Tensions were high at the SGA meeting on March 13 as ROTC representation in the student government’s Senate was debated.
According to Christopher Morbelli, a senior political science major and SGA at large senator, the concern was “The Senate Leadership realized that those who belong in the ROTC program may be triply represented within the SGA (because they could be) represented by their major senator, an at large senator and the ROTC senator.”
Morbelli said that he thought himself to be the lead opposition to the failed bill that would have removed the Military Senate Seat. His argument stemmed from the fact that freshmen also have three representatives: the freshman senator, their major senator and an at-large senator.
Morbelli explained that, if SGA is willing to make an exception for freshmen, then that should also be the case with ROTC.
“When the ROTC community heard that the ROTC Senate seat was at risk, there was some surprise and frustration amongst us all,” Evan Doolittle, a senior diplomacy major and Pirate Battalion Platoon Leader, said. “We make a point to involve ourselves in the Seton Hall community even though not all of us will graduate with a Seton Hall degree. It would be disadvantageous to both ROTC and the SGA to not include us as a member of the Senate and weaken the cooperation between us.”
Doolittle explained that the ROTC Senator represents not only Seton Hall cadets, but also cadets from all around Northern New Jersey who are a part of the Seton Hall community through Pirate Battalion.
“While a matriculated student has the representation of their school senator, their at-large senator, and their ROTC senator, a non-matriculated cadet enrolled in ROTC classes at Seton Hall only has the representation of their ROTC senator,” Doolittle said.
Daniel Osika, a senior marketing major and Cadet Battalion Commander of ROTC, said he believes that, “the issue stems from a lack of understanding of what Pirate Battalion truly brings to the Seton Hall community.”
Osika said that Cadet David Park, the current ROTC senator, offers a link between ROTC and the Seton Hall community.
“Cadets deeply care for what happens to the Senate seat because Cadet Park acts as our voice to the greater student body. Pirate Battalion is involved in numerous aspects of campus life, so losing representation would only make it more difficult for us to get involved (and) to help other organizations and to bring about issues that affect cadets,” Osika said.
Claudia Emanuele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.