Message to Alumni on Hazing incidents

The following was sent out this afternoon by Lt. General John Rosa on the recent hazing allegations.

Citadel Alumni and Supporters—

Since I arrived in 2006, I have been consistent in my message and actions with cadets, families and you that there is no place for hazing in a leadership model that produces principled leaders. As you know, our system is based on a disciplined and challenging educational environment that emphasizes our core values of Honor, Duty and Respect. I reinforce this message with the Corps every time I speak with them, as has every commandant with whom I have served, including Captain Geno Paluso.

Many of you may be following the recent media coverage and discussions regarding our decision on 8 February to remind the 4th Class of our rules regarding hazing and their responsibility to report any known violations. In today’s world of social media, it is often hard to determine the facts, so I wanted to provide you with the latest information regarding this issue before we share it with the news media.

As a result of the commandant’s meeting, 83 allegations were brought forward. Fortunately, most of these were 4th Class System violations, not hazing. Of the 83 cases, 39 resulted in on campus punishments (tours/confinements); 7 cadets have resigned or withdrawn; 28 cases will go before disciplinary hearings; 5 have been reviewed and are being processed; 2 allegations involve cadets currently studying abroad; and 2 cases were investigated, found to be unsubstantiated and dropped. I have instructed the commandant’s office to make sure the remaining open cases are handled expeditiously, while ensuring that the rights of the accused are protected.

An environment that challenges our cadets mentally, physically and ethically is the foundation of The Citadel Experience. But we shortchange our cadets if the focus is only on one year. Ours is a four-year system where the most important are the final three. The responsibility that comes with rank enables cadets to put into practice what we teach in the classroom and develop the leadership skills that set our graduates apart. Allowing upperclass cadets to haze does nothing to challenge them as a leader, build character or give them the tools they need to succeed in life. This is why I remain firm in my position that there is no place for hazing in the development of principled leaders at The Citadel.

Thank you for your continued support,

John W. Rosa, Lt Gen (Ret)
President, The Citadel


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