Naval Academy part culture

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by laker7745, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. laker7745

    laker7745 Member

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    Hey everyone, just reading up on the Naval Academy sex assault case and am actually concerned now, it seems that the Naval Academy is just like every other college with casual random sex, drinking, partying, this is not what I expected nor want in an academy, and with the recent NCIS investigation in which dozens of students were expelled, I understand there will always be a few knuckleheads but this seems more widespread, and the Naval Academy in terms of professionalism seems to be getting shown up by the other academies in this arena, if any has any first hand experience if this is just an weird, isolated incident or is widespread and a common recurrent issue, I'd appreciate the comment! Thanks!



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  2. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    What. That's not correct.
     
  3. aglages

    aglages Parent

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  4. NCdoc

    NCdoc Member

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    The problems of sexism and sexual assault are universal. Follow link below for an article “Sexual Assault at God’s Harvard” in The New Republic magazine about this problem at Patrick Henry College in Virginia, an institution that was set up to be as moral and Christian as possible.
    Also, check out USNA Facebook page, which is right now highlighting sexual assault and how “it only takes one person to stop a sexual assault.” In addition to education, the Armed Services are demonstrating that sexual assault is not tolerated through firings and courts martial.
    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116623/sexual-assault-patrick-henry-college-gods-harvard
     
  5. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    My bigger picture reply to you, Laker, is to do your best to really familiarize yourself with USNA or the other service academies before you apply. At a minimum, try to go on a CVW at USNA, and take advantage of any opportunities you might have to talk with midshipmen and cadets at the various academies.

    My feeling was always that the people who were most unhappy/disillusioned with USNA were those that either (1) thought (incorrectly) that it would be MORE like a typical college; and (2) thought (also incorrectly) that it would be nothing like college/American society, but a "Knights of the Round Table" of dedicated warriors in training.

    On the first point? Very different from college. One obvious difference is gender imbalance -- 80/20 male to female is not typical. Moreover life in Bancroft is not like life in a college dorm. Room inspections, door open policy, prohibition on drugs and alcohol and sex. Does it mean nobody has ever done drugs in Bancroft or been drinking or had sex? No. But it's just nothing like the environment you'd see if you walked into a dorm at UVA or UNC or Harvard or Yale for that matter.

    The second point is also important. It's not a holy brotherhood of warriors (or even sisterhood). Some people are not that into the military aspect. WHAT?! You say. At a service academy? Well, yeah. Some are from military families and going to USNA is a "tradition" that they wish they could have broken but they didn't. Some are Division I athletes there mostly for the sports. More than a few saw USNA as the best way to get a great and affordable education. If you focus on the other midshipmen who don't live up to your ideals you will be disappointed, disillusioned, and maybe even quite unhappy.

    Turning to the "is the party culture like college" question, when mids (and, I assume cadets) are most like "typical college students" is on weekends. People drink. They drink to excess. Some people do drugs (not that many compared to those who drink, given urine testing, etc.). People look to hook up and have sex. Maybe USNA has more of a sense of a distinct "weekend party culture" because of (1) the tradition of mids (sometimes teams) having houses in Annapolis (which the powers that be are trying to crack down on, it sounds like); and because (2) Annapolis is a small city with bars, etc. that are easily accessible on foot from the Yard. West Point cadets party too, but there's not much right outside their gates so maybe they have to spread out more, do more with using weekend passes? From USAFA types I knew, there were definitely traditions of having apartments in the Springs that people went to on weekends for partying. Put young people of the opposite sex in the same place with lots of alcohol and a desire to blow off steam and some bad things will sometimes happen. This is universal. It is not being ignored or accepted as inevitable within USNA or the military at large -- they are working on it.

    There are also plenty of people at USNA who don't want to drink their brains out every weekend. There is an active Christian community and lots of service oriented activities. If you want to make a life like that at a service academy you can, but realize others will take a different path. If you remain very troubled by that and can't learn to make your peace with it, you will have trouble with military life itself and the young officer's job of taking care of your men and women (who are young and often do dumb things).
     
  6. COmom

    COmom Member

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    Daughter went to an Ivy, son to a Christian school, other son is currently at USNA. USNA by far has the least amount of the aforementioned behavior. That being said, anyone who wants to drink, party and engage in casual sex can and does. Most of the sexual assault incidents arise when there is alcohol involved. IMO, I wouldn't say it's widespread, but most likely gets more publicity because the academies are in the public eye and people have higher expectations of the SAs. Like anywhere, people get to make choices and their choices have consequences good and bad. Wherever you go, you get to choose what behaviors you'll engage in and what you'll refrain from. A difference at SAs is the expectation of moral behavior and consequences if you're caught violating the rules. In contrast, the Ivy handed out condoms for "slope day".
     
  7. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Naval Academy Enhances Sexual Assault Prevention, Response Program


    +1 CoMom & GoSox

    A couple of small points to add.

    1.) over Christmas break, with all my kids together in my kitchen, my high school daughter was telling a story about one high school student calling another high school student a inappropriate name. My USNA son said if that word was ever used at USNA they could get brought up to SAPR. Can you find me a non-service-academy college or university that so clearly has rules to illustrate their understanding that sexist language contributes to unfavorable attitudes towards the roles of women.

    2.) A silly video being made with my son in the background only shows him from the waist up with a shirt and tie. You can hear him in the background saying, "dont film this Im in my boxers I dont want to go to SAPR" I am sure he was not even aware he said that but this stuff is drilled into them.

    3.) It is a constant conversation. The Sexual Assault Prevention, Response Program has briefings upon briefings upon briefings. Im not saying the mid's love them (or even like them) but if your told something a million times, some percentage of it has to stick. What other college has 'alcohol awareness wk' the wk before spring break with constant briefings on as my mid puts it, 'how not to act like an idiot.'

    4.) I agree with the previous comments regarding alcohol and ALL the problems that arise from drinking. Below is an EIGHT year old article. Eight years is a long time with regards to the amount of rule changes. However, again I would like to see another university that spends this much time self researching and then developing systematic remediation (how many power points came out of this research?)


    http://www.usna.edu/IR/htmls/lead/d...itle_id=C08T11&term=from_browsing&by=abstract

    So all-in-all I am less worried about the antics of my usna son than my son who is going to a top ten National University. As for my high school daughter-she will be fine at either --but will get lots of lectures about alcohol when she is ready to leave...wherever she goes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  8. COmom

    COmom Member

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    Totally nailed it, GoSox. Great insight and accurate--thanks for posting!
     
  9. wmbns

    wmbns Member

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    +1 CoMom, GoSox & Vista123

    Should my DD be fortunate enough to receive an appointment to USNA next year, I will be less concerned about her well being than a civilian university.

    Young men and women have a great deal of control with regard to their social activity - know where you are and who you're with. And it is my duty as a parent to impart information, wisdom and experience into that youthful stream of consciousness, even when DD does not want to hear it.
     
  10. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

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    To all the parents of DDs--important piece of advice we should all share--while we have drilled "stranger danger" into their heads the truth is sexual assault from acquaintances is FAR more likely. 1 out of every 3 women in the world today will suffer a sexual assault at some point in their lives. Too many will never report it due to the fact that they feel guilty for allowing themselves to get in a situation they lost control over.

    Our DSs need to also know, "the inability to say NO-does NOT mean yes!"
     
  11. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    By extension....shouldn't our DDs need to also know, "their inability to say NO-means they have to rely on somebody else to decide for them?"
     
  12. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

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    Not sure if I entirely agree--a slippery slope to be sure. In a perfect world our DD's would NEVER allow themselves to get into that situation. Unfortunately this is a painfully imperfect world.
     
  13. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    In a perfect world we would NEVER need to give the following advice to our sons.
    As you said "this is a painfully imperfect world"; so we must be warning our DSs about somebody's DD.
     
  14. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Laker there are tons of threads on this topic if you look back or use the search function. As a female who graduated from USNA, this is a question that many parents and prospective future Mids ask me when I speak with them. USNA is a safe environment. If you look at past history of these sorts of events, alcohol tends to be the culprit of these unfortunate encounters and create these controversial situations.

    USNA is a mix of folks just like any other university. If you think USNA is 4000 people who spend their time in monk like status continually studying and learning, you have the wrong picture in some ways. Bottom line is you have 4000 students mostly 18-24 years old. Throw in alcohol, hormones and invincibility and some stupid stuff does happen. It is not the norm though! They are rare incidents that the media gets ahold of. This tends to make them more the norm then they really are. The military is environment of a "work hard, play hard' mentality. I think USNA is alot like this in some ways. Mids work really hard and sometimes they like to have fun. That fun varies for each person. As mentioned in other comments, there is a group for everyone, it depends what you are looking for. And yes Mids do drink, some to excess. The Academy (like all colleges) are trying to figure out how to control and eliminate binge drinking. Who ever figures out the answer to that will probably be the most revered person by university presidents across the country.
     
  15. laker7745

    laker7745 Member

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    So I am lying? Here is an excerpt from The Capital Gazette article on it:
    "When the Naval Academy closed its 11-month investigation last year into the use of synthetic marijuana by midshipmen, officials said they’d dismissed 16 mids — but found no evidence of drug dealing.

    What the academy’s account didn’t reveal was just how significant a drug culture Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents found.

    The investigation ended the military careers of at least 27 midshipmen, including those allowed to resign while being investigated for drug use and an undetermined number suspected of drug use who were dismissed for collateral reasons.

    Mids who once dreamed of becoming naval officers instead received less-than-honorable discharges from the military. Some would owe upward of $100,000 for their education.

    The investigation also uncovered a drug culture replete with users and dealers. Agents not only found use of synthetic marijuana, called “spice,” but that some mids had used cocaine, mephedrone, mescaline and psychedelic mushrooms.

    Some mids possessed soda bottles with secret compartments to hide their drugs, and fake bladders called “Whizzinators” to avoid detection of their drug use in urine tests.

    All this at a higher education institution regularly ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s “most sober.”

    The drug problem was so rampant NCIS agents sometimes interviewed dozens of mids in a day, according to NCIS documents The Capital received in September in response to a federal Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request.

    “If I had to estimate the number of mids who are actively smoking spice or doing other drugs,” a midshipman and lead informant told NCIS, “I’d say it’s about 300 to 500 mids.”

    It's stuff like this that while I get there will always be some... This is ALOT of mids....
     
  16. laker7745

    laker7745 Member

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    But with the girl who claimed she was sexually assaulted, she had sex with three players, passed out drunk, woke up and had sex with another random player the next morning... Where is the Honor Board on this?
     
  17. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I don't know anything about this incident. However, as many people have already stated, you can find examples of bad behavior at any university. The SAs have always been held to a higher standard, and let's be honest, there are people out there who would like nothing less than to bring the SAs down. As such, any incident is held under a microscope. The scrutiny is much more intense. Personally, I like that these mids/cadets are held to a higher standard. We expect these young people to be able to lead honorably and we want them to know we expect it.

    So, saying that mids were kicked out for drugs? Good! They don't belong there. Mids kicked out for sexually assault? Good! They don't belong there, either.

    Do I think my DD is safe at an SA? Yes! More so than at a civilian university - Ivy or otherwise.
     
  18. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, unless someone lied about the activity, it's a conduct issue, not an honor issue.

    Second, a number of people with ties to USNA have responded to your initial post stating their views or facts as they observed them. For some reason, you don't seem to believe them. I'm not sure there is a lot to be gained from continuing this discussion.
     
  19. Shawn

    Shawn Member

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    That wouldn't warrant an honor OR a conduct board. Sexual assualt cases result in court martial. And in the particular case you're talking about all three Midshipmen were found not guilty. One was commissioned, the other two dropped-on-request. Yet how you're trying to relate sexual assault to an article on drug use is beyond me.

    For those who don't know what the OP is referencing, here's the article in the CG. Some of the statistics in there (10% of the brigade uses drugs -- did you know?!) are so far off it's laughable.
    http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/...a90-be06-5bc8-a15e-802663e52307.html?mode=jqm
     
  20. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    There is a difference between Honor and Conduct. Just because something is not honorable, such as getting drunk, etc does not make it an honor offense. If they lied in the investigation, then yes. Big difference.

    Agree with Shawn... I don't agree that 10% of the Brigade is using drugs. Spice was a huge trend a year or two ago across America and some stupid Mids thought they could skirt the system. Guess what? They got caught. This was an issue in the fleet too. Not sure about things at USNA, but they did drug test alot when I was there. When I was active duty Marine Corps we got drug tested upon return from deployment, TAD, leave, 3 or 4 day weekends and random checks. That meant for some of us we were being drug tested almost weekly. And if you haven't had a military drug test yet, you have zero privacy. If you try to cheat that part... you will get caught. We had young Marines a few times try it and they got caught everytime.

    The articles are there, folks have responded, you can make your own judgements. USNA is not a perfect institution, there isn't one out there. It is a safe, amazing place. There is a group for everyone who attends, you just have to go out and find what makes you happy and helps you thrive to succeed.
     

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