A student panel at the Virginia Military Institute is investigating a barracks Halloween party in which cadets dressed as Nazi soldiers, a malnourished African, and a sailor with a bull's-eye taped to the seat of his pants.
Officials at the public college in Lexington were alerted to the photos after they were posted this week on an independent Internet message board. "We're just very disappointed by the poor judgment shown by the cadets and disappointed by the inappropriateness of the costumes they were wearing," VMI spokesman Stewart MacInnis said Friday. "We expect more of our cadets." MacInnis said the matter is being turned over to an organization within the Corps of Cadets. "The corps will be policing itself--under the supervision of the administration of VMI," he said.
The pictures are from an Halloween-time event for which cadets traditionally dress in costumes. VMI supporters defended the students' right to enjoy themselves during a break from their rigorous training.
But another posting read: "If we're using public money to train young men to carry guns and represent America abroad, it is all of our business what their idea of 'fun' is. The Nazis were not funny. Gay-bashing is not funny. Black-face is not funny.... What kind of education are these kids receiving that they think any of this is appropriate?" (AP)