2nd Quarter Meeting for Academic Year 2014 – 2015
Wednesday December 3, 2014
ABS Building, MMA
Call to Order 1835 (6:35 pm) by MMAPA President Leanne Avakian.
MMAPA Board Members Present: Leanne Avakian, Marie Rossi, Marianne MacLeod, Carol Eccleston, Deirdre MacInnis and Kim Farber.
MMAPA Board Members Absent: Marilyn Cyr and Ann Marie Seier, participated via video telephone/conference.
General Membership: 41 members present, including 6 Board Members & Cadet parents, friends & families watched via video telephone/conference.
Welcome Address: President Leanne Avakian welcomed all the parents in attendance and those watching via the webcast. The Executive Board Members introduced themselves.
2015 SEA TERM UPDATES by ADMINISTRATION – Capt. E. Rozak and Capt. T. Bushy
Capt. Thomas Bushy – Showed parents how to get information about 2015 Sea Term through the MMA website via Overhead Projector. Click on the different quick links to get additional information for their Sea Term. This info will also be sent out via U.S. mail.
Capt. Ed Rozak, Commandant of Cadets – The administration met with freshmen yesterday evening (Dec. 2nd) briefing covering A-Z on everything Sea Term, including when & how to how to report. Cadets should have all the information they need.
This is an industry that you have to be aware of departure time.
SEA TERM SCHEDULE 2015 per web site 01 Jan Cadets & Officers report on board
04 Jan Sea Term officially begins-cadet registration
10 Jan T.S. Kennedy departs from Buzzards Bay, MA
Ports to be visited: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; San Juan, PR; Fort Lauderdale, FL
22 Feb T.S. Kennedy arrives in Buzzards Bay, MA
02 March 2015 Cadets report for Spring Semester
January 4 4/C Cadets report 0800.
Cadets need to be completely prepared to go to sea on this date for Sea Term. NO PARENTS ALLOWED IN HARRINGTON as space is very limited. Cadets are allowed to have only their Sea Bag (not over 50 lbs) and One carry-on due to flying on a chartered plane, as well as limited locker storage on TS KENNEDY. Cadets will be assigned to 1 of 3 Divisions. Cadets will not know which Division until they arrive. Capt. Bushy will give a security/safety briefing. Cadets are to report in a clean boiler suit. They will go right to work after settling in on the ship. They need their PASSPORT, TWIC Card (Transportation Workmen’s Identification Card) if they have it already, as well as MMA I.D. 4C’s do not have to have their TWIC Card. Cadets should also bring all their cash to be kept on them, as they will have the opportunity to bring it to the ship’s safe to be locked up. Cadet Officers will then take over and check for valid passports. If NO PASSPORT you will be sent home. Safety assignments and lifeboat assignments are reviewed. They will go to the ship and see where they will be staying, turn in $$, eat, and then go to work. Sophomore and seniors check in same day. 1st class and 3rd class will report in Bresnahan Hall. They’ll go to the registrar’s table then to Dr. Cukor’s table for screening (make sure they don’t have cold or flu. ) Next, they’ll go to divisional tables to show TWIC Card and Passports as well as MMA I.D. card. Cadets will then receive their billet card and head over to the ship to stow their gear, secure their $$, eat and go into business as usual. 600 students will be checked in total.
January 10th – 1245 SAILING – The TS KENNEDY will be ready to depart 15 minutes ahead of schedule. The ship requires a slack tide, backs out, spins around with the assistance of Tugs to begin its journey.
Capt. Thomas L. Bushy – He spoke how this is an unusual training cruise. Cadets are divided into 3 groups: Group A is registered for Marine Transportation, about 122 cadets in this group.
Group B is all other majors who will be on the ship from the beginning to January 31st.
Group C will report to MMA on January 30th at 1300 to go through the preparation steps as Group A.
No lunch will be served. Cadets will get dinner & sent early to bed & wake up at 0230 (AM) to catch a 0630 (AM) Jet Blue Charter flight out of TF Green Airport in Rhode Island.
120 cadets will switch out & fly out from San Juan and back to TF Green. The cadets are bussed back to MMA where parents can pick them up. The 2nd group will return on January 22nd.
Capt. Thomas L. Bushy – He went through the schedule before heading out.
Capt. Ed Rozak – Again, reviewed groups A, B and C reporting times. Groups A and B report on 1/4/15. Group C reports on 1/30/15 at MMA by 1300. Group B comes back on 1/31/15. Busses bring cadets back to MMA and they will be able to go home at that point.
Senior Cadet Officers report to MMA on January 1st, 1000.
“Crew” reports on January 1st
PARENT QUESTION -Luggage tags – are they necessary? This has not been discussed with airline yet. They will go through TSA just like anyone taking a commercial flight. They will receive tags and tickets when heading back to airport in Puerto Rico.
PARENT QUESTION -Will they need passport? No, it will only be used if they are discharged unexpectedly. They keep their own passport – Capt. Bushy keeps foreign passports. Cadets are responsible for them. Cadets are told not to take them ashore.
PARENT QUESTION – Is this a chartered flight? Yes, only MMA cadets and some staff will be on it. The flight holds 147. Their Sea Bag cannot weigh over 50 pounds–per airline regulations.
PARENT QUESTION –If a cadet has weekend watch on the 1st where do they report? Capt. Bushy said no cadets will be getting holiday watches until January 1st. This could have been a paid watch if earlier. Cadet can stay aboard the ship if he/she arrives early. Can a cadet lock up $$ if he/she has to come in early? Yes.
PARENT QUESTION -How much freedom do cadets they have? “Free as a bird?” They are given lots of knowledge & guidance before liberty. Excursions are planned. Freshman must be back at midnight. Drinking age is 18 in all ports except for Ft. Lauderdale. They will receive punishment if they misbehave & abuse their liberty.
PARENT QUESTION -Do they have time at each port? Yes.
PARENT QUESTION –Can you talk about spending $$ – Capt. Rozak explained that they highly recommend cash. Approximately $100 a day is a good amount. Every year someone loses their $$. First thing they should do is stow gear and then go to ship office and deposit $$. The administration has never lost a dime! Cadets are given an envelope where they put their $$ in and put their name on it. When they come upon liberty, there are banking hours – cadet gets their envelope, they take what they want for that day and give back the envelope to go back into the safe. Each port may not have easy access to an ATM and there are additional fees outside the country.
PARENT QUESTION -What denomination should they bring? $20’s are easiest to manage.
EXCURSIONS – Lt. McGee has contacted travel agents working with ship agents in the different ports. We highly recommend students take advantage of the opportunities. $60-$100. The SGA (Student Government Association) subsidized the excursions so prices are cut in half.
PARENT QUESTION –Do cadets sign up on the ship? Yes and pay Lt. McGee. Sign up as soon as possible.
PARENT QUESTION –Are sign ups first day on ship? He’ll have sign-ups all night. Cadets have ample opportunity to sign up. Programs are vetted – not sleazy organizations. Transportation is provided to each event.
Capt. Rozak explained that the list of what to take is on the website. That’s all they need.
PARENT QUESTION- Do they need a lap top? Not required. Some senior cadets want to take their lap-tops with movies already loaded. Actually, cadets are discouraged from bringing lap tops because they could be stolen or broken if ship rolls & it falls off their rack. There is a computer lab on board.
Email system – Email is available on board. It is a “store & send” system. When a cadet presses the “send” button, it may sit in “outbound” and not be “sent” right away. There is always a delay so don’t sit around waiting for a reply. Have the cadet purchase a card for $35. Stay away from sending emails with photos. Pay cash for the cards on the ship, which usually lasts an entire Sea Term. Not as much email is expected because it is a short cruise.
Cadets do not need a lot of civilian clothes.
PARENT QUESTION – One pair of black pants for six weeks? Cadets don’t wear them except for dinner or inspection – possibly 20 minutes a day. There is laundry on the ship. They usually wear coveralls or MMA leisure gear. They also bring & wear their at-sea uniform, which is Navy blue polo shirt & khaki shorts which cadets can wear during the day. However, cadets cannot wear it in the engine room. Engine Room requires long sleeve coveralls, hard hat, steel toe boots, ear protection, etc.
Dr. Jeff Cukor – Health Services – Medical Presentation.
Over-the-counter Medications: Don’t forget over the counter meds, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Pepto Bismal, allergy meds, etc. Double check the website list.
Prescriptions: If a cadet has prescription medications, have enough to get through the entire sea term. Make sure there is an extra week added, just in case. Prescriptions cannot be refilled on the ship. Ritalin/Adderall – cannot be shared! Mandatory drug testing is in effect. Zero tolerance for drugs at MMA!
Remember, the ship is dry so lip balm & skin moisturizers are necessary.
Eye glasses / Contact lenses: – bring glasses in addition to lenses.
Capt. Bushy reviewed an email from the academic dean. It outlines what the cadet has to have for grades to go on Sea Term
Marie Rossi, Board Member- advised parents to always start a new email to save on the amount of data being sent. You are charged both ways!
A short story by Capt. Bushy: This story is from a Sea Term a few years ago that had an expensive ending.
A senior cadet had too many drinks while in port and decided to buy a bag of cocaine. It was from an undercover agent. He then bragged to his friends just as a cop walked by and caught him. The cadet actually ended up buying talcum powder. It was a sting operation. Capt. Rozak had to bail the cadet out of jail. $15k bail and the cadet was in court for three days. It cost him $30k+ in that US port, missed a year of school and a whole year of lost employment wages, all for buying talcum powder. Poor decision = very costly mistake.
Capt. Bushy explained that if a cadet is suspended, there are consequences and conditions that need to be met. If the cadet meets the conditions, he/she will be allowed to come back.
If a cadet is dismissed from the Academy they will not be coming back.
PARENT QUESTION –Sea Bag requirements says “foul weather suit”? Yes, This came as part of the cadet’s original sea bag gear. They are bright yellow.
PARENT QUESTION –Are you discouraging cell phones? No. The problem is that cell phones need to be charged. While the ship is here in Buzzards Bay, all the charging creates turmoil as it clogs up the wireless system. There are 20 computers in the ship’s computer lab for emails. A lot of phones get stolen because cadets tend to be careless with them and leave them lying around while charging. No cadet is allowed to walk with earplugs in for their own safety. If a cadet is supposed to be on watch and is caught using their phone they will have it taken away. Be sure to check with each cell phone carrier and watch the roaming fees. They can add up quickly.
PARENT QUESTION -Where can they charge their phones? Each bunk has an outlet.
PARENT QUESTION –Regarding Email do/do not send pics? You can but it will cost additional $$ and it adds up quick.
PARENT QUESTION -When ship arrives does it go down the Cape Cod Canal and come back? No, it did on mini cruise. The ship needs to dock at homeport coming from the east, which is from the Cape Cod Bay side. “If not delayed by weather, we’ll come up over P-town and anchor at Cape Cod Bay for 12 hours before coming through the Canal. Often cadets will contact their parents at this time.”
PARENT QUESTION -Grading for Sea Term – if you don’t pass Rules of the Road, it means you don’t attend Sea Term, does that make you become a 5 year student instead of a 4-year student? Best case scenario 4 ¼ or 4 ½ year student. Cadets could possibly take the course in the summer.
PARENT QUESTION – If they re-take a class, do they have to do Sea Term through MMA? CALIF. & NY are taking summer cruises & their ships are smaller than ours. Cadets could join them. MMA Career Services Office will work with cadets. Curriculum from that Academy/School has to mesh with MMA’s curriculum. We are taking aboard (4) Texas cadets this Sea Term.
Capt. Rozak advised parents to print out letters, especially what to take and communication list and emergency info to keep on their fridge. Talk with your cadet about making good decisions and using common sense when they are on liberty.
PARENT QUESTION –Will there be a soccer team or baseball team playing while on Sea Term? Not sure yet.
PARENT QUESTION –What are the number of credits earned while on Sea Term? Cadets earn 6 credits for the whole six weeks or 3 credits for ½ of the Sea Term.
PARENT QUESTION -Do the cadets get their sea term bag ready as far as their uniform and clothes etc.? Then we just supplement it with optional items etc.? Follow the list on the website. Airline restrictions apply.
President Avakian thanked Capt. Bushy and Capt. Rozak for attending tonight’s meeting and sharing all this information.
Dr. Jeff Cukor – His presentation began using information that is on the MMA website – the preparation checklist is a medical check-list. His goals were to give parents an overview of the medical resources/department available on the ship. He wanted to explain what would happen over the next month.
(4) Medical Officers are on board: (2) Nurse Practitioners, an EMT, a Doctor who is an Emergency Physician and a Counselor will be onboard for all 6 weeks. There is no 911 on the ship. We have to be pretty much ready for any situation.
-We have repelling gear if necessary;
-We have food supply for culinary issues, such as raw food requirements for cold storage & proper water temperatures;
-We have hydration issues which we deal with, “Illness & Preventions” that MMA does on campus only more is necessary on the ship, with 30 hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship, including the Mess Deck & Gangway. If there is a culinary staff member working the food line, we will pull them off so no one else gets sick;
-We have O2 and the ability to make more;
-We have large & small O2 tanks on board, EKG, nebulizer machine, orthopedic equipment & cardiac equipment;
-We have 10 in-patient racks (beds) plus 2 exam beds and 2 racks in an Isolation Room;
-We have the only bathtub on the ship. Everything has a place and it is in its place;
-We try to “include” not “exclude” as its healthier. If you are bored, you get in trouble.
-We have a medical refrigerator if medicine needs to be kept cold;
-We have a safe to carry & secure controlled substance, inspected by the USCG;
-We have an autoclave to sterilize equipment;
-We also carry I-V antibiotics and migraine medication on board.
PARENT QUESTION –Do cadets need a Flu shot? Approximately 280 freshmen have been vaccinated to date. MMA can’t mandate it, but it is strongly suggested.
PARENT QUESTION -If they get a flu vaccine, do you need to see paperwork? No.
Epi-pens: Cadets should bring epi-pens if they need it. Also would advise that cadets break in new shoes/sneakers/boots, etc.
TALK ONE 2 ONE – 1-800-756-3124
24/7 Live Counseling Service that is free to cadets. It is completely confidential. This is an external service provided.
Tell cadets to be safe over winter break, just before Sea Term. Avoid associating with any sick people. You do not want to pick up a virus & pass it along to your shipmates.
“We want to leave MMA healthy otherwise 700 people are sick in 3 days!”
INSECT REPELLANT – Mosquito Repellant is required.
Day biting mosquitos carry “Chikugunya”. There is a level 1 Advisory. It is in the Caribbean. It causes severe joint pain and can last for months. No Malaria is reported in the Caribbean.
Cadets need to layer sunscreen first, then the repellant second.
MMA spends over $1,500 just on Sunscreen alone. We carry 30 SFP. If you need a higher number, you should bring it with you.
Use a zip lock bag when packing repellants & sunscreen.
GROUPS A & B can be isolated in the dorm rooms before they board the ship at departure if sick.
GROUP C: We do not have any extra days to get them better before they board.
Sea Term ports are American ports so our food regulations are in place.
PARENT QUESTION -How do you differentiate between sea sickness and something else? There are ways to separate it out. We have proper treatment for these conditions and situations.
PARENT QUESTION –Is the 2nd dose of HepA required? No. It will not prevent someone from going on Sea Term. They should get it for their own good. If a cadet gets it, bring in a copy of the form so it can be added to their file.
President Avakian thanked Dr. Jeff Cukor for attending our meeting tonight and sharing valuable information with parents.
SGA Sean Hurley-DelVecchio, President – He spoke about his Sea Term experience & his own knowledge as a senior cadet.
Sea Term has (3) divisions: 1.) Maintenance 2.) Watch 3.) Class Room.
The SGA has contributed to the cost for cadet’s activities / excursions on 2015 Sea Term from the student fees, reducing the cost by half. Some of activities will be available during the evening after dinner to relieve stress from the day. Cards, games, huge flat screen tv, etc. Sunday-at-sea is like a day of relaxation for cadets that may involve a B-B-Q on the “Helo” deck of the TS KENNEDY.
In port, cadets have leisure time to spend with friends. Advised parents to remind cadets to make good decisions at all times. Don’t consume too much & use common sense.
PORT ACTIVITIES: See the MMA website for more descriptions.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI – Kayak, Hike & Snorkel Adventure $35 USD for 3 hrs;
San Juan, Puerto Rico – Horseback Riding in the Rainforest $45 USD for 3 hrs; and
Zip-Line Adventure $50 USD for 3 hrs;
Fort Lauderdale, FL – Catamaran Adventure $75 USD for 6 hrs.
PARENT QUESTION -How do cadets go on excursions if space is limited? It is first come/first serve basis. There are a lot of spaces per adventure.
PARENT QUESTION -Does the SGA do the blog? No it’s a separate entity & they will have it this year for cadet families to “Follow the Voyage” on the MMA website.
Pres. Avakian thanked Senior Cadet Sean Hurley-DelVecchio for sharing his Sea Term experience and knowledge with parents tonight.
Secretary Report – M. MacLeod & K. Farber Co-Secretaries
Approval of September 2014 Minutes reviewed by Leanne and posted for review. A motion was made to approve, 2nd and voted unanimously to approve said minutes, as presented.
Treasurer’s Report – Carol Eccleston, Co-Treasurer. See Addendum, attached. Hand out provided. A motion was made to approve, 2nd and voted unanimously to approve Treasurer’s report as presented.
Admissions Liaison Report – Marie Rossi, Admissions Liaison
She extended her thanks to all the volunteers who helped out with (3) Open Houses this fall. She will be looking for a couple of volunteers on departure day, January 10th and arrival day, February 22nd. Volunteer help is greatly appreciated and support helps to keep things running smoothly.
Hospitality Report – Deirdre MacInnis, Hospitality Chair
2015 Return Dinner will be held at The Bay Pointe Club, 19 Bay Point Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532. Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. $30.00 per person.
This is a wonderful event with a buffet dinner and door prizes available. This event is held as a way for parents/families of cadets who have come into town, and local families to get together and meet, share information, etc. It is not a fundraiser. Parents who attended last year’s dinner shared their experience.
Additional information will be forthcoming. Be sure to mail check with Name Tag Information no later than Friday, February 13th. Any questions, please Email Deirdre: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leanne Avakian explained the Parent’s Association will be moving their fundraising items into a storage location back on MMA Campus. This will save a lot of $$ and look forward to our new & convenient location.
PARENT ASSOCIATION – VACANCIES on the BOARD
Anyone interested in joining the Board should let Leanne know as soon as possible at:
All positions are open each year for anyone interesting in running for a position. We will definitely have 3 seats that will need to be filled this spring; vice-president and the co-secretary positions. We work hard but the rewards are many, and we have a lot of fun. You will be meeting new families and friends. It is an opportunity to give back to something very special. Let us know if you want to jump on board!
Carol Eccleston, Co-Treasurer – She shared numerous notes of thanks & appreciation from parents sending in their raffle tickets. She then reviewed all the fundraiser sale items on display. All our proceeds are for Cadet Scholarships. See the MMAPA website for details.
Without any further questions or comments, Pres. Leanne Avakian made a motion to adjourn the meeting, 2nd and moved unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 2014 (8:44 PM).
Next MMAPA Board Meeting
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 6:00 PM
Respectfully submitted: Marianne MacLeod and Kim Farber, Co-Secretaries