Attention on...the quadrangle?

The U.S. military on campus

One of the things that took a little getting used to was seeing the military presence on campus down here in Rochester. The campus has a naval recruiting and reserve office training office. Right next to the international student office. Coincidence? People wearing Navy sweatshirts are often spotted on my morning run, students wearing service khakis are mixed in with the classes. I’d see the occasional person in fatigues back in MUN, but it wasn’t often, and they certainly weren’t attending lecture.

Obviously the military is a much bigger part of American culture than it is Canadian. I think Newfoundland has one of the highest provincial participation rates in the armed forces, if not the highest, but the military is more visible here than back home. I was walking home today and passed a half-dozen students ritualistically lowering and folding the (their?) flag as it started to get dark. Though of course I can’t really say much in comparison, since I can’t remember if there’s a Canadian flag flying at MUN, and we’ve had our own flag controversies.

Anyway, not sure I approve. Rochester is noted for optics and physics, so maybe it’s a bit of an outlier. It’s not so much that I have a reason for it, but the uniforms everywhere don’t strike quite the right note with me.