VMI Cyber Corps

Assimilation Plan for Women
Status Report #6 18 April 1997

Admissions Status: As of 17 April, the Admissions office has received 1083 applications for the class of 2001, of which 88 are women. This represents an increase of 17% over the application rate at the same time last year. VMI has offered appointments to 793 applicants, including 59 women. Fifteen 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: The last group of areas researched are being reviewed by counsel. We now have a total of 48 (44 approved) areas researched. These areas researched will be forwarded to the Board of Visitors for their information and review prior to the Board meeting 13-14 May 1997. Many thanks to all the committees for their time and total effort to accomplish this on schedule.

Orientation: During the period 8-10 April, the entire VMI family participated in over 60 two-hour sessions which were moderated by consultants. While there were mixed reviews on these sessions, the majority felt that the sessions were exactly what was needed to create discussions and thoughts on sexual harassment, hazing and fraternization. The intent was to ensure all participants were well aware of the definition and regulations on these issues. Follow-on sessions with each cadet class will be conducted by the Title IX Officer and counsel to reach closure on many of the issues and questions from the sessions. These will be conducted during the first few day after the cadets return for the fall semester.

As the result of many requests from cadets stating that they would like to be able to talk with some female cadets to obtain their ideas and feelings as to how women will react to the VMI system and how cadets should treat new female cadets in the rat line, I requested that Major Becky Ray and 2
cadets from Texas A&M visit VMI from 29 April to 1 May to allow for informal discussions. Commencing on the 29th of April, three sessions will be scheduled each day in the Turman Room of Preston Library (1300-1430, 1600-1730 and 1900-2030). Any cadets desiring to attend these sessions should contact Cadet Chris Hobbs, Cadet Kevin Trujillo, Cadet Mike Meads or Cadet Ezra Clark for scheduling. This is a wonderful opportunity to ask questions and become more comfortable as female cadets join the rat line next year.

The evening dessert sessions held each Wednesday evening at 1915 hours appear to be very helpful to cadets. I'm receiving many good reports from attendees. In fact, I had over 20 cadets ask if they could be included in future sessions. These are excellent opportunities for cadets to talk about their concerns with Col. Bissell and Col. Rowe. I would like to continue these throughout the rest of the year.

Assimilation Sessions Follow-Up: During the 2 hour sessions, we noted consistent or repetitive themes that kept appearing from cadets. Our intent is to be able to respond to these areas of concern as we prepare for matriculation of female cadets in August. While some concerns will be covered in the weekly Status Reports, all will ultimately be covered in the final sessions in August with each cadet class. The Sexual Harassment Reporting Contacts selected for next year were carefully chosen to insure we have approachable and credible representatives. I regret that our coordination system failed to reach all of them in a timely manner. My apologies to all who were caught in this confusion. All 20 contact personnel will receive a briefing and orientation on the procedures and investigation methodology before classes begin next fall.

Alleged sexual harassment charges will be investigated similar to any other alleged violation at VMI. Investigating officers will be appointed to acquire statements from all sides and the finding of guilty or not guilt will depend on the results of the investigation after talking to all parties involved. Investigations will be fair and objective. The name of the Title IX officer will be announced prior to 15 May 1997. Reports of sexual harassment for the Corp should appropriately be handled by the Commandant of Cadets and Regimental Chain of Command, Class System (OGA) or Institute Counselors for cadets. For instances of sexual harassment among the teaching and research faculty the contact is the Dean of Faculty, the contact for classified employees is the Personnel officer, and the contact for contract personnel is the Contracting Officer. If the personnel who feel they are harassed feel it appropriate or necessary to use confidentially in reporting an incident they may use the Title IX officer and/or the Sexual Harassment Points of Contact.

N.M. Bissell
Chairman of Executive Committee
Assimilation Plan

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