All classes were cancelled at the U.S. Military Academy Jan. 14 and work was set aside as the cadets, staff and faculty came together to talk about how to live honorably, build cohesive teams and combat issues related to sexual assault and harassment at the academy.
This marked the third Honorable Living Day hosted by the academy during the tenure of West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams.
The first was held last February and brought the West Point community together to discuss the results of the biennial Service Academy Gender Relations survey and begin formulating responses to eliminate sexual assault and harassment at the academy. USMA stood-down again last semester to build upon that discussion and call cadets, staff and faculty to action to combat issues at the academy and improve the culture in order to combat sexual assault.
Tuesday, the entire academy once again held a stand down day. This time the goal was to expand the discussion beyond sexual assault and talk about how all aspects of the community can come together and promote an atmosphere of honorable living to include diversity, inclusion and acceptance of people from differing backgrounds, races and genders.
“About a year ago, we paused and brought the entire community together-cadets, staff, faculty and coaches-to have a hard and frank conversation about the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Since then, we’ve made many strides to address this issue,” Williams said. “We firmly planted ourselves in this space-you, me and the entire team-and have recommitted ourselves to ending sexual assault and the behaviors that undermine the dignity and respect each and every one of us deserve.”