Kathryn Lindsay
Updated Jun 02, 2016 @ 10:46 am
Credit: Shutterstock

When Florida teen Sana Hamze received her acceptance to The Citadel, a public military college in South Carolina, she asked if the school would make an exception to their uniform rule. Sana, who is Muslim, asked if The Citadel would allow her to wear her headscarf, or hijab, for religious reasons — and the school said no.

What followed was a hubbub for which the 17-year-old had not been prepared — but it has all worked out now that a Vermont private military college called Norwich University agreed to her request without question.

“I knew it would be an uproar, just because of how Muslims are portrayed in the media now,” Sana, who hopes to be an officer in the U.S. Navy, told the Washington Post on Tuesday. It also inspired a discussion about rules and tradition in military culture, and whether or not there was a reason behind these stringent requirements other than the fact that that’s just how things have always been.


When her request was denied, according to the Post, Sana told The Citadel that she didn’t feel it was fair to have to choose between her religion and her education, so she found a school that would accommodate both. Norwich University wasted no time in agreeing to Sana’s request to wear a hijab over her head and to cover her arms and legs during physical training. On Monday, she announced that she had taken Norwich up on their offer.

We’re happy that Sana is confident in her choice, and that she’s able to pursue her dreams while still adhering to her faith. When it comes to choosing a school, your values and comfort come first and Sana’s story goes to show that there’s no reason to be anyone other than exactly who you are.