At a press conference yesterday, Nancy Mellete, a second lieutenant in the Oak Ridge Military Academy corps of cadets, announced that she planned to join the legal proceedings seeking to allow women into the Citadel. Mellette, who is a member of her a cademy’s cross-country, track, basketball and softball teams and who can run two miles in thirteen minutes, said she felt mentally and physically ready to enter and succeed at the Citadel. She also stated that she could endure the legal battles and milit ary rigors the Citadel presented her with.
Both sides are now awaiting a court ruling on whether a new leadership program, set up at Converse College as a woman’s alternative to the Citadel, meets constitutional requirements. If the court rules that it does stand up to constitutional scrutiny, the publicly funded Citadel could remain all-male. Mellette commented that the program at Converse could not adequately fit her needs, citing its lack of electrical engineering courses and rigorous military instruction.
Val Vojdik, a lawyer challenging the all-male policy, commented that if a judge doesn’t allow Mellette to join Shannon Faulkner’s lawsuit, she would most likely file a separate suit. He also stated that roughly two-hundred other women have expressed i nterest in joining the Citadel.