Maj. Gen. Wins’ Recent Statement to the Corps of Cadets
July 12, 2021
Members of the Corps of Cadets:
When I began my role as Superintendent last November, I stood before you and said that we will not tolerate acts of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Today, the Washington Post published a story detailing allegations of sexual assault and harassment at VMI. The allegations contained within the story are unacceptable of any VMI cadet and no one – VMI cadet, faculty, staff, nor civilian – should be subjected to the type of behavior detailed in the article. The fact that this type of behavior is reported to have come from individuals who have worn the VMI uniform is repugnant.
Your behavior, no matter online, on post, or elsewhere, is a reflection of the Virginia Military Institute. To be a VMI alumnus is synonymous with being a leader of character whether in the military, industry, politics, or civic life. As I stated upon my arrival, we define who we are as VMI.
For those cadets who have experienced sexual assault or harassment, VMI is committed to your healing and success. VMI has a number of resources available to you. Professional counselors in the Center for Cadet Counseling are always available. Additionally, Ms. Susan LeMert, the Institute’s new Inspector General / Title IX Coordinator, is available to connect you with additional resources or discuss options for pursuing charges through the Title IX process or the courts.
Over the past seven years, VMI’s Title IX process for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating sexual assault and harassment claims was reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia through the recent audit ordered by the Governor. Both the Office for Civil Rights and the Commonwealth found that VMI’s policies and procedures are compliant with federal and state laws and regulations. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s recent audit cited VMI as an “institution committed to ensuring that its cadets, faculty, and staff are free from discrimination and harassment and to responding appropriately when they are not.”
At VMI, one reported rape or sexual assault is one too many. Our job as an institution is to ensure cadets have confidence that their concerns or complaints will be addressed in a timely and compassionate manner without fear of reprisal. This is my commitment to you.
- VMI -