Hazing News

Note to KVIA: The Citadel Is a Public, State-supported institution

The Citadel is a public–state (SC) supported institution. I respectfully ask ABC-7 not give away the public’s right to know by letting the Citadel tell Ken such information is private. The same rules apply to The Citadel as Clemson or USC. Hank Nuwer

By ABC-7 Reporter/Anchor Ken Molestina
EL PASO, Texas — After what he claims were 25 days of horror at the Citadel Military College, 18-year-old Stephen Schlegel could not bear it anymore.
His mother Betty Schlegel says that hazing went so far that her son, an Eastwood High School graduate, could not participate in physical activities any further.
It was Stephen’s childhood goal to attend the military academy in Charleston, South Carolina, but what happened his first few days there is something they claim he never planned for.
Stephen was a member of Mike Company. A Facebook page dedicated to them reads, “If you got company transfer for hazing…it happens, feel free to stick around. Obviously, you belong here.”
The Schlegels say they were well aware of the traditions at the Citadel and therefore not upset about the yelling and strict exercise rules. But it didn’t end there.
“The counseling center made it clear that he was hazed, that he was a victim of physical assault,” Betty said.
She claims her son was hit and tormented. Then an upperclassman took a saber to Stephen’s face.
“They kept putting me on hold, and putting me on hold and leaving me there.”
Even the counseling service trying to put her on hold could not prevent Betty from driving from El Paso to her son in Charleston.
She drove there twice, and the second time she was determined to bring him home.
But it is not only her son’s memories of his days at the Citadel that Betty says make her worry. The Schlegels are now stuck with a $14,000 bill because when she brought her son home after only 25 days, his scholarship had not yet kicked in.
“[It] makes us incredibly angry because he left by no fault of his own. He was physically assaulted,” Betty said.
Meanwhile, a Citadel spokeswoman says that they do not comment on these situations, and that they can’t even confirm if an investigation is underway.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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