Wednesday, February 01, 2006

UPDATE: News story and MilVets press release

Go to MilVets press release on-line.



U.S. MILITARY VETERANS OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (MILVETS)


U.S. MILITARY VETERANS OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY asks that Columbia University amend its Discrimination and Harassment Policy to grant all veterans and military-related persons protected status. Likewise, we hold the university responsible for promoting a military sensitive environment on campus and preventing further discrimination of veterans and military-related persons at the university.

An effective discrimination policy protects the diverse members of any evolving academic community, sets out transparent standards of acceptable conduct, and reinforces the distinct line between free speech and discrimination. This allows for the safe environment that is essential for everyone to participate fully in the academic domain.

The current discrimination policy of Columbia University, which limits codified protection to “Vietnam era and disabled” veterans, is outdated and inadequate for the present-day veteran and military-related population. Last semester, a student at a university event was verbally attacked for being a U.S. Marine. This combined with a recent poll among Columbia’s veterans and military-related persons further confirms the need for reform of the Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

As Columbia President Lee Bollinger stated in response to the recent hate crime incident in the Ruggles dormitory, "The entire Columbia community is injured when any of its members are made, unjustly, to feel vulnerable. Such deplorable acts of hate have no place at Columbia and will not be tolerated." We hope Columbia University will make the necessary changes to show that discrimination against veterans and military-related persons also will not be tolerated.

Oscar Escano
President
U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University
Website: www.columbia.edu/cu/usmilvetscu
Contact: oje2001 -at- columbia.edu


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