHEREAS, tens of thousands of young men who have taken Army ROTC have gone on to serve in the Army in peacetime, in wartime and in times of national emergency, with many giving their lives to preserve our democratic way of life;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Patricia Q. Sheehan, Mayor of New Brunswick do hereby declare the week of 26 - 31 October, 1969 to be "Army ROTC Week," and I call on the citizens of this city to join me in honoring the Rutgers Army ROTC who have gone on to protect our freedoms at home and abroad in both the active Army and the Army Reserve.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Using all of the pictures and documents, to the best of your ability, reconstruct the events dealing with ROTC at Rutgers University in 1967 - 1969.
  2. Provide at least three arguments for and three arguments against having the ROTC program at Rutgers University.
  3. What position would you have taken regarding this issue? What actions would you have taken? Explain, providing at least three details that allowed you to come to this decision.
  4. The students were penalized by having to take a class called The Roles of Rebellion, Reason, and Responsibility in the University. What topics would you include if you were teaching that class? List at least three.