What are they hiding?

As reported here, the permanent, entrenched, bureaucracy in MARAD has refused to make public any of the actions that the Academy has taken to address the requirements imposed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).  The MSCHE requirements are the steps that the Academy must take to avoid losing its accreditation. (Those requirements were discussed in this post.)

Why wouldn’t the administration release this information? The redacted information [supposedly] reflects action taken to address the MSCHE requirements. Is the Academy not proud of the steps it has taken? Perhaps the problem is that it has not done much and it is embarrassed by the lack of action?

Or maybe it is something worse? After my post about the inadequate FOIA response, I received several private messages in which stakeholders speculated that the report was redacted to hide something far more sinister. Several people are speculating that the Academy is hiding changes it is making to indoctrination and plebe recognition (according to reports I’ve received, the Academy is substantially weakening indoc and will immediately recognize the plebes after indoc).  These individuals speculate that the Academy is trying to formalize those changes in the report to MSCHE in an effort to make it harder to rescind the changes (i.e. creating an argument that if the changes are rescinded, it might jeopardize the Academy’s accreditation). Others have speculated that the hidden changes reflect a commitment to ending sea year for third classmen in favor of putting them on state school training ships. (Former Secretary of Transportation Foxx’s, discredited, $363,000, LMI Culture study recommended that the Academy evaluate putting third class midshipmen on state school training ships and, as we have documented here and  here, MARAD has tried to force the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group to include such an evaluation as part of the Working Group’s report to Congress.)

Although I have a low opinion of the entrenched bureaucracy at MARAD that deals with the Academy, I don’t buy into the idea that it is trying to hide future changes in the monitoring report sent to MSCHE. For one thing, such future changes would not even address the MSCHE requirements (which were primarily devoted to leadership issues). But, the fact that they are being bandied about demonstrates one reason why MARAD’s lack of transparency is so harmful.

For what it’s worth, I think Occam’s Razor applies in this instance.  I think MARAD and the Academy administration are simply embarrassed by the limited steps they took to address the MSCHE requirements and want to avoid having the lack of progress publicized.  Or perhaps they are reporting actions that we all know should have been taken much sooner as examples of the progress they have made and they are afraid that if they make the report public, we will point out how poorly they’ve responded to the threat to accreditation. Here is one example of an action that should have been taken much sooner.

I could be wrong and would be happy to learn that the MARAD and the Academy administration actually implemented a number of positive policies that will end the threat to accreditation.  So prove me wrong and end all of the speculation:

Release the unredacted monitoring report.

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23 Comments

  1. The funny thing is that nobody wants the Academy to be successful in its accreditation attempts more than the students, parents and the alumni, all of whom have both an immediate and long term interest in its success. In fact, from a historic point of view, it is the administrators that come and go on a regular basis without regard to the future of the school (See Janechin and Rodriguez). Yet, those most interested in the school’s success are kept in the dark.
    The basic point is that those who are responding to the Middle States report want to solve the problem, but they want to do it on their own terms, which is why you hear the rumors regarding indoc, sea year, SASH etc.. That’s what they want everyone to be interested in as well becasue it absolves them of responsibility. The last thing they really want to talk about is management and school governance as outlined by Middle States.
    Again, I would tell anyone who wants to listen, please “READ THE MIDDLE STATES REPORT”. There is no criticism of sea year. Nor do I believe there is any significant criticism of indoc, the recognition process or academics. SASH is only one small part of of one of five section that the school failed and even then it is only about SASH on campus as opposed to SASH at sea. The heart and soul of the report is about the poor MANAGEMENT of the Academy, namely the very same managers who are now sending the interested stakeholders redacted documents It goes without saying that even their own LMI report talks about a lack of trust between various parties. May I suggest that redaction, as a policy, does not encourage anyone to “trust” the management, thus only confirming the middle states and LMI criticisms.
    If this group wasn’t actually controlling all the levers of power, they would be dismissed for incompetence. I would be shocked if any response to Middle States actually acknowledges that ANYONE at MARAD has ever made a mistake regarding the school. Of course, since it is redacted, we may never know.
    I have said this many times–, someone, please prove me wrong. Nothing would make me happier and I would admit it immediately.

    • And exactly why do you think I’m off the mark? Why do you think MARAD is redacting the information? What do you think it is hiding? (Deleted this because I thought Buford had directed the comment to me — when I’m moderating, it is not as obvious that someone is responding to a different commenter rather than to the original post.)

    • BUFORD:
      As per my statement, please please please and please again, show me where I am wrong. I am not being sarcastic when I say that I would love to be wrong here. Other than the fact that I have a mid at the school, who’s education is being negatively affected by this nonsense, I have no stake in the outcome.
      I would love nothing better than to have MARAD release a report in full that demonstrates they are not only dealing with SASH, but with the governance and management issues that the Middle States Report outlines. I’m not on this board for anyone other than my son and the kids from the Academy that I have met and had to my house as guests. I have no personal grudge against Helis, Janechin or Rodriguez. In fact, until very recently, I gave Helis every benefit of the doubt, believing that he was a pawn just “following orders”. That opinion has only recently changed.
      If MARAD gets accreditation in order, while still keeping its commitment to the mids regarding sea year, I will be the first one to stand up and applaud.
      Please understand my situation.If my opinions as expressed on this board are correct, it is very bad for my mid. If my opinions are wrong, that is very good for my mid. As such, I would prefer to be wrong.
      I’ve been wrong before–as my wife and kids will remind me of on a regular basis, but I’m a big boy. I can handle it. But so far, nothing that KPS, the AAF or the Parents Association has said or indicated since the stand down/accreditation issues blew up last June has been demonstrably undercut or even challenged.
      In fact, the kids at the Academy have been told to ignore KPS because supposedly none of it is true. Yet, when challenged, nobody in the administration has been able to point to anything therein that is false.

      I wish it were.

  2. MARAD would not be hiding information through redaction if they did not already know whatever it is they are up to will not sit well with a majority of stakeholders. From the very beginning MARAD and Wiley Hall have improperly characterized the main thrust of the MSCHE findings as largely a “SASH at Sea” issue. It would not be surprising then, to see many of their institutional responses (actions) shaped by this false narrative in order to perpetuate it, or risk being exposed as less than honest (or worse). “Silence is a lie that screams at the light.” ― Shannon L. Alder

  3. This is part opinion, and based on the facts I have seen.
    I believe that this US Federal Academy was going to be closed if the general election went a different way. I believe there were plans in place to dismantle this Academy and statements by Mr. Helis of “we have tried everything to fix it and its not getting better” would be used to say ,see it cant be fixed so lets close, sell the land to a high bidder, and pump the mids to SMA.
    Then the SMA can get their ships and us the fact that they are hosting USMMA Mids as additional justification for their $300M, or $1.2 B request for funds.

    In addition Helis, it appears, is using the Warning form Middle States to promote a plan that was started under Janechin, Rodriguez, Szabat, and Helis.

    Coverup in competent leadership, poor leadership as was referenced in the Warning, with SASH and make that the focus. Distract the stakeholders.

    Ok, then how about this approach, SASH has gone UP under Mr. Helis watch and command, so no matter if that fact is true or nor, he claims SASH has gone up on campus. So lets say then they went up, and under is in ability to fix it. So being SASH is the issue at the USMMA, and he cant fix it, lets push for his immediate termination for not being able to fix what he blames and cites as a major and only issue. The Superintendent at Air Force was replaced for not fixing SASH.

    He and Szabat do not address or talk about the Warning, and the elements of the status. They in fact hide their responses and tell different people different reasons as to why. They say Helis has done a great job turning the Academy around, yet the SASH number ON CAMPUS have gone up.

    No one should be fooled, they are executing a plan that was in place prior to the election and slowly, as each day passes, making the moves to fulfill that plan. And while there is no MARAD Admin, nor Deputy, Helis and Szabat are running this like two boys playing matchbox cars in a make believe city on their parents living room floor, and no one stopping them

    The committee studying Sea Year, comprised wiht a majority of SMA representatives is quietly moving toward a final recommendation, folks watch that committee and their recommendations- don’t be surprised when they say USMMA mids going to sea after plebe year is bad, so put them on SMA vessels for their first sailing and then out to sea in second sailing, Further self dealing for they will use that as well for new vessels.

    Then get ready for the current leadership claiming that the numbers for the incoming class are low, and they don’t have a full class.
    Why? well they weren’t managing admissions and they didn’t issue enough LOA and they have key admission positions vacant, vacant for months, and misinformation is being given out by Admissions, the proof will be in ho many LOA were issued, and when, and how many accept.

    So why didn’t the Superintendent fix admissions before the numbers say something is wrong? Why did he tell Congress that the number were up? The applications were up, but the funnel in the Admissions office choked them and didn’t get enough LOA out.

    Helis is NOT advocating for the Academy nor the Midshipmen, and time for us to say enough is enough. Things are failing all over the place and it is his watch-

    We need to wake up and see the pieces they are still moving, day by day, to destroy the USMMA as we know it, and thei attempt promote the SMA.

    PS- Mr Rodriguez, former Deputy MARAD ADMIN, who is now the Texas Maritime Superintendent, has NOT removed his current cadets from commercial vessels, yet those same ships and those same companies were not safe for Midshipmen from the USMMA. Does that make sense? Doesn’t that make people wonder what is he up to and hat was he up to when at MARAD and destroying the USMMA Sea Year ? Why are billets intended for USMMA Midshipmen being filled by SMA cadets, esp those from Texas Maritime?

    There is evil at play here and call it what you want, but no one can make this many management errors by accident, no one.

  4. As I said above, Rodriguez and Janechin are gone, with no concern for the Academy or its mids. Helis is is the last of the three, left holding the bag.
    If Rodriguez believed a single word he said about SASH at sea on commercial ships over the last 10 months, he would have been morally obligated to immediately remove Texas A&M mids from commercial ships upon his appointment to the job. Since it didn’t happen, there are only 2 options, both bad–he is either morally bankrupt or a liar. Personally, I think he’s a liar because I don’t believe he would put cadets in danger if he really believed the danger existed.
    But, while he may be dishonest, he is not stupid. He knows that if he recalled the mids, that the parents and students at Texas A&M would revolt. And who would blame them? I’m pretty sure he never made a major issue of SASH and removing kids from commercial ships when he was applying for the job.
    As for Janechin, he now works for a private shipping company that I believe is mostly, if not all, American flagged. (Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). Is he willing to state in writing that his ships are too dangerous for mids? Somebody should write him a letter and ask. We’ll probably get back a redacted reply.
    Both hypocrites.

  5. Doesn’t The President, The DOT Secretary, the 100 Senators, and 400+ Congressmen care about the US Military and its’ capabilities, or lack there of?

  6. I cannot believe these attempts at dilution of the essential Sea Year training.
    Did I say “attempts”? They have mostly been successful, cloaking it all in the SASH issue. That issue also serves as a welcome distractor of first order to the actual leadership and governance issues.

    I have a theory, that the Admiral is used to how things are run at West Point, his Alma Mater. This first started with his invocation of new “leadership” classes.
    This might appear useful, until the midshipman learns on a merchant ship he must first learn to follow orders, before he/she can give them.

    During the most recent Town Hall call-in, I challenged the Admiral to take two or three weeks and sail as a supernumerary on a working U.S.-flag merchant ship, to observe what working environment faces his charges once they graduate; also, to a minor degree, what the training environment is in general. He responded, that such a program exists for faculty and certain others, without including himself into the equation. Essentially, he did not answer my question.

    This is very disappointing and just underscores the mentality and obfuscation at work here, where the simplest inquiry is not answered in the [polite] manner it was asked. As a sign of my complete deflation, I thereupon let an awkward silence pass, until the next questioner was given his opportunity.

    I should have known better …

  7. I want to add, that as a West Pointer, the Admiral is used to relying on government assets for training. Therefore, I must believe it is his conviction and natural tendency, to rely on government assets for Sea Year as well, and, at best, on State-run training ships as a compromise. In his mind, it gives him the feeling of more control and a “proven” accountability.

  8. KPS Moderator,

    Must say that my comment was directed to you. What I simply can’t understand is that KP is your alma mater and for whatever reason, your focus on a government entity to fix blame on all matters that go wrong when we live in a politically dynamic environment in which no one can predict the next day. The fixation remains on two individuals who have now departed the government and another who is only one man. We’re losing focus on what we KPers stand for and what USMMA should be doing. And what it should be doing and called to do, is produce the best Mariners world-wide. Not an easy task in this ever changing environment, where the support of it’s true die hard supporters is needed. The talk I read about shuttering KP simply churns my stomach when what KP needs is support. I solemnly request that all you followers to reflect on the opportunities this institution has afforded you, like myself. It has maintained and sustained through the support of its Alumnus. The media is powerful and ask that our legacy not be destroyed by resentment or pettiness when the future can be far greater and rewarding for KP generations to come. Our destiny should not guided by emotions of past alleged wrongs of others, but where our true allegiance lies in the future. That’s KP!

    Most grateful,

    Buford

    • Buford: I’ll repeat your original comment before responding to both it and this latest one.

      Original comment: “Whoa! I appreciate your commentary, but I think you’re off the mark.”

      I don’t think I was off the mark, but we won’t know until we get the unredacted report. The primary point I made in the post was that MARAD’s refusal to provide information that should be made public (and which, if it is doing its job, it should be proud of) is leading to wide-spread speculation about the motives for redaction. I then described the speculation I was hearing, explained why I thought that speculation was likely wrong, and posited my own speculation (minimally supported by one example that supports my speculation). The point is that in addition to being the right thing to do, transparency would help tamp down the rhetoric. In that sense, my post was actually pointing a way for the “one man” to make things easier on himself.

      As to your second comment, this blog has been focused on the people who created the problem because they are/were the people who can fix it; and, if they don’t fix it, thems that remains are the people who need to be removed so that the problem can be fixed. The blog is also designed to offer substantiated and accurate information about the state of affairs at the Academy for the benefit of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, industry and Congress (the blog gets a lot of hits from The Hill). It seeks to disseminate the information broadly so that anyone who can make a difference can take up the cause of our alma mater.

      When we are no longer suffering from the “past alleged wrongs of others,” I’ll gladly stop mentioning them. But the fact is those past wrongs continue to harm the Academy; and, current wrongs were put in place by those who committed past wrongs, so it is important that those reading about current wrongs have full background so that they can fully understand the current wrongs.

      The blog continues to focus on sea year because — contrary to what MARAD is claiming — we are nowhere near a restoration of sea year to the way it was before the stand down cancellation. (I hope to have a post about those statistics soon.)

      We continue to focus on accreditation because that is an ongoing threat to our alma mater.

      We continue to focus on leadership at the Academy because the lack of good leadership at the Academy remains a huge problem (and is a problem that was specifically raised in the MSCHE report — hence the desire to know what steps the Academy has taken to address it).

      KP cannot “be far greater and rewarding for KP generations to come” if we sit silently like obedient plebes who haven’t yet learned where the horizon line is kept. Had the stakeholders sat silently, I am confident that there would have been no end to the stand down cancellation and instead Secretary Foxx’s repudiated, $636,000, LMI report would have been used to justify the termination of sea year on commercial ships. Had the stakeholders sat silently, the National Defense Appropriations Act would have almost assuredly resulted in a report from the SAPR Working Group recommending that sea year on commercial ships be halted. Had the stakeholders sat silently, there’s no telling what would have happened to accreditation or when the administration would have decided to make it a priority. Had the stakeholders sat silently, we would not have pried loose the underlying data for the SA/SH surveys and would thus not have had the evidence to show how the conclusions from those surveys were so badly flawed.

      The administration is dealing with a boatload [bad pun intended] of people who were trained — extremely well-trained — in leadership and the notion that it is Deeds, not Words, that matter. It was counting on us to remain silent and go along to get along. If there is a bright future for KP — and I believe there is — it is because these stakeholders have stood up and stood for KP and refused to be quiet.

  9. This may all be moot in a few weeks. According to the Academy’s Accreditation Update page, MSCHE visited he Acaddemy on March 29-31 as a follow up to the submission of the monitoring report. Given the time span between the last visit (April 3-6, 2016) and MSCHE’s determination to not grant re-accreditation (June 24, 2016) MSCHE could make a determination any day on whether the Academy is on track to being re-accredited. For example, MSCHE’s Executive Committed for Substantive Change, Met on May 1, 2017 and the commission itself appears to meet approximately quarterly. However, the actions of the MSCHE committees and commission itself are published on their web site. None of the meetings conducted since March 1, 2017 mention anything about the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, including specifically acceptance of the monitoring report and report of the commission’s team visit to the Academy. The meetings do include action on another Long Island institution located near the Academy, Nassau Community College, who was placed on probation the day that the academy was placed on warning (https://www.msche.org/institutions_recentactions_view.asp?dteStart=3/3/2017&dteEnd=5/1/2017&idCommitteeType=6&txtMeeting=Executive%20Committee%20for%20Substantive%20Change). The latest action dealt with Nassau Community College’s progress toward re-accreditation from a its current probationary status.

    Further, given that MSCHE has already visited the Academy, it would be arguable that the Government’s “deliberation” period ended either 1) upon submission of the monitoring report or 2) upon MSCHE’s visit to the campus.

    Finally, it is interesting to review the Academy’s “Institution Response to the Team Report.” Their response focuses almost exclusively on SASH and not on the more significant governance and structure issues raised by MSCHE.

  10. Thomas

    That is Mr Helis MO. Divert from his poor leadership skills and his attempt to execute what he and the inside the beltway boys wanted

    Don’t let facts distort their fiction. We have to unite and arm in arm make noice about the disfunctional leadership at a US Federal Service Academy and under this leadership.

    Aaf says wait, npa silent. Can’t tell. Shhhh. We have problem working it !

    Well let’s all speak up. Stand up. Convey expectations and the obligation this Academy has to the fine men and women attending there

    We can not hold our breath, like many have done for seven months and expect the right outcome. Don’t hope and wish.

    Call upon the men and women who nominated our fine Midshipmen to attend to fix this and do it once and for all.

    No need to pay people to guide us and lobby us when they have not influenced the outcome in our favor yet

    There is something happening that is not good and we will suffer and then we can’t look back and say we should have

  11. I would agree with everything Bufod is saying IF MARAD and the Academy had new leadership, but why would we sit back and trust the same crew that’s been destroying Kings Poont to have the ability to fix it?
    Sorry.. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  12. MARAD doesn’t have a clue on how to run a service academy. In response to a letter I wrote Secretary Chao, Mr. Szabat of MARAD responded:

    “The Academy is currently planning work on Strategic Plan 2018-2022, using a methodology with a highly collaborative process that involves all of its constituents. This methodology will help the Academy community create a shared vision for advancing the institution’s mission. The planning process will further consider the Academy’s strategic goals within context of its limited personnel and financial resources, so that the cost of our goals do not exceed the means we have by which to accomplish them.”

    Sounds like maintaining the status quo to me, which means KP will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis. I also question the “highly collaborative process” & “involves all of its constituents” considering their response to FOIA requests and its relationship with the AAF.

  13. Everyone

    Let’s stop just complaining and posting and hoping. Everyone get going and call you Senator office and Cogressman office and focus on the following and share how it has gone on to long and a us federal service academy is being destroyed
    1. SASH has gone up at the academy under Mr Helis ,not down and he has demonstrated he can’t fix it. Demand he be removed from the care and custody of the Midshipmen and this academy
    2. He is lying to you about Sea Year and Congress needs to contact the new DOT Sec and demand that she restore order to the service academy you nominated young people to attend
    3. Congress needs to demand the response to the Warning status that was achieved under Mr Helis watch and command be released to the public. This is an academy paid for by taxpayers and released as pointed out by Andy earlier post
    4. And we need to stop accepting the aaf as our spokes people Our mids are there now and have more to lose then alumni and or paid staff and are the ones being played with by someone who says he is a leader by cant communicate with anyone in an honest and forthright manner

    MOC will respond to the parents of the mids they nominated.

    People we need to unit and push and convey the concerns and do it day after day and have them hear and realize their academy is crumbling and the usmma needs them to demand it be fixed

    Don’t trust “we got it”, ” can’t tell you”, “trust us”
    If the election went the other way usmma would be closed So why are we going to sit back and let it wait till the lifers at MARAD close it despite the change in administration ?

  14. In spite of the blog postings, submittals to MARAD and the various meetings and exchanges with the Congressional Board of Visitors and the Middle States Commission Higher Education, articles in newspapers and maritime periodicals, etc., the fact remains that MARAD and Academy officials are comfortably cruising along completely unaffected by the criticism expressed by Academy stakeholders.

    And, as the days pass, the chatter of the critics is becoming less and less relevant while irreversible damage to the Academy, as a result of management malfeasance, becomes more and more likely.

    It seems to me that, despite the hard work and good intentions of Academy stakeholders, the effort to expose the lack of leadership at MARAD and the Academy has been ineffectual. The essence of futility has been described as doing the same thing over and over while at the same time expecting different results. In my opinion, without a dramatic change in ‘course and speed’ one should not expect any results different than those that have been observed over the past year.

    Are we at a point where a full-page ad in a national newspaper, e.g., The New York Times, similar to position papers published on behalf of other aggrieved organizations in extremis, is in order? Something has to be done to get the attention of a national audience, in both the public and government sectors to expose the seriousness of the problem. Simply passively waiting for the other shoe to drop is not good enough.

  15. To all who are posting in frustration

    Taking an add out in the NY TImes or Washington Post will not help. You are playing into the hands of the administration. These liberal media outlets will only focus on the SASH and allegation of issues on campus.

    Take a moment to step back and take a deep breath. I know your kids are at risk on their educations. I know many are very concerned with their Alma mater. These are natural reactions and in many ways appropriate. However, you are not the first organization to face this type of crisis. It dosen’t get turned around over night or within a 12-24 month period. This is a marathon that will take several years to fix. For current parents, sorry to say your kids education is being compromised and will most likely be impacted for the foreseeable future. Hard to accept that but it is and will be. For the larger group, you need to take the strategic view and stay focused on the objective. Sea Year, Accreditation, and the essential role this institution plays in our country’s economy and national defense. The AAF is fighting every day for Kings Point, to doubt that is silly. Andy and this blog are an incredible source of analysis and intelligence for all to utilize. Social media is powerful and is a spot light for shining transparency in dark places. And there is no doubt this is a dark and convoluted place.

    You all need to think about constant pressure being applied over a maximum area to move this issue in the direction we all want. That means, resolving the SASH issue wherever it is occurring. This may be a smoke screen but the sooner this issue is reduced the sooner a sensational issue is put to bed. It is too hot an issue for the media and congress.

    Fort Schuyler went through a similar crisis (not SASH related but relevancy being questioned) that required all to unite around removal of the administration and changes to several key aspects of that institutions model. The community won but the damage was extensive and long lasting. The end result was a better institution and the end to a specter of doubt.

    You all have a dark path to walk that takes courage and conviction. Its not about lashing out, but rather deliberate strategic moves designed to move the ball in a direction. Pressure on congress is very important, pressure for change to the administration is vitally important, and most of all remaining united in your efforts is how you will win.

    Unity equals strength and fragmented efforts are too easily dismissed. Stay united and strong and your continual pressure will move the needle. Hard to be patient, but you will prevail and this blog will prove to be the source of pressure that turns the tide.

  16. Good idea for a full page ad in a newspaper, but it should be the Washington Post, as that is the “home town” newspaper for Congress and the administration. However, despite the “death” of newspapers, they are still very much selling advertising space. A full page ad in the Washington Post will run close to $200,000 by the time you have it professionally set up to their standards and they pay for it — http://fitsmallbusiness.com/newspaper-advertising-costs/. I am willing to kick something in for this kind of effort, but not many can handle the $200K on their own — any volunteers??

  17. It would seem to me that the real direct “stakeholder” is the US Navy via the Military Sealift Command. After the Navy then its the industry surrounding the Jones act that is the sub stakeholders. The United States shipbuilding industry that is needed to build compliant Jones Act ships, the commercial industry that has to comply to the Jones Act as well as the unions.

    Interestingly the industry may prefer to be able to offshore all their ships and employees as that would presumably lower costs. The weakening of the Jones Act has been happening over time up to and including the apparent grey area of the foreign flagged vessels being used for construction in the Gulf of Mexico.
    The Navy has to be involved by letting congress know that a lack of experienced licensed Merchant Marines will affect the security of our Men and Women in all branches of the military and as an extension the United States of America. I would think the Navy would have the largest pull as their MSC ships are a very important component to the effectiveness of our Armed Forces throughout the world.
    In order to be able to comply with the Jones act our ship building industry as to grow which would employ more sailors once the ships are put into use.

    I have never been in the industry. Yet being too close to something does not always give perspective. I remember when I was young I wanted to get into a certain industry and so I spoke to everyone I could in that industry. Almost all of them said to me “you don’t want to do this because it is not what it used to be.” Well I got into that industry and what I learned was that because I did not know what it used to be I was able to enjoy and thrive in a career because I was not jaded on what it used to be. Times change. We can not go back and make things what they were. What has to be done in my opinion is the Academy has to adapt to the winds of change.

    I think we all agree that the SASH is a false flag so to speak at the USMMA. Yet, SASH is not just at the USMMA it is society wide and is not going to change. Debating the statistics or the severity of the problem is only going to be a losing battle that will tarnish the look of those fighting it because ultimately who wants to be seen as a supporter of sexual harassment. You can argue that it is not black and white but I would argue that in the age of 24 hour headline SASH is.

  18. The AAF and the parents have the same goal, but they play different roles and by different political rules. Criticism of either is unwarranted and only serves to foster weakness in the face of MARD’s and the USMMA leadership failings.
    Parents, such as myself have to be loud and annoying with our members of congress because that is our only effective approach. The AAF has to take the quiter “insider” track tied to lobbyists and policy decisions in Washington. That takes time and patience which the parents have to understand, as difficult as it may be for us given the immediacy of our mid’s educational needs.
    By the same token, the AAF has to understand our impatience.
    We are like two trains ,both going to the same place, just on different tracks.

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