VMI Superintendants summer 08 letter

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by bruno, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Attached is a link to the VMI Superintendents summer letter to Parents- it provides a good overview of VMI for those interested in applying.

    http://www.vmi.edu/uploadedFiles/Ad...dent/superintendent's newsletter small 08.pdf

    I just returned from dropping our son off at VMI on Monday for STP. Parents received a number of briefings from administration including Gen Peay- Superintendent, Commandant, Chief of Staff and the Dean. The first person I ran into was one of my brother rats (class and company mate) dropping off his youngest son as well. My son's room includes guys from Virginia, Texas, New York and Massachusetts.
    My impression as a Dad and alumnus (and one that my "brother rat" concurred with): VMI is a dynamic and ever improving college that is a better school in many ways than the VMI of 30 years ago. Academics, facilities and faculty (and most thankfully - the Mess Hall!) are definitely improved and the Cadets opportunities for overseas study and exchanges are much higher than they were in the 70s- in short looking at the quality of faculty, test scores, class sizes and opportunities, VMI deserves its rankings in US News annual rankings (#3 Public Liberal Arts College right behind USMA and USNA with very highly ranked engineering programs and arabic program) . While they no longer require cadets to take a commission ( all cadets still have to complete 4 years of ROTC but not sign a contract), they are steadily increasing the commissioning rate with a goal of 75%- by the end of the summer will be about 56% for the class of 2009 and produced both the number one Army and Marine Cadets last year. In particular, the Army has a tremendous number of cadets on 4 year scholarship (which goes a long way to making college a revenue-neutral proposition - I believe that we are in the hole about $5k annually as an out of state cadet- not including the monthly stipend son will receive- big improvement over what high school cost us!) A word of caution- if you are thinking about the Simultaneous Membership Program- you should know that VMI has had 65 cadets deployed overseas with their reserve or guard units. That's neither a positive or negative comment- just that you should understand that this is a real possibility.

    In short- I would strongly encourage anyone to apply to VMI if you are interested in the military, small classes with a challenging academic curriculum and physically demanding program.
    Happy 4th of July!
    Good luck !
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  2. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    stp at vmi has been awesome so far. though very hot. everyone has been great. at least one of the admissions counselors has even been driving pre-strain to the walmart for stuff! it's been a great choice so far. stp has been really well planned.

    on a different note, i talked to a bunch of the girls and they are all pretty unhappy with the gender norming change. haven't met a female that wanted the change. i wonder why they changed this if the group that it is supposed to help all opposed the change?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  3. usnahopeful

    usnahopeful USNA Midshipman

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    VMINROTChopeful, can you please go into a little more of what the "gender norming change" is? Thank you and congratulations!
    Very Respectfully,
    Kathleen
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Gender norming is basically having different PT standards (in this case) for men and women as opposed to having cadets have the same pass requirement- ie.. women and men would have to do exactly the same number of situps /pullups/ run times etc... Gender Norming is actually the norm in the military and VMI was an anomoly- and it makes pretty good sense to change. A very physically fit woman will have very good run times and be able to pound out situps at a level similar to men- but upper body strength will be significantly lower- which would not be a measure of her fitness level- just a measure of biological differences. Conversely- a man who is measured against a fair standard of a woman's upper body strength would on average get a much higher score - but would not be in relatively as good a physical condition. So if the point is to measure a cadets relative physical fitness- you should be gender norming- not having a single standard for both sexes. Otherwise you are either underevaluating the male cadets - especially for upper body strength - or you are over evaluating the female cadets.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  5. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    previously, the VMI firmly believed in "one corps, one standard". so the VMI Fitness Test which all cadets must take for grade every semester had only one standard for everyone. 5 pullups, 60 situps, and 12:00 1.5mi run gets you a pass (D-) whether you are a guy or a girl. As General Peay announced, this is now changed. the VFT is now gender normed. they haven't told us all the new standards yet, but i've been told that if your a female, 1 or 2 pullups is now a pass. the group that most objected to any gender norming were the female cadets. female cadets object because all female cadets knew the standard going in and signed up for it with the hardest school in the country, and any gender norming of the standard will backfire on the female cadets since the male cadets will be negative about the changes. most female cadets feel its better to fail under one standard than to pass a standard which was created just for them. i've come around myself in the way i am thinking about this and have to agree now with the other female cadets.

    at STP, they have given us a VFT already, but they didn't score it, so no one had any new standard applied to them. i would have failed any new standard though since i can't do any pullups yet. (but i did get 9:19 on my run and did 97 situps in 2mins which would have gotten be a B or an A under the old standard for those parts of the test and did get me into PT group #1 with just 1 other girl :biggrin: - i just have no upperbody strength yet)

    there are apparently a bunch of other important changes that were made mentioned in the newsletter, but i don't understand the significance of any of them, and have been told they don't effect rats.

    other than that, vmi has been really great so far, but i've only been in the STP summer school for a few days.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  6. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  7. Navyman

    Navyman Member

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    The Gender Norming seems like a reasonable change although I understand that it could cause some backlash toward the women by some of the less enlightened men. However, there's one way to address that. Do well enough where you will pass under either standard. That will shut them up! :biggrin:
     
  8. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    if its just a fitness test like the ones in highschool, then fine. girls and guys have different levels of fitness because our bodies are different. but the thing about military fitness tests is that they are supposed to measure you for a job, right? and the vft for a military college is also sort of measuring your preparation for a job, right?

    i participate on an online naval aviation forum because that's what i'm hoping to do after college, and here is what one naval aviator officer had to say about this topic there:

    what this guy said did a lot to change my own views on this issue. he sounds really biased, but it's hard to argue with what he said. on another forum i'm on for women in the military, someone did try to argue with sort of point of view:

    her argument was sort of, there will always be men around to help me, so that's why i don't have to be as strong, and if there are several guys, then they each will be only taking part of my load so no one should be upset. but i think this sort of attitude will always get us females grief in the military. we'll just never be viewed as equals.

    so all of this is really shaping my thoughts about the one standard thing.
     
  9. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    i also found this open letter from usma grads who are serving in iraq and afghanistan talking about this gender norming topic.

    http://www.poorcadet.com/old-grad-forum/praetorian-guard.html

    btw, this letter from usma grads to the usma super really makes vmi look great. they keep saying stuff like:

    and
    it seems like almost every point that they are complaining about, vmi is doing right! (well, imo, except for the gender norming LOL)

    :cool: :biggrin: :thumb:
     

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