Hazing (or lack thereof) at SMC’s...?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Hopeful-Dad, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Hopeful-Dad

    Hopeful-Dad Member

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    DS was awarded an Immediate Scholarship Reservation (ISR) NROTC Scholarship. He hasn’t been placed yet, but listed on his application and has been accepted to VMI, Citadel, and Norwich. He got a bit spooked very recently, though, reading some stories about hazing problems at some of the SMCs, and that ROTC scholarship recipients, in particular, are often singled-out/targeted. Any truth to these stories based on people’s experiences? DS has no concerns about being screamed at or PT’ed until he’s near death, which you’d expect in a military college, but some of the hazing stories he’s heard about seem excessive (serious physical assault, very humiliating acts, etc). Again, hoping to learn from some SMC students or parents as to whether this is common, or just folklore or possibly very rare, isolated events (I know there will always be an occasional bad apple with upperclassmen). Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    Parent of a current VMI cadet here, so this response is based on my knowledge of VMI. I would assume other SMC's are very similar.

    I can't say there are zero hazing problems, but it's not something that is condoned or tolerated. Cadre at SMC's are 19-21 year old young adults. As such, some cadre will make bonehead decisions. If these bonehead decisions cross over the line to hazing it will be dealt with. The 4th class system is tough, but is not based on hazing. As a parent, when you are hearing some of the things a Rat (or insert other SMC term) has to endure - and I'm sure you won't hear it all - you will probably cringe a bit, but the 4th class system is a proven system and you can trust that it will work if your DS does his part.

    With regard to ROTC scholarship recipients being targeted, I'll say two things. 1. Every 4th class cadet feels like they are being singled out or targeted for something. If he didn't have a ROTC scholarship he would feel singled out for some other reason. 2. If your DS is humble and truly works as hard as he can, it will be noticed. He may not know that until much later, but cadre figures out pretty quickly who is working to their full potential and who is not. I'm not saying he has to be the best at anything, but has to work his hardest at everything to earn respect.

    Make no mistake, life at an SMC is tough. I won't say he will be PT'd to near death, but he will be PT'd hard; really hard. And he will be screamed at. But he can do it and he will probably hate the experience going through it, but will look back on the accomplishment with immeasurable pride when he is on the other side of the experience.

    If he chooses VMI, or any other SMC, he should show up in great shape. Do lot's of running over summer, pushups, situps, pullups, etc.

    Good luck and please let us know what he decides.
     
  3. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    My son is a 2nd at VMI ( junior) . Dadof2 is spot on. Can only speak for VMI, they will be PT'd very hard. Cadre are monitored and any hazing would be addressed. There are rules they need to follow. Do some cross those lines, possibly but again they are dealt with.
     
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  4. Buckeyefan

    Buckeyefan New Member

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    Someone I know had a so. That was a freshman cadet at the Citadel. I don't know if I would say this was hazing, but he was assaulted in his own room by another cadet- someone he did not know. The assault resulted in a concussion and a visit to the hospital. That cadet decide to leave the Citadel because of the incident and the Citadel ended up refunding their money (as wasn't their sons fault). Also the cadet that assaulted him was expelled from the school.
     
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  5. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    I think it depends on your definition of hazing. A bunch of us old grads would say we were hazed back in the day. Was I yelled at and made to do push-ups; sure. Was I treated like dirt that had to deliver laundry and learn upperclassmen's drink preferences ; you bet. I can even say that I was not allowed to eat at certain meals for screwing up table duties. What I can also say is that I was never assaulted or put in any sort of danger.

    There is much less allowed now as the chain of command does supervise. I would be less worried about the "hazing" in the ROTC unit than I would be with what you hear about fraternity initiations.
     
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  6. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    I agree with USMA 1994 — I’m USAFA 1983! — graduating 11 years before USMA 1994 — I was never in personal danger as a doolie ... Was USAFA stressful? ... You bet ... It was supposed to be ... about a 37% attrition rate ... “Get your chin in “smack”! (A term of endearment... ;-) ... Drop and give me 20!” (Pushups) ... the point was to demonstrate grit ... and determination ... was it perfect? ... No ... Am I a proud USAFA Grad? ... Yes ...
     
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  7. AJC

    AJC Member

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    My son attends Norwich.
    True hazing does not exist. In fact hazing is a crime in Vermont.
    My son has commented he would have preferred hazing to some of the "Mickey Mouse" stuff they were subjected to.
    Anytime you have a 20 year old in charge of a 19 year old it creates an odd dynamic.
     
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  8. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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  9. Kronk

    Kronk 5-Year Member

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    True hazing is few and far between. The vast majority of cadets have some sort of professionalism about them and would not conduct themselves in such a way.
    There will always be a few, but there will also always be a few in the regular college frats and sororities.
    I would not let a fear of hazing keep you from attending a SMC. It will be more difficult, and some back home may try to call it hazing, however, it is not. It is a tried and true process. Trust the process.
     
  10. tibreaker

    tibreaker Member

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    I think it really depends on your definition of hazing. Often times hazing doesn't even occur from the cadre... it occurs from your fellow buds.
     
  11. conrack

    conrack Member

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    rule #1 is be skeptical of anything you read on the internet, its full of disinformation. My experience is that while physical abuse does rarely happen, about 95% of allegations are either exaggerated or outright false. You should be a lot more worried about being killed by a drunk driver or mass murderer.
     
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  12. KarenH

    KarenH 5-Year Member

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    DS attended VMI on an AROTC scholarship; I recall him saying cadets didn't distinguish between scholarship and nonscholarship cadets...they have neither the time or effort to spare for trivial issues. The rat/dyke dynamic (freshman cadet paired with senior cadet who mentors rat) can be an incredibly positive relationship of guidance that in DS's experience included nothing that resembled hazing. We just attended DS's Army Ranger school graduation with DS's "grand dyke" (DS's dyke's dyke), relationships which continue to enrich DS's personal and professional life.
     
  13. blindtiger

    blindtiger Citadel 2021

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    Like everyone here has said, it all depends on what is considered as hazing. At the Citadel, hazing isn't tolerated, in fact you can get punished for knowing of someone getting hazed and not reporting it.
    However certain traditions that are considered "hazing" now still happen because it's just tradition. Blitzing brass (sanding your brass to make it smooth), not being able to get whatever condiments you want at mess, or tornadoing a room. Some of us knobs hate the attitude that the school has about it (punishing us for blitzing, etc).
     
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  14. NavyLady64

    NavyLady64 Member

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    Just for thought - freshmen (pledge or rat) year at an SA or SMC is hard. Really, really mentally and physically hard. My DD is at VT Corps and she won't be able to turn left in a hallway (called dragging) until the end of Blue Phase in April. Whole I find this astounding, she takes it stride (no pun intended). But, here's the thing - don't mistake the egregious stories of true assault (frankly from every college) with the tactics that SA/SMC do to break down their frosh before building them back up. I can't speak for the schools that your son is considering but in general, you will find it difficult to see your child - who has always been capable, confident and A student suddenly finding themselves doubting and unsure, teary (yes, even the guys). But this is not hazing. Acts of actual hazing are treated seriously and harshly at SA/SMCs. The hardest thing I ever did was watch my DD take a big gulp, and turn and walk back up to Upper Quad after break. But this semester already I can see a difference. She loves the Corps and VT.

    I don't know if this helps but just wanted you to understand how it us at these institutions. There is a certain pressure involved when you are 24/7 uniform, military, etc.

    Our experience at VTCC has been that they hammer the no hazing culture pretty hard - all while engaging in learning experiences that are not easy by definition.

    Congrats to your DS. Selecting SMC (or SA) is a definite choice in how he wants to experience leadership learning. But it won't be easy.
     
  15. DesertCaliMom

    DesertCaliMom Member

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    DS was at Norwich This Weekend and was advised by more than a handful of Midshipmen that if you want a NROTC spot you're going to "get the s*** hazed out of you while you try" and "Navy contracts are f****** hard to get. If you didn't come with one go home to mama."

    My kid is the one who proves everyone wrong and isn't fazed by hyperbole, but I find it brash and purile for mids to threaten hazing as a way to weed out the weak.
     
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  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    @DesertCaliMom Good for your son. Navy contracts aren't that hard to get anywhere for someone who applies themselves, has a technical major, and gets good grades. Scholarships are hard to get, but it is, and can be, done.
     
  17. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Never in militarty school but I was in a fraternity in the 80s. There was plenty of hazing then but I have say all of it was harmless but embarrassing stuff. There was never any danger of anyone getting hurt. While drinking was always a big part of fraternity of life, it was never part of pledging or hazing. I dont know what happened, but the kids got stupid after the 80s and the craziness you hear now starting to become an issue. Of course that was my fratnerity, dont know about others but i have to think most of the houses in my college were reasonable.
     
  18. Kronk

    Kronk 5-Year Member

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    I would honestly LOVE to know the individuals that made this bold hazing statement.
    - Noone cares what branch you are here.
    - We are all mixed together, why would Navy be specifically targeted?
    - Are we sure these are not exaggerations on both sides? It is relatively well known an upperclassmen tells a someone to go away, and they hear "f*** off"
    - Navy contracts are held at a national level. Here or anywhere else does not matter.
     
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