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VMI Prepares to Admit Women

Students who enter the Virginia Military Institute this fall will see major changes in the school. The campus has new lighting and emergency phones, and the barracks house improved latrines and showers. Cadets rooms now have window shades, giving some privacy to all students who previously had none. These changes result from attempts to prepare for the school’s biggest change of all: women cadets. Since the 1996 Supreme Court decision declaring VMI’s all-male policy unconstitutional, the state of Virginia has spent $5.1 million to get the school ready for women. In addition to making renovations, the school created new staff positions for women and held workshops on sexual harassment and hazing. The entire student body and staff attended the workshops. All the changes, however, do not mean a decline in standards. Alexis Abrams, who will attend the school this fall, said, “We want the VMI experience. We don’t want some watered-down version of it.”

Sources:

The Washington Post -July 25,1997

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