CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Saturday was Matriculation Day at The Citadel, where about 700 new cadets moved in and began getting ready for the next four years of college.
Matriculation Day is a longstanding tradition at The Citadel, making the beginning of the freshmen year for newly admitted students, who are referred to as “knobs,” says Regimental Commander Kathryn Christmas.
“Matriculation day is just a day to bring the freshmen in before the rest of the core to get them acclimated to the experience and environment,” Christmas said.
Moving into the barracks and getting the appropriate haircut are just a few things for new students to check off their lists.
“We’re trying to make it as smooth as possible for the parents, but it’s gonna be a shock to the freshman,” says Col. Tom Gordon, the Commandant of Cadets.
Within a few days of settling in, freshmen will be met with a shocking feat, Challenge Week, in preparation for their first year at school.
“It’s meant to shock the freshmen and challenge them mentally, physically.” Christmas said. “We do PT every morning. We shock them with new things every day.”
The Citadel’s leaders prepared for months, putting the safety of students and staff members first this year as COVID-19 cases rise again across the country.
“When the upperclassmen come in, we’re going to ask the upperclassmen to either be vaccinated or to report with a negative covid test,” Gordon said.
Considering the widespread locations the new cadets are coming from, The Citadel encourages students to wear their masks and get vaccinated.
“Bout 55% are from South Carolina. We have 33 states represented and 10 countries.”