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Feminist News


January-14-97

Citadel President Addresses Cadets About Hazing Incidents

Clifton Poole, interim president for the Citadel, spoke to the 1,700-member Corps of Cadets at the South Carolina military college on January 13 after two of the four female first-year cadets announced they would not be returning to the formerly all-male school. Poole admitted that the Citadels anti-hazing system had broken down and stated at a press conference following the cadet meeting that all incidents of hazing will be reported to law enforcement.

Eleven male cadets face discipline regarding charges by Kim Messer and Jeanie Mentavlos that the men set the womens clothes on fire, put cleanser in their mouths and sexually harassed them. Messer and Mentavlos stated that the Citadel failed to keep the women safe and that they could not return to the school. Mentavlos brother, Michael, also plans to withdraw from the school just three credits short of graduation.

Messers lawyer questioned the Citadels commitment to making coeducation work. Attorney E. Paul Gibson said, I question ... if (the Citadel administrators) know how seriously theyll have to approach (coeducation) to make it work. The Citadel has expended huge amounts of capital and energy to prevent the entry of women. Thats what it impressed on the corps. Now they say theyve made a 180-degree turn.

Media Resources: The New York Times - January 14, 1997; CNN - January 13, 1997