Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2011.01.30
Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. http://www.lgbtcampus.org
Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at http://queernewsoncampus.blogspot.com
Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to email@example.com
1. SMU Daily Campus - LGBT visitation rights in effect for federally funded hospitals
2. The San Diego Union-Tribune - Palomar College to open LGBTQ center Wednesday
3. University Press (Florida Atlantic University) - Gay & Mad: LGBTQ students and faculty say there’s bullying at FAU
4. The Cornell Daily Sun - Ivies Reconsider ROTC After 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repealed
5. Inside Higher Ed - The Same Boxes to Check
6. The Stanford Daily - ROTC debate comes to Undergraduate Senate
7. ESPN - On homophobia and recruiting
8. WSBT - Chick-fil-A removed from IU South Bend campus
9. Pride Source/Between The Lines - U-M to host country's largest LGBTQA college conference
10. Inside Higher Ed - Change of Heart at Belmont
11. The New York Times - Despite Obama’s Call, No Rush in R.O.T.C.’s Return to Campus
12. The Washington Post - Milan offers Italy's 1st gay studies course
13. The Post (Ohio University) - Post Modern: Defining the 'T' in LGBT
14. The Brown Daily Herald - Norris-Leblanc '13: The ROTC Question
1. SMU Daily Campus, January 23, 2011
3140 Dyer St. #314, Dallas, TX 75275
LGBT visitation rights in effect for federally funded hospitals
By Sarah Kramer
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) visitation rights went into effect Tuesday for all hospitals that receive federal funding, which includes Medicare and Medicaid payments.
These new regulations were initiated last April after President Barack Obama heard about a situation in which a woman was not allowed to visit her partner before she died.
Southern Methodist University senior Cameron Silva, who is gay, said, "I have always been shocked that this is even an issue. No matter what the makeup of a family consists of, everyone should have the right to have their loved ones at their side when they need them the most. Denying a patient access to his or her family is a clear violation of human rights."
Under the new rights, patients are now allowed to decide visitation rights as well as designate whomever they trust with making medical decisions on his or her behalf in the case of an emergency.
President of College Republicans Chad Cohen supports the passage of the new LGBT rights, believing that these regulations affect more than just the LGBT community.
"This law represents both an effort to respect the fundamental humanity and dignity of gay people everywhere, while at the same time ensuring that the tradition of personal freedom in this country remains intact," Cohen said.
Federally funded hospitals in Dallas include Parkland Hospital and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Hospital.
Miriam Sibley, the senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Parkland Hospital, said, "Parkland will continue to offer an open visitation policy to all patients and their family members. Research has shown that patient care is greatly enhanced by the more time a family spends with the patient."
Ordinance 24927 in the city of Dallas, which passed in 2002, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations.
UT Southwestern's policy states, "The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression."
It furthers by stating, "When and where appropriate, each patient shall be provided with a written statement of patient rights and a notice of privacy practices. These statements include the rights of a patient to make decisions regarding his or her medical care and a patient's rights related to his or her protected health information maintained by the hospital."
Silva believes minorities in general are being given a bigger voice in society today and that important issues such as these are being heard.
"The new regulations regarding hospital visitation rights are a huge step forward for the LGBT community," Silva said. "The widespread support for these changes really parallels the progress that the LGBT community has made in recent years."
2. The San Diego Union-Tribune, January 24, 2011
P.O. Box 120191, San Diego, CA 92112-0191
Palomar College to open LGBTQ center Wednesday
By Carl Ciaramella
Palomar College will hold a grand opening ceremony for its new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Resource Center from 1-4 p.m., Wednesday on campus.
Palomar Superintendent/President Robert P. Deegan and other officials will be on hand to celebrate the opening of the center, which is the first of its kind on a Southern California community college campus.
The event is free and open to the public. The LGBTQ Resource Center is Room ST-72 on the San Marcos campus.
3. University Press (Florida Atlantic University), January 24, 2011
FAU Boca Raton, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431
Gay & Mad: LGBTQ students and faculty say there’s bullying at FAU
By Sergio N. Candido
When Ryan Ebanks lived in the University Village apartments during the fall of 2009, his roommate would never use the same silverware or plates he had used. It wasn't because the utensils were dirty or because Ebanks was sick — it was because Ebanks was gay.
"It becomes a part of your life," said Ebanks, who has suffered bullying since an early age. "I get teased and mocked all the time: ‘Oh your voice is so high-pitched, oh you walk funny, oh we know you are gay.'"
At FAU, police records show no hate crimes were committed in the last three years, but the gay community says heads turn, faces scowl, and profanity fills the air at the sight of a seemingly homosexual person.
On top of that, until recently, the university hasn't provided them with the resources gay students say they need on campus: advice for students who aren't open about their sexuality, a safe place where they can feel comfortable, and more widespread education about gay issues to decrease discrimination, according to Jenna Beckwith, health promotion coordinator in the Today and Beyond Wellness Center.
Peter Cava does not look like your average professor: He wears a black dress accompanied by earrings, sky- blue eye shadow and a light-red shade of lipstick that stands out on his pale skin. At 6 feet 3-and-a-half inches, the lanky instructor towers over most of his students, but that doesn't stop him from getting bullied.
"We certainly do have [bullying] here, I've experienced it," said Peter Cava in a soft-spoken voice. He teaches transgender studies, which examines the roles of transgender individuals from cross-cultural, historical, sociological and psychological perspectives.
"I hear about it from my students and other instructors as well that there's been some problems."
He said strangers shout curse words every time he walks on campus. And even though some students come up to him asking for advice on how to cope with harassment, others in his class decide to bash him mercilessly on the Internet, Cava said.
"I've had situations with my own students posting comments online about my gender," said the 28-year-old instructor from New York. "Or making sexually inappropriate remarks about me and my genitalia."
The comments were posted on ratemyprofessor.com, a website used by college students to rank faculty and classes. The comments were later removed by the website's administrators, Cava said.
Like Cava, students also suffer harassment on campus.
FAU student Amanda Dier, president of Lambda United, a student organization that provides social support and promotes events for LGBT students on campus, said somebody had posted a letter with the word "Gaylord" written in rainbow colors outside the dorm room of an openly gay student last semester.
According to Dier, the girls who had written the derogatory message quickly apologized after they were told they could face hate crime charges for the incident.
Despite these cases of harassment based on sexual orientation, the FAU Police Department Crime Statistics from 2007 to 2009 show a list of zeroes for every campus under "hate crimes," according to its website, www.fau.edu/police/clery.php.
Neither the FAU Counseling Center nor the office of Equal Opportunity Programs has encountered bullying victims in the last 10 years, officials from both offices said.
"The thing with the Counseling Center is that a lot of people think that if you go there it means something is wrong with you," Dier said.
Ryan Ebanks said incidents happen so often that reporting them will not solve anything. He ended up moving off campus after one semester because he couldn't stand his roommate's attitude and now shares an apartment with a group of European women who he said are accepting of his sexuality.
But for Ebanks, the bullying hasn't stopped. He said he's also bullied by a group of African-American males in the Breezeway, who mock him when he walks by.
The harassment is generally mild, from imitating his gestures to making sounds as he walks by, but it still hurts, Ebanks said.
"We have to deal with that all the time, so we have gotten so used to it," Ebanks said.
But Cava believes the reason incidents are kept unreported lies elsewhere.
"A whole lot of people who are sexually variant have had bad experiences with the police," Cava said. "Maybe what happens with the police could just be as traumatizing as what could have happened in the hate crime."
He said campus police are not trained to deal with these type of situations and when confronted with a case like this, officers can't grasp the sensitivity of the incident, asking questions that can make the victim feel "embarrassed" for what happened to them.
"You are like under a microscope, that's why there are a lot of teens that try to commit suicide," Ebanks said. "I've gotten depressed where I've thought about stuff because I was that depressed."
Professor Sameer Hinduja said he knows why people engage in bullying.
"Reasons for bullying tend to range from insecurities — the need to push other people down in order to build oneself up to the fact that some bullies are subject to power, control and abuse in their homes or other spheres of life and they are attempting to achieve some equilibrium by doing the same to others," said Hinduja, who also included boredom, peer pressure and teens' obsession with technology among the reasons.
Bully territories compared
Although FAU is located in South Florida — which has one of the largest gay communities in the country according to The Advocate, a well-known LGBT-interest magazine — its resources are limited.
Before January, the resources FAU offered best compared to the University of Southern Indiana, a historically conservative place, where the Klu Klux Klan achieved great political power in the early 20th century.
"One of the things that caught my eye was that there's very little when it comes to resources for LGBT on campus," said Stephanie Young, adviser for Spectrum, the gay-straight alliance student organization at USI.
Besides the student club and a safe zone program, where faculty and staff display a triangular rainbow-colored logo on their office door to indicate they are supportive of gay students, there is little USI offers to their gay community.
"It's still a work in progress. We want to create a better campus climate for LGBT students," Young said.
Until the FAU resource center opened on Jan. 10, the university had exactly the same resources as the University of Southern Indiana, according to FAU's website.
"There's been nobody doing this job at FAU," said Jenna Beckwith.
At Florida International University, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students have more options.
FIU has four student organizations, a resource center, LGBT seminars for students and professors, and the Stonewall Center, which provides students with a library of gay and lesbian literature and videos.
"Our focus is in programming for the university," said Bridgette Wynn, graduate assistant for LGBT Initiatives at the FIU resource center.
Wynn said FIU wants to have more events for gay students on campus so that they can feel like part of the school.
Another plan FIU has, according to Wynn, is to increase housing to accommodate LGBT students in an atmosphere where they feel more comfortable, especially transgender students, who are often housed in dorm rooms that don't match their sexual identity. With the coming of FAU President Mary Jane Saunders, the university created an LGBTQ task force to specifically address the gay community on campus.
After working for more than a year, the results of the task force came in the form of a new LGBT resource center, which opened on Jan. 10, and is housed in the office of Multicultural Affairs above the Breezeway.
According to Lauren Walleser, the graduate assistant hired to manage the center, renovations are still going on. The plan is knock down a wall to have more space to create a lounge where students can hang out, Walleser said.
Volunteers, who can be graduate or undergraduate students, are also being trained to help run the place.
Walleser said the center has LGBT magazines and informational brochures, but she wants to stock the center with gay and lesbian literature. Events are also being planned for the semester. When all the renovations are complete, the center will have its grand opening "sometime in February," Walleser said. The current hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Student Government House Speaker Boris Bastidas, who is part of the LGBT task force, is trying to bring change from a legislative standpoint. In 2009, he co-wrote a resolution to include the phrases "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to FAU's Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Regulation 5.010
The policy currently mandates that the "University community shall be permitted to work or study in an environment free from any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment that is based on a legally protected class, including race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin, marital status, veteran status or any other basis protected by law."
"On my view, you can't have a resource center if you don't have a university policy that includes sexual orientation. I think it's unacceptable," Bastidas said.
Bastidas said that the Board of Trustees might pick up the legislation to vote on it this semester.
The Student Code of Conduct, the rules which indicate what students can and can't do on campus, also protects LGBT students from unlawful discrimination and harassment.
Although she's happy about the creation of the new resource center, Dier believes that in order to gain respect for gay students, FAU needs to provide more and better education about the topic to the entire community.
"It would help if the school did like a generalized diversity training explaining that we have people from different cultures here," said Dier, who has seen people purposely knock down stuff from the Lambda United table in the Breezeway.
Cava supports Dier's position to inform FAU's student body about the LGBT community.
"I think that it would be really valuable if there was more widespread education in terms of an awareness for all students about LGBT students, how to be respectful with them," Cava said.
Despite their efforts, most gay students, faculty and staff agree that it will take a long time before the LGBT community is fully integrated in society.
"Culturally we mutate into a better society because it becomes less of an issue," said Edward Rowe, associate director of the office of equal opportunity programs, who also serves as adviser for Lambda United. "It is a flaw in humans, but it is in human nature to look for someone to be less than you so you can feel superior.
"It's something that's engrained in us and it's unfortunate, but as long as we are aware of it we can always work to try to combat it.
THE MINDS BEHIND BULLYING
In different parts of the country, some student victims of bullying who aren't able to cope with the harassment think they know a way out: committing suicide.
Last year, several high school and even college students killed themselves because they were bullied at school.
In September, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York City after his roommate at Rutgers University broadcasted Clementi's sexual encounter with another man on the Internet.
Around the same time, Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old gay student at Jacobsen Middle School, hanged himself from a tree in his backyard in Tehachapi, Calif., after being bullied.
FAU researchers, psychologists and counselors pointed out several reasons that may affect LGBT students' decisions to commit suicide.
"Bullying and cyberbullying do not directly lead to suicide," said Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology at the Jupiter campus. "Bullying was just one additional stress that broke the camel's proverbial back."
Rhonda Seiman, psychologist and counselor at the FAU Counseling Center, said that LGBT students tend to have less family support, which, combined with limited legal rights, makes them feel like they do not belong in society.
"This population tends to feel unsupported, trapped, hopeless and maybe even purposeless," Seiman said. "If people think, ‘Well I can't get married, I'll never have a family, I'll never be able to adopt … I'll never find a partner,' all of those things are tremendous stressors."
Psychology professor David Perry, who is currently doing research on aggressive behavior in elementary and junior high school children, thinks LGBT students might sometimes blame themselves for the harassment they receive.
"If they think there's something wrong with them, or that they caused it, they are more likely to internalize the victimization experience as something that they deserve," Perry said. "That creates depression."
Ryan Ebanks, who was born in Jamaica, "one of the most homophobic places in the world" according to a 2004 article in the British newspaper The Guardian, lived first-hand what it means for a gay youngster to be rejected by his own family. When he was 17, his stepfather read his private diary and kicked him out of the house.
"Being gay, you are put into the spot where you are morally wrong," said Ebanks, whose mother, according to him, is very religious. "You are fighting yourself, your own existence as a person being that you are like bad, you are an abomination to God."
At times, before going to therapy, he said he had considered ending his life.
4. The Cornell Daily Sun, January 25, 2011
139 W. State St., Ithaca, NY 14850
Ivies Reconsider ROTC After 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repealed
By Max Schindler
After the Dec. 22 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — a policy that prohibited gay or lesbian from serving openly in the armed forces — schools across the Ivy League are reconsidering their four-decade-old bans on the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps participation on their campuses.
As the only Ivy that hosts all three main ROTC chapters — Army, Naval and Air Force — Cornell never banned the ROTC program despite prevailing anti-Vietnam sentiment among higher education institutions from the late 1960s to early 1970s. As a land-grant institution, the University would lose all public funding from such a move.
With the repeal of DADT, ROTC no longer contradicts Cornell’s Prohibited Discrimination Policy.
Representatives of the University Counsel’s office were not available to comment on the changing legal environment.
Instead, the new dynamic will be the emergence of a possible relationship between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and the ROTC program, according to Lt. Colonel Stephen Alexander, professor of military science and head of the Cornell Army ROTC program. Alexander acknowledged that he would be receptive to LGBT cadets serving in Cornell ROTC.
“Support for LGBT kids [in ROTC] needs to be developed over time. It’s breaking out over time and we need to develop new policies,” Alexander said. “We’re down here waiting for the [DADT] implementation plan that’s supposed to come out in February.”
Matt Carcella, director of the LGBT resource center explained the gay community’s new opportunity to reach out to Cornell ROTC.
“I would like to see ROTC reach out to me and the LGBT resource center,” Carcella said. “Most likely in the near-future, I will contact them.”
Due to the discriminatory nature of DADT, it was previously impossible to have a dialogue, Carcella said.
The policy remains on the books until military leaders certify that repeal will not affect combat readiness.
“Ever since the repeal of DADT, LGBT service members, whether they’re cadets on campus or not … have been very wary of coming out. I think people are moving cautiously and don’t want to put themselves in a situation where the policy could be reenacted,” Carcella added.
Matt Danzer ’12, the LGBTQ S.A. Rep. anticipated an outreach on both sides of the fence.
“With the repeal of the DADT policy I hope that a new relationship will emerge before the LGBT and ROTC communities,” Danzer said. “But a lot of the relationship that will form between the ROTC and LGBT communities will take place behind the scenes.”
Program Status at Other Ivies
Brown, Columbia, Harvard and Yale currently bar ROTC from operating on-campus and students at these schools receive no academic credit for coursework completed elsewhere. Of the remaining four Ivy League institutions, only Cornell and University of Pennsylvania offer credit for certain military classes; Dartmouth and Princeton host training programs, but classes are not accredited towards graduation.
Columbia withdrew recognition of ROTC in 1969, so cadets have to travel to Fordham University or Manhattan College to participate in the nearest program, according to the university’s student organization website. A University Senate vote in 2005 and a student referendum in 2008 to bring back ROTC have both failed.
Since the DADT repeal was signed into law, the Student Affairs Committee at Columbia announced a Task Force on Military Engagement to explore the possibility of bringing ROTC back. University Senator Ron Mazor ’09, J.D. ’12, chair of the new Task Force, said the organization will gather information through surveys and hearings, and report back to the University Senate, Columbia’s policy legislative body, in March.
“From what I understand, [the past failed efforts] were mainly caused by ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Mazor said. “Since the main focus of discussions were based off DADT, [my] understanding is that if the … policy was to change, that would be a reason to reexamine the issue.”
One Columbia student government representative, Jose Robledo ’12, an ROTC candidate and veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2006, thinks the program’s revival goes beyond the principle of equal treatment.
“Ever since the the 70s ... there has been a decline of military involvement at university across the country,” Robledo said. “There needs to be a re-engagement of communities [with the military] … so reexamining ROTC at Columbia goes beyond just the university … it will serve the entire city.”
At Brown--which phased out the military training program in 1971-72--the original decision to drop ROTC was “centered on academic issues,” according to an e-mail statement from Sarah Kidwell, director of news and communications.
The university intends to conduct a review to visit the question of inviting ROTC back to campus.
“President Ruth Simmons is forming a committee to consider how to respond to the repeal of [‘don’t ask, don’t tell’] … [and the committee] will submit recommendations to the faculty and the administration,” Kidwell said.
At Harvard, President Drew Faust has been an active advocate of repealing DADT and formally endorsed the return of ROTC after the repeal was signed into law, according to The Harvard Crimson.
However, the Crimson also reported on Nov. 19 that the military program’s return is, “highly uncertain due to low levels of enrollment, limited Pentagon funding, and logistical hurdles.”
Concurrently, discussions at Yale exude signs that ROTC reestablishment is more likely.
According to Yale Daily News, Yale College Council found that almost 100 students are interested in joining the candidate training program if it was on campus. The Daily News also reported that President Richard Levin had positive talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to establish an ROTC unit.
5. Inside Higher Ed, January 26, 2011
1320 18th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036
The Same Boxes to Check
By Scott Jaschik
The Common Application has rejected a proposal that it add optional questions on sexual orientation and gender identity. The board of the organization issued a statement suggesting that colleges have other ways to indicate support for applicants who are gay or who don't identify with traditional gender categories, and that adding the questions could pose problems.
Advocates for such students have been pushing the Common Application to add the questions, with the hope that doing so would send a powerful message to the students who apply to the 414 colleges that are members, a group that includes many of the most prestigious colleges in the United States.
Advocates said that just as colleges use information that students volunteer on their ethnicity, academic interests, socioeconomic background and many other factors, they should invite students to consider sharing information about sexual orientation and gender identity, so that colleges can offer relevant information and so they see the growing number of such applicants who want to attend supportive institutions.
The statement adopted by the board of the Common Application left open the possibility that the questions might yet be added at some point in the future, calling for an additional review "later this decade" that would evaluate, among other things, "evolving cultural norms."
The board document cites several reasons for rejecting the new optional questions. "Many admission officers and secondary school counselors expressed concern regarding how this question might be perceived by students, even though it would be optional. One common worry was that any potential benefits to adding the question would be outweighed by the anxiety and uncertainty students may experience when deciding if and how they should answer it," says the statement.
Further, the Common Application notes that it has just added -- under a menu of activities that students could indicate they participated in while in high school -- a category of "LGBT," so students can indicate their activism on behalf of gay rights. Such activism is growing in high schools, frequently through gay-straight alliances, and the Common Application statement acknowledges this.
"While advocacy falls short of confirming an applicant’s sexual orientation, it will help members identify applicants who may benefit from targeted outreach efforts. Applicants also have the opportunity to report personal information of any kind in their application essays and/or the Additional Information section," the statement says.
On the issue of gender identity, the rejected proposal would have continued to ask students to report their legally defined gender, but would have also given applicants the chance to indicate if other terms more accurately described them, so that students who identify as a different gender than is on their birth certificates, or who identify as transgender or without a traditional gender, could indicate as much.
The Common Application statement says that the addition of other categories would "disrupt members’ abilities to comply with federal reporting guidelines" and that very few colleges have sought the information. However, the statement says that the organization will add a new question box (a feature throughout the application that provides additional information for applicants on questions they might have) that would specifically tell applicants that they are welcome to provide additional information elsewhere about their sex or gender identity, beyond what is collected for federal reporting requirement.
To arrive at its decision, the Common Application board hired an outside consultant to review applications of colleges inside and outside the United States, held many meetings, and surveyed its membership (and received a 75 percent response rate).
Shane L. Windmeyer, the founder of Campus Pride, a national group that works on behalf of gay students and sponsors college fairs at which gay students can meet college representatives, criticized both the process and the outcome of the Common Application's consideration of the issue. Campus Pride formally requested the changes and was the most vocal proponent of them.
"The Common Application is acting like a parent of the 1950s," he said. Windmeyer stressed that the proposed new questions were optional, so any applicant made uncomfortable could simply avoid them. And he also said that it would be possible -- by asking a second question on gender after one about birth certificates -- for colleges to meet reporting requirements while still reaching out to students with a range of gender identities.
Windmeyer said that at the college fairs his group organizes, there are many high school students who are comfortable with their identities, who have faced harassment in high school, and who want to be certain that they are looking at colleges that will be welcoming. "This is about allowing students to be who they are as they apply to college, and for them to see that they can find a safe place," he said.
By asking students about race and ethnicity and many other topics, but not asking about sexual orientation and gender identity, college applications send a message, he said. "They are out of touch with the needs and concerns of LGBT students," he said.
Windmeyer noted that the board's statement about revisiting the issue suggested an awareness that asking such questions will some day not be seen as a big deal. "It's just a matter of time," he said.
6. The Stanford Daily, January 26, 2011
456 Panama Mall, Stanford, CA 94305
ROTC debate comes to Undergraduate Senate
By Margaret Rawson
The ASSU Undergraduate Senate heard from representatives of the Faculty Senate’s ad hoc committee on ROTC at its weekly meeting Tuesday evening and discussed the issue of ROTC’s possible return to campus.
Student representatives from Stanford Says No to War and Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) attended and contributed to the debate.
“It’s your party,” said psychology professor Ewart Thomas, chair of the ad hoc committee on ROTC, welcoming questions from the senators.
Thomas outlined some of the central issues surrounding ROTC’s potential return to campus, such as academic freedom and academic quality for ROTC students.
Holding a copy of the San Jose Mercury News, Thomas referenced a Jan. 24 opinion piece by Stephen Zunes, a politics professor at the University of San Francisco. Zunes said he takes issue with a Dec. 8 ROTC memo prohibiting student use of classified information from WikiLeaks for course assignments, a policy he regards as sacrificing academic freedom.
“What this looks like is, censorship could be imposed on a class that Stanford has a hand in managing,” Thomas said. “This, I think, would be problematic.”
Sam Windley L.L.M. ‘11, president of Stanford Says No to War, also commented on the opinion, describing “a slippery slope” when a university allows an outside institution, such as the military, to determine what is appropriate course material.
“Academic freedom is something Stanford should, and does, place a lot of emphasis on,” Windley said.
“This is an issue affecting us in a larger context than just ROTC,” said Hester Gelber, committee member and professor of religious studies, in reference to students interested in diplomacy careers being advised to avoid looking at WikiLeaks documents.
Senator Ben Jensen ’12 raised the issue of class disparity in military service and referenced his own experience. He weighed a career in the Air Force against coming to Stanford.
“Stanford students are going to be future leaders of the country and the world,” Jensen said. “I hope there’s a careful eye in the way that we look at this.”
Committee members said open discourse with the Stanford community will inform their final decision.
“The issue of discrimination has been front and center,” said Eamonn Callan, committee member and education professor.
“The fact-finding phase is a phase during which we have a responsibility to keep an open mind,” Callan added when asked more specifically about the committee’s findings thus far. “It’s our responsibility to listen, and that’s why we’re here tonight.”
Senator Juany Torres ’13 quoted President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, when he said, “Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love, and with that change, I call on all our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.”
Gelber said the president’s remarks reflect the “university grappling with changing perspectives,” along with the country as a whole.
Janani Balasubramanian ’12 of SSQL later questioned whether Obama’s “one nation” includes those who are transgender.
Student representatives from SSQL raised the issue of military discrimination against transgender individuals.
“We feel that bringing back ROTC, a program that specifically says transgender people are not allowed, is a violation of [the University’s] non-discrimination policy,” Balasubramanian said.
“We are appalled at how this debate is being moved away from an issue of discrimination, which it fundamentally is,” said Alok Vaid-Menon ’13, president of SSQL.
Gelber urged the senators to remember that there will be “some pain for some constituencies” passionate about ROTC regardless of the committee’s findings.
The committee is expected to report is findings in May.
The Senate passed two bills Tuesday evening, one to expand the responsibilities of the Communications Committee to include technology and another altering the conflict-of-interests section in the Senate rules of order, no longer requiring senators to report their officer titles in student groups but accepting membership as a bar to assess conflicts of interest.
All funding bills for the evening were passed.
7. ESPN, January 26, 2011
On homophobia and recruiting
By Luke Cyphers and Kate Fagan
On every top recruit's college visit, there comes the moment of the final pitch, when the head-spinning hoopla finally gives way to the business of basketball, when the high school girl steps away from the rah-rah of all the games and the ego-stroking of all the VIP intros to sit down with the head coach. During one teen's big moment, a heart-to-heart with Iowa State's Bill Fennelly, the decorated coach of 23 years sang an insistent refrain. "He kept drilling that 'this would be a family,'" says the player, who asked not to be named. "'You should come here,' he said, 'because we're family-oriented.'"
To the recruit, those seemingly comforting words cloaked a deeper meaning. Two of the four schools she was considering were purported to employ lesbians on their staffs. Her stop in Ames, in fact, was on the heels of a trip to one of those allegedly "gay programs." There, coaches avoided discussing anyone's off-court lives. Iowa State, in contrast, pushed the personal hard. "They threw it out constantly," says the player, who became a Cyclone. "'Iowa has morals, and people who live here have values, wholesome values.'" The implication, to her and to another former Cyclone who confirmed her account, was that at other schools, "there's something going on you don't know."
The messaging continued after she joined the Iowa State squad and started to help recruit younger players. Coaches told all the Cyclones to emphasize their "environment" to any visiting recruits: married head coach, straight assistants, kids running underfoot. "Tell them we're family- oriented," the player recalls. "According to the coaches, it needed to be said."
Why, exactly, depends on whom you ask. Gay rights activists, coaches and players speak at length about what they see as a longtime and underhanded recruiting tactic in women's sports: Pitches emphasizing a program's family environment and implicit heterosexuality are often part of a consciously negative campaign targeted at another program's perceived sexual slant. In a survey of more than 50 current and former college players, as part of The Magazine's seven-month look at women's basketball recruiting, 55 percent answered "true" when asked if sexual orientation is an underlying topic of conversation with college recruiters.
Heather Barber, a sports psychology professor at the University of New Hampshire who has studied this topic extensively, says "family focused" recruiting is used as a subtle weapon against programs led by unmarried female coaches: "When coaches say things like, 'We're a family,' one aspect of that is 'We support each other,' and that's good. But it crosses the line when programs talk about 'family values,' then put a definition on what families look like. That becomes code for 'We reflect a straight program.'"
Fennelly, on the other hand, says he pushes Iowa State's familial spirit because that's what he has to sell. It's all positive, and anyone who thinks otherwise is distorting what he and his school stand for. "I think what's happening," he says, "is, in an odd way, my staff is being penalized because they're married and have families." The coach, one of the few in the women's game willing to speak on the record about the subject, denies that he or any of his staff has ever used the term "wholesome" to recruit a player. But, Fennelly adds, "if using the word 'family' is viewed as negative recruiting, then we're guilty, because we say that. I don't think it's negative. Maybe I'm the only one in America who thinks that's ridiculous to say."
He isn't, of course. Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma says that if people are agitating to "tone down" the focus on family when it comes to recruiting, "everyone in this business ought to shoot themselves in the head." He adds, "If that's the direction people want to take it, they've lost their grip on reality."
But others argue that homophobic recruiting is more than a disagreement over language. Long an issue, the practice -- and the suspicion of it -- has without question created a toxic atmosphere in the highest-profile women's college sport.
Negative recruiting is even whispered in answer to the game's toughest riddle: Why don't the sport's two top programs, Tennessee and UConn, play each other anymore?
Auriemma says he still doesn't know why Pat Summitt, Tennessee's legendary coach, nixed their annual showdown in 2007. But he's heard the rumor that has circulated since: UConn used antigay recruiting tactics against the Lady Vol program. "If someone is saying that's the reason," Auriemma says, "they're more out of their minds than I think they are." Summitt declined to be interviewed for this story.
To be sure, negative recruiting plagues men's sports, too -- this school is headed for probation, that campus is unfriendly to African-Americans, that coach will bail with the next decent job offer -- but homophobic pitches are unique to women's games. They are an open secret in college hoops, almost as open as the fact that there are lesbians who play and coach. But few want to talk about the issue on the record, and trying to define what constitutes antigay recruiting, let alone identifying victims and culprits, devolves into an exercise in avoidance, denial and fear. "It's a paradoxical notion," says Beth Bass, CEO of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. "Although women's athletics can break down barriers, be it racism or sexism, sometimes we're the last place ignorance can still exist. Sometimes, we're the slowest on these underbelly issues." So as acceptance of gay rights continues to grow in American society at large, recruiting against sexual orientation not only continues to take place, but it also pressures many players, regardless of identity, to shun "gay programs" and drives gay women out of coaching.
Kathy Marpe, who coached at the University of San Diego from 1980 to 2005 while closeting her homosexuality throughout, is certain that more than one recruit was steered away from her program by accusation and innuendo. As a rule, recruits are deterred by subtle code phrases: A school's climate is "unhealthy" or "not family friendly." But Marpe recalls one case in particular in which the negative pitch was far more blunt. "A kid's high school coach told me that another college coach said, 'You know, they're gay.' The player ended up not coming."
There are no data showing how many recruits are swayed by these negative characterizations. But there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, enough to have spurred the NCAA to co-sponsor a 2006 think tank on the subject with the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The NCLR and the Women's Sports Foundation released a paper in 2009, written by Helen Carroll and Pat Griffin, on how to recognize and erase the practice of antigay recruiting. In the end, though, this is a crime without a body. "Negative recruiting creates a hostile environment for all coaches regardless of their sexual orientation," the paper states, "but because they are not in a position to deny the allegations, the largest impact is on lesbian, gay and bisexual coaches." To cope, the paper concludes, lesbian and bisexual coaches are forced to hide their identities or details of their personal lives.
Even that strategy may not be able to outflank a rumor mentioned discreetly by an opposing coach or booster to a recruit. And that is both a competitive and job-security issue, because one player can be the difference between March Madness and an April pink slip. "Coaches aren't worried about getting fired for being lesbian," says Barber, the sports psych professor, "but they do worry about being fired for not being able to recruit successfully because of it."
THERE WAS A TIME before this friction was the norm. Until women's basketball began to blossom into the major college sport it is today, few knew or cared about the sexual tenor of the game. Few knew there even was a game. In the 1960s and '70s, the sport's powerhouses were mostly small, since forgotten, schools. In 1972, for example, the final game of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women tournament featured Immaculata and West Chester State. But if it was a minor league world, it was also a woman's world. Back then, more than 90 percent of the teams were coached by women. By 1992, that number had fallen to 72 percent. By 2008, it was down to 64 percent.
Oddly, what forced the turnover was Title IX and lots of money. Title IX, the law that bound any educational institution receiving federal funds to offer equal athletic opportunities for women, pushed big-conference schools to add programs and scholarship money. Then the NCAA lured women's teams away from the AIAW and turned on the cash faucet. Suddenly, a women's hoops coach who could fill an arena and take a team deep into the NCAA Tourney could increase an athletic department's visibility, which meant those jobs gained prestige and started to pay more. Not surprisingly, male coaches noticed and moved in.
But homophobia also greased the declining percentage of female coaches. More than a few coaches, male and female, realized that when they talked to parents, they could highlight the fact that they weren't lesbians -- and therefore couldn't "corrupt" their daughters. Fears of "converting" straight girls into lesbians have long bedeviled women's sports. The high-profile case of Pam Parsons, who in 1982 resigned as coach of South Carolina amid accusations that she had a sexual relationship with a player, made those fears public. And it has had the lingering effect of forcing gay coaches and players deeper into the closet. "Because it was a woman and because of the times," says Carroll, who heads the NCLR's sports project, "the fear became of a 'lesbian coaching my daughter.'"
Those fears continue to taint recruiting, from all sides. Emily Nkosi, who as Emily Niemann hit five three-pointers for Baylor in its 2005 title win against Michigan State, remembers that when recruiters came to her Houston home, as they did by the dozens in 2002, they had to pass a test. "On home visits," Nkosi says, "my dad was assigned the question: 'Do you have a bunch of lesbians on your team?'" Nkosi says her youth coaches abetted the process, vetting programs with their own inquiries about a "healthy climate" and the like. "You know," Nkosi says, "the code words."
This line of questioning was especially fraught for Nkosi because, deep down, she knew she was a lesbian. But she was also a fundamentalist Christian who feared the religious repercussions of that reality. When Baylor coach Kim Mulkey made her visit to the Niemanns', she skillfully evaded the family question. (Baylor did not respond to The Mag's interview request.)
According to Nkosi, Mulkey said she had no idea what her players did away from the gym, only that inside it they were winning games. And that was good enough for Emily, who figured that at Baylor, a Baptist school, she could suppress the truth about herself.
And for a while she did. But after a couple of years, in the months following her Final Four glory, she fell in love with her future spouse, a graduate student named Ashley Taylor. (The two chose the surname Nkosi after reading about a South African child born HIV-positive.) The women fled Waco, believing their relationship would never be accepted there. Says Nkosi, "My internalized homophobia made me believe that if people found out I was gay, they would kill me."
A HOMOPHOBIC ATMOSPHERE infects more than individuals, though. When UConn and Tennessee don't play each other, it costs the game millions of dollars and national exposure. But the negative recruiting rumors that surround the rift take an even bigger toll. It is no wonder that only one Division I women's hoops head coach is openly gay. "I get e-mails from coaches all the time who say, 'I want to be where you're at,'" says Portland State's Sherri Murrell. "But people are afraid for their jobs. They want to be known for their coaching, not their sexuality."
Those who are open about their sexual identity acknowledge the stigma. Sue Wicks, former star of the WNBA's New York Liberty and former assistant at St. Francis College, understands that at the coaching job fair, her background as an accomplished pro is an asset, but her status as an out lesbian is an overwhelming liability.
Google Wicks, and the first page of results reveals her sexual orientation, many times over. "It's so disproportionate to my accomplishments," says Wicks, who also served as an assistant at her alma mater, Rutgers. "I was born gay; I didn't do one drill to get better at being gay. But the basketball, which I had so much pride in, always came second to that."
The culture of the game conspires to drive women like Wicks underground. She was once asked to decline an interview for a gay publication because of how it could affect the program she was working for. "Head coaches are very aware of who is on staff," she says. And the potential for negative recruiting makes them hyperaware of their reputation, of their gay players, even of players' fashion choices. "It's common for coaches to say, 'That's a gay program, that's a black program,'" Wicks says. "People say it as a statement of fact, but what they're doing is negative recruiting."
The takeaway for coaches is clear: Be straight, or, at the very least, act straight. "If it weren't so destructive and awful, it would be laughable," Wicks says, before adding, "Let's see if I ever get another job."
Many lesbians who end up on the sidelines just feel trapped. Marpe says coaches of her generation adopted a persona of asexuality, or of being "married to the job." A few years after she took the San Diego job, Marpe was called into the vice president's office to defend herself against an anonymous charge that she was gay. She was compelled to deny it. "I'm not proud of that," Marpe says now. "But basically you're running scared, scared for your livelihood -- and not only at that school. You fear being blackballed for the rest of your life."
Some women, both at the college and professional level, decide to avoid the drama altogether. Kate Starbird, who spent nine years in the WNBA and Europe, is gay. And she wants no part of the closet. "I never considered coaching," she says. "I didn't want to live my life that way." These days, Starbird is a PhD candidate in technology, media and society at Colorado.
Abby Conklin has also seen firsthand how the game behind the game works, as an All-SEC player at Tennessee, as a former assistant at San Francisco and an academic researcher. Conklin says that an obsession with private lives hinders the development of young female coaches, gay or straight, by putting obstacles in the paths that most other sports rely on to restock coaching pools. For her master's thesis at San Francisco, Conklin sought to explain the diminishing number of female coaches. She isolated two primary factors: a "homonegative environment" and a lack of mentoring. Opening the door to a potential protégé, she explains, is frightening for a coach who resides in a closet. "There is a big fear of letting people in, because they worry about exposing their lifestyle. It led to my frustrations in coaching, and it's part of why I left. It's not an inclusive environment."
MAYBE IT'S TIME for the institutions overseeing the game to take a closer look at negative recruiting. Multiple sources told The Magazine that there needs to be better education about, and enforcement of, recruiting ethics codes, especially on the part of the NCAA and the WBCA. They note that there's never been, to the best of their knowledge, a single sanction handed out to a program for homophobic recruiting. As long as the game's watchdogs do nothing, Carroll says, there's no reason to think the practice will end.
But the WBCA's Bass says change is, in fact, coming. Her organization has created an ethics committee to develop "best practices" for recruiting. Soon, the WBCA will hold seminars at Columbia with its Center for Coaching Excellence. Coaches will gather to discuss, among other things, ethical recruiting.
Ultimately, though, homophobic recruiting will most likely be undone by the inexorable sweep of change in the world beyond the court. Harvard head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith has been attacking homophobia for decades. As far back as the 1980s, she demanded that her team captains be the first defense against whatever fear and closeting existed on the squad. "If I had that conversation now," she says, "my team would look at me like I had two heads."
Former University of Minnesota star and current New York Liberty center Janel McCarville has never before publicly discussed her sexuality, but only because she hasn't wanted the distraction. "Most of the homophobia is derived from older generations," says the 28-year-old McCarville. The fact that she dates women "is widely accepted" among players her age and younger, she adds. "More and more of them are fine with who they are." The cycle is collapsing.
Lauren Ruffin, an attorney and consultant who coached youth teams in the DC area, says attitudes of teenage players are likewise shifting rapidly. "A lot of these kids are coming out early," she says. "If a coach says, 'Don't play for so-and-so because she's a lesbian,' they're going to say, 'It's one more reason for me to go there. And you're an a-hole for telling me that.'"
Meanwhile, Murrell's career has thrived at Portland State. She is 71-42 in her three-and-half seasons there. But frustrations persist. Murrell says she's tired of hearing about programs that lay claim to a "family atmosphere." She and her partner, Rena Shuman, are raising twin toddlers. "It's hard to swallow. There are a lot of great programs with coaches who aren't married and don't have kids who create great environments."
And too many who are married with children who don't.
Luke Cyphers is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, covering a wide variety of sports, including soccer; Kate Fagan is a contributor.
8. WSBT, January 26, 2011
1301 E. Douglas Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545
Chick-fil-A removed from IU South Bend campus
By Chad Damp
Click link for video.
Students at Indiana University South Bend may have noticed something missing from their lunch menu. Chick-fil-A sandwiches are no longer allowed to be sold on campus.
The university decided to remove Chick-fil-A as a campus vendor after news that a Pennsylvania franchise will be donating food for an event hosted by a known anti-homosexual group.
"Chick-fil-A's already known as a Christian organization,” said IU South Bend senior Brian Jernigan. “So, I'm not really surprised that they would donate to an organization that's against homosexual values."
News of the ban spread quickly, prompting Chick-fil-A's president to release an online statement defending his company.
"Providing food to these events or any event is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance or motives of this or any other organization,” said Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy. “Any suggestion otherwise is just inaccurate."
Some IU South Bend students don't see things the same way.
"Providing food is equal to donating money,” said IU South Bend junior Erin Rempala. “So you must believe in the cause to donate the food."
The Chick-fil-A sandwiches were only sold on Wednesdays at the Courtside Cafe. Indiana Universityhas full Chick-fil-A restaurants at their Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses.
"I think the university is OK with them,” said IU South Bend senior Justin Samson. “I just think people are just over-reacting with what Chick-fil-A stands for and I just think that they need to settle down and accept that everybody doesn't have to have the same belief."
Many students said they didn't even notice the sandwiches were gone and the university says they don't plan to bring in a vendor to replace Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A's president also said that the company strives to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for all its customers.
9. Pride Source/Between The Lines, January 27, 2011
11920 Farmington Road, Livonia, MI 48150
U-M to host country's largest LGBTQA college conference
By Benjamin Jenkins
This February, the University of Michigan will host the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference, the country's largest conference of this nature, featuring over 90 diverse workshops as well as nationally known keynote speakers and entertainers. This is the first year that MBLGTACC will be hosted by a Michigan university.
The conference, expected to draw over 1,800 students from 211 colleges, was first conceived in 1991 in Des Moines, Iowa, and debuted at Iowa State two years later. Nineteen years later, universities across the Midwest bid on the opportunity to host MBLGTACC. In 2009, the University of Michigan placed a bid and won the 2011 conference.
The university chose to bid specifically on MBLGTACC 2011 because this year it's the 40th anniversary of U-M's Spectrum Center, the country's first LGBTQ student service and resource office.
One of the expected keynotes, according to senior assistant director of the Spectrum Center Gabe Javier, is Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. In addition, Mandy Carter, a pioneering black lesbian advocate and activist, and Pedro Julia Serrano, communications manager of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, are also expected to speak.
But, Javier says, "the big draw is the conference itself, an opportunity for students across the midwest to connect with other students. We're hosting (students from) huge campuses like Michigan State and Ohio State, but also smaller campuses. It's an opportunity for those smaller campuses to meet other LGBTQ college students."
10. Inside Higher Ed, January 27, 2011
1320 18th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036
Change of Heart at Belmont
By Scott Jaschik
When Belmont University faced an uproar over the ouster of a lesbian coach in December, administrators insisted that they did not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. But critics noted that though the university's anti-bias policy prohibited several types of discrimination, sexual orientation was not on the list.
On Wednesday, the university announced that its board has changed the policy and that henceforth, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation would be officially barred. Further, the university added a new preamble to its anti-bias policy stating that Belmont is a Christian university and that the university strives "to uphold Christian standards of morality, ethics and conduct."
Many colleges affiliated with Christian denominations that question sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage do not include sexual orientation in their anti-bias policies; the same is true for many nondenominational Christian colleges with ties to such denominations. (Belmont was for many years affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention and today calls itself "a student-centered Christian community with a rich Baptist heritage.")
Belmont has faced intense scrutiny and considerable criticism over its treatment of gay people since word surfaced late last year that Lisa Howe had reportedly been forced out as women's soccer coach -- after revealing that she is a lesbian and that her partner is having a baby. Howe was popular with her players, many of whom were outraged that they were losing a coach because she had been honest, and that their coach was out of a job as she was preparing to bring a child into the world. Numerous protests were held and faculty members joined students in criticizing the university.
Robert Fisher, the president of the university, said in December that the university did not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. But his statements were contradicted by Marty Dickens, chair of the board of the university, who told The Tennessean that the university had the right to enforce clearly stated expectations requiring conduct consistent with the university's values. "We expect people to commit themselves to high moral and ethical standards within a Christian context," he told the newspaper. "We do adhere to our values as Christ-centered, and we don't want to make apologies for that." (He subsequently stated that his quotes were not in regard to Howe's case.)
In his statement Wednesday, Fisher again reiterated that he believed that the addition to the anti-bias policy was a reflection of existing practice.
Howe released a statement in which she said: "I am thrilled for the Belmont University community. This is a great victory for the values of inclusion, human dignity, and respect. I am incredibly proud of the Belmont faculty and students for pushing for this policy. I am also grateful to the Belmont board for recognizing that being gay and being Christian are not mutually exclusive. This is a landmark day."
But Howe went on to state that now "begins the task for Belmont University leaders to make sure that acceptance of LGBT students and staff is not just a written policy but is also reflected in practice, attitude, and behavior. A written policy is the beginning of forming a truly inclusive atmosphere on campus. It is especially important that LGBT students and staff feel safe in being open and honest about their identities and have confidence that they will be treated fairly and with respect. Anything short of this would mean the new policy is merely ink on a page." (NOTE: This article has been updated from the original version with Howe's statement.)
It remains unclear how the new policy will be carried out. Belmont's code of conduct for everyone on the campus states that individuals who commit sexual misconduct are subject to disciplinary proceedings -- and the code's first example of sexual misconduct is "sexual behavior outside of marriage." (Tennessee law does not allow same-sex marriage.) According to the Associated Press, when reporters on Wednesday asked Fisher if the new anti-bias policy means that openly gay people can work at Belmont, despite the code of conduct, he said, "I would put that in the category of a hypothetical."
11. The New York Times, January 27, 2011
620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
Despite Obama’s Call, No Rush in R.O.T.C.’s Return to Campus
By Katharine Q. Seelye
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Obama called for college campuses to “open their doors to our military recruiters” and the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
This would have been an explosive statement with wide ramifications 40 years ago, at the height of the Vietnam War, but in today’s context, it is basically symbolic. The hostility between universities, many of them now dependent on federal funding, and the military, with the draft long over, is much diminished.
Military recruiters have already been on most college campuses for years. And since Congress last month repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy that banned gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military, most of the elite universities with no R.O.T.C. programs have indicated that they are prepared to bring the military onto campus.
But that is no guarantee that such programs will materialize. For one thing, the military has limited resources for new R.O.T.C. units. For another, the level of student interest is extremely low, with no more than 10 to 20 students at these campuses participating in nearby R.O.T.C. programs now, though that could change if units were more convenient to campus.
“New schools or universities interested in R.O.T.C. programs will each be evaluated” with an eye toward “the most efficient use of these resources,” Cynthia Smith, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon, said Wednesday.
Diane Mazur, a law professor at the University of Florida, a former Air Force officer and author of “A More Perfect Military,” said: “I would be the most surprised person in the world if the military came back to Harvard or Yale. The military doesn’t have the staffing or the funding, and it’s very expensive to start a new R.O.T.C. detachment.”
She added: “Both sides have to dance to make it work, and the military isn’t in a position to expand these programs.”
The Pentagon says that only two schools — Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vt., and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul — have barred military recruiters.
But as soon as Mr. Obama and the military certify the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Vermont and William Mitchell will allow recruiters on campus, spokesman for both said on Wednesday. It is not clear when that might happen, but Mr. Obama said in his speech that he expected it to occur “this year.”
At the same time, the elite Ivy colleges that resisted the military in the 1960s and 1970s now say they are ready to welcome R.O.T.C. units.
Shortly after “don’t ask, don’t tell” was repealed, Drew Faust, the president of Harvard, said in a statement: “I look forward to pursuing discussions with military officials and others to achieve Harvard’s full and formal recognition of R.O.T.C.”
Richard Levin, Yale’s president, said last month that the university was “eager to open discussions about expanding opportunities for students interested in military service.”
Stanford has formed an ad hoc faculty committee that is considering whether to expand its relationship with the military. The committee, which met Tuesday night as Mr. Obama delivered his speech, is expected to make its recommendations in a couple of months.
Columbia has formed a task force on military engagement. Ron Mazor, co-chairman of the task force and a student at Columbia Law School, said Wednesday that town-hall-style meetings would start next month, as would a student survey on attitudes toward the military. He said the results would be reported to the university senate, of which he is a member, by March 4.
Lee Bollinger, Columbia’s president, said in an earlier statement that repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” “effectively ends what has been a vexing problem for higher education, including at Columbia, given our desire to be open to our military, but not wanting to violate our own core principle against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
But the universities were forced to carve out exceptions to that policy in the late-1990s and early 2000s, when Congress, backed by the Supreme Court, denied them federal money if they spurned military recruiters. They stood to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, not just in defense grants but from across the federal government. (Vermont has lost about $500,000 a year in grants, a spokesman said, and William Mitchell simply did not compete for certain grants so did not actually lose money, said Eric Janus, its president and dean.)
As for the R.O.T.C. programs, the Pentagon said it had “disestablished” its units on certain military campuses at the height of the Vietnam War. Ms. Mazur, the law professor, said: “The services made the decision, in an era of downsizing, not to adapt their course content or increase the qualifications of instructors in an effort to meet university requirements,” and so they left.
“It wasn’t worth it to the military to wrestle with these campuses” over the academic qualifications, Ms. Mazur said. Instead, the military established R.O.T.C. units at one centrally located university and allowed students from nearby universities to attend. Students at Harvard, for example, participate in the R.O.T.C. program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; students at Columbia go to Fordham.
The military says that at this point, it has 489 R.O.T.C. units with “cross-town arrangements” with 2,400 universities, allowing almost every student in the country access to a program.
As the universities now move toward recognizing R.O.T.C. programs, they still may hit a snag. Some students are arguing that even with the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the military still does not meet the antidiscrimination requirements of the universities because it bars people who are transgender.
At Stanford, Alok Vaid-Menon, a sophomore and president of Stanford Students for Queer Liberation, said his group wanted to keep R.O.T.C. off the campus, though still allow students to participate in programs at nearby campuses, until the military accepted transgender students. He said that he had tried to raise support for this view from students at other universities but that the response so far had been “bleak.”
Mr. Vaid-Menon said there were about 10 transgender students at Stanford, which he said was about the same number of those involved in R.O.T.C.
12. The Washington Post, January 27, 2011
1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071
Milan offers Italy's 1st gay studies course
By Colleen Barry/The Associated Press
Giacomo Moro wasn't going to retreat in the face of a stranger's piercing threats because he's gay.
The 23-year-old biology major was hanging a flyer for a gay association event at Milan's state university last summer when the man started hurling insults out of nowhere. Moro was alone in an elevator alcove on campus - but stood his ground.
"He insulted me, said that I was disgusting, that I was human feces," Moro said. Then the man added a threat: "If you hang another flyer, I will kill you."
Shaken, but unharmed, Moro decided to help turn that act of hatred, the first he'd suffered since he'd come out at age 17, into something constructive: Italy's first accredited university course on gay studies on offer this winter at the Milan university school of political science.
"I didn't seek charges against the guy," Moro said, who was the inspiration and one of the promoters of the class. "This person's hatred was born of ignorance. This class is something of a response.'"
While gay studies courses are widespread in the United States and much of northern Europe, often under the heading gender studies to be inclusive of lesbians and transsexuals, such an offering in predominantly Roman Catholic Italy, where church teachings hold homosexual activity to be sinful, is something of a revolution - albeit so far confined to the halls of higher learning.
"In Italy until now, if you spoke of gender on campus, it was in regards to grammar," said Marco Mori, president of the Milan chapter of gay rights group Arcigay.
Gay activists say tolerance needs to start in cultural institutions like universities for it to take hold in society at large.
"Homophobia can't be fought with laws. You do it through cultural institutions, through schools, educating teachers, and at public universities, to put people in the condition to combat discrimination where it arises daily, in families, at school and at work," said Arcigay national president Paolo Patane.
The course is being launched alongside other tentative steps of acceptance on Italian campuses. Some universities have recently allowed transsexuals in the process of changing gender to carry ID using their new name, activists say - so Mario may be officially called Maria. The example may seem banal. But in Italy's bulky bureaucracy, a name as it appears on a birth certificate is all but set in stone from grammar school through working life.
Arcigay also has welcomed as an important victory a national statistics agency decision, pending final approval, to allow homosexual couples who live together to be counted in this year's census.
But gays in Italy have a long way to go for full acceptance. Attempts at legalizing gay marriage, while gathering broad support on the left, have repeatedly failed. Hate crimes against gays go uncounted, as there is no statistical category specifying a crime against a homosexual.
"There is the silence of institutions. If a person who is black or Jewish is attacked physically or verbally, institutions intervene, quite rightly, and this intervention gives a signal to citizens that the gesture is not acceptable," Patane said. "This is missing for homosexuals."
Antonella Besussi, the professor who is coordinating the Milanese university class, said she got a flurry of attention when it was first announced, including some doubts on its merits. "This enormous media resonance has left me a little perplexed," Besussi said.
Still, the class was launched last week with little fanfare and scant media coverage. There also were no hecklers or detractors. Nearly 200 students showed up for the first day and 120 enrolled for credit.
"We are very satisfied," said Fabio Galantucci, who one of the students who helped design the course, seek out guest lecturers from universities throughout Italy for each of the 11 sessions, and get course work approved for credit. "We're going to have to get a bigger room than we anticipated. People are responding very positively to the offer, to get the chance to see the world in a way different than presented by the media."
Course lectures are meant to stimulate "controlled debate," and each student is required to complete a paper elaborating on one of the subjects studied. It is only being offered this semester, though it theoretically could be repeated if there were interest.
Elisa Cutta, a 23-year-old linguistics major, joined the course after seeing a poster for it. "I don't know if it can be useful, but it will be interesting," she said.
Because gay life is not part of everyday life for many, organizers say the course is very basic in its approach to the material and is aimed at discussing gender identity and what that means in an array of contexts, from political to judicial to literary.
Moro couldn't hide his pleasure as the lecture hall filled up last week.
"He found the wrong person," Moro said of his attacker. "I have never had a problem speaking openly about these things. If it had been someone whose parents didn't know, it would be more difficult. Where there is injustice, I try to face it."
13. The Post (Ohio University), January 27, 2011
325 Baker University Center, Athens, OH 45701
Post Modern: Defining the 'T' in LGBT
By Jessica Cadle
As a 5-year-old girl, Cory Frederick - then named Michelle Mays - dreamt of being a biological boy. In the dream, Frederick felt happier with a male body.
"I always had the sense that something wasn't right," said Frederick, who graduated from Ohio University last year with a degree in plant biology and geology. "I always felt like I was in the wrong body."
Frederick is a transgender person, which is someone who challenges traditional definitions of male and female gender orientation, according to the OU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender website.
Frederick, specifically, is a transsexual, someone who identifies with a gender different than his or her biological sex. There are approximately 767,500 people in America who identify as transsexual and are often victims of hate crimes, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
"If you are transgender, you are inherently in danger in public," said Kris Grey/Justin Credible, a transgender person who prefers to identify as neither male nor female. "It's totally legal in most states to discriminate based on gender orientation."
Becoming a Man
Transitioning from one gender to the other varies from person to person, but Frederick began hormone treatment - testosterone shots - in 2004. Later that year, he legally changed his first, middle and last names. In 2007, he underwent top surgery to remove his breasts.
The surgery cost $5,500, and his hormones cost $38 every two and a half months. Health insurance has not covered any of his treatments.
"If people saw that trans people clearly need some medical intervention to live a happy and productive life ... it would more likely be covered by health insurance," he said.
For Grey, a second-year graduate student studying ceramics at OU, it took 10 years out of college to decide on his transition. He chose to take hormones and, this past winter, underwent top surgery to further 'queer' his body.
"'Queer' is a word I align with more than any other because it's open," Grey said.
While Grey's top surgery cost about $6,000, he said it could total up to $10,000.
"I have this new feeling of embodiment, which is so amazing," Grey said. "That physical change matched my mental state with my physical state. It's like magic."
In order to undergo any type of top or bottom surgery, a person must live for a year as the gender of their choice during a mandatory waiting period titled "A Real Life Experience," according to a pamphlet put out by Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
The Silent 'T'
As the only letter in the acronym LGBT that deals with gender as opposed to sexual orientation, transgender people have a specific set of problems.
"When I underwent surgery, I lost my visibility as a queer person," Frederick said. "Others can easily identify you when you look like them. ... But now they see me as just a man."
Transgender, as a term, includes crossdressers, intersexuals and transsexuals, so each transgender person is in a unique situation.
"It's important to be visible," Grey said. "What media has represented a trans person in a positive light? Zero."
To increase visibility, Grey created the performance art piece "Ask A Tranny," where he stands in public and answers any and all questions about being transgender.
"Hopefully this kind of visibility leads to greater understanding and action," he said. "It takes a squeaky wheel to get the oil."
Transgender On Campus
With the recent move to gender-neutral housing, the campus is taking steps in the right direction, Grey said.
"I totally applaud that, but I hope it will extend to gender-neutral bathrooms and locker rooms at the gym," he said.
Hudson Health Center hosts a transgender support group, and the LGBT Center provides a transgender guide online, which gives advice and lists all of the individual bathrooms on campus, said Mickey Hart, director of the LGBT Center.
"I'm lucky, because in (Seigfred), I have two bathrooms I can use," Grey said.
To further include transgender people, members of TransOhio spoke with students during Fall Quarter, said Tiffani Smith, president of Ally and co-president of People Acting for Gender Equality.
Frederick's mother, Aleta Polley, an adjunct professor of education at OU's branch campuses and a 1994 graduate, has worked to accept her son.
"I've come to realize ... I'm here to support him because the only difference now is how he looks," Polley said. "This is still my child - my adult child - and I will not be estranged from him because of it."
Polley reached a turning point as she watched him bind his breasts and layer on shirts on a 98-degree day in order to look more masculine, she said.
"Binding for me was a daily activity, like putting on socks," Frederick said.
Polley said it's not difficult to accept her child, but finds it difficult to remember the proper syntax.
"The pronouns are hard," she said. "When I look at him, I still see Michelle."
The Golden Rule
Grey's arms gesticulated as he described his perfect world.
"People would treat individual human beings with the same kindness and compassion that they wished to be treated," he said. "Trans people are people too."
The difficulty with accepting transgender people is they don't fit into the cultural understanding of male and female, Hart said.
Transgender people have many of the same struggles and goals as the rest of society, but experience life a little differently, Frederick said.
"I think we are living in an age where people are challenging the status quo, and they are working to create positive change," he said.
14. The Brown Daily Herald, January 28, 2011
P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906
Norris-Leblanc '13: The ROTC Question
By Chris Norris-LeBlanc
After 18 years, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was finally repealed by a Senate vote of 63 for and 33 against. This historic legislation marks the end of an almost two-decade period when gay and lesbian members of the armed forces had to face a dishonorable discharge if they divulged their sexuality to their comrades, forcing them to live in secrecy while trying to perform a highly stressful and dangerous job.
The magnitude of this decision has sent reverberations nationwide; however, I would like to talk about how it has reached us here on College Hill. In light of the repeal, President Simmons has decided to form a committee tasked with reevaluating the 1972 ban on all Reserve Officer Training Corps programs at Brown.
To once again allow ROTC on our campus would be to completely ignore the social, political and historical contexts of its original expulsion. My personal feelings about the military aside, the repeal of the policy was a huge victory for human rights and has set an important precedent for future anti-discrimination laws; that being said, discrimination against queer folks in the military will not necessarily die with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and ROTC divestment was an act informed by the sum of many other crimes against humanity perpetrated by the United States military.
Officially, the University instituted the ban on ROTC as a result of the program's unwillingness to rescind its status as an academic credit-bearing entity. However, as we all know, the 1960s were a time of significant student protest, especially at schools like Brown. Starting as early as 1967, there was a "Brown Committee to Abolish ROTC" taking action on campus.
To try and remove Brown's expulsion of ROTC in 1972 from the context of the United States military's violence in Vietnam and at Kent State University is akin to taking any other action out of its historical context. In order to truly achieve a coherent analysis about the initial decision to remove ROTC, we must look at the cultural position of the United States military between the years of 1967 and 1972.
By the official end of the Vietnam War in 1975, an estimated one million members of the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong had died defending their country from U.S. invasion. Women, although allowed in the military in the 1960s and '70s, were not given the same job opportunities as men, regardless of their ability or technical proficiency. On May 4, 1970, at Kent State University, four students were killed and nine others were injured at a rally protesting the United States military's foreign involvement.
Although this summary paints just a small picture of the cultural milieu in the '60s and '70s, it helps us to reconstruct the socio-political climate at the time ROTC was expelled from our campus. So, where do we stand now?
The United States military is currently involved in many foreign conflicts, the most prominent of which are taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, an estimated 99,000-108,000 civilians have been killed as a result of U.S. occupation. A 2003 survey of female veterans showed that 30 percent were victims of sexual assault while serving in various branches of the military; furthermore, a 2004 study of female veterans seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent had been victims of sexual assault while in the service. Meanwhile, the National Guard has been called in on numerous occasions to help suppress protests during G-8 and G-20 meetings held all over the United States. To add insult to injury, the starting pay for a member of the Air Force, Navy, Marines or Army is only 17,604 dollars per year — not very good compensation for risking one's life. Although officer positions certainly pay more handsomely, they are mostly available to students coming from military colleges like West Point.
Given this comparison between the situation in the 1960s and that of the 2000s, I see no reason why ROTC would be any more welcome on our campus than it was 50 years ago. If we look at the two student groups at Brown organizing around this issue, Students for ROTC and The Brown Coalition Against Special Privileges for ROTC, our campus's opinion on the issue is fairly clear; the coalition has 173 petition signatures (including students, faculty and alums) and 10 student groups allied with their position, while Students for ROTC only has a handful of members and virtually no visible support.
In The Herald this week, Undergraduate Council of Students President Diane Mokoro '11 was quoted saying that in regards to the committee members' personal opinions about ROTC, she wants "somebody who's relatively in the middle." Although our instinct at Brown is to always attempt to create a level debate, I think it is critically important that whoever gets chosen for this committee is both invested in the issue and has opinions which reflect those of the larger student body.
My suggestion: Tell Ruth we don't want a committee, and all hail community referenda.
Chris Norris-LeBlanc '13 is from Rhode Island. He can be contacted at chris.norris.leblanc (at) gmail.com.
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