VMI Cyber Corps

Alumni and Friends of VMI:

Bad Press for the Institute: Ouch!

VMI questions 5 in beating / Freshmen suspected of attack on fellow rat

Saturday, November 6, 1999

Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Five freshmen at Virginia Military Institute are under investigation in the bloody beating of a fellow rat in a barrack room early yesterday morning, according to VMI officials.

The victim was treated at the school's infirmary, then taken to Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington for X-rays, VMI spokesman Chuck Steenburgh said. The X-rays turned up no additional injuries. The student remained in the infirmary yesterday in good condition, Steenburgh said.

The five freshmen suspected of carrying out the act are being interviewed by student investigators, who could forward a report to a panel of student judges as early as Monday, Steenburgh said. The nine judges, called the Executive Committee, could exonerate the students or recommend various punishments, including dismissal from VMI.

Campus Police Chief Larry Coffey said he also is investigating, but did not comment further.

Steenburgh described the beating this way: "Early this morning [Friday] at 4 o'clock, five fourth-classmen apparently entered the room of another fourth-classman, restrained him and proceeded to strike him about the head and shoulders. It drew some blood. He was taken to our post hospital, or infirmary, and treated for cuts and bruises."

One source on campus said the assailants rolled up the victim in his mattress and beat him on the head and neck.

VMI officials refused to release the victim's name. But according to sources, the cadet is Theodore P. Frances, 18, of Northern Virginia.

Steenburgh said VMI officials believe they know the motive for the attack, but he declined to elaborate.

"It's pretty clear there was some type of [ill] feeling," he said.

Last year, six cadets were expelled for lying about a series of spankings. In 1997, a freshman accused seniors of striking him and five other freshmen with a belt. And in 1996, six students were suspended for assaulting a freshman classmate, and nine more cadets were disciplined for their roles in the attack.

But Steenburgh said yesterday's beating was a unique "blanket-party kind of thing." A blanket party, in military parlance, is an attack in which a victim is held under a blanket and beaten.

"This is not a common occurrence," Steenburgh said. "Cadets have impromptu wrestling matches once in awhile, but they're good-natured. This was different. . . . There were blood stains on the room."

The student group investigating the incident is called the Officer of the Guard Association and is composed of 12 members, one from each of the cadet companies. The nine-member Executive Committee is made up of the three class officers from each of the three upper classes.

November at the Institute: Check out this web site for a peak at the Institute in November.

Memorial Run for Mark Wilson '88: Runners in Richmond please take note of the following announcemetn. Mark Wilson was killed in a military training exercise a number of years ago. Proceeds are donated to his daughter's future college expenses.

ATTENTION ALL RUNNERS IN RICHMOND: The fourth annual Mark Wilson '88 5k memorial run will take place Saturday 20 November, 9 am at Godwin High School 2101 Pump Road. All proceeds benefit the scholarship fund. Info available from Gordy Fox 355-4062, Marc Allocca 282-4714 or Richmond Road Runners 360-2672. See ya there, PAC '82.

The VMI Academic Calendar: A number of folks have been wondering about the VMI academic calendar and how things work given the elimination of Saturday classes,etc. The following posting, found on the Electronic Turnouts provides some good insights.

For BBH '94: Good questions about the calendar. I won't wax eloquent (translation: "long") ...

About the time you were here, maybe a bit before, the Academic Board voted to reduce the number of class meetings in a given semester from 45 to 42, which is what it is now ... 14 weeks of 3 50-minute meetings of a class per week on MWF. This occured at about the same time as the BofV's decsion to honor repeated pleas from the faculty to cancel Saturday morning classes. There was interlocking cause and effect. So now we have classes which meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 14 weeks, but for 75 minutes at a crack ... 2100 minutes of classtime per course per semester, just like on MWF.

Moving to 42 class meetings put us closer to the "industry standard," but our academic schedule is STILL 16 semester hours fuller than a "normal" college because of mandatory ROTC and mandatory PE.

The removal of Saturdy classes had the overall result of COMPRESSING the time in which a cadet could schedule his/her classes ... they actually have FEWER free periods during the academic day than before ... particularly for the engineers.

Now, as to the calendar ... we have to backward plan the calendar from "the Saturday following 15 May," which is the BofV-mandated Commencement Day (John Knapp tried to change it to Commencement ON 15 May and it lasted exactly one year ... and the idea of graduating BEFORE 15 May caused a reading of about 8.5 on the Alumni Richter Scale ...). That backward planning puts us into mid-January for the end of Christmas Furlough.

We have been beginning Christmas Furlough in the period 17-21 December, depending on how the days of the week fall, to allow reasonable travel time before the 25th (not everybody lives in Richmond, regardless of what the Richmond Mafia might lead you to believe). Christmas Furlough this year is actually a full month (I know, HORRORS !!). The 42 meetings takes us back to the mid-August time we want school to start ... with, yes, a full week for Thanksgiving (I know, HORRORS !!).

The abortive Fall Break was in honor of "it's too long from mid-August to Thanksgiving to keep the cadets here without a break." Enough whining was done ... by lots of folks, including your humble servant, that the decision was made that in fact it was NOT too long between mid-August and Thanksgiving after all.

Does that illuminate, exacerbate or just irritate ??

Smiley "Just The Facts, Ma'am" Goodnews

Ring Figure: Hey it's Ring Figure weekend and this is the first Ring Figure where female cadets will receive rings. See the following observations from someone who attended last night's ceremonies....(this also came from the Electronic Turnouts).

And one more thing ... to respond to some earlier interest ... one cadet in 2001 escorted the female Mongolian exchange student ... she was in a traditional Ring Figure white gown, and was stunning. And got no ring ...
Even more stunning were the new Mess Dress uniforms for both men and women. 2001 made a great decision ... and we here who are EESH-associated pray it is instant tradition (in the minds of this generation ... we grizzled geezers know it is merely a return to Old Corps Days of Yore).

Somebody asked who the women of 2001 would be "dating" ...

My best intelligence info is that there were a couple of 3rds who escorted 2nd Class women ... but who could tell ?? ALL the male escorts (with exceptions to be noted in a moment) wore tradtional tuxedos ... and had a single rose boutenierre (or however you spell it). The women cadets did not carry roses ... uniforms unadorned.

Several women were escorted by their fathers. Talk about beaming proud Papas !!!

Some few ... 3 or 4 ... were escorted by their civilian "boyfriends." In tuxedos. With one rose.

There were three women, if memory serves, who had no escort available, and were escorted through the Ring by Colonel Williams, Colonel Brodie and Commander Ned Riester, who is the Class Advisor. All in Mess Dress ... one Air Force, one Army, one Navy. No flowers.

It was a VERY classy event.

It was a VERY LO-O-O-O-O-NG event ... almost 3 hours to get everyone through the Ring (individual rings were presented IN the ring ... only one was dropped ... no engagements this year ... and then once the entire Class had come through one-by-one (and had left the floor and gone back to the holding area), the entire Class reentered in a sort of informal "Less-then-Grand March," Class President Bunting presented the Class to Superintendent Bunting, the Class stumbled, fumbled, bumbled and rumbled through the "Class Dance" ... a waltz, theoretically ... "Some Day My Prince Will Come" from "Snow White" rendered quite well by the VMI Commanders ... the tune drew the requisite number of snickers initially from the assembled throng ... and since by then it was already after 2300 and the Travelodge balcony was beckoning BR partiers, the floor magically emptied into the 41-degree night air ...

All in all a wonderful evening, and the 2nds seem all to be back on Post, a bit bleary-eyed, but ready to lead this morning's Parade in 30 minutes ...which is where I am now off to, after filling these pages with stereotypical excess baggage.

Smiley "And MY Ring Figure Date Patti Was There Beside Me, Too

Football of Days Past: Hey, do any alumni remember that faithful day in 1967? I was living outside of Allentown, PA at the time. My dad, being a Hokie grad, was stunned when he learned of the score!

Folks. An article in the Virginia Pilot today (4 November) by Harry Minium on VPI's Frank Beamer. Quote, "The elder Beamer has been preaching all week the lessons Tech learned in 1967. We were very excited about being 7-0, he said. But when Shane asked what bowl game we went to, I had to tell him we didn't to to one. Tech went to the Liberty Bowl in 1966 and 1968, but 1967 proved to be a nightmare. After the 7-0 start, the Hokies lost their final three games to Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Military Institute. The loss to VMI was the most painful. A win likely would have sent them to a bowl, and the Hokies had crushed the Kedyets 70-12 a year earlier. But VMI prevailed 12-10 in Roanoke's Victory Stadium." Never say die. brantley 69

Female Cadet Settles Citadel Suit

.c The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - One of the first female cadets at The Citadel has settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against the military college for an undisclosed sum, the school says.

Jeanie Mentavlos, who quit in frustration after a semester, had claimed that she was shoved, kicked and her clothes were set on fire by her fellow cadets. Other cadets said the harassment was no greater than what men experience at the formerly all-male school.

Under the settlement, The Citadel admitted no liability, school spokesman Bruce Williams said Thursday.

``It saves the state the expense of a costly trial,'' The Citadel said in a statement.

Ms. Mentavlos' lawyer, Dick Harpootlian, would not confirm whether a settlement had been reached.

The Citadel had fought to avoid enrolling female cadets, but after a court battle, it was forced in 1995 to open its doors to Shannon Faulkner. She dropped out after a few days. Ms. Mentavlos enrolled the following fall with three other women.

Another cadet who dropped out after a semester, Kim Messer, settled her lawsuit against the school last year for $33,750.

Nancy Mace became the first female graduate of the Citadel in May.

Cyber Gear: I'll be putting in the order for the Cyber Gear in the next day or so. I believe I now have all the orders from our participants.

Hey, that's it for this week!

Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75

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