There was an article in my local paper about this, and I’ve been looking for it in the online version, but for some reason they appear not to have posted it. The Charleston Post and Courier has the story up though, accessible here. Below are some excerpts:
Nearly one woman in five attending The Citadel last spring reported being sexually assaulted since enrolling at the school, according to a survey launched by the new president to gauge the campus climate on gender relations.
Reports of sexual assault and harassment were higher among both female and male Citadel cadets than among cadets and midshipmen at the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy and West Point who took a similar survey in 2004.
Nineteen Citadel men – about one in 25 of the men surveyed – also reported being sexually assaulted since joining the Corps of Cadets.
For both women and men, most alleged sexual assaults involved unwanted touching and stroking, fondling private parts and kissing. But 16 of the 27 incidents reported by women and 15 of the 23 reported by men involved unwanted sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex or sexual penetration with an object.
Most incidents weren’t reported to school officials or law enforcement.
Most of those involving women happened in the barracks or elsewhere on campus and the perpetrator was another cadet.
About a third of the incidents involving men happened on campus and about half of the perpetrators were Citadel cadets.
The survey did not ask cadets to identify the gender of the perpetrators.
I have to wonder why the survey didn’t ask about the gender of the perpetrators, but I certainly have a few theories. The article winds up being a bit of a valentine to John Rosa, the Citadel’s new President, noting:
Earlier this month, Rosa unveiled to the school’s Board of Visitors the Values and Respect Program. It is a series of lessons on sexual harassment and assault, alcohol and drug abuse and the school’s honor code. All cadets are required to participate in the program which will begin this month.
Rosa said it’s meant to change the climate at The Citadel, making it a place where cadets respect themselves and each other.
During the fall semester, freshmen will attend 14 hours of lessons and upperclassmen will attend seven hours of classes.
Students previously learned about sexual assault and harassment, drug abuse and the honor code, he said. But the new program integrates the information in all parts of cadets’ on-campus lives.
Before the start of classes today, Rosa met with all cadets and explained the program to them. He also notified faculty and staff members, parents and alumni.
The Citadel began admitting women after the ruling in United States v. Virginia. The Citadel is a public college funded and operated by South Carolina. It is not affiliated with any branch of the U.S. Military. Students pay tuition to attend The Citadel, and they are not required or expected to serve in any branch of the military after they graduate. According to this site only about 40 percent of graduates “earn military commissions.” Women were not admitted until ten years ago because they weren’t wanted, not because of any “military” issue.
The Citadel graduated its first male African American cadet, Charles Foster, in 1970. The second African American to graduate was a friend of mine, the late and very much missed Joe Shine. He had a hard time as a cadet, and he put a lot of time and energy into making sure the students who followed him received better treatment. The first female African American cadets to graduate received their degrees in 2002.