DADT repeal strong beginning, but not good enough, panel says

first_imgThough Congress repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, students are still discussing the ramifications and what is left to be done.The Queer and Ally Student Alliance and School of Social Work Rainbow Alliance Caucus held a panel Thursday discussing the effects and limitations of the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. About 40 people attended the discussion.Hot topic · About 40 people listened to experts discuss the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in a panel held by the Queer and Ally Student Alliance and the School of Social Work Rainbow Alliance on Thursday night. – Rachel Bracker | Daily Trojan The recently repealed policy prevented gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers from serving openly in the military.“Many people think that because ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ has been repealed by Congress it’s over, but actually that’s far from the truth,” said Rainbow Alliance Caucus Treasurer and event organizer Melanie Walker, a graduate student studying social work.Walker served in the military before coming to USC.The panel discussed the effects of the repeal and issues that it failed to address.“Many people in the community think that this is a done deal, and I hate to rain on their parade, but it’s not,” said Tom Carpenter, a former marine captain and current member of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s Board of Directors who was on the panel. “We ended up with a skeleton of a bill. In order to get it passed, we had to give up a lot.”The bill that repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” lacked an anti-discrimination clause, saying a person cannot discriminate against another person based on sexuality. The bill also lacked a clear timeline for implementation of the repeal, Carpenter said.Students attending the event said they realized how much they didn’t know about “don’t ask, don’t tell” once it was discussed.“Learning that people who were dishonorably discharged didn’t have any benefits was really eye-opening, saddening and frustrating,” said Joe Beltran, a graduate student studying education.Vincent Vigil, director of the LGBT Resource Center, said the panel of experts helped explain aspects of “don’t ask, don’t tell” that weren’t necessarily clear in media coverage.“It’s important for our students to know that it’s not over yet, and, even though the repeal had been passed, that there are a lot of things that need to be done,” Vigil said.Kristopher Patrick, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences who is involved with the LGBT resource ,said the panel made the don’t ask don’t tell repeal more clear.“I never really understood the full extent of how it affected the soldiers because it didn’t directly affect me,” Patrick said.Carpenter said the guidelines for the military’s plans to ensure the repeal will not affect recruitment, retention and readiness, are due today,` but there are no deadlines for when servicemen will be trained to handle servicemen serving openly.“We need to keep an eye on them. We need to be vigilant. We need to make sure they’re doing what they say they’re doing, or else we aren’t going to get certification,” Carpenter said.Peter Renn, an attorney for LGBT and HIV/AIDS civil rights organization Lambda Legal, said that although the absence of a non-discrimination rule could imply that one isn’t necessary, it could become problem.“There is explicit non-discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race and natural origin,” Renn said. “The reality is that there are certain groups of people that need it. Enumeration sends a very clear message.”Carpenter also said leadership in the Pentagon disagreed with the legal and financial distinctions made between gay and straight spouses. One air force general told him that it was “repugnant” to have two classes of citizens in the military to lead.“Internally, that’s a good sign,” Carpenter said.Patrick said that the panel made him more interested in the subject and that he wanted to learn more now.“I have a lot more questions, but I know a lot more about the topic now,” he said. “The panel definitely enlightened me.”last_img

With Legends Classic title, Orange finally beginning to live up to early hype

first_img Published on November 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments Jim Boeheim wanted to answer one last question. There were things left unsaid.Seated at the Boardwalk Hall podium, he scanned the assembled press in Atlantic City, N.J., for any further inquiries about his team’s Legends Classic championship. He would make sure everything was cleared up, even if he and the press were told — urged — by a tournament employee that the press conference was over.With the one final question, he cleared the air about Syracuse’s performance through six games. He attempted to do it after he was asked about his comments after Syracuse’s second game, when he called the Orange ‘overrated.’ Once more he cleared the air about what he meant then and where he feels the team is now.‘I said that (we were overrated) four games ago,’ Boeheim said. ‘I just said what was obvious. Well, when we haven’t played well, we have won. We haven’t played well for five games, and we managed to win the five. Tonight we did play well, and that was the difference.’That was the big difference. With the end of the two-game tournament in Atlantic City, N.J., Boeheim and the Orange players felt SU took strides in playing like a Top 10 team. But more specifically, with the 80-76 victory over Georgia Tech Saturday, Syracuse basked in the first performance of the young season in which SU believed it played up to its talent.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt was what was expected out of the Thanksgiving weekend trip. Boeheim and the SU players said it would be the first true test of the year.The No. 8 Orange (6-0) will look to build off that performance Tuesday while hosting fellow 2010 Central New York NCAA Tournament team Cornell (2-4) at 7 p.m. inside the Carrier Dome. The Orange and the Big Red both reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last year, as Cornell lost to No. 1-seeded Kentucky in the Dome.But it’s a game that comes for SU light-years away from the 86-67 win over Canisius on Nov. 14, when Boeheim called the Orange overrated.At the crux of that: After the five games with which Boeheim wasn’t pleased, SU found a rhythm, especially offensively. A successful offense was the paramount step off the two tussles against major conference teams. SU shot 48 percent over the weekend after entering the games shooting 40 percent — and 32.6 percent in first halves.For SU guard Scoop Jardine, Saturday’s win was much simpler, though. It was just that — a win.‘It’s a win, we get better from it,’ Jardine said. ‘We learn from it.’With the matchup against the Big Red, Syracuse will have to learn against a similar inferior opponent like the four SU faced to start the season. Cornell is a shell of the team that last appeared in the Dome. It lost four starters from last year, along with head coach Steve Donahue. The sole returning starter is junior guard Chris Wroblewski, who is averaging a team-high 15.3 points per game.Unlike Cornell, Kris Joseph is professing that this year’s incarnation of SU is a team without just one go-to player. He was happy with the Legends Classic title, calling it a ’10 out of 10′ as SU won the way he expects to win this year. Not by blowing out teams but by playing a physical, balanced, competitive brand of basketball.‘We are going to have to fight till the end,’ Joseph said. ‘And one thing I found out about us is we have a lot of heart. … That’s one thing we are going to need to do throughout the remainder of the year. Keep fighting.’SU fought enough for the win. But after the game, the scene of Boeheim not at the podium but in SU’s locker room hinted at the fact that he said SU still has a ways to go.Void of almost all of the press, Boeheim’s sons smiled and kidded as they coddled the Legends Classic trophy. Around the locker room wall, though, their father slumped in a chair with an entourage of a half-dozen people circling him. He was tired from the weekend.There is more that needs to be done, and he said that.‘This was a tremendous tournament for us,’ he said. ‘But we have certainly got to play better.’aolivero@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more