__The SA senate passed a bill to give at least three credits for ROTC courses__
p. The Student Assembly senate unanimously passed The Full and Fair Treatment for ROTC Cadets Act March 27. The bill includes provisions urging the College to restructure credit for ROTC courses so cadets receive at least three credits per semester, and all credits earned through ROTC would be counted toward the 120 required for graduation.
p. These changes would be made retroactively in order to benefit all current cadets. The bill was sponsored by junior senator Joe Luppino-Esposito and sophomore senators Matt Beato and Zach Pilchen. Sophomore Matt Pinsker, ROTC cadet and member of the SA executive branch, was instrumental in conceiving and writing the bill.
p. “I went to the student senate first because I felt that I would get more from them than I would from the administration. I knew [they] would take the time to listen to and fairly evaluate our concerns,” Pinsker said.
p. A few years ago, the cadets presented the credit issue to the administration, but they were quickly rejected. ROTC cadets and the senate are hoping that the administration will pay more attention to the issue now because it has the full support of elected senators. The Educational Policy Review Committee, chaired by Professor Ray McCoy, is in charge of setting course credits.
p. “I have no idea if the administration will adopt all of the changes, make some changes or completely reject the opinion of the students,” Pinsker said.
p. The Full and Fair Treatment for ROTC Cadets Act has received high support from ROTC cadets.
p. “The ROTC community has been extremely excited by this. I’ve walked up to people who have thanked me for working on this, simply because ROTC is so much work without a lot of credit,” Beato said.
p. Cadets can currently earn up to 14 credits throughout their time in college, but a maximum of six may count toward graduation. Students enrolled at the University of Virginia, George Mason University and Christopher Newport University (which participates in the same ROTC battalion as the College) all earn full credit for ROTC courses.
p. “By studying lighting techniques for one semester, I can earn the same number of credits it takes me two years to earn in ROTC. Talk about discouraging,” Pinsker said in a Young America’s Foundation press release.
p. Only cadets who have signed to enter the military after graduation are paid. Many ROTC participants, including Pinsker, receive no financial compensation.
p. The bill has generated attention from national media. Pinsker has been invited onto the G. Gordon Liddy radio talk show, Sean Hannity’s radio show and the Hannity and Colmes television show.
“William and Mary offers us yet another example of anti-military bias on campus. If the decision-makers at William and Mary really care about ‘Supporting the Troops,’ they need to offer full course credit for ROTC immediately, like other state-sponsored institutions in Virginia do,” army veteran Flagg Youngblood said in the Young America’s Foundation press release.
p. “The bill is extremely logical,” Beato said. “ROTC cadets take classes just like the rest of us; why shouldn’t they receive full credit?”