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…]

Two fire sprinklers go off, flooding Corps dorm rooms in two separate incidents

 

Students in Patterson work on cleanup of flooding on the second floor after a sprinkler head accident flooded a number of rooms. Kanisha Gonzalez photo

(EDITORS NOTE: Two fire sprinkler accidents flooded two separate Corps dorms within four days in late February. This is the first of two stories about the unfortunate wet events – this one in Patterson Hall – which fortunately caused no major damage).

It was a normal Tuesday afternoon for Victoria Davis-Cortes as she finished her class for the day and returned to her room to prepare for mil-lab, the army ROTC military science lab where which cadets learn and practice skills they will use in an army officer career.

As she routinely did that day, Davis reached for her rucksack, a military bag with straps similar to a backpack used to carry all army essentials, which was placed on the top of her wall locker. As she pulled it out, it accidentally tapped the sprinkler head in the room.

“It started to sprinkle at first and then it just burst with black water running out if it. In a matter of minutes, it started to flood our room and start rushing to the room across the hall,” said Davis-Cortes, 20, a sophomore criminal justice major from Bronx, N.Y.

That slight tap on Feb. 20 to a sprinkler around 12 p.m. led to a heavy flooding of four rooms in Patterson, according to the students living in room 210. Davis’s roommate was in 210 when water let loose.

“We were both shocked, but then we started to take all our sheets off the bed when it began to sprinkle because it was the closest,” said Daney Reyes, 20, a sophomore criminal justice major from North Plainfield, N.J.
[Read more…]

Two fire sprinklers go off, flooding Corps dorm rooms in two separate incidents

(EDITORS NOTE: Two fire sprinkler accidents flooded two separate Corps dorms within four days in late February. This is the second of two stories about the unfortunate wet events – this one in Ransom Hall – which fortunately caused no major damage).

On Friday, Feb 23, in the early afternoon, most cadets in Ransom Hall had their rooms tightly kept, awaiting the official annual regimental room inspection.

Cadets like Kailin Duncan, from Chicago, Ill., had fully cleaned and tidied up their rooms. All beds were perfectly made, wall lockers arranged with their clothes in order, and floors swept and mopped.

Duncan, 20, lives on the top floor of Ransom Hall and “was about 30 minutes out from inspection.” He was in an exciting game of Rocket League while waiting when “all of the sudden, the fire alarm went off.”

“I thought it would be over soon, so I didn’t bother to rush — but then it continued; I opened my door and saw two guys at the end of the hall screaming, and I just saw water spilling out of their room.”

Around 2:30 p.m., 30 minutes before regimental room inspections, the fifth-floor hallway of Ransom Hall suffered major flooding due to a damaged sprinkler head in room 501. Multiple rooms neighboring room 501 also experienced flooding issues due to the massive amount of water exiting the broken sprinkler, said Bizhan Yahyazadeh, the head of facilities operations. [Read more…]

David Allen, newly hired, hopes to expand international flavor at Norwich

David Allen, the new assistant director of the International Center and Services, at his desk at Norwich University.                                                                                      Darwrin Carozza photo

David Allen knows all about what it’s like to travel and learn in a foreign land. So it’s no surprise he is making the most out of his new occupation at the Norwich University International Center.

Hired at the beginning of February, the new assistant director for international programs and services speaks clearly on what his main goals and future projects are.

“A big initiative Norwich has at the moment is the internationalizing of the campus,” Allen said. “If we cannot bring students in, we will bring them out, so they can come back and further deepen the university community.”

Norwich prides itself in having an international perspective, and affirms in its vision statement that students will be, “American in character, yet global in perspective.” This international perspective can only be achieved by immersing the student body in the rest of the globe, and bringing international students to the university.

“By studying abroad, you have the opportunity for transformation,” Allen said. “I did not understand it when I was studying abroad, but it really does give you a different perspective of the world.” [Read more…]

New Norwich University website ready to launch after two years of work

A screenshot of Norwich’s current website. A total revamp of the site has been under way for two years and will launch soon.

After two years of work, Norwich is close to unveiling a completely new website that will “bring Norwich University, online, to the 21st century,” in the words of Norwich’s office of communications.

The revamped website, which is the digital face of the university, is expected to be rolled out to the public sometime this month.“It’s our front door to the world and we want to do NU proud,” said Loida Alvarez, the director of web services in the office of communications for the university. “This launch is just the beginning.”

The overhauled website will serve as an “integral part of recruiting new students, faculty, and staff. This will allow the university to build on the proud tradition that is already in place,” said Nick Fischer, the administrative assistant in office.

The theme behind the development of the new website was “three clicks or less,” according to Jeff Dobbin, one of the web developers who works in the office, which is located at the northern end of the campus in Flint Hall on Central Street.

“We want to make people explore as much as they want but also find what they want to find in three clicks or less,” Dobbin said. “That was a key. It was difficult, but it was something we emphasized.”

In the same vein, the OC focused heavily on making the website easier to access and use on mobile devices, something that is difficult to execute on the current site.

“There was a study recently that showed that 79 percent of prospective students in the next generation are looking for schools on their mobile device first before they would apply,” Dobbin said. “That was kind of the background behind, ‘okay, we need to redesign.’” [Read more…]

Tide pod challenge finds some takers at Norwich: Tasty? Not exactly.

Noshing on the colorful little detergent packets on a dare has made a lot of people sick, including at Norwich.

For better or worse, Norwich students have taken up the Tide pod challenge.
Insanity or typical college caper? Depends who you talk to.
“It’s another one of those challenges you see on social media, except this one is pretty life-threatening. I don’t know where it came from but as soon as we hit the new year, it came out of nowhere,” said Jerrel Garey, 19, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Methuen, Mass.
Another sophomore, Michael Agnes, 20, a history major from Jefferson N.J., is incredulous that anyone would eat or swallow the small Tide laundry detergent packs.
“It’s a ridiculous challenge that should have never started, and it’s ridiculous that it’s still going on after a few weeks. You still hear cases about children and even adults who go to hospitals or near death because they ate a Tide pod,” he said.
Steve is a Norwich student who has tried a Tide Pod, and wants to remain anonymous about his escapade.  “It’s a new year, so a new challenge arose, is how I thought about it, it’s something interesting and new.”
[Read more…]

Womens hockey team clinches #1 seed, heads to playoffs on Saturday

Sophomore Amanda Conway, the top scorer for the undefeated women’s hockey team, will join her teammates in facing off against new England College in the playoffs this weekend. Norwich Athletics photo

  The Norwich Women’s Hockey team heads into the post-season with the number one seed for the NEHC playoffs. With an outstanding record of 21 wins, one loss, and three ties (21-1-3), the team clinched the top ranking and now begins its quest to be in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Frozen Four tournament in March.

  The women will host New England College at 3 p.m. in the NEHC Quarterfinals at Kreitzberg Arena on Saturday, Feb. 17.

  “We have so much team chemistry and I think that’s what makes us so successful,” said sophomore Amanda Conway, a 21-year old forward and physical education major from Methuen, Mass. “Our record just reflects that and proves we are a force to be reckoned with.”

  This past week, the team closed the regular season with a dominant 6-0 victory over the University of New England to seal its third perfect league regular season in program history.The team has been building momentum all season. In one of their best efforts of the season so far, the Cadets blanked the UMass Boston Beacons in a 7-0 domination Jan. 26 at Kreitzberg Arena in the battle between the top two NEHC teams.

  “We really just played as one unit,” said junior co-captain Bryn Labbe, a forward and psychology and education double major from Calgary, Alberta. “There’s nothing like winning in the end, but when you truly earn that win, it makes it that much better.”  
[Read more…]