Today’s Week in Review is a bit more serious, so let’s jump into it.
Henry Velandia, husband of Princeton grad student Josh Vandiver, will officially not be deported. Velandia, who because of the Defense of Marriage Act was unable to be sponsored for a green card by his spouse, had been facing deportation proceedings because of an expired visa. Last Friday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement decided that the case was no longer a priority, and essentially dropped it.
It’s not a total victory for opponents of the federal DOMA, but the couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway says it’s the first time the government has decided to drop deportation proceedings on the basis of an LGBT couple’s marriage.
From the Star-Ledger:
Though the decision does not set a legal precedent, it establishes that the government has the power and the inclination to “do the right thing,” Soloway said.
“Frankly, the only obstacle between that individual and a green card is this one law (the Defense of Marriage Act) that the president and the attorney general have said is unconstitutional and that they won’t defend,” he said.
While Soloway acknowledged that the Defense of Marriage Act won’t be repealed or struck down by the Supreme Court overnight, he said the couple’s victory ultimately will contribute to its demise.
Over at the Christian Science Monitor, Tina deVaron ’78 wrote a compelling article on June 28 about date rape on college campuses, sharing her own experience with rape at Princeton, in 1973. The article was sparked by a joint Tigerlilies/Nassoons performance for the university’s She Roars conference in April, which deVaron attended.
We haven’t seen video of the performance, but we hear that part of the Nassoons choreography includes a hip thrust. In her article, deVaron described the choreography as pantomiming “what is essentially gang rape in front of an audience of middle-aged women, many of them moms.”
On the conference’s opening night, a female a cappella group, the Princeton Tigerlilies, gave a concert. The girls sang prettily, dressed in short black frocks and high pumps.
Then the group’s all male a cappella counterpart, the Nassoons, performed. For the song “ShamaLama,” they serenaded one of the Tigerlilies onstage, with choreography: In rhythm, they pantomimed unzipping their flies, and bluntly thrust their pelvises forward at the lone young woman on stage. Sixteen guys, one girl. The guys smirked, the girl smiled meekly.
Accounts from people who saw the performance suggest that the two a capella groups weren’t intending to promote any sexual violence with their choreography, and it appears no complaints were voiced after the performance in April. Still, the article has sparked a new discussion about college culture.
Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.