December 4, 2013

 

MMAPA 4th Quarter Meeting
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
ABS Building, MMA

Meeting called to order at 1833 (6:33 pm)

MMAPA Board Members Present:  Chris Mucciarone, Leanne Avakian, Deb Migridichian, Deirdre MacInnis,Marilyn Cyr, Marianne MacLeod& Kim Farber

General Membership: 45 members present, including 7 Board Members. VP Anne Marie Seier was present via video telephone/conference plus additional cadet parents, friends & families.

Welcome Address:  President Mucciarone welcomed parents & friends both present and via video/phone conference.  After introducing herself, each Executive Board member present introduced themselves.

2014 SEA TERMUPDATES by ADMINISTRATION

Captain Brad Lima – Academics

Capt. Brad Lima shared an abundance of information with regards to Sea Term.

– When in port on liberty cadets make sure and reinforce they go ashore in pairs.

Alcohol- Alcohol policyhas tightened up.  If inebriated, cadets will face consequences.

– Sea Term starts the day students arrive back at MMA after the Christmas break.

– Cadets accrue service time at the start with theoff-loading of supplies for the first couple of days.

– Drills start on Wednesday.  The Coast Guard will be present.  There are several different drills the cadets practice each day.

– 2014 departure is a late afternoon/early evening sailing.  It will be dark and cold.

Cell Phones – are allowed on Sea Term; however, cadets & parents should be aware of roaming charges, which can add up very quickly.

E-Mail – Cadets will have e-mail access through a sign-up account called SeaWave, which cadets sign up in advance for.  Emails go out 4 times/day.  It can be slow but it works.

Uniforms – Issued khaki shorts, polo shirts-classroom uniform.

– All freshmen will go on SeaTerm as long as they pass eligibility requirements.  Sophomore “Deckies”a/k/a B.S. Marine Transportation Majors, also have to pass certain courses.  For the last two weeks the administration has been going through the selection process to see which 3 C’swant to do a Commercial Ship or go on the TS KENNEDY for Winter Term.  Sophomores have the opportunity to do Commercial Shipping twice, which is equivalent to a $5K scholarshipplus a great experience developing real life skills.   Some students will not be eligible to go on 2014 Sea Term due to poor academic performance.   SeaTerm is a wonderful experience that will last a lifetime.

Captain Ed Rozak– Commandant of Cadets

Capt. Rozak had additional information with regards to 2014 Sea Term.  Parents were briefed during the Welcome Aboard visits, along with Capt. Bushy.  There was a SeaTerm roundtable with all the freshman covering A-Z on everything for SeaTerm.  Cadets have all the information necessary for the 2014 SeaTerm.

“This is an industry that you have to be aware of departure time.”

JANUARY 5, 2014

All Cadets must report back to MMA.  Cadets need to be completely prepared to go to sea on this date.  However, January 11, 2014 the TS KENNEDY sets sail.   The ship will follow the night tide and high tide will be at 1800 (6:00 PM). The ship has a very short window to maneuver away from the pier. Visibility will be compromised.  Parents and family probably won’t be able to see as much after nightfall. Again, it will be dark and cold on the canal. Cadets need to keep in mind the weather conditions for traveling back to MMA.

What to take on Sea Term is on the website.  Students know exactly what is needed.

Excursions:  The SGA (Student Government Assoc.) will assist all the Group Excursion expense by contributing 50%.  Each cadet is responsible to pay the other half themselves.  The MMA website also has excursion information for each port.

Dr. Jeff Sukor– Health Services

Dr. Sukor has included a list of medications needed & to be prepared for.

Medical Issues on Sea Term: Tens of thousands of $$ was been spent on the ship’s hospital.  They are very prepared for many circumstances.  If there is a need to evacuate someone it will happen in an orderly manner.  The ship has emergency satellite phone capabilities.  You will be called if there is an emergency.  If someone has to go off the ship, they will not be sent off alone.  A staff member will escort the cadet and continue with the cadet.  There will be an emergency physician, nurse practitioner and paramedic with a master’s degree on board at all times.

Over the next month, cadets should take care of anything medical, i.e., dental issues, prescriptions, make sure Epi pens have not expired, medication to be refrigerated, eye glasses, etc.   Cadets can have medication for seasickness.  Cadets should let the doctor know if they are prone to seasickness and they will work with cadet.  Refer to website for more information.  Don’t forget over the counter meds, ibuprofen, Tylenol, Pepto Bismal, allergy meds, etc.

Remember, the ship is dry so lip balm & skin moisturizers are necessary.

There are 25 hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship including the Mess Deck & Gangway. Last year we took 15 steps to change the GI of the ship.  We had no reports of diarrhea and/or stomach issues.   We aim to repeat the same high standards as last year.

Good decision making is important with regard to alcohol use.  It is OK for a cadet to say NO.  Talk to your son or daughter about saying no and not doing something they do not want to do because of peer pressure.  It’s OK to be different.

Sea Term is an academic experience.  Cadets earn 6 credits for passing Sea Term.  Everyone must pass Sea Term. If a cadet fails Sea Term, they must repeat Sea Term the following year, as a freshman, while their piers are now sophomores.

Capt. Lima, Capt. Rozak and Dr. Sukor welcomed questions from parents.

1)      Question – When can cadet sign up for Seawave?

Sign up any time….alongside period is the best time.  Get a card, which will last entire SeaTerm.  Computers in the lab are available for cadets to use. Photos will eat up a lot of space. Parents were reminded to start a new email when replying.  Cost is counted by characters so do not press REPLY.  If you do, just delete what was received before sending.

2)      Did you make the same talk regarding good/bad decisions to cadets, Dr. Sukor?   They did meet with cadets and talked regarding alcohol and bad choices.  There is an awareness/education program around alcohol/decision-making that is used throughout the semester for freshman.   There are medical briefings during the along-side period of time.  Ship/on board hazards are reviewed during this time as well as hygiene and alcohol and good decision-making in port.

3)      Signing up for excursions.

Sign-ups will start during the along-side period throughout the sea term.

4)      Sleep on board during along-side period?  Yes

5)      Sea Term ends on February 25th?  At the last port, cadets will learn of their on-board duty.  Some cadets may have to return to work on the ship.

 “Bank of Bushy” – This is courtesy, used as a back up emergency cash system on board.  Parents can call the business office with credit card information and wire $$ to their cadet.  The school will email the amount to the ship.  This money is paid out every Thursday prior to arrival at a port. One the ship personnel has “closed” the bank on Thursday, there will be no way to access these funds.  So cadets need to plan accordingly.

6)      How much $$ is needed per day?   $100/day while in port.  It is best to take cash.  Cadets bring $$ and turn it in to be stored in the ship’s safe.  Before going on liberty they go up and get their envelope and take out money they will need for that day. This is the most effective way to manage the cadet’s money.

Again, on January 5th cadets arrive at 0700 – have to be seated in Pande Hall at 0800. Cadets will be sent home if they don’t have a passport with them.  They cannot get on the ship without it.

Capt. Bushy gives a safety briefing and then cadets are checked in (passport, MMA ID card, TWIC card) and then they receive berthing cards….small groups will get their gear and then are brought to the ship.  This is the time they can bring their $$ to be put in the safe.  The cadet is given an envelope to write their name on and then gives it back to go into the safe.  In all the years of going on Sea Term, the administration has never lost any $$.  Cadets can use credit cards if they want to.  They can use ATM cards, but Capt. Rozak does not know where the ATM machine is located at different ports.  Some ATM machines are owned by businesses and additional fees are incurred.

7)      Do they need a driver’s license?  No.  Cadets are not allowed to rent cars.

MMA ID cards are used for identification.  Each cadet receives a wrist bracelet with a chip in it,  scanned with their photo and identification.  These bracelets record the cadet’s time leaving and returning to the ship. These bands cannot be interchanged.  This tight security provides accurate accountability

Cadet passports are held on the ship.  They are not allowed to take them off the ship.

8)      Are Ipads or laptops allowed?  Not recommended.  Some will &it’s ok but they take a chance of it being stolen or when the ship rolls, the devise can fall and brake. The racks are 3 high.   There is a computer lab on the ship for the cadets to use.

9)      What denomination should $$ be in?  20’s are good.

10)  Seawave card – where is it purchased?  Cadets purchase it on the ship.

11)  Any particular shots required?  – No, not for the ports they are going to this year.  They strongly recommend each cadet gets a flu shot before going on Sea Term.

12)  Is a flu shot offered at MMA?  Yes they did offer them a while ago. MMA gave out 500 shots through multiple clinics.  They can go to CVS, Walmart, Target, etc. and get a flu shot.  Most insurance companies will cover the cost.

13)  Dr. Sukor – is it required for cadets to have their 2nd Hepatitis A shot?  – Yes it is a mandatory requirement for MMA, but not necessary for Sea Term.  A lot of cadets may not have gotten their 2nd shot yet.  They are not prevented from starting school.   2 shots cover cadets for lifetime.  Excellent to have.   Almost all commercial companies require this.  If necessary, Dr. Sukor can write a prescription; the cadet can pick up their prescription, return to MMA who will administer the vaccine.

14)  What does the $100 day cover?  – This is for excursions, food, souvenirs, etc.

15)  Are cadets kept in their companies when on their ship?  No.  The cadets are broken into 3 divisions, 1-2-3.  They are:   Watch/Maintenance/Training.

Parents were reminded that if anyone uses a credit card or debit card, there are a lot of foreign transaction fees.  3-5% can be added onto the card charges.

Capt. Rozak recommends that parents keep emergency contact info close by (on fridge) for easy viewing.

Capt. Rozak discussed cadets receiving mail – it is very difficult to control the mail in foreign countries.  You cannot send a box or an overstuffed envelope to a cadet.  Agents at ports will not accept it.  If you need to send something big, call one of the contact people at MMA and they will send it for you.  Boxes are coded so the agents know to accept them.  They can not guarantee the cadet will receive then.   Any mail not received on route will be returned to MMA eventually.

Dr. Sukor spoke about cadets who use controlled prescriptions – He strongly suggests the medication be locked up.   Drug testing is done throughout the Sea Term.

Parents were reassured that the Kennedy will not be going into waters where there may be pirates.  The vessel has a security plan in place.   They have never had a security breech.

The TS KENNEDY can be tracked over the Internet by various websites. Information will be forthcoming on this.

16)  Will there be an opportunity to visit the TS KENNEDY at one of the ports this year?  Yes, there will be an open house.  Probably in Miami.    Open for a couple of schools and the alumni association.  You have to let them know ahead of time if you will be there to go onboard the ship.  Security requirements are necessary.

TWIC – Transportation Workmen’s Identification Card

TWIC is a common identification credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA-regulated facilities and vessels, and all mariners holding Coast Guard-issued credentials.  TSA will issue workers a tamper-resistant “Smart Card” containing the worker’s biometric (fingerprint template) to allow for a positive link between the card itself and the individual.

– All cadets are required to have them from sophomore year on.  $135.00/five years. 2 visits are required.  It takes approximately 6 weeks to receive the card.  Visitwww.tsa.gov/twic website for more information.  Be sure to bring two forms of identification.

17)  Tide pods – will they be available for laundry this year?  Yes.  MMA will provide them free of charge.

18)  What do cadets wear on the ship?   Boiler suit to report.  At sea uniform is MMA polo short, khaki shorts, sneakers, socks.  Evening meal requires entire blue dress uniforms.   When they go on liberty, appropriate civilian attire is worn.  Do not want to bring attention to themselves and discussed with cadets.

19)  Should we be concerned about going to Columbia?  If you’re looking for trouble you will find it, just like at any other port.   Cadets need to be very careful, especially when someone comes up to them to try and sell them something.   Cadets need to stay out of certain areas and are warned ahead of time.  Use the Buddy System and never travel alone.

Also, the ship will stop in Haiti to do a humanitarian relief effort, delivering supplies.  A transport ship will come out to the TS KENNEDY.  No one will be disembarking.

SGA, Brendan Burke, President.

The SGA has invested $30K from student fees for activities/excursions on 2014 Sea Term.  Miami and Columbia– Full bus transportation from ship to excursion;

Curacao– Tropical paint ball $30/all day, kayaking and snorkeling $20/pp.;

Barbados – Cave tour $45/pp and zip lining $45/pp.

Columbia – City tour, guided, 4 hours on tour bus $20 – plus kayaking;

Miami – Airboat ride to see alligators $25/pp.

Sign ups are on a first come/first serve basis for excursions.

Liberty

Cadets receive two days of liberty in each port.  Cadets will learn which days depending on what division they are in.  Then they can sign up for excursions.  Excursions are offered for every day the ship is in port.

20)  How many hours is liberty?  Excursions – These cadets can leave earlier. Curfew: Freshman 12:00 a.m. Sophomores 1:00 am.Seniors 2:00 am. Rates 0700 a.m.

21)  What type of cameras should cadets bring?  Do not bring expensive cameras.  Pocket size Point-and-shoot cameras are best &easy to carry. The card can instantly share their digital content such as photos on their laptops.

22)  Any crime on the ship?  None.

Before Cadet Burke left, he pulled the winning ticket for the Raffle Sales entries of parents who purchased 9 tickets or more.

Deb Chase of Hull, MA won the Boston Bruins tickets and signed Hockey Stick.

A MMAPA Board Member graciously donated these prices.

MMAPA BUSINESS  – next on Agenda

The Secretary’s Report -by M. MacLeod & K. Farber, Co-Secretaries

– Sept. 10thMinutes were posted for review on line.  A motion to accept the minutes as written was made.  It was 2ndand the motion to accept was unanimous.

The Treasurer’s Report – by Deb M., Co-Treasurer

– Report presented with a handout provided.  A motion to approve the report was made. It was 2nd and the motion to accept was unanimous.

Cruise Raffle – by Deb Migridichian, Co-Treasurer

We are 400 tickets shy of reaching last year’s goal.

Sea Term T-Shirt – Sales are going well – doubled over last year’s amount.  All orders will be out before Christmas.

Steins and Certificates – by Marilyn Cyr, Co-Treasurer

– Mailers went out last week with order forms to all families of cadets going on Sea Term.  The MMAPA website has info to place orders.  Certificate are$20 and Steins are $25.

Sea Term Scholarship – by Chris Mucciarone, Pres. with proposed donation suggested.

Last year we donated $13K which was 26 $500 scholarships.  Based on this year’s earnings, we would like to donate $17,500 toward scholarships for SeaTerm 2015.  A motion made to increase amount to $17,500. Was made.  This was 2nd and voted unanimous to increase the amount.

Admission Liaison’s Report – by Leanne Avakian

– Over the past few months, the MMAPA attended all (3) Open Houses, Recognition Day and Drop-off Day.  We had quite a few volunteers to help at each event including college fairs.  It was mentioned that volunteers are needed for the upcoming Departure Day.

Hospitality Chairperson– DeirdreMacInnis

–           Location update: Saturday, February 22nd, 6:00 – 10:00 pm at The Coonamesssett Inn, 311 Gifford Street, Falmouth (Cape Cod) MA 02540  (508)-548-2300

Dinner tickets are $30.00 per person.

–           Rooms at the Inn are available for a rate of$99.00 for MMA guests.

The Holiday Inn across the street is totally booked due to a large sports event.   A flyer will be going out and will be on the MMAPA website.  This is not a fundraiser.  It is an opportunity for families to get together, share their cadet stories and experience with Sea Term to date, network and make new friends at MMA. We will also have door prizes available.

NEW BUSINESS:

Caron Parents Presentation                 Introduced by: Kathleen Shine Obrien, Health Services

This organization is the largest substance abusive treatment program in the nation.  The Health Services Department wanted a comprehensive program for MMA.  A representative has been working with MMA since last spring.   Printed material hand out, read:

CARON  – Student Assistance Program      www.CaronSAP.org

Tracy Wojciechowski, Regional Director of Student Assistance Programs

Tracy gave two presentations, with 200 cadets in each group.  She gave a comprehensive presentation to parents and offered ideas on how parents could communicate with their child in the areas of alcohol and substance use and abuse.  These Tips for Parents were available in print to take home.  Some suggestions discussed for parents were as follows:

  1. Be a good Role Model;
  2. Stay involved with your Children;
  3. Focus on the Problem Before it starts;
  4. Don’t Make It Easy for your Children to Use Drugs;
  5. Help Build Healthy and Resilient Children.

Trudy B. Avery, National Development Officer with Caron was also available.  Discussion followed with some questions & answers.

Meeting adjourned at 2118 (9:18 pm).  This was our last meeting for year 2013.

Next Meeting: 1st Quarterly Board Meeting

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 6:00 PM

 We are planning to use Blinn Hall as scheduling & construction allows.

Respectfully submitted by Marianne MacLeod and Kim Farber, Co-Secretaries.