Another woman to challenge Citadel's men-only policy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) Another woman wants to take up the fight Shannon Faulkner abandoned when she dropped out of The Citadel.

The woman's name will be added today or tomorrow to the lawsuit challenging the state-run military school's men-only policy, lawyers said.

''There is a woman who will step in and take off in the same shoes that Shannon stepped out of,'' attorney Suzanne Coe said yesterday.

Coe refused to name the woman until court papers are filed but said she is a South Carolina college student with Reserve Officer Training Corps experience.

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck also will be asked to make the case a class action, which would keep open the possibility other women could become cadets next fall, said another lawyer on the case, Val Vojdik.

Ms. Faulkner, 20, battled for 2 1/2 years to become the first woman cadet in the school's 152-year history. But she dropped out after less than a week Friday, saying the emotional stress and isolation were damaging her health.

The court rulings allowing Ms. Faulkner to become a cadet should also apply to the new woman, Ms. Coe said, but Citadel spokesman Terry Leedom disagreed.

''The Faulkner case applies only to Ms. Faulkner, and it's not a class-action suit,'' Leedom said.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ordered Ms. Faulkner into The Citadel's corps of cadets unless the state established a separate leadership program for women.

The appeals court said that was ''special, conditional relief'' for Ms. Faulkner, however, and ''does not alter our determination that South Carolina may still elect to offer single-gender education to men and women.''

A $10 million women's program at Converse College in Spartanburg has been proposed as an alternative. A court hearing on the merits of that program is set for November.

Meanwhile, two women have applied to the corps of cadets, but the applications have not been processed, Leedom said. The school has received inquiries from about 200 others.

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