Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-18-97

Ex-Citadel Cadet Tells of Brutal Hazing

Jeanie Mentavlos, one of the two female cadets who left the Citadel in January after a semester, has detailed the series of mental and physical abuse which she endured. Speaking during an interview at her home, Mentavlos related that early in her days at the South Carolina military college, a male upperclassmen ordered her into a small dorm room, turned off the light and shoved stiff cardboard into her chin. "He grabbed it out of my hand and punched me in my chin with it," Mentavlos said. The male cadet threatened that next time he would actually show her what "mean" meant The incident left Mentavlos with three large welts on her chin.

In October, two upperclassmen entered Mentavlos’ room late at night and set the sweatshirt she was wearing on fire. She put it out but had to break from the position required in the presence of upperclassmen to do so. The junior cadet ordered the sophomore cadet to light her again, this time the fire burned through the sweatshirt before the junior cadet put it out. In November, while Mentavlos and Kim Messer (the other female who quite the Citadel because of the hazing) were returning to their dorms, an upperclassman ordered the women to the room of the company commander. With the company commander present, the two women were forced to stand on tiptoe, facing into a doorless closet for two and a half hours while the men kicked, cursed and forced them to stretch higher, "They kept screaming ‘Get up, get up’, I couldn’t even breathe I was crying so hard. They were screaming at me ‘Quit breathing.’ I was still crying when I ran out of there." A couple of weeks later, a sophomore cadet splashed nail polish remover at Mentavlos and lit her on fire, "The flames were going past the front of my ears. I just freaked out."

These incidents represent only the most serious harassment Mentavlos endured, but the harassment was constant and began to affect her ability to study and sleep. Almost nightly a cadet would enter her room late at night and force her to stand at attention. Mentavlos’ brother was a Citadel senior cadet at the time but has since left the school before graduation, and several of her relatives graduated from the Academy. Mentavlos said she was aware of the hazing that occurs and commented, "I didn’t necessarily expect it to be comfortable when I went in there." However, she believes the treatment she received was cruel, sadistic and excessive. State and federal criminal investigations continue, and twelve cadets currently face college disciplinary charges. The father of one of the two women who remain replaced the Citadel’s second-highest ranking official last week.

Media Resources: The New York Times - February 18, 1997


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order. Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
 
7/27/2015 "After Tiller" Was Nominated For An Emmy - Documentary film After Tiller was nominated for two Emmy Awards: Best Documentary, and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story. The Point of View (POV) documentary follows the aftermath of the murder of Dr. . . .
 
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents. Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force. "Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices, said Spillar. . . .