As this news article indicates, VMI has kicked off its
By DAVID REED
LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) - In a warning to avoid the embarrassment of The Citadel, leaders at Virginia Military Institute urged cadets to watch their conduct when the first female cadets arrive in the fall.
``All eyes are on VMI,'' junior class president Kevin Trujillo told 1,200 cadets at an assembly Tuesday. ``Some are just salivating at the thought of our failure. ... All it will take is the mistake of one person.'' Women will enroll at VMI this summer for the first time in its 158-year history. The state military college will hold mandatory sessions covering hazing, fraternization and sexual harassment, all aimed at avoiding the kinds of problems The Citadel suffered through.
A male Citadel cadet was dismissed Monday and nine others received lesser punishments in the hazing and harassment of two female cadets who dropped out of the Charleston, S.C., military college. VMI is admitting women because of a Supreme Court decision. The school is approaching the challenge much the way it would a big football game. Tuesday's assembly amounted to a pep rally with a brass band that culminated with everyone singing the VMI fight song.
But its tone was cautionary. ``We have all seen what has happened in South Carolina and we have seen and heard what has been made of it in public,'' Superintendent Josiah Bunting said. ``If you see something happen that is untoward, you must act. Any activity that is seen to be nefarious or untoward will be on CNN in Sacramento five minutes after it happens in Lexington.''
Bunting said before the assembly that VMI has learned from problems at The Citadel, where four women enrolled in August. VMI expects to enroll about 30 female cadets in August, along with 11 female exchange students and transfer students. ``To have four or five or six in a group of 1,400 is not useful for the women or the men,'' he said. ``The Citadel probably would have been better served if they had had some time to prepare the way we have had.''
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Last Updated: October 11, 2009
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