A punishment has been devised for 14 cadets at The Citadel in the aftermath of a controversial photo featuring cadets wearing white hoods.
The photo appeared on social media last month and featured six freshman at the Charleston, South Carolina, public military college in upperclassmen barracks, dressed in white hoods with eyeholes that were strongly reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan hoods.
The Post and Courier reported yesterday (January 25) that one cadet was dismissed (he must leave campus for two semesters and will then be able to reapply) while an additional two received semester-long suspensions. The remaining 11 received on-campus punishments, including "tours," which are defined by The Citadel’s Blue Book of cadet regulations as "a 50-minute period of time during which a cadet marches on the quadrangle at 120 steps a minute with a rifle at right- or left-shoulder arms."
A press release from The Citadel, cited by The Post and Courier, said that the freshmen were dressed like the "Ghosts of Christmas Past" and that they dressed like elves and reindeer on previous nights. The cadets received directives—which first-years typically treat as mandates—from upperclassmen to sing Christmas carols in upperclassmen baracks over several nights.
Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa said in the release that while the cadets did not mean to offend, he was "disappointed [that] some recognized how it could be construed as such but didn’t stop it." The Citadel also intends to create a task force for diversity and inclusion in the wake of the incident.
(H/t The Post and Courier)