1. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    So Bruno Jackie all. The rats appeared to have staged quite the rat iot last night after parents left with the advent of thirds getting the ight o order pushes. Apparently it was directed at the thirds. So what does vmi do with a rat riot?
     
  2. easter2

    easter2 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is what I gather and I am sure Bruno & others can give more of a retrospect...

    Rat "riots" are somewhat expected and although I wouldn't say encouraged, I have read how it is considered a sign that the Rats are forming the brotherhood and uniting. As a whole they seem to meld together and decide they ain't putting up with the 3rd's anymore. I have read stories from VMI alum from decades back who talk about the Rat riots and seems to be a common theme. They are standing up for their rights...
    Allegedly the rat riots last night resulted in the loss of privilege of going to their Dykes room except for rolling their hay...from what I hear, it may have gone over the top last night but doesn't sound like the Rats really are the ones that went over
     
  3. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thirds get their hays thrown into the courtyard every year by the Rats.

    In the past, there have been times when property has been destroyed during a "Rat Riot." During my Rat year (during second semester in the month or so before Breakout), some plates in Crozet got smashed and the class had to pay the bill from funds generated from dues and fund-raising. Usually, a series of sweat parties also soon follows. If they can determine who the "ring leader" of the riot was, that cadet may also get special punishment from the class system and/or the Commandant's office. I remember they made a couple of Rats go to BRC formation in Coatee, full dyke with arms, every day for a week after one of these events (I'm sure they also had PTs and confinement).

    It's immature, and I never did understand what point "rioting" served. Ostensibly, it promotes "unity" and shows that the Rats are gelling together. I think there are better ways than smashing a few plates, but these are 18-year-olds. I'm betting that these so-called "Riots" are fairly tepid in comparison to shenanigans at other colleges. They seem to be part of the VMI experience.
     
  4. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have to agree, I can't see the point. But, on the other hand, it seems to be part of the VMI culture. There is way too much testosterone, cooped up too long under a lot of stress, not to expect them to blow off steam. This one was apparently exception. In what may be hype, I heard that this was the most violent riot in 18 years.
     
  5. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rat riots can be a lot of fun, but they can also go overboard very quickly. Based on what I've heard from my rats and grandrats, the one on Sunday got more out of hand than any rat riot I saw in my four years there.

    When I was a rat, we staged a (successful) rat rescue mission. When rats go to an RDC trial (usually on a Sunday night), they go down to the courtyard, uniform: grey blouse. When the RDC was getting ready to take our BRs up to the fifth stoop for their trial, we ran down into the courtyard in grey blouse so they wouldn't be able to tell who was supposed to be there and who wasn't, and then we all ran back up to the fourth stoop. The plan was for our entire ratmass to do 20+3 pushups together and then run to our rooms, but the Thirds decided to take matters into their own hands and try to pick rats off as we were running back up the stairs. We weren't even tossing their hays that time, but rats got clotheslined on the way back up to stoop. We had a sweat party with Cadre and RDC the next morning, but because they went overboard, the Third Class also lost some of their privileges for three days. They did not, however, lose their push privileges--and they made sure we knew it over the course of those three days. :cool:

    For several years now, the Sunday night of Parents Weekend has traditionally been when the Thirds get their first sweat party. After they have their sweat party, they earn their push privileges the following day. The same thing goes for the Seconds, but they get their sweat party (and push privileges) earlier in the school year.

    Instead of going down for the sweat party on Sunday night, the rats decided to take the third stoop by storm and toss hays, which is a very traditional rat riot. I'm sure it's happened before, but I've never heard of rats tossing hays instead of turning out for a sweat party. I'm not sure the timing of the riot, but apparently there was an all out brawl between the rats and the Thirds on the third stoop. A ton of rats and upperclassmen alike were injured.

    The Thirds didn't get to have their sweat party on Sunday night, but they still got their push privileges yesterday. They also had their sweat party last night, instead. I haven't heard what the other consequences will be, but it usually involves more sweat parties, fewer dyke privileges, and sometimes they make the entire ratmass march PTs.

    My First Class year, we also made the rats wear grey blouse everywhere unless they were going straight to and from Rat Challenge, NCAA practice, or an RDC gross misconduct workout. They had to wear grey blouse to and from the shower and even for late night bathroom runs after Taps, or they could be sent up to the GC for taking an upperclass privilege.

    In general, I agree with sprog. Rat riots make for funny stories, but more often than not, they get really out of hand.

    Jackie M. Briski '09
    First Class PVT (Ret.)
     
  6. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks Jackie: Sitting afar here in my office, an all out brawl sounds bad. Parental units generally don't like to hear of black eyes and gashes and injuries. Are the thirds and upper classmen and cadre authorized to use force to prevent a rat riot?
     
  7. easter2

    easter2 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    I heard the same thing about being the 'worst' Rat Riot in 18 years....from what I have been able to gather, there were black eyes, bruises, a dozen cadets (mostly rats) had to visit the infirmary, broken bones, etc...possibly the Firsts and Second got involved too...
    Appears they will be doing sweat parties for a few nights, PT's for the rest of the week and at least this point unable to be with host families on Sunday. Possible they will get that back tho before the weekend-knock on wood. I did ask my DS if anyone other than the Rats were going to get punishment of some type and he thought it was being looked into but unknown otherwise.
     
  8. Bird85

    Bird85 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    According to my DS, many cadets were taken to the post hospital and some had to go into town for treatment. One girl apparently broke a rib when knocked into the barracks wall by an RDC member. Another Rat was punched in the forehead by an RDC member wearing his class ring. It opened up a big gash. Not sure if stitches were required. I'm told Old Barracks was by far the worst place to be. My DS is in Third Barracks and just got bumps and scrapes.

    When I dropped him off at 8:20 pm on Sunday, he was resigned to going to Cocke Hall for the Sweat Party. So between return to barracks and the riot is when the planning occurred. It sounds hastily put together by the Rat Mass and not well planned. Regardless, it sounds to me that the upper class' response was over the top. I look forward to hearing from the Commandant's Office about this and what will be done to prevent this behavior in the future. If I were the Dad of the young lady Rat who had her rib broken, I'd be spitting nails today. It doesn't matter if other schools have the same problems in Fraternities or what not, what I'm hearing from my DS sounds a lot like assault. Do any of the lawyers on this board disagree?

    FWIW, I was a Knob 30 years ago, so I know a little bit about this kind of stuff. I now get to love VMI as much as The Citadel since they now have the responsibility of taking care of my first born. That being said, this "Old Corps" mentality of Rat Riots needs some adjusting by the Administration or the next one will be worse, IMHO!
     
  9. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0
    Officially, no. In situations like the time a rat threw a chair at an RDC Rep during a rat riot my Third Class year, I'm sure they would have understood. The RDC Rep showed remarkable restraint by choosing not to respond with force.

    As Bruno and sprog have mentioned, I'm confident that the Commandant will ensure this incident is handled appropriately. Based on his track record, he'll probably let the First Class leadership (the Class of 2012 President and the Regimental Commander) handle it, only choosing to step in if the plan they come up with is not severe enough. Hopefully it will include consequences for both the rats and the Thirds, like the incident from my rat year that I described above.

    When confinement and PTs are handed out for involvement in rat riots, it's typically nothing less than a #5, which is 10 demerits, six weeks confinement, and 30 PTs. Depending on level of involvement, they could incur a much greater penalty. For instance, I'm pretty sure the rat I mentioned before earned a #1 (15 demerits, four months confinement, 60 PTs) for throwing a chair at the RDC.

    Also, it's not just rats who can get boned for rat riots; upperclassmen are liable to get the same penalties for inciting rat riots. If they find out First Classmen are inciting riots, they can also lose the privilege of having rats altogether, so the rats will be reassigned to different dykes in different rooms.

    Honestly, this might be the last riot for this year. The Class of 2011 stopped rioting when one of their BRs got trampled and had to go to the hospital. The initial stoop poop was that she had three broken ribs and internal bleeding, but she really just had some bruising and a broken blood vessel in her eye. Once people start getting injured, the rats figure out quickly that it really isn't worth the bragging rights.

    My guess is that the administration won't do anything official to contact the parents, but the Parents' Council might be able to help figure out what's going on.

    Thanks,
    -jmb-
     
  10. Blake3348

    Blake3348 USMA Appointee 2016

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    What exactly does a 'sweat party' entail?
     
  11. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    From what is being written about here, it sounds bad. If someone punched another cadet (and his own physical integrity wasn't in danger), he should be removed from the Corps. There is no call for such behavior.

    Criminal sanctions and/or civil liablity (tort of battery) could potentially be involved. I doubt that will happen.

    The fact that these problems happen at other schools doesn't excuse the behavior. It only shows that these problems happen everywhere. VMI is not immune, unfortunately.

    If what is described here actually happened, the VMI administration (in concert with Corps leadership) will ensure that there are appropriate consequences.
     
  12. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    VMI is one of my sons top two choices. Seeing reports like this does give me pause. I thought they were training officers there. If this is how the RDC deals with situations perhaps their training has been lacking.

    Now I know there is more to the story than I will ever see here but it still gives me pause. Any justification by saying "the same stuff happens at fraternities at other colleges" lowers VMI to a level that they do not want to be at.
     
  13. easter2

    easter2 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am confident the Commandant's office will make sure things are handled appropriately...although it was somewhat alarming to hear what had gone on, I trust that since it went over the top of a norm Rat riot and with injuries ensuring it will be dealt with. If I didn't trust the VMI system overall and my DS's reaction after the fact, I would be more concerned about his well being. Of course, if my DS was the one with the broken ribs I would probably feel differently-the trust is still there for the aftermath but I would want someones' head on the platter for the initial attack :cool:
     
  14. easter2

    easter2 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand the concern when reading about it...a 'normal' Rat Riot is somewhat expected and for reasons I haven't figured out, it went above the norm. As a parent of a Rat there currently who witnessed what was going on--I know he did not partake in the over the top aspect-I was initially alarmed. Yes, they now have a crud load of punishment as a result but appears that everyone else is under the gun also.
     
  15. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    VMI is a unique school, and it has a strong reputation. It is dangerous, however, to have an expection of the place that is unrealistic. It's a great school, but that doesn't mean it won't have a problem every now and then. In that regard, it's like every college in the US (Service Academies and Ivy League schools included). Dare I say it, but I'm sure there have been fights at Harvard in the long history of that college. Problems will be dealt with.

    There are close to 1500 cadets at VMI (up from 1300 in my day). As with any group that size, there are bound to be a few who overstep their bounds. Given that you have a situation where there are 19-21-year-olds with a little bit of authority over others, it isn't outside of the realm of possibility that some dimwit is going to go too far. It happens. It doesn't take away from the reputation of the place, and all disciplinary issues are dealt with appropriately. On this, I can personally attest.

    I was a cadet at VMI from 1995-99. No one ever laid a finger on me.
     
  16. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    "It doesn't matter if other schools have the same problems in Fraternities or what not, what I'm hearing from my DS sounds a lot like assault. Do any of the lawyers on this board disagree?"

    Technically, Any unconsented touching is a battery and both a civil tort and a criminal misdemeanor, unless there is a case of self-defense. Use of reasonable force is generally permitted to defend property. Brawls are really difficult, as consent by a willing participant in a brawl can be implied. Certainly, VMI cadets are subject to the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and thus victims have the fully range of civil and criminal remedies available to any resident of the Commomwealth. That said, traditionally, these things are handled by the VMI administration internally and that is probably the best way to handle this one.
     
  17. JoeNJ

    JoeNJ New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    first thing first ,,, I was there this weekend.. On saturday morn I personaly watched a Rat get damn near closelined right infront of jackson arch,, right infront of 10 or so parents . so I can confidently say.. "It was NO SURPRISE to me what happened in this Rat Riot" ,,, Im sure the rats learned how to Go hard and Play hard from the rdc and cadre ,,,, second I dont know exactly who's reading this board. So let me say based ON MY personal observations, I'd say if this RR wasnt expected,, it should have been... As far as I can see the Rats were TCB...
     
  18. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0
    While I don't have kids of my own yet, I can imagine how disconcerting it must be to read these stories. I understand completely why it would concern you and all the other parents here on the boards.

    Like sprog, nobody ever roughed me up in my four years there. I saw probably over a dozen rat riots between 2005-2009, and I only saw one rat go to the hospital. As I mentioned before, the initial assessment was far worse than the reality of her actual situation. Even when the Thirds became overzealous during my rat year, no one went to the hospital. I didn't make it clear before, but the rat who threw the chair completely missed the RDC Rep, so no one was injured.

    I do hope that we'll get more accurate information in the coming days, so all of our questions about how things are being handled can be answered. It would also be cool to get some statistics to see how many people were injured. As Bruno mentioned, it probably wasn't nearly as many as we're probably imagining, based on what we've heard second, third, and fourth hand.

    I'm not trying to downplay the incident from the other night, or to excuse inappropriate, uncalled for use of force. I'm just trying to help us all maintain a little perspective.

    Thanks,
    -jmb-
     
  19. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    I fully understand the 19-21 year old deal. I remember that time very well. I also know it only takes a couple with poor judgement to screw up the whole deal. My son can take care of himself and his personal safety is not what gives me pause. It is concern about the lessons learned. I am not worried about my son being on the receiving end of that punch but if he was in a position of authority and delivered that punch, assuming he was not defending himself, I would be disappointed.

    I am sure VMI will deal with it appropriately.
     
  20. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    Amen.
     

Share This Page