The Ladies Of Discipline

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CHARLESTON: Hell week began at The Citadel this morning at 5:20 a.m. as the freshman class rolled out of bed to the ominous ringing of 'Hells Bells' by the rock group AC/DC. What makes this class unusual is that four of the newly-arrived, newly-shorn"knobs" who lined up are women. By 6:30 the four women and their classmates had marched off to a breakfast of eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and toast followed by a motivational speech from senior Bryant Butler, the head of the Corps of Cadets. "A lone wolf does not make it here.," he told the assembled cadets. "No matter how tough it gets, you rely on each other." Last year, cadet Shannon Faulkner began "hell week" after a federal court order forced open the Citadel's gates for her, but dropped out by weeks end, citing exhaustion and isolation. When she left, humiliated, she was escorted out with the taunts of her male classmates. A year later, though, the new cadets have entered a Citadel that, wanting to keep its federal funding, would very much like them to succeed. "Two days after the Supreme Court ruled the all-male admission policy at VMI unconstitutional, The Citadel announced it would "enthusiastically" accept women as cadets," says TIME's Lisa Towle. "Some graduates railed at the school for caving in too soon. Others, argued for calm and acceptance. They understood that the college had indeed explored alternatives designed to keep the corps all-male and had come to the conclusion that, as the old saw says, you just can't get there from here: Without state assistance, no amount of effort or wishing would raise the funds necessary to keep the school running." -->