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Citadel’s First Female Cadet Remains In Infirmary

August 15, 1995

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ Shannon Faulkner spent 2 1/2 years fighting to become the first woman cadet at The Citadel. Then she spent most of her first two days in bed.

Ms. Faulkner remained in a private infirmary room Tuesday, recovering from the effects of drilling in stifling 100-degree heat. She succumbed Monday after her first lunch as a cadet.

She missed taking the cadet oath and she missed ``Hell Night,″ when new cadets are rousted out of bed and into a courtyard. There they stand in silence in the dark for 15 minutes with their new classmates.

Ms. Faulkner missed welcoming remarks Tuesday by Citadel President Claudius Watts. He did not mention her as he spoke to rows of cadets sitting ramrod straight in gray uniforms.

``If you are willing to pay the price, if you are willing to invest your time, you will succeed,″ Watts said.

School spokesman Terry Leedom wouldn’t provide details on Ms. Faulkner’s condition, citing her privacy, but said she was expected to be released Wednesday after being examined by a doctor.

``I don’t get any indication they are asking the doctor to come in to make any special visit,″ Leedom said.

Neither Ms. Faulkner’s mother, Sandy, nor her lawyer, Val Vojdik, had information about her condition.

Ms. Faulkner, 20, and four other cadets were sent to the infirmary Monday. Two were released earlier Tuesday and Ms. Faulkner and the two others will be examined Wednesday.

Leedom originally said that six of the 591 cadets were hospitalized, but later lowered that number to four.

Ms. Faulkner also will miss taking the routine physical fitness test Wednesday with her fellow first-year ``knobs.″

The heat struck the new cadets Monday while they were learning to march, salute and follow orders. The school calls the regiment training by stress; the students call it hell week.

The oppressive heat prompted the school to move physical training indoors.

Ms. Faulkner was resting in the infirmary room that the private military college built for her and planned to make her permanent home until a federal judge ordered that she live in barracks with male cadets.

The college spent $25,000 to create a private room and bath for Ms. Faulkner, however now that Ms. Faulkner, who plays the flute, made the band, her lawyers say she should live with the band in another barracks.

Meanwhile, The Citadel is pressing ahead with its appeals in the 2 1/2-year court fight, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the judge’s ruling that the school’s all-male policy is unconstitutional.

The court will probably decide in October whether to hear the case.

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