THE CITADEL FACULTY COUNCIL
Minutes of the Special Meeting (Open Session) of 16 January 1997
Bond Hall Auditorium, 11:00 AM
- Professor James Leonard, Chair of the Faculty Council, called Faculty Council to order at 11:00 AM.
- Members in attendance: Professors Alford, Barrett, Brannan, Bryson, Carter, Chandler, Dunlop, Durgun, Ezell, Davis for Feurtado, Greenawalt, Hewett, Hilleke, Hoyle, Leonard, Lipovsky, Moore, Rembert, Rushing, Siskind, Toubiana
Members absent: Baldwin, Newman
Guests: Harvey Dick (representing the Board of Visitors); a number of members of The Citadel faculty
- Professor Leonard noted that the purpose of the open meeting was to discuss ways of dealing with abuses of the fourth-class system and with possibilities for improving the functioning and outlook of the Corps of Cadets. At the General Faculty Meeting in December 1996, Professor Hack Ezell presented a statement that was now to be used as a starting point for further discussion. Professor Leonard pointed out that the discussion had actually been moved forward by e-mail. He then used a computer display to review the main points of Professor Ezell's statement:
..."it is now time for the faculty to state our position of SUPPORT for the fourth Class System provided the following recommendations (and perhaps others) are implemented."
- 24 hour adult supervision in the barracksWith respect to supporting the Fourth Class System, Professor Ezell emphasized that he had no problem with what is described in the "Blue Book." The main problem was the way it was implemented. Several faculty members said that they were not familiar with the "Blue Book" because they did not have a copy of the book. It was suggested by some that the "Blue Book" should be made available for review before a decision was made on support of the Fourth Class System.
- limiting the fourth class system to the Fall Semester
- limiting rank involving cadet leadership to juniors and seniors
- establishing an "at ease" condition in the mess hall
- returning the overall program of physical fitness to the Department of Health and Physical Education
Professor Barrett offered another viewpoint (previously distributed by e-mail) that supported a policy of zero tolerance of hazing and sexual harassment and called for the current Fourth Class System to be revamped. It also called for separation of cadet recruit training from the academic year and pledged that faculty would work with the college's incoming president in devising a new system.
The two statements, representing two different viewpoints, led to an active discussion. Both viewpoints drew support from among the faculty attending the meeting. Following are a number of representative comments made by members of Faculty and other faculty members during the discussion:
- The current system has worked in the past, although morale has been down over the past few years. A few simple rules are needed, such as: never raise your voice under any circumstances; never touch another cadet under your authority; never say anything demeaning.
- "I support the system . . . as designed . . . I do not support 24 hour adult supervision in the barracks."
- "I am concerned about the relationship between the military system and academics."
- ". . . can not generalize and say the system destroys academics."
- The adversarial nature of the current system should be addressed.
- The "Blue Book" was not written to be adversarial.
- Cadets view the "Blue Book" regulations as negative; they do not feel that they get anything from merit points. This should be considered.
- Shortening the system is a good idea. It may be worthwhile considering leadership training based on the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" (as the Air Force has done in leadership training workshops).
- The "forgivable F" should be considered.
- "I would hate to see us go back to that" (forgivable F).
- "Branding" of underclassmen by seniors on ring night should be stopped.
- A number of years ago, ring night did not have the problems associated with it that it does now. This should be improved.
- The real issue is violence; violence should be addressed.
- The current Fourth Class System does not conform to leadership styles being taught in business and military classes. Cadet advisees are suffering from the Fourth Class system. Something must be done . . . the world is watching.
- There is violence here; it must go. However, it will be hard to get rid of it.
- There is no campus-wide committee to address these issues. The Human Affairs Committee may be a good vehicle.
There was some discussion as to what action Faculty Council should take. Several viewpoints were expressed: Faculty Council could take immediate action; Faculty Council could pass a resolution at its next meeting based on comments made at this meeting; a general resolution could be passed followed by chartering a committee to make a more thorough study of the issue.
Professor Ezell moved, seconded by Professor Siskind, to adopt his statement as a resolution in draft form that would be deliberated by Faculty Council in its next meeting. He noted that the statement could be refined by Faculty Council as appropriate.
During the discussion that followed, several points were made: promoting the idea of zero tolerance, working with the incoming president, the importance of reviewing the "Blue Book" before voting on the resolution, problems associated with companies interpreting the same "Blue Book" regulations differently, and the importance of making a change that will lead to stronger freshman academics. Both support and opposition to this motion were expressed.
Professor Barrett was then asked to suggest an alternative to the current motion to help determine which of the two viewpoints had the strongest support. Professor Barrett reviewed the major points of his proposed resolution. It was suggested that all faculty be polled to determine what the overall feeling of the faculty was.
Professor Davis (substituting for Professor Feurtado) moved, seconded by Professor Hoyle to table the current motion and invite faculty comment on the two alternatives and any other specific recommendations for changes to the Fourth Class system. The motion passed: YES: 12, NO: 0, ABSTAIN: 2. (Professor Leonard sent an e-mail message to all faculty soliciting comment on the next day following the meeting.)
Professor Ezell moved, seconded by Professor Alford, to approve the following general statement: "The faculty of The Citadel express dismay over recently disclosed abuses of the 4th-Class System. The faculty's position is firmly established as being that any and all acts of hazing, as defined within the Blue Book Regulations, are clearly unacceptable; we support the policy of zero tolerance of hazing and sexual harassment." The motion passed: YES: 11, NO: 0, ABSTAIN:1.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 PM.