Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

VMI Sets Rules for First Female Class

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

VMI Sets Rules for First Female Class

Article excerpt

ROANOKE, Va. - The first women cadets at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) will get close-cropped haircuts and can't wear makeup. They'll sleep in unlocked barracks. They won't have to wrestle male cadets.

In a report filed in U.S. District Court late last month, VMI said thirty-two women have accepted admission and paid deposits, along with approximately 400 men, to attend the Lexington school starting in August. At least four female cadets will be assigned to each of the eight companies at VMI.

The twenty-five-page report also outlined the school's sexual harassment and fraternization policies. The Citadel in South Carolina, which along with VMI comprised the nation's last all-male, state-supported military colleges, ran into problems of sexual harassment after enrolling four women last August.

At VMI, freshmen will be barred from dating upperclassmen, and no dating will be permitted within a cadet's chain of command. If male and female cadets are in a room together, "the lights will be on, shades will be up, and each cadet will be appropriately clothed the report said.

VMI's report included computerized pictures of a woman sporting the "clean cut" haircut and the slightly longer hairstyle that will be allowed six weeks after women arrive. …

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