Religious Tolerance Still a Concern at Academy

A survey of 2,170 Air Force Academy cadets and 1,880 permanent-party personnel at the institution shows that religious expression is still a contentious issue there. In fact, 48 percent of religious, non-Christian cadets who responded to the 2009-2010 climate assessment survey indicated that cadets have a “low tolerance for those who do not follow a religion or believe in a divine being,” according to the survey results, released on Oct. 29. That’s a 20-percent spike from the 2007 survey. “While overall religious tolerance at the academy has improved since 1998, this one data point is of concern to us and will be actively watched to see if it develops into a trend which needs to be acted upon, ” said Col. Mike Therianos, the academy’s strategic plans director. Other issues highlighted in the survey include sexual harassment, physical safety, and discrimination. (USAFA report by SSgt. Don Branum) (Climate assessment survey document; caution, large file.)