Controversy surrounds the ring

Forty-three years ago, David Whaley received his Norwich University cadet ring in the mess hall, alongside the rest of the class of 1976.

“Receiving the ring was about being welcoming and forming a bond of a class,” said David Whaley, vice president of development, alumni relations and communications, Class of 1976, and a former NU Class Ring Advisor.

Throughout the years that Whaley has attended and worked at Norwich University, the requirements and the formality of the NU cadet class ring have changed.

“There was not a physical fitness test to pass, a certain number of credits or a number of semesters in the corps. We were much more open back then,” Whaley said.

The change in the process and increasing formalities have created an issue this year for two second-year cadets who are academic juniors and took a non-traditional route to the ring. Uproar over the approval caused the cadets to ask The Guidon not to use their names in this story.

“Two second-year cadets submitted a request for a waiver based on the fact that they were academic juniors but entered the corps in a non-traditional way,” said Col. Michael Titus, 55th Commandant of the Corps of Cadets.

Traditionally, Norwich University cadets enter the corps their freshmen year as a rook, where they receive training from upperclass cadets on what it means to be a cadet, until they get formally recognized as a cadet in the spring semester and then continue as cadets until their senior year. [Read more…]

Norwich hockey community mourns, comes together after Saskatchewan junior hockey team’s crash takes 16 lives

The bonds athletes make with their teammates are almost incomparable. For a junior league hockey player, they’re as tight as it gets: When you eat, sleep and breathe the sport of hockey with the same 20-odd guys every day and night for eight months out of the year, the brotherhood bond is inevitable.

Freshman Norwich ice hockey player Michael Korol can attest to this brotherhood, and feels especially blessed for the memories he has been given with his former junior league hockey team, the Humboldt Broncos. Now, he cherishes them a little extra following the deadly accident that occurred in Saskatchewan leading to heartbreak all over the country.

Sixteen junior league hockey members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) woke up on Friday morning unaware of the fate that awaited them later that evening on April 6.

The Humboldt Broncos were on their way to game five of the SJHL playoffs last Friday evening when their bus suddenly was hit at an intersection by a semi-trailer on Highway 35 just miles north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan.

For Korol here in Northfield, the terrible accident hit home. [Read more…]

For foreign faculty, an adventurous path to NU

Years ago, two Norwich professors, despite coming from different countries, had a common dream. That dream is what brought them across the ocean, and made them settle in the United States.

“When I was young, I really wanted to go to Washington DC, study politics, and then go back to Korea and become a politician,” said Prof. Yangmo Ku, an assistant professor of political science. “As that time went by, that plan changed dramatically, and rather than go back I decided to stay here, study more, and eventually I became faculty.”

Alex Chung, an assistant professor of economics and finance from Taiwan, China, tells a similar story. He was just a young student when he made the same decision to undertake a study abroad experience in the USA.

“At the beginning I had no intention in staying here for a long time. I just wanted to get a master’s, work for a couple of years, and then go back to China,” Chung said. “In Taiwan you get more job possibilities if you studied in the United States, plus my entire family lived there.”

Among the faculty members at Norwich coming from different countries, many started as international students who then became permanent immigrants to the United States, thanks to study or work opportunities, according to Chung and Ku. [Read more…]

UNIFY holds first annual ball

Most weekends at Norwich University, students are resting from a busy week, found in their rooms or blowing off steam off-campus. Others are found quietly studying in the library. However, a small group can be found in Andrews Hall, working out on Sunday afternoons.

Lydia Guy says that Sundays are her favorite days because of the work, and workout, she gets to do. She spends her Sundays with Special Olympic Athletes. After nearly a whole school year of Sundays spent working out, they decided to have a celebration of sorts.

On March 31, the UNIFY group on campus threw a ball for the special athletes and their mentors to celebrate the work they have done the past year, and the work they will continue to do. The theme was a masquerade ball, and guests showed up in formal dresses and suits.

The ball included a sword arc performed by members of the drill company, as well as a formal dinner. Then the special athletes, mentors, and their families spent the night dancing and taking pictures.

Anthony Rodriguez Jr, a 20-year-old communications major from San Antonio, Texas, was one of the cadets on the sword arc. Donning his most formal uniform, he said it was an “incredible honor to perform this detail,” and that he would do it “time and time again,” if he could. [Read more…]

Time to ‘ring’ in a new tradition

There’s a civilian junior ring?

That is a question that is often heard from many students and faculty at Norwich University.

Students at Norwich are a part of one big community that bands together to make things happen. One of the key events that symbolizes this student community is the awarding of a Norwich ring, a long Corps tradition that has expanded to include having a civilian junior ring, a meaningful new tradition for the civilian side. Unfortunately, civilians still receive backlash from those in the Corps who think that civilians do not deserve them.

At almost every college there is a class ring, although rings may not have the same significance at civilian schools, where the tradition is declining nationwide. But at Norwich, getting a junior ring holds important meaning to those students in the Corps and civilians who get them. [Read more…]

For gay students at Norwich, room to grow, lead and be themselves

Morgan Woods

It might seem unlikely that a small, long-standing strict military college nestled in the hills of Vermont could be a judgment-free place to be gay. However, Norwich, founded as the nation’s first private military school back in 1819, has made a name for itself with its open acceptance of members of the LGBT community.

For two cadets in the military Corps, the guiding university principle of fostering leadership and judging people by their character and skills, not their gender or sexual preferences, has proven to be true, and the school has lived up to motto.

“Whether it’s interacting with the people living around me, or going to classes as a functioning cadet, me being attracted to men is not an issue,” said cadet Andrew Guiberson, a 20-year-old sophomore business management major from North East, Md. “The issue is me doing the tasks that are asked of me, like it should be.”

A similar viewpoint is shared by Morgan Woods, a 20-year-old junior psychology major from Newton, Mass.

“It was always a thought in my mind when picking schools because I knew I wanted to go into the military on active duty and I knew that I wanted to live the (military) lifestyle 24 hours a day, and I knew that I was gay,” Woods said. “When going through senior military colleges to pick, having to decide whether or not I wanted to live my school life back in the closet again for my career there was a big factor.” [Read more…]

New rules at The Pub rile students

The Pub at the Wise Campus Center has long been the most popular local bar, because of its easy accessibility on campus and entertainment events. The Pub has always been run by Sodexo, the on-campus food service provider and vendor that runs dining facilities.

That, say some students, has changed recently.

“The Pub used to be busy most weekends, because it’s the closest place for every student over the age of 21 to go to,” said Shane O’Neil, a senior and War and Peace major. O’Neil was a regular “for about a year” at the Pub, since he turned 21 and could legally drink.

But, said O’Neil. “I put a little stop from going there, for a little while,” adding “most people stopped going there because of the changes.”

Those changes took place at the beginning of the semester after the long Christmas/New Years break. Students complain the major rule changes are discouraging student clientele from going to The Pub and socializing and enjoying themselves. [Read more…]

Artsy side of Norwich gets the spotlight

With a tentative ear, Katie Whitney listened as the voices from the stage before her eyes carried into the rafters and bounced off of the concrete walls, getting lost in the meters of emptiness which lay behind her.

The acoustics weren’t great, something she was quick to realize, but at this point, Whitney knew her options were very limited. This certainly wasn’t the usual venue for her event, but knowing what is to come next year, she did not mind being displaced for the time being.

“The sound is terrible in there, but what mattered is that students had a chance to let their voice be heard,” said Whitney, a member of Norwich University’s class of 2009, and the director of the annual Battle of the Voices competition held March 2nd and 3rd.

For the first year since its creation in 2014, Norwich University’s spring singing competition was not being held in Dole Auditorium, due to its recent destruction as part of a major construction campaign to improve campus facilities. Having lost the one acoustically engineered location on campus for an event of this nature, the group moved to the school’s gym and multipurpose space, Plumley Armory with hopeful and determined hearts, coming together to make it the most successful performance to date, with more than 200 in the audience cheering on the performers.

“Honestly, being in Plumley didn’t really put any kind of damper on the event. The location is not what matters, it is the talent that is being displayed for everyone who comes,” said Meaghan McGrath, a 23-year-old member of Norwich’s senior class, and a Vermont local. “My junior year I had attended the event as a spectator, and this year, I just decided to give it a shot, and I am certainly glad I did.” [Read more…]

For foreign professors, many barriers to overcome

Professor Alex Chung, along with several other professors, belong to the group of faculty members who made the decision to follow the American Dream – and teach despite the language barrier.

The presence of a minority group of professors, teaching even though English is not their first language, is among the aspects that give Norwich University a special flavor.

“For me, language is just a tool. It does not matter how smoothly you can speak, as long as you can communicate, you can do anything, even teaching,” said Chung, an assistant professor of economics and finance who comes from Taiwan.

Many young people from Asia, when searching for a job in the teaching environment, look at opportunities in the United States, identified as the destination with the “least restrictive” teaching system, according to Prof. Chung. They also come to the U.S. because its colleges and universities stress dialogue and interaction in the classroom.

“The best aspect of teaching in the United States, is that students are able to be passionate in expressing their opinions, arguing, and arguing back for something,” said Yangmo Ku, assistant professor of political science, and associate director of peace and war, from Seoul, South Korea. “This type of free debate and free communication style is a very strong point the American culture has compared to the Korean one.” [Read more…]

Dorm thefts are a growing complaint

It was like any day for Edwards Burnham. After a long day of studying, exercising, and working for the school, Burnham looked forward to relaxing in his room.

“Like any other day I walked back to my room, it was empty like usual because my roommate and I have different schedules, I went inside and grabbed my stuff to get ready for a shower,” said Burnham, 21, a junior criminal justice major from Boston, Mass.

Burnham never once thought that he would have to watch out for his personal items when going out for a quick shower.

“I showered for maybe 15 minutes, came back to my room and I noticed that some stuff went missing,” Burnham said. “I had a video game, a controller, and a book stolen – it was a bit odd, but they were gone.”

Theft on the Norwich University campus has become a bigger a issue this year than in years prior, according to students whose stuff has been taken or have friends who have seen items taken. Interviews reveal the problem of theft in the dorms is a major concern. [Read more…]