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Citadel News Service
4 Mar 2015

An update on inquiries about misconduct

Statements related to a meeting at The Citadel with members of the media about a probe into concerns about hazing that was initiated by the Commandant:

Attributed to Col. Brett Ashworth, Vice President of The Citadel Office of Communications and Marketing 

On February 8, the commandant of cadets at The Citadel, Capt. Geno Paluso, held a meeting with all freshman cadets to remind them of their duty to report any instances of hazing. He gave them until noon the next day to report violations or face possible disciplinary action. The commandant's message to the freshmen was not new. The Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa and Capt. Paluso discussed the college's prohibitions against hazing in detail in several meetings with all cadets during the fall semester. Capt. Paluso, who became commandant in mid-2014 after retiring as a Navy SEAL commander, did this to let the cadets know he is serious about the issue. Most of the cases have been reviewed and addressed. Lt. Gen. Rosa has instructed the commandant's office to make sure the remaining open cases are handled expeditiously, while ensuring that the rights of the cadets are protected. Col. Brett Ashworth, Vice President of The Citadel Office of Communications and Marketing

Attributed to Capt. Eugene Paluso, Commandant at The Citadel

Citadel cadets are serving as leaders in their ROTC units, in service-oriented organizations throughout South Carolina and the nation, and in nationally-recognized research projects. The cadets not abiding by the college's rigorous leadership and ethics policies are the exception. There is no place for the mistreatment of cadets in the development of principled leaders. Hazing will not be tolerated.

As a result of my meeting, the office of the Commandant received reports accusing 83 cadets of hazing. This is what we know about those allegations at this time: 39 resulted in on-campus punishments such as walking tours or the loss of leave passes and were determined not to be hazing. Seven cadets have resigned or withdrawn before their cases were ruled upon; 28 cadets accused are still scheduled for disciplinary hearings; five cadets have been reviewed with four determined to be hazing and suspended or dismissed with one cadet's review still in progress; two allegations involve cadets who are now studying abroad and will be addressed upon their return; and two cases were found to be unsubstantiated and dropped. Capt. Eugene Paluso, commandant at The Citadel  

Attributed to Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, President of The Citadel

An environment that challenges our cadets mentally, physically and ethically is the foundation of The Citadel Experience which is proven to produce principled leaders. The responsibility that comes with rank in the college's military culture enables cadets to put into practice what is learned in the classroom and to develop the leadership skills that set our graduates apart. Allowing upper-class cadets to haze does nothing to challenge them as leaders. It does not build character or give them the tools they need to succeed. 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. Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, President of The Citadel


Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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