Some alumni have not been very happy to see that events like the “Condom Olympics” and “Queer Prom,” gleefully reported on by us and other online outlets, were touching down at the nation’s oldest private military academy. Yes, there were more serious events like sessions about bullying and harassment, but those seemed to get overshadowed by the raunchier activities.
Said Norwich University President Richard Schneider, according to the Burlington Free Press:
“My responsibility is to get them ready to serve in the United States military or in the private sector. [Concerned alumni are] worried that by letting them do those things and calling them those things, that’s not preparing them properly for what life as an adult is like. We are not going to see condom Olympics held by the Army. So why are we teaching future second lieutenants that?”
Schneider said he failed to realize “the way the press would run with the story… we never really experienced the power of social media before and how quickly stuff gets out.”
An alumni leader was quite candid about not supporting the more “tawdry” events:
“I had no problem with the formation of the club,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Christopher Misner, a 1990 graduate and past president of the Norwich alumni organization who is now serving at the Pentagon.
He had two complaints: One was what he called the emphasis on “the tawdry details.”
“The other one was, sort of, an initial response toward the club leadership that I thought maybe showed a lack of judgment, a little bit of irresponsibility, of how they went from being a part of the university family now to having a pride week,” Misner said. “They kind of went from idle to full throttle very quickly.”
Should gay pride week organizers slow down with the more risque events on military campuses, or should they go full throttle ahead, conservative alumni be damned?
The “Queer Prom” event was lent legitimacy from the attendance of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (an already awesome ally), and military balls are a thing that the real army does, so maybe just cut out the Condom Olympics next time.