While the Pentagon’s decision last month to lift its ban on women serving in combat has garnered national attention, the announcement will also directly affect the female cadets of Stanford’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).
don’t ask don’t tell
As The Daily reported in an article titled “SSQL gathers signatures to protest ROTC’s return” (Feb. 7), Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) has been mounting a campaign against the return of ROTC on the basis that the military still discriminates against transgender individuals. As queer students and supporters of greater transgender rights, we applaud SSQL’s efforts to draw attention to these issues. That being said, we are concerned that the antagonistic approach taken by SSQL is not representative of the larger queer community and may halt further progress for queer rights in the military.
More than 50 people attended a town hall meeting at Stanford on Tuesday night to debate the possible return of ROTC to campus, the largest such gathering since the Faculty Senate opened the question last spring.
While some LGBT groups view it as success for gay and lesbian people, who can now serve in uniform openly, others — such as Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) and the Stanford Queer-Straight Alliance (SQSA) — believe the repeal may be used as grounds to justify the return of ROTC even though the military has other discriminatory policies in place.
The Senate voted 65-31 on Saturday to repeal the 17-year-old federal policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which barred openly gay men and women from serving in the military. The ban, which conflicts with several universities’ anti-discrimination policies, was considered a major roadblock to bringing back an ROTC program to Stanford.
But now, as the debate over the status of gay service members heats up again, polls for the first time suggest public support for a more open policy. And on Tuesday, a new Pentagon study reported the risk to the military’s effectiveness by repealing the policy is low.
The ASSU Undergraduate Senate kicked off the academic year Tuesday evening by passing a bill supporting a queer studies minor through the Feminist Studies program, confirming the Nomination Commission’s first round of nominees to University committees and discussing the first half of a comprehensive financial reform package.