Senator eyes policy changes at US Merchant Marine Academy

KINGS POINT, N.Y. – U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (KEER’-stehn JIHL’-uh-brand) wants to equip U.S. Merchant Marine Academy cadets with satellite phones on commercial vessels to make it easier to report sexual abuse or harassment.

The New York Democrat includes the proposal in a list of policy changes she plans to introduce in the Senate. She visited the Long Island campus on Tuesday.

The academy has suspended a program that allows cadets to earn credits for internships on commercial vessels amid concerns about sexual abuse and bullying at sea and on campus.

Separate reviews of abuse allegations are underway.

Gillibrand’s proposals also include spot checks on vessels where midshipmen are working.