Alumni and Friends of VMI:
Deaths in the VMI Family:
I noticed the following were posted in the Electronic Turnouts. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families. Special thanks to Kathryn Wise for sharing this information.
Wed Sep 8 09:29:02 1999
Gentlemen: It may be of interest to some of you to know that Dr. Chet Burgess, who taught English at VMI for 26 years prior to his 1988 retirement, died on August 28. He's to be buried on Friday at Rose Hill Cemetery in Rifle, Colorado. --- Kathryn Wise, editor, VMI Alumni Review
Larry Allen Stone '92, a Navy SEAL, died in a training accident on September 3. He was captain of the basketball team at VMI. -- Kathryn Wise
Col. James B. Newman '39, professor of physics from 1941 - 1982, died on September 9. Memorials may be made in the name of James B. Newman, VMI Foundation, PO Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450 or to the Kerrs Creek Fire Department, the Lexington Presbyterian Church or the American Parkinson Disease Association, 60 Bay Street, Staten Island, NY 10301. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, September 13, 1999, at the graveside in Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington. -- Kathryn Wise
VMI Football: The Keydets evened their record at 1 - 1 yesterday with a 15 -14 win over division II Concord. Next up is East Tennessee State. Kickoff is 1:00 PM Saturday in Lexington.
Alumni Association Meeting: I attended yesterday's meeting of the VMI Alumni Association. I'll include a recap of some of the information shared during the meeting in next week's update. I just need some time to review my notes.
The Spending Issue: A number of folks have asked me what was the mood of the alumni concerning the recent investigation into Gen Bunting's spending. I spoke with a number of alumni over the weekend and from what I can tell their is little consensus on this issue. There are those who solidly support the Superintendent and there are those who feel poor judgment was displayed by the Superindendent, relative to some expenditures, and the BOV, relative to its oversight. A report at the Alumni Association meeting from the Finance Committee did indicate that controls and procedures have been tightened. As in the past, I will continue to share any related news articles if space permits. A lengthy article was recently reprinted in the Electronic Turnouts on September 4 that provides a great deal of detail relative to individual expenditures, but it was simply too long to include in this update. You can access the Turnouts at http://www.rtp.opensystems.com/vmi/postedturnouts.html.
Sexual Harassment Training at VMI:
By KIA SHANT'E BREAUX
Associated Press Writer
LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) -- Robert Mason stood nervously in front of about 75 of his fellow cadets at Virginia Military Institute, trying to get them to understand the importance of reporting sexual harassment.
He asked the cadets to close their eyes and imagine someone they cared about being sexual harassed or assaulted as a third person watched and did nothing.
"If you see this happen to someone you know, like a family member, you would say or do something to get them to stop. The same thing applies here at VMI,'' the 21-year-old senior from Dallas told the group Tuesday. "It is your duty to tell someone about it.''
Mason is one of 17 peer trainers participating in VMI's new approach to curbing sexual harassment at the formerly all-male school. Instead of bringing in outside authorities as in the past, school officials are using VMI cadets to instruct their peers on what sexual harassment is and how to deal properly with cadets of the opposite sex.
The training is conducted by members of the all-male senior class, but VMI officials hope to include female trainers next year when the first coed class becomes seniors. The training classes are broken into 10 groups of about 75 cadets each, according to military companies. The trainers are paid $100 for leading the classes.
VMI has held sexual harassment training for cadets since women were admitted to the school in 1997. But the latest program comes after VMI's highest ranking cadet, Jerry B. Webb II of Casper, Wyo., was expelled in May for allegedly demanding sex from three women cadets.
The program was designed by a local agency, Project Horizon, a non-profit group that seeks to reduce sexual harassment and violence.
Peer trainers agree that allowing cadets to run the program has been more affective.
"We're all friends and know each other on a personal level,'' said a peer trainer, Jason Clough, 21, of Melbourne, Fla. "I'm sure most of the cadets feel more comfortable talking to us about certain things than the administration or some outsider.''
Cadets participating in the sessions asked a variety of questions including whether or not looking at pornography on the Internet in the barracks constituted sexual harassment if a female cadet was present.
"Yes, it could be classified as creating a hostile environment,'' Clough said. "The best thing to do is to not look at the stuff, don't take any chances.''
A number of male cadets said that they, too, can be victims of sexual harassment.
Fraternization between the sexes has become a major issue at VMI since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996 found the males-only admission policy unconstitutional. The high court's decision came after a six-year legal battle between VMI and the Justice Department. VMI has about 1,300 students, including 68 women.
A male student was expelled in May 1998 after he and a female exchange student were found having consensual sex in the barracks. The female was sent back to her school.
VMI officials realize sexual behavior is going to become more of a challenge as more women are admitted to the school.
"Assimilation is not going to happen in one year,'' said Valerie Jackson, VMI's acting Title IV officer, who makes sure the school follows federal gender equality laws. "We need to have ongoing training and education.''
But some cadets think VMI is taking the training too far.
"It's been a bit repetitive. We've had this sexual harassment stuff ingrained in our heads,'' said senior Ethan Graham of Harrisonburg.
VMI spokesman Mike Strickler acknowledged that no amount of training is going to rid the institute of sexual harassment.
"You're not going to cut it out totally at VMI, you're not going to cut it out totally anywhere,'' he said. "The key is to keep the issue at the forefront of the cadets' minds.''
Hey that's it for this week.
Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75
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