Alumni and Friends of VMI:
Some Great News: Thanks to Al Miller '53 for sharing the following news about VMI's wrestlers.
VMI has three young wrestlers going to the NCAA Wrestling
in Cleveland to compete in mid March. Jarrod Fitzpatrick '98, Isaac Moore
'99 and Leslie Apedoe '99. Apedoe has seen national competition before
and stands a good chance at placing in top 5 or 6.
And What About the Those Two Rats?:
VMI declines to suspend two cadets
Male, female 'rats' are confined to post
BY WES ALLISON
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
LEXINGTON -- In the first serious sex-related case since the Virginia Military Institute admitted women in the fall, school administrators yesterday declined to suspend two freshmen "rats" who were caught having an intimate encounter in the barracks.
The two cadets -- a man and a woman -- instead each received the most severe punishment short of suspension, including confinement to post through this semester well into the fall semester.
If they are found guilty of similar violations in the future, they will be suspended, officials said.
The student-run Executive Committee, which oversees discipline in the barracks, had initially recommended that the pair be suspended for two semesters. Superintendent Josiah Bunting III, who has the final say in such matters, and other top administrators rarely override the committee.
VMI spokesman Mike Strickler said the punishment was decided after the commandant of cadets and other officials consulted with the Executive Committee.
"You've got to look at the evidence, what you've got in the case, and decide from there," Strickler said. "Just like anything, there's a system of checks and balances."
Officially, the school said, the two cadets were found guilty of "conduct unbecoming a cadet -- unauthorized room visitation after taps [lights out] and inappropriate behavior." Their sentence was similar to the standard punishment for being caught with alcohol.
Sources said there was no clear evidence the two had sexual intercourse, and they were at least partially clothed when another cadet found them together one night late last month. The Executive Committee investigated the case and found that the two rats had an ongoing, consensual relationship, sources said. VMI refused to name the cadets involved, but sources said the woman had been reprimanded in the fall for kissing a different male classmate.
Sexual contact has long been forbidden on post. Male and female cadets can visit each other's rooms, but the window shades must be up, the lights must be on and the students must be appropriately clothed.
Freshmen also are not allowed to date each other while they're bound by the constraints of the "rat line," VMI's training regimen for new cadets. The rat line is expected to end soon.
Upperclassmen can't date rats either, and dating within a chain of command is prohibited.
Senior class president Kevin Trujillo, who presides over the Executive Committee, said he and his colleagues had recommended suspension to show "we have a zero-tolerance policy for cadets having any sexual activity in barracks or on post.
"It's going to happen, I know, but you shouldn't do it in this environment."
This is the first serious, sex-related disciplinary action taken since VMI ended 157 years of men-only education by admitting women in August. But with women in the barracks, school officials and cadets said, it was only a matter of time.
However, they also still hope to discourage it.
"Jealousies creep in, you have polarization," said Col. N. Michael Bissell, the special assistant to the superintendent and the architect of VMI's coeducation plan.
"It creates little barriers, and it just goes against the grain of the VMI system."
A total of 30 women and 430 men joined the freshman "rat" class in August. Six of the women have quit, and a seventh was suspended in the fall for allegedly striking an upperclassmen. Sixty-nine men have left.
Feedback From 17 Football Suggestions: I received several e-mail responses re: the 17 football suggestions I passed along in last week's update. Responses were fairly mixed. Although I have to say that I couldn't print some of them since this is a "family" oriented update forum. Most responses do not agree with 5th year football players living outside of barracks.
Career Opportunity: Thanks to Paul Van Doren
'74 for passing along the following.
Here is an employment tidbit. Would you pass it on? SAIC, the company for which I am an employee/owner is having a special job fair on March 31 from 4:00-8:00pm EST at the Tysons Ritz Carlton, here in the Northern Virginia area. We are calling it the "SAIC Triple Win Invitational"
The purpose of this event is to offer employee-owners the opportunity to refer Information Technology candidates to SAIC. The Triple Win - SAIC wins, our employee-owners win and Candidates win.
If someone I refer attends the Invitational AND is hired by
April 14, 1998, for
a position identified on the "Triple Win" homepage (ISSAIC), I will be eligible to receive nice referral award. (I checked for the page and it's not posted yet). If someone with IT background is interested please contact Paul Van Doren (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SAIC is taking extraordinary steps to get ahead on the hiring
of the best people. This is just one of several measures that are
SAIC is Science Applications International Corporation, the largest employee owned high tech firm in the world. HQ is in San Diego area. There is a large regional HQ here in Northern Va. at Tysons Corner. Recently we purchased Bellcore the research arm of the old Bell Telephone Co.
Alumni Association Meeting: The next meeting of the Alumni Association will take place on Saturday, April 4. As usual, committee meetings will be held the afternoon of Friday, April 3. I'll pass along the agenda with times, etc. in the next update.
Cyber Corps T-Shirt: OK, some time last year
I floated up the idea about us coming up for ideas for an
official Cyber Corps T-shirt. The response was underwhelming.
Let's try this again. Once we come up with a design, I'll ensure
that the shirts get made up and all profits will be donated to
the Alumni Association or some other worthy cause at the mother
ship. So, if you have a suggestion, put it together and send it
attached to an e-mail. Or, you could mail it to me at:
564 Trotwood Ridge Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
We may even have a prize for the winning entry. Of course now I guess I have to come up with a judging committee.....
And What of the Southern Conference: Guess most folks know that Davidson lost to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Seems like that gave it a pretty good effort, but were worn down by the Wolverines.
That's it for this week. Next week I'll provide more info on the upcoming Alumni Assoc meeting and VMI's new protocol office.
Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75
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Last Updated: October 11, 2009
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