Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Hazing Illegal but Persistent

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Hazing Illegal but Persistent

Article excerpt

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The kind of hazing that allegedly happened to two female cadets at The Citadel in recent months is nothing new.

Jeanie Mentavlos of Charlotte, N.C., and Kim Messer of Clover, S.C., alleged that they were physically and verbally hazed by upperclassmen after suffering stress fractures that exempted them from rigorous marching and other military training. The alleged hazings were made public December 13 and college administrators asked the State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI to investigate.

Although school regulations and state law prohibit the practice, allegations of hazing incidents have persisted. Some cases have been reported, but others have taken years to be told. Thirty years ago, The Citadel's first Black cadet, Charles D. Foster, was the alleged victim of abuse but only a few of his classmates would say it publicly.

Messer's father reported that a Citadel upperclassman used a rifle to shove the two female freshmen against a barracks wall. There were also allegations that someone squirted liquid nail polish remover on their clothing and ignited it. Two male cadets were suspended and five others were relieved of their duties because of the incidents.

The other two female cadets, Petra Lovetinska, a Czech national from Washington, D.C., and Nancy Mace of Goose Creek, S.C. have not reported any hazing incidents.

The four females were admitted to The Citadel last fall after the U. …

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