Citadel Punishes Nine, Expels One for Hazing, Harassment
Officials at South Carolina’s military school the Citadel announced Monday, March 10 that one male cadet had been dismissed and nine others punished for participating in the hazing and harassment of female cadets Kim Messer and Jeanie Mentavlos who left the school in December because of the treatment. The school held private hearings on the actions of 11 male cadets on March 1 but did not release the results for over a week. Interim Citadel President Clifton Poole stated, “The college made mistakes and individuals broke rules. We have gotten the facts, we have heard the evidence and we have punished those cadets who violated regulations.”
Though three of the 11 cadets could have faced expulsion, only one cadet, accused of telling another cadet to set fire to Mentavlos’ sweatshirt, was dismissed. Another cadet received the maximum school penalty short of dismissal: restriction to campus for the rest of the semester and 120 tours of marching for one hour with a rifle in the barracks courtyard, along with reduction of rank. Eight others were handed lesser punishments such as demerits, confinement to barracks, marching tours and reduction of rank. One cadet was cleared. In December, three other male cadets accused of hazing resigned and a fourth was punished.
Messer and Mentavlos alleged that the male cadets set their clothes on fire, forced them to drink tea until they were sick, forced them to drink alcohol and stand in a closet while being shoved and kicked, and put cleanser on their heads. The FBI and the State Law Enforcement Division are also investigating the allegations of harassment and hazing, but no criminal charges have been filed.
Media Resources: The Nando Net and the Associated Press- March 10, 1997; USA Today - March 10, 1997; The New York Times - March 11, 1997; CNN - March 11, 1997