Hazing Question

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by CoachBart, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. CoachBart

    CoachBart Member

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    I spoke to a friend recently whose DS attends a SMC that my DS also is considering. I dont want to say the school name because in all honesty I dont know if there is a problem or issue. He mentioned it (the school) was tough, that he loved it, but also mentioned there is a lot of hazing. Time did not allow for me to question deeper. My concern is that I have always taught my kids and others I have coached that hazing is wrong and have held a Zero tolerance policy. I have had no interaction with any of the SA's or SMC's in ref to what if any hazing occurs. Can anyone shed light on this and should I be concerned or not. I have a pretty good idea that my DS will not be down with any type of hazing and was wondering what problems will occur if he bucks the system when it comes to that. Some cadets could probably answer this question and let me know what the scoop is. Also, my perception of hazing is not being yelled at or made to work hard ie push ups situps, running, PT etc, I am talking about flat out inappropriate behavior.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Not sure if you're talking about The Citadel, but if you are, I have heard multiple first hand accounts of behavior among the cadets that not only would get them thrown out of any and every SA, but would lead them to criminal charges if the police in SC actually did something about it. Instead, the administration and government look the other way and allow the "traditions" there to continue, brushing off any hazing, drinking, assaults, abuse, racial bigotry, drugs, and other behavior as "good ol boys just having their college fun."

    And I personally know of two knobs/cadets who were so disgusted by the behavior and conduct of the cadets at The Citadel that they both transferred out to a different college.

    One of them used to post here quite often and can confirm exactly what I said.

    Here's a recent article you might want to read:

    Hazing remains a Citadel tradition
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Well despite "personally knowing" several Citadel alums, I won't comment on the Citadel and how it handles hazing as I don't believe in 3d and 4th hand "personal knowledge unleavened by 1st hand direct personal experience. Newspaper stories occassionally miss a few things and the internet definitely gives snippets - so there just might be a little more to this than what the links. Would have you believe.
    I can however speak to what goes on at VMI- which takes hazing very seriously.all of the cadets receive extensive training on what constitutes hazing, and how fellow cadets and Rats will be trained. The Commandant's staff have a constant and pretty pervasive presence in the barracks, and there is an O6 IG on the staff. More importantly within the Corps, in addition to the Cadet chain of Command, the Cadet Equity Committee composed of Cadet First Class Privates) acts as a Cadet run IG/ Ombudsman to provide an impartial set of eyes on activities in the barracks- to include the Ratline. ( One of our posters rah Virginia Mil served on the Cadet Equity Committee and can speak in more detail of how they function to provide oversight and neutral eyes over barracks and hazing in particular). Finally they can and do dismiss cadets if they are found to have engaged in hazing and they can and do refer incidents to the Commonwealths Attorney for action as appropriate . So while hazing may occur, its not something condoned or overlooked by either Cadets or Administration. Personally from my own first hand experience and observation as both an Alum and a Dad, Cadet life is much more professionally run at VMI today than in my day. The Rat line is still pretty physically and mentally demanding, but it is focused and controlled far better than it was years ago.
    That doesn't mean though that a Rat in front of the RDC will hear sensitivity and understanding infused in every word,nor will they enjoy themselves while undergoing a sweat party. But if they are undergoing hazing as defined by the laws of the Commonwealth or by the regulations of VMI they have avenues and places to turn to who will take postive and forceful actions to correct the problem. The other SMCs will have to speak for themselves as I don't have First hand recent experience with them.
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    My "personal knowledge," given directly to me, 1st hand, by the former cadets/knobs, former cadet/knob parents, and others at the school, (you have no idea how much I know about what goes on there), is rock solid.

    You can believe or not believe whatever you wish, but don't question my credibility about what I KNOW to be true. I've seen the documents, the letters, and the responses. The behavior and conduct of the cadets there is exactly as described, and the administration looks the other way. Hazing occurs, and is not taken seriously at The Citadel.

    Fact.

    Not sure why you think it's not true, the "personal knowledge" I have, which you seem to want to mock or make light of, or put in quotes to make it seem like it's not true, is as solid as anything. No, I don't attend The Citadel, but neither do you. Unless you are talking to present and former knobs/cadets (as I am doing) you really shouldn't even comment on what is or is not happening there. Any comments you make about it are pure speculation, whereas my comments come directly from those cadets/knobs who are a part of it.

    If you have knowledge about VMI, post it. I'm sure the OP will be happy to know all about your VMI info and how it is different from what is going on at The Citadel.

    My answer to the OP was relevant, accurate, and within all forum guidelines and rules.
     
  5. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Yes- as I said below- absent any first hand ( first hand means you experienced it or observed it) I won't comment on what goes on at the Citadel ( I believe my post below pointed out :at VMI) though I would not be surprised if there is a little more to the story than what this story tells you.
    Any current El Cid cadets, Alums or pare nts wish to post here and discuss the OPs concerns with first hand experiences?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Yes, as I said before, my knowledge does not come from the newspaper article.

    It comes directly from those who experienced it. Directly.

    The newspaper article (and any of about 100 more that come up when you search for Citadel and hazing) was simply a reference guide for the OP to read and form his own opinion.

    My viewing of the documents, letters, and responses is first hand - yes, I read them, held them, and still am in disbelief at the official actions taken (none).

    Again, I'm not sure why you seem to disbelieve that hazing happens, and is still happening there.

    Your long-ago experiences at VMI and your 2nd hand knowledge of what is happening at VMI now (unless I am mistaken and you are currently attending) has no relevance as to what is happening or not happening at The Citadel.
     
  7. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Luigi59,

    I fail to see why anyone should put stock into your second-hand reports. As you pointed out to Bruno, unless you are currently a cadet at the school in question, it is second-hand. So you have seen documents? What does that mean/prove?

    I normally wouldn't involve myself in these disputes, but when you are deriding another poster for having second-hand knowledge while at the same time proclaiming your second-hand knowledge as being completely accurate, I had to comment.

    Also, please note that Bruno's son is at VMI, so while it may be second-hand information, it is probably as accurate as a non-cadet can get.

    And, please note Bruno's stating that his comments were for VMI only, not The Citadel.

    Stealth_81
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    So bruno hears 2nd hand reports from his son, what does that mean/prove? How is that any better than what he calls my "2nd hand" reports?

    Yes, that's exactly what bruno did to me before I responded. Calling my reports "second hand" while reporting his own second hand information.

    Tell me how bruno's second hand reports are any more accurate than my second hand reports?

    Is his son somehow more accurate than my sources? Of course not.

    My sources were there, and experienced the hazing. No, they are not my son or daughter, but their integrity and character are paramount, and neither would lie and transfer just so I could post on this subject.

    You can choose not to believe the reports, the newspapers, the evidence from the Citadel itself, who admits that the hazing is happening and that they are punishing it (although neglecting the criminal charges), it matters not one bit to me, or you can can. I really don't care.

    Kinda odd that you will believe the 2nd hand reports about VMI but not believe the 2nd hand reports about The Citadel.

    Believe whatever you wish. The evidence is out there, just talk to current Citadel cadets, knobs, or their parents, as I have done. (Exactly the same as bruno has done at VMI, btw.)

    I have nothing more to say about this matter.
     
  9. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    :thumb: Accepted.
     
  10. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Norwich University

    There has been events in the past and the police are always involved when criminal activity occurs. That said the success of the cadre is measured by the success of those they lead. Furthermore it is passed on that the militiary over stretched for a decade dealing with issues of casualties, family separation and crisis and suicides does not need or will accept those who have the need to haze. My suggestion to freshman, bond with and accept those around you to get through any difficulties and challenges. Build up friendships. Life will eventually provide even tougher things to deal with.
     
  11. TurkishRunner

    TurkishRunner Member

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    I just finished my first year at VMI. There is no hazing, and it is taken extremely seriously. You'll do silly stuff like drink some nasty drink at times but it's all in good fun. All these schools are afraid of a lawsuit, so they do their best to insure hazing doesn't occur. I have heard stories that it's pretty bad at el Cid, but it's probably just as bad anywhere else.
     
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    This thread is an instant classic.

    Some folks fancy themselves experts on every service academy, SMC, and military service, despite a dearth of first-hand knowledge of any of of those things.

    Sometimes second-hand knowledge can be accurate, timely, and germane. Sometimes it's just the first round of a game of "telephone." It's important to sift through the coal to the find the gems when it comes to those "I heard it from so-and-so and he swears..." reports. Everyone's recounting is infused with his/her own natural bias. That must be considered.

    :thumb:
     
  13. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    It is extremely interesting that the majority of the second-hand information gleaned in order to submit expert opinion on this thread is divided such that those who think it exists are mostly using quitters as reference while those who don't believe that it exists have either survived the system themselves or are forming their opinions from successful cadets/midshipmen.

    For those of us who have experienced first hand the SAs, and I imagine it is also true for the SMCs, we know that the true reason quitters quit often has very little resemblance to what they tell their parents and friends. That they were "hazed" is much more socially acceptable than that they did not have the fortitude to survive the tough physical regime.
     
  14. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Very true. Some SA grads fancy themselves experts in threads where they have knowledge of the situation at all. Very easy to spot, thanks for your keen observation.

    Yes, that's true. When getting information from a source, the credibility of the source is of utmost importance. Talking to those who currently attend the school, talking to those who have left the school, reading letters from the school acknowledging certain behaviors, talking to parents and their frustrations at the lack of prosecution of criminal behavior, looking at official conduct reports about hazing, etc - all that must be taken into consideration, rather than relying on "something you read" somewhere.
     
  15. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Not always, as I've spoken to current cadets as well, and they also acknowledge that it happens. Same behaviors that have caused certain people to leave can be "endured" by others. In both cases, the "hazing behaviors" were consistent. Is your position that the "hazing" as recognized in the schools "anti-hazing" rules is not really hazing if one "survives" and does not leave?

    If only what you were saying held water for those who didn't "quit." Or if what you were saying didn't result in the "hazer" being suspended from school for a semester.

    It sounds like you are justifying the hazing behavior. If a school suspends a cadet for hazing a group of knobs, and 3 of the leave and 3 of them stay - is it your postion that the hazing didn't exist? Despite the school punishment? Or are you saying that the hazing will make those who stayed "better" cadets?
     
  16. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    The definition of 'hazing' can be very nebulous. There are those who somehnow fall through the cracks and end up at a SA/SMC who definitely don't belong there. Upper class can make their lives miserable. Miserable to the point that they quit. This can be good for the service, the school, and even the targeted individual themselves. However, I am most certain that these two groups would define hazing differently. If it is true hazing, outside the rules, of course it should be punished.
     
  17. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I agree.

    However, when the school sees it as hazing, as clearly defined in the school rules on hazing, and punishes the hazer(s) with suspensions:

    • The fact that some who were illegally hazed and leave should never be seen as "quitting."
    • Just as certainly as judging a cadet who stays after being illegally hazed as having passed some sort of "test" and has demonstrated his "toughness" by enduring the illegal behavior.

    Yes, there is a clear line between "making their lives miserable. Miserable to the point that they quit" and hazing. I don't have a problem with the former as long as it doesn't cross the line. The behavior that occurred, and may still be occurring at certain SMCs is disgraceful, and no knob/cadet should ever have to endure it no matter what the upperclassmen think of the target's qualifications to be there.

    Enduring "hazing" (as defined in the regulations on hazing) should never be seen as a qualification to remain in the brigade/corps.
     
  18. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    You mean, as opposed to those who never attended any academy (public or private) and thus lack any experiential frame of reference, did not serve in the armed forces and thus lack the firsthand knowledge of how hazing is tolerated or punished in the larger force as a result of leaders' background experiences at SAs and SMCs, and can rely only on what they believe to be true from their own cursory research, thus giving them a false sense of having a deep and thorough knowledge of the situation.

    We can all choose how thoroughly we believe the accounts of those who have not experienced the rigors first hand, or seen the inside workings of the SMC in question. For my part, my time at El Cid amounted to a few weeks over four years due to various engagements of an academic and athletic nature. The culture is very different there from the prevailing culture at WP, and that of VMI. I had always expected VMI and the Citadel to be clones of one another, but found that to be far from the case. I briefly dated a Citadel cadet (secretly :wink:) and found that her views on the WP vs. Citadel cutural schism were quite interesting.

    I do not know how true the accusations of hazing are. One thing to consider is that Mongo has a point, in a way. Those who find the system to be tolerable and survivable rarely find any reason to speak up or dissect the good and bad of the prevailing culture. They find it to be "how things work" and "part of the experience" and move on through the SMC or SA and become happy and wistful graduates. Those who are motivated to speak up are those who found it intolerable. Does that mean that hazing is not bad or doesn't happen? No. But it may not be the pervasive problem that it seems to be based on the vocal and outpsoken minority who found themselves on the intolerable end of it.

    We had many in my company as a plebe who found the environment to be awful and intolerable, and several quit. But in retrospect, none of it (and I mean none) was hazing. It was a high-stress environment. But we were never demeaned, insulted, injured, or disgraced. We were pushed hard. But those who quit would probably tell you we were hazed.
     
  19. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Right on schedule........lol
     
  20. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Exactly. You don't.

    So why are you even commenting in a thread that doesn't have either a SA or military question?

    And disputing someone who knows factual reliable information, both from the school and those who were hazed?

    Oh, that's right.

     

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