VMI Cyber Corps

Here is the most recent assimilation plan update submitted by VMI.

Assimilation Plan for Women
Status Report #5
28 March 1997

Admissions Status: As of 28 March, the Admissions office has now received 1018 applications for the class of 2001, of which 76 are from women. VMI has offered appointments to 744 applicants, including 48 women. Ten women have made deposits and begun the reservation process. These figures do not include 3 transfer students that will enter the Rat Class from New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI).

Areas Researched: As of this date 36 areas researched have been approved by the Superintendent and are with counsel. Four areas are being reviewed by committees. There are 4 areas that have not been submitted to the Executive Committee and are due by 15 April: Class System, Rat Knowledge (e.g. Rat Bible), Custodial Service Personnel and Policies and Health and Sanitation policies. We are on schedule to have all areas complete by 15 April 1997.

Orientation: This week we completed the 2nd phase of our orientation period which addressed areas researched followed by a question and answer period. While I know a great deal of information was provided in a brief period of time, I hope it was helpful to you to receive all the information we could provide. From all reports this appeared to be helpful in reducing rumors and creating constructive discussions in barracks. While all the information is not necessarily what everyone would like to hear, I hope you will understand that we are working hard to insure we don't change the ethos of the VMI experience.

The next phase of the orientation process will occur during the period 8-10 April at VMI. All the VMI family will be broken into groups of 20-25 people. Our policies on sexual harassment, hazing and fraternization will be moderated by professional consultants to provide you a thorough understanding of these issues with examples from a VMI setting as well as reporting and grievance procedures. Each attendee will receive a book with information discussed and VMI policies.

Issues: One issue of concern raised by cadets during the Thursday orientation was the women's showers and toilet facilities and the fact that they may differ slightly from the present men's facilities. Women's and men's toilet will have cubicles and doors for privacy. All of the men's toilets that were installed as part of the barracks work 2 years ago have doors. This summer we will install doors on all other men's toilets. As for the showers, in addition to the building code and structural requirements for the women's showers, there are health reasons as mentioned Thursday. As I hope most of you know, men's and women's bodies are in fact different. Women need to have a degree of privacy and the opportunity to properly clean themselves particularly during menstrual periods (which addresses concerns involving blood borne pathogens). The inability to have this opportunity may well lead to problems with urinary tract infections. The concrete walls that will form shower stalls provide an opportunity for women to properly clean themselves. In addition, the individual shower stall drains will contain all blood borne pathogens and reduce health risks to others. Our consultants and visitors from the other military colleges highly recommended individual stalls for health reasons. This is one of our early "lessons learned."

I ask that you appreciate this difference in the sanitation requirements for men and women when it comes to health issues.

Trips: A VMI team lead by Col. Joiner and including Col. Tom Davis, Mrs. Dooley and Lt. Ryan McCarthy visited the National Convention on "Leadership In A Gender Diverse Military" attended by all the military colleges. Citadel was not in attendance. Our team also talked to the Deputy Commandant and cadets at the Coast Guard Academy on our assimilation plan. VMI was consistently singled out and congratulated on their effort to assimilate women into the Corps.

N.M. Bissell
Chairman of Executive Committee
Assimilation Plan

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