Photos of seven Citadel cadets singing in white hoods surfaced on social media - Hoods that very closely resembled those worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan. The seven students claimed they were singing Christmas Carols and that the hoods they were sporting were intended to help them portray the "Ghosts of Christmas Past" for a skit. Whether their resemblance to the KKK was intentional or not, the Citadel Minority Alumni Facebook group was not amused.
The Citadel's Lt. Gen. John Rosa took to Facebook with a statement of his discontent stating, "these images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect," and were "disgraceful," "offensive and disturbing." All the members of the group were identified and suspension proceedings are already underway.
A person with knowledge of the incident and the school's rituals between underclassmen and seniors claims that, based on the way the men were standing in the photo, they are likely to be freshman, or "knobs," and this is a form of hazing. Despite the group's intentions, the girl who made the Facebook post was "threatened, harassed and offered money from numerous Citadel Cadets to take it offline in order to not 'ruin their lives.'" The woman was approached by a male on several social media platforms, reportedly telling her "I always wanted a black girl." Though she ignored his advances, his Snapchat feed showed the photos and videos of the Citadel cadets singing and laughing and so she "screenshotted and decided to share because [she] was so offended."
Discussions have been ongoing at The Citadel's minority alumni pages and graduates agreed with Rosa's statements but want to see further action take place to show students their behavior is not acceptable. In your opinion, how should the administration respond to this incident? Should there be punishment of the perpetrators beyond suspension? How would you handle this situation if you were on the disciplinary committee? Leave us your thoughtful comments below.
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