As parents and alumni of KP, y'all should to know what is going on inside the academy. There are outrageous violations to the Honor Code that go unchecked. Within the past month, three girls broke into a teacher's office and stole a test. Last week, three m/n were arrested during an FBI drug raid with several still being questioned. KP is on a downward spiral that only ends in self-destruction. Please spread the word so we can restore honor to Kings Point. The following is a letter a 2/c female wrote to raise awareness of the issue. All those associated with the United States Merchant Marine Academy are conscious of the established code of honor, “A Midshipman will not lie, cheat, or steal.” This code of morality is at the foundation of this Academy and every Midshipman pledges to uphold this honor code upon their indoctrination into the Academy. Having taken a vow to defend this code and uphold its values, any Midshipman caught violating this code should be subject to disciplinary action and possible disenrollment. However, due to recent events, this is no longer the case. The past few years at the Merchant Marine Academy have been tumultuous indeed. Having gone through numerous superintendents and commandants, the Academy is lacking effective leadership and direction. More often than not during my four years here, the Academy has been under the guidance of its Academic Dean and Interim Superintendent, Dr. Shashi Kumar. Dr. Kumar is a respectable man, however the consistency and transparency that should be present in the Academy’s leadership simply does not suffice. The current administration is gun shy about pulling the trigger and taking action in matters that require strong leadership and open communication. This has led to general disillusionment and malaise amongst the Midshipman of this Academy, who arrive plebe year with high hopes only to have them crushed by the toxic bureaucracy and rampant hypocrisy present in the system. The inaction of the Administration and the refusal to consistently enforce the Academy’s rules and regulations, has trickled down the ranks to the Midshipmen and created a culture of moral relativism within the regiment where students no longer recognize the difference between right and wrong. The administration, by not providing a firm hand and enforcing the Academy’s regulations and honor code, has inadvertently created an epidemic within the regiment of disregard for the regulations and the honor code. The regiment is rampant with cheating, stealing, and even drug use; a direct result of the inadequacy of the administration in enforcing Academy standards. The defectiveness of the Academy’s leadership can be seen most distinctly in its honor system. Over the past few years, the administration has failed enormously in enforcing the Academy’s honor code and Midshipman who should have, according to our code, been disenrolled are in fact allowed to stay at the Academy. One such case consisted of three female midshipmen admittedly collaborating on a final exam. They received only restrictive punishment and come senior year each was given an officer position. Last year, a female midshipman admittedly took pictures of a final exam and sent it to her classmates. She was honor boarded, set back, and upon her return to the Academy was given an officer position in her respective company. This year, the worst offense of the inability of the administration to adhere to the Academy’s code occurred when three female Midshipmen climbed through the ceiling into a professor’s office, stole a test, and subsequently lied about having done so. The violated teacher honor boarded them where they were found guilty with separation, eight to one, by a jury of their own peers. As of Friday, February 25th, the honor case surrounding these three girls, who violated every ideal this Academy represents, has been dismissed and they will be allowed to graduate and call themselves an alumni along with the rest of us. An action that would have resulted in arrest at any other institution, is not only excused by the administration, but encouraged through its inability to adhere to and enforce the honor code of the Academy. The administration has clearly been inefficient in maintaining Academy standards. This is made even more obvious by the recent drug bust at the Academy. Several Midshipmen were found in possession of large quantities of drugs, and were acting as suppliers to the rest of the regiment. This is yet another example of administration’s failure to uphold standards. This type of behavior would not exist if students did not think they could get away with it, a direct result of the administration not taking action in disciplinary matters. Clearly, the administration is not entirely at fault. The Midshipmen are the ones who pledge to uphold the honor code, and each and every one has a moral responsibility to follow the Academy’s rules and regulations. Our placement at Kings Point is a gift that has been granted to us. We are given the opportunity and the training to become leaders both in the Armed Services and the Maritime industry, all on the generosity of the tax payer. However, the administration’s laissez faire approach to guiding and leading the regiment is responsible for the moral degradation that has bourgeoned in the regimental system. The administration has not been following the Academy’s mission of “educating and graduating officers and leaders of honor and integrity”, but instead has been promoting its Midshipman to live in a way contrary to the Academy’s ideals. Something needs to change at this Academy. It is nothing less than heartbreaking that a Midshipman or an Alumnus is embarrassed to call Kings Point their Alma Mater. No institution can function properly with an organization of people who do not abide by its codes, and when the administration does not abide by the same then change must come from the top. Nothing can be accomplished through inaction; we’ve seen distinct proof of this in the dealings of the Academy’s administration. Therefore, the time for action is now. Contact congressmen, flood the DOT with complaints, do whatever you can to send the message that the Midshipman and the Alumni will no longer stand for the depreciated state of the Academy. If we do not take action now, I fear that our Academy will not see another five years. Act now. “Acta non Verba”.