After 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal, opposition to SG ROTC bill erodes

After 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal, opposition to SG ROTC bill erodes
STANDING AT ATTENTION — ROTC cadets wait for instructions during their morning physical training at Georgetown University. This semester, AU cadets will be able to use fitness facilities here.

Queers and Allies dropped its opposition to an Undergraduate Senate bill passed last semester concerning AU ROTC students, now that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has been repealed.

The Nov. 21, 2010 bill recommended the administration look into making changes to policies that currently deny AU ROTC cadets group access to AU fitness facilities for physical training and prohibit use of AUTO vans for ROTC transportation, among other things.

Last month congress voted to repeal DADT, a 17-year-old policy that banned openly gay and lesbian service members from serving in the military. President Barack Obama later signed the repeal bill into law.

Queers and Allies originally opposed the Student Government bill because it ignored DADT altogether, stating the issue was about student equality at AU, not sexual orientation.

“You can’t ignore the fact the SG is requesting expanded resources for an organization that discriminates against a significant number of AU students,” said Queers and Allies President Tonei Glavinic in November.

Brett Atanasio, the chairman of the SG committee, said while the repeal of DADT is key to eliminating any student opposition to the bill’s recommendations, administrative hurdles still remain.

The bill calls for athletic facilities to be open to ROTC cadets for physical fitness training, that ROTC be allowed to use AUTO vans and that required Military Science classes for cadets be allowed to be held on campus if classroom space is available.

“With DADT gone, [administrative procedure] will be the main obstacle in the way of things like AUTO access and club status for ROTC,” Atanasio said in an e-mail.

The administration is already clearing the way for ROTC, and cadets will be allowed to use athletic facilities this semester, according to Phyllis Peres, the vice provost and interim dean for Academic Affairs, The Eagle previously reported.

Cadets will also be able to take military science classes at AU if space is available.

After communication between Atanasio and Queers and Allies to address concerns and the repeal of DADT, Glavinic said Queers and Allies now backs the SG bill.

“Queers and Allies will look forward to working with SG leaders to make sure that this program is able to support students participating in it an appropriate way,” Glavinic said.

Atanasio is also meeting with George Washington University Student Association President Jason Lifton to help the GWSA to make similar changes to its ROTC policy.

amooney@theeagleonline.com

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