While I was glad last week to see a very forceful editorial condemning "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" (DADT), the idea that Oswego State faculty had given up our morals to appease a powerful force could not be any further from the truth. In fact, our union, United University Professions (UUP) and the Pride Alliance are co-sponsoring a speaker who will be appearing during College Hour on May 5 in room 101 Lanigan Hall. The speaker, known as J. D. Smith, is a graduate of a U.S. Service Academy where he helped organize asuccessfulunderground of LGBT cadets. He is a co-founder of Citizens for Repeal, which is now launching an effort to share stories of LGBT soldiers and get the word out about what DADT has done to people serving under the policy.
The motion in Faculty Assembly was withdrawn at my request so that we could work with the administration in a cooperative effort to get our message across in a non confrontational and positive way. The secretary of the army, while a very powerful person, did not initiate DADT and does not have the power to rescind it. I believe that President Obama could rescind the policy, but I would not advocate for a boycott of graduation even if he were the speaker.
UUP has purchased pins that read "Change Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Now." We will wear these pins proudly at graduation. We will work through the administration to meet with Secretary McHugh when he is on campus.
We want to deliver our message. We want the DADT changed. At the same time we want our students and their parents to enjoy graduation secure in the knowledge that this is how we change our world!
-Charles Spector, Professor of Accounting, Finance and Law