Parenthood at VMI
While poking around on the internet about the Honor Code, I discovered an intriguing article written last year. A certain Nicholas Provenzo complained that VMI's throwbackishness is even more pervasive than previously thought. As the Student Handbook explains:
All VMI cadets must live in Barracks and participate in a demanding and rigorous military program that does not permit attention to the duties implicated by marriage or parenthood. Pursuant to the policy adopted by the Board of Visitors, any cadet who marries or becomes a parent is expected to resign from the Corps. Absent voluntary resignation, should the Institute confirm that a cadet is married or the parent of a child, such cadet shall be separated from the Corps for failure of eligibility at the end of the semester in which the information is received and confirmed. For the purpose of the policy, the responsibilities of parenthood are deemed to begin upon a cadet’s learning that a child has been conceived as a result of his or her conduct.
Yes, that's right. It is official VMI policy that marriage and parenthood involve duties. What's more, parenthood - and by extension, life itself - begins at conception. The tone of Mr. Provenzo's article is livid:
VMI’s policy is nothing more then a cheap way of smuggling anti-abortion policy into the Institute.He goes on to complain,
I think VMI’s current anti-abortion policy is even worse that its previous refusal to grant admission to women. At least that policy could be defended, however benightedly, on the grounds of long-held tradition.And belief in life from conception is not traditional? The way St. Luke writes at the beginning of his gospel you sort of get the suggestion that maybe John the Baptist and Our Lord were persons even before they were born...
In any case, props to the Virginia Military Institute for getting this one right.