I have been attending SUNY Maritime for 3 yrs and am to graduate this year. Even in writing this I am fearful I may be punished or singled out for my right to speak freely. I have personally seen the quality of this school go from bad to worse. The Administration is without regard to the best interests of the Cadets. Just look at the lack of charts we have access to, so we may create our passage plan more that 5min before Bridge Resource Management. Look at the simulators with their outdated radars and short staffed instructors who run the simulations. Look at the lack of access to lapware from day one so cadets can have a sort of self tudor in their off time. Look at some of the instructors that the department heads surround themselves with. Obviously non-threatening to them but also incompetent, thereby securing the heads own statuses. Look at the conduct onboard the training ship…at one point I was instructed to paint over a wet bulkhead. Look at the Financial Aid office where you are lucky to find someone who will listen let alone care about any issues the cadet has. Look at the three day weekends and lack of availability to the cadets in normal business hours. Look at the way this school is able to twist facts and place blame on Cadets(believe me I know not all Cadets are perfect). Look at the library and classrooms shut down on the weekends so there is no place to study. Look at the lack of a basic word program on the library computers so a cadet can write. Look at the shutdown of the school the week before finals so a movie could be filmed…whose interest does this serve? These are just a few of the concerns here at SUNY Maritime.
Now look at the “improvements” the new mess deck meant to impress though food quality unchanged. Look at the new lighting fixtures in the fort that were not needed. Look at the new building meant for Administration. Flatscreen TV’s that are not used. Look at the rise in tuition instantaneously with no changes or improvements to the programs. Look at the freshly painted hallway in the gym that did not need paint. Look at the monopoly the store has and requirement to buy uniforms only there at an inflated price. Look at the complete lack of checks and balances within this system. Where is the accountability?
This is not the way Cadets should be brought into the Merchant Marine. The system is one that is meant to dazzle and impress without real education or hands on experience. Having more regimental standards is not the solution, but having respect for those who have the tremendous amount of knowledge associated with this industry in order to be proficient, just may be. A leader is one who gains respect not one who forces it upon others. There is lack of accountability, no real plan to update or better the education in real time, and an overall disgusted morale here. It is easy to blame just the department heads but it has gone deeper than that. The extreme concern for profiteering and lack of concern for the Cadets and their wellbeing has added to the increased downfall of SUNY Maritime. I walk around the Fort and see portraits of J.S. Baylis, Sembler, and many other leaders who genuinely cared for the cadets. I would like to see Fort Schuyler restored to the reputation it once had. Not by dumping money and donations into a broken system, but through leadership coming from the heart and able to see the big picture within the industry and willing to fight to make sure every cadet is prepared for what is in store. I want to be proud to have gone here, but it seems that the former Fort Schuyler has become a dumping ground for soon to retire military heads as they gracefully soar into retirement. It is not too late for Fort Schuyler, but I fear it is for SUNY Maritime. Consider this a cry for help for Fort Schuyler.
As an aside, Hampft needs to undergo serious pshycological evaluation by a competent authority. I say this with true concern. I am certain though that with the current system this will never happen.