Scholarships good, even if views wrong

By Eric Krol

The oxymoron of the week was tentatively scheduled to be “military intelligence,” but that’s become somewhat of a cliche.

Which leads us to the real oxymoron of week. While driving towards Springfield, I heard two words that truly don’t belong together. In other words, the oxymoron of the week—”new cliche.”

Speaking of military intelligence, Little Jim (Edgar, that is) recently vetoed the bill which would have barred campuses from giving ROTC the boot.

This is a tough one to call.

First of all, who knows the real reason Edgar nixed the bill? Obviously, some sort of political machination came into play.

After all, the legislator who sponsored the bill is a Republican. The bill passed with a wide majority. But one stroke of a pen and it’s become a political hot potato. And will NIU get a bad rep in Springfield?

Even Senator Welch voted for the bill and predicts the veto will be overridden. I certainly wouldn’t have expected a liberal like Welch to vote for the bill, but it turns out he was a former ROTC guy himself. Hmmmm …

But in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter what Edgar’s motivation was. He did the wrong thing, regardless of his motivation.

Yes, the Defense Department consists of a bunch of homophobes whose ridiculous fear of allowing gays into the military has no place in this alleged modern century.

Yes, their justification that gays would disrupt troops during combat should not apply to ROTC. The chances of NIU ROTC people ever seeing combat are very remote, especially when one considers that the primary threat, the Warsaw Pact nations, have disbanded.

Oops, I forgot we just had to take “police action” against a third-world tyrant to help “liberate” Kuwaitis. Seeing as the American public is dumb enough to buy all of Bush’s patriotic rubric, maybe these people will have to see action.

But the bottom line is—ROTC provides a lot of scholarship help for many students who otherwise would not be able to attend college.

So after weighing both sides, which is the greater good?

In other words, is it better that some students lose the opportunity to go to school just because a smaller group of students don’t have the same opportunity?

Let’s face it, in these stagnant economic times, education funding will be cut before other areas are chopped. Scholarship money has not exactly been flowing from Capitol Hill lately.

Should we really take away money from some needy students just because a few others aren’t permitted to join? Should we cut off our nose to spite our face?

One of the most basic human rights in this country is the right to an education. Let’s not violate this right by banning a program that provides money for students to attend college.

Instead, maybe there’s still time to find a way to let homosexuals join this program and receive the scholarship benefits. Okay, so that’s pretty naive but it is the right thing to do.