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VMI Cadets Disciplined After Party Mocks Gays & Ot


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VMI Cadets Disciplined After Party Mocks Gays & Others

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: March 4, 2005 9:01 pm. ET

(Lexington, Virginia) Twelve cadets at the Virginia Military Institute have been punished for participating in a Halloween party in the barracks that officials ruled was inappropriate.

Some of the student were dressed as drag queens others as Nazis and some wore black face.

The punishments included confinement to quarters and the writing of essays on the incident.

Although the party was held in October pictures of it only came to light in December when it was learned they had been posted on the Internet.

One picture shows three cadets in VMI uniform shirts giving the Nazi salute to the camera. Two of the students are wearing swastika armbands and one had a Hitler-style mustache.

Another photo shows a cadet was dressed as "a starving African". Other pictures show two men in tiaras, wigs and eye shadow. Both are wearing underpants and tank tops that read, "I [heart] a man in uniform."

There is also a picture of a man in a loincloth wearing dark makeup, and one of a man with a bull's-eye drawn on the rear of his pants.

Advocacy groups called the pictures disturbing and criticized BMI for allowing its own students to investigate.

Both Equality Virginia and the Anti-Defamation League called for a full scale investigation by VMI, but the administration left it in the hands of student leaders.

The Officer of the Guard Association, which investigates disciplinary problems, conducted a probe of the party which had been sanctioned by the administration. A volunteer officer in charge of barracks, usually a faculty or staff member, was also on duty.

The Cadet General Committee handed out the sentences Friday.

Five upperclassmen received punishments that included two weeks of confinement to their barracks, 1,000-word essays on the incident's repercussions and extra marching duty. Seven freshman received lectures from cadet leaders.

The CGC also ruled that all VMI freshman must undergo civility training.

VMI is a public college. It began admitting African Americans in 1968 and women in 1997, but it continues to be dominated by white men who are overwhelmingly Christian. Fewer than 10 percent of the students are women, and fewer than 20 percent are black. Only a handful are Jewish.

©365Gay.com 2005


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