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Feminist News


January-13-97

Two Citadel Women Won't Return for Second Semester Among Allegations of Severe Harassment

Kim Messer and Jeanie Mentavlos, citing severe hazing and the school's failure to protect them, will not return to the Citadel to finish their first semester. Kim Messer commented, "It is apparent to me...that while I might be physically safe on campus, I would not be welcome...I never asked for special treatment at The Citadel, I received special treatment...of criminal assaults, sadistic illegal hazing and disgusting incidents of sexual harassment." The two women and their families allege that the chain of command at The Citadel did not respond when the women told them that male cadets were harassing them. Knowing no one believed them, Mentavlos at one point put a tape recorder in her pants to record the incidents, but a male cadet ordered her to drop her pants, behind a desk, and turn over the tape recorder. Messer went on to comment, "[The Citadel's administration] is incapable of impressing on some of its cadets what is expected of every member of the United States military - the requirement that they obey the law and follow orders...When the criminal investigations are complete, it will be shown that The Citadel's administration either knew or should have known...of the complete failure of its command structure." Mentavlos' brother, a senior cadet at The Citadel only three credits shy of graduating, will also not return to complete his degree because of "current circumstances."

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