For longtime VP of students Frank Vanacek, Norwich character seen as defining trait

 

Vice President of Student Affairs Frank Vanecek has been at Norwich almost four decades, and has a strong sense of what defines the school.

As a boisterous laugh from outside his first-floor window peeled his eyes away from his computer screen, Frank Vanacek’s gaze rested on a group of students laughing in the warmth of the spring weather outside. Smiling to himself, the Vice President of Student Affairs turned back to his desk and let his mind wander to years past.

“I have taught at three other institutions other than Norwich University during my time working in higher education, and I will say that after my experiences at those other schools, I would choose Norwich over them every single time,” said Vanacek, who has been a higher education professional for almost four decades.

Vanacek doesn’t mean any offense to the other institutions that occupied his time, he simply says, they didn’t have what Norwich has. “Their students didn’t have that special character about them. They didn’t have the Norwich character,” said Vanacek. [Read more…]

Corps vs. Civvies: Norwich’s split personality could use a makeover

After more than two decades, a divide still exists between corps students and civilians who were first enrolled in 1994. Guidon staffer Ethan Miller thinks it’s time for both sides to respect each other. Norwich University photo

Commentary

 

Baseball has the Yankees and the Red Sox, racism has the oppressed and the oppressors, and Norwich, well Norwich has the Corps and Civilians. Sure, there are fights in all of them, but hey, at least Norwich has more middle fingers.

Unless you just got to campus, you’ve definitely seen the tension between the corps and the civvies. I was on my way to history of civilization one day, talking to a few guys, just messing around while we walked, when a corps kid walks up to us and tells us that we’re a bunch of “sissy no-brained civvies,” and then walks away. The next day I’m headed to chow with a couple of civvy chicks, when a different corps kid sees the chicks and yells “Hey ladies, you want to chase these boots?” But hey, maybe that kind of stuff only happens when I’m around.

When I first got to this college, I looked around at all of the corps members in uniforms and short hair and thought, “Huh, this seems like a serious college,” but I soon learned it’s not as serious as it looks. I started to realize what shenanigans went on around campus, whether it was the weird kid from down the hall who would run around with condoms on his face to the basic white girls getting drunk and throwing their half-filled Mikes (Hard Lemonade) out of their windows. I began to see that the school had a more party vibe than they had on the outside. [Read more…]

For Norwich seniors, it’s a look back at many memories, and a look ahead to the future

It’s like any other day for Angel Cruz, you wake up to get ready for school, making sure that you have all that you need. Yet those days were getting closer to an end for Cruz, a 21-year-old senior from Passaic, N.J.

With less than a week before graduation, “it’s an unreal feeling, knowing that my first 16 years of education are coming to an end, and I will be on my own for the first time,” Cruz said.

Like many Norwich students who are finishing their four years and about to join the class of 2018, Cruz was excited to discuss his future. And like his fellow seniors, who come from all backgrounds to Norwich to face challenges, gain leadership experience as well as to find new families, it is a time to look back as well.

“I recently bought my graduation tickets for my family to come see me, it’s exciting to know that they will be here to see me finish my time. They are very proud of me to see my accomplishments and how far I got,” Cruz said.
[Read more…]

From Norwich to the Pros: two former teammates face off

Defenseman Cody Smith during his career at Norwich. Norwich athletics photos

Tyler Piacentini on the ice in 2017.

Not a lot comes close to the feeling of winning a collegiate national championship as an athlete, but if one thing beats that feeling, it’s winning a championship as a professional athlete.

As Cody Smith, ’17, puts it, “being able to say that I am a national champion is a feeling that not a lot can top.”

Tyler Piacentini, ’17, also falls under the category of collegiate national champions, as he won the national championship at Norwich in 2017, along with Smith.

The two former team captains may share the special bond of winning a national title as teammates, but just one year later, they faced off as rivals in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) championship game which took place Sunday, April 29.

The SPHL is a professional hockey league made up of ten teams and is based out of Huntsville, N. C.

Smith, a 24-year-old from Hudson, Mass, currently plays defense for the Peoria Rivermen which is based out of Peoria, Ill. Piacentini, a 25-year-old from Weymouth, Mass., plays for the Huntsville Havoc, based out of Huntsville, Ala. These two teams took each other on Sunday afternoon for the championship title.

“There was just something off about playing my best friend and former teammate in the championship game of our professional career,” Smith said. “It’s awesome that we got to win a national title together as Cadets though, and that will always be something we’ll share, no matter where our career takes us in the future.” [Read more…]

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…]

Lights out at Norwich!

Almost everyone has been through some kind of black out or power outage. They have happened all over the world, and they are nothing new, but a recent power outage at Norwich revealed a crazy side of what happens when the lights go out.

It was just like any regular evening around 10 p.m. for Kaylan Duncan, 20, from Chicago, Ill. He was relaxing during his usual Wednesday night entertainment. “I was playing PubG on my personal computer, you know the usual,” said Duncan “When all of a sudden my computer crapped out, and so did all of the other lights around me.”

“Even though I was in the middle of a winning streak, I knew it was probably just a glitch or a short blackout,” said Duncan. “I just tried to stay calm and grab a flashlight or something, just like any regular human being would — but I look out of my fifth story window out to the U.P. and the whole campus just goes bats–t crazy.”

Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on April 3, the student body and Corps of Cadets at Norwich went crazy and weird activities, pranks and a loss of total control took over the Upper Parade Ground during a 15 minute blackout in the town of Northfield. Instead of reacting to the power outage like Duncan, a business management major, “hundreds were out on the U.P. doing just the weirdest things you could possibly imagine,” said Duncan. [Read more…]