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The Citadel in the News

May 27, 2016
1. The Citadel rejected her hijab, but another military school embraces Muslim student’s request
Norwich University, a nearly 200-year-old private military college in Vermont, has granted an accepted student’s request to wear hijab in keeping with her Muslim faith, a decision that was welcomed by some but also provoked outrage for some alumni and cadets. The same student requested a similar exception to the required uniform from The Citadel, touching off a highly charged debate at the public military college in South Carolina where loyalty to the corps is a fundamental value and individual preferences are set aside to encourage unity. The idea that the first exception might be for a Muslim student was particularly polarizing, given the national discussion and starkly divergent views about the role of Islam in U.S. culture. The Citadel denied her request. It was the first formal request for a religious accommodation to the uniform at Norwich, spokeswoman Daphne Larkin said, so they reached out to peer institutions “and came to the conclusion that it makes sense for Norwich to continue to be dynamic in how we serve our students.” “Regardless of their spiritual or religious affiliation, all students and employees should feel welcome and comfortable at Norwich University,” Norwich President Richard Schneider wrote in announcing the exception to the required Corps of Cadets uniform. “Norwich University is a learning community that is American in character yet global in perspective.” Jewish cadets will also now be allowed to wear a yarmulke. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations who has worked with the student and her parents, said, “She wants to go to The Citadel. But without the religious accommodation which now has been denied, she needed a backup plan to attend a university in the fall. Now that she has obtained that accommodation at another school, that opens up the possibility of her going there if The Citadel decision is not changed.” Hooper has said in the past that a lawsuit challenging that decision is possible.
Published in: Washington Post - Online
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May 27, 2016
2. Clyburn right about Citadel’s Confederate flag
Jim Clyburn is right. A Confederate flag should be retired to a museum from the Summerall Chapel at The Citadel, where it has been hanging since 1939. Clyburn, the representative from South Carolina’s 6th District and the highest ranking African American in Congress, pulled me into his fight this week. He did not discuss it with me. But he makes his case with my words from a column last week about a potential incoming cadet who wanted to wear Muslim headdress in the corps. “Mr. Lauderdale opines that The Citadel’s purpose as a military college is to build a corps, where ‘it is not about faith ... It is not about freedom of expression or constitutional rights ... people give up themselves for something larger,’ ” Clyburn wrote this week in a letter to The State newspaper and website in Columbia. “While reasonable people can disagree on the proper application of these sentiments to the hijab issue, I believe Mr. Lauderdale’s argument makes a compelling case that the Confederate battle flag has no place at a military college.” He’s right.
Published in: Island Packet - Online
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May 27, 2016
3. Citadel Graduates are Good To Go! (video)
Hear where some of our 2016 grads are headed and why they say others should consider The Citadel.
Published in: The Citadel Newsroom - Online
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