VMI Superintendants summer 08 letter

bruno

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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 !
 
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VMINROTChopeful

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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/Administration/Superintendent/superintendent's%20newsletter%20small%2008.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 !
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?
 
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usnahopeful

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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
 

bruno

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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
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.
 
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VMINROTChopeful

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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
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.
 
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bruno

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previously, the VMI firmly believed in "one corps, one standard". ...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)

QUOTE]

You will discover with time that "one corps/one standard" is a relative thing in lots of areas. Failing under the same standard is still failing- and the point of the VFT is to identify and ensure that all cadets meet a reasonablly high standard of physical fitness- not as a tool to separate out cadets. In fact- a fitness test can't be a reasonable fitness test and not be gender normed- it's either unfair to one group or is set at too low a standard for the other. Your two scores demonstrate what I was saying- in fact most well conditioned women are in similar situation to you with upper body strength while men start from a different baseline on upper body strength. Are you less or more physically fit correspondingly to a male who struggles thru 5 pullups? I would argue that a woman who meets the minimum pullups under the old test is in significantly better physical condition than a male cadet doing the same number. So if that is the case is the old measure really "one standard"?
You will have plenty of areas in the Rat line where you are measured in exactly the same manner- but the VFT is not the place to do that and the change came from analysis by the PE department as well as the Commandant and Supe's offices and it seems reasonable and in line with what you will run into in the service (where you will have gender norming as well as age norming).

You had great scores by the way in the other two events- from what I know of you from other posts- you will do well- have a good time at STP and good luck this year!
 
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Navyman

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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:
 

VMINROTChopeful

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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:

FLYGIRL,

I can speak from recent experience, as my squadron has beed FORCIBLY INTERGRATED in the last month. I did go thru intergrated commands in the training pipeline, and before that.

If women can meet the physical standards that men can, fine. I am sick of women who can BARELY do 20 push ups and get a better PFA score than me. For weight, yeah, I can see Height-Weight being different due to certain glands being larger, but when I see a woman who is about to burst her pants because she is so fat, but she makes weight, that is BS.

As to the meeting the same physical standards, If there is a peice of equipent that is two man carry, that we need to move NOW any one who is available better damn be able to pick up their end. In this aspect, PUSHUPS and CURLUPS should be the SAME!

Need to run like heck from an impending explosion, or a crash site before AliBaba & co come? Better be able to run as fast as me (not very) because I AM NOT CARRYING YOU. I can WALK and pass the Female PFA standard for my age bracket.

Women need to realize, this is a male dominated field. Wanna come and play with the boys, be ready to get yelled at, and play by our rules. Sexual harrasment is WRONG, however, not being able to do you job correctly (in my case, instruct new fleet pilots) by having to walk on eggshells is WRONG as well.

FG, not to bust your tail, but have you been in the fleet? You MAY be one of the women, like 2 of the 3 female pilots we have who can BEAT me in PT, and tell dirtier jokes than we do. You may be like the one that cried last night when I told her I have no comprehension how she got her wings, because she let go of the static wicks before turning downwind. (as in, she was WAY behind the aircraft).

For her crying, she gets to fly with me 3 days next week. She has used her silver bullet with me (everyone can have a bad day, I'm not that much of a jerk). She needs to fly like a competent co-pilot (that is what the RAG is supposed to turn out) or she will have a RUDE awakening of my dislike of flying with 2Ps with NAFOD.
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:

Setting up a tent: The new tents are listed as a 3 man lift or 6 woman lift. That means that it will take twice as many women to set it up as men. There are many such tasks that require upper body strength. If women had to meet the same standards then it would not take two women to do the same job as a man.

What are you going to do when your team consists of you and three other women who have to unload and set up a tent in an isolated area? If you all met male standards there would be no doubt that you could do it. But with reduced standards...
What are you going to do when your team has to load a bunch of bokes on a truck when the forklift is busted?
'Get a man to do it for me' is by far the most common answer from women who want a lower standard.
As a Seabee, on the ground, I've helped to set up a whole lot of tents. Generally, a squad has one or two women. The rest are men. My lesser strength may be a reality, but it is diluted among a team working together -- no one poor dude is left picking up after me.
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.
 

VMINROTChopeful

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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

17) Stop gender-norming the West Point Experience
Women deserve to have the same West Point Experience as their male counterparts. Women should be treated as equals, and the same performance demands should be applied equally. Why is it appropriate for women to take mandatory boxing at the Naval Academy but not at West Point ? Are we treating women like future warriors or future combat-service-support personnel? The current war on terror has repeatedly shown that women in support roles may find themselves in armed combat just as their male combat arms brothers. War is a performance based endeavor and a bullet is not less forgiving to a woman. If women are not trained to the same standards as men, then they are a liability. There is a perceived sense of favoritism to cadet females that must be ended. Specific groups should not be placed in positions of cadet leadership in order to meet a “goal” or a “quota.” To do so hinders rather than helps integration.
btw, this letter from usma grads to the usma super really makes vmi look great. they keep saying stuff like:

We have found that the skins of recently graduated West Pointers are noticeably thinner than their fellow officers from VMI, The Citadel, Texas A&M, and OCS. This needs to change.
and
Why has West Point given this up when USAFA, VMI, and Citadel have not?
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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