RWU president: Trump’s military transgender ban could ‘end’ ROTC program

BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — A ban on transgender troops in the military could take effect next year if President Donald Trump has his way.

This presents a problem for institutions like Roger Williams University (RWU), who said it doesn’t accept discrimination based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. According to RWU President Donald Farish, Trump’s ban could eventually lead to a “termination” of the school’s Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program.

“We have to reconcile, come to grips with, deal with, the fact that the president said it’s alright to discriminate against transgenders,” Farish said.  “And that creates a dilemma.”

According to Farish, there won’t be any immediate actions from the school since Trump’s ban has not gone into effect. In the meantime, Farish said he wants to have a campus conversation.

“One of the options would be to say anybody in the program today stays in the program,” Farish said “We won’t end the program until the last person in it graduates.  We wouldn’t take any more people in the program.”

“The other alternative would be to say, well, we can end the program, but we would have to provide equivalent scholarship support for those students [in ROTC],” he added.

Farish said a third option would be to allow the ROTC program to continue, even if a ban was implemented.

For now, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said all current transgender troops will be allowed to stay in the military, pending the results of a study.