New alcohol violation rules (VAPS) are in the works

On any weekend, you can find students staggering from barracks to barracks, evidence of the constant battle revolving around preventing the consumption of alcohol, especially in the Corps of Cadets.

A violation of the alcohol policy, or VAP, can involve anything from illegal consumption of alcohol, misrepresentation of age, presence of beverage containers to disorderly conduct according to the Norwich University Student Rules and Regulations (NUSRR)

The school can take disciplinary actions based on the regulations in the NUSRR that spell out a “two-strike policy,” meaning that if someone violates the policy a second time, they will be charged with a Class I infraction, which can lead to dismissal from the university.

The Student Government Association (SGA), however, has drafted a new revised alcohol policy that would shift to a fine and penalty system. It is in the draft stages but has backing from the Norwich administration.

The existing alcohol policy was developed years ago, and it was designed to persuade students not to drink, according to Frank Vanecek, the senior vice president of student affairs.

Nolan Fergusson, the Honor Chair and an SGA Senator, said the new alcohol policy currently being drafted seeks to improve on regulations that many agree don’t work. “The VAP policy as it stands would be replaced by a policy that works off a fine-based penalty system. After each offense, the student would be fined, and based on the severity of the offense, sent to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings as necessary. The fines are meant to cover those meeting costs,” said Fergusson.

There is also a plan to cover dorm damages that happen on campus related to alcohol use, Fergusson mentioned. He said those students for whom AA classes are deemed unnecessary would have their fines compiled in a “dorm damages” fund that would be drawn from at the end of each year to pay for the damages occurred over the course of the year. [Read more…]

Behind Rook Recognition lies a lot of planning by leaders

Throughout the years, Norwich University has seen Rook Class Recognition change in many ways. Recognition for the rooks serves as the culmination of 18 weeks of training to achieve the requirements, standards, and privilege required to earn the title of Cadet. These recognition ceremonies can range in location, time, day, and the events leading up to it.

Keeping to tradition, people outside of Norwich are kept fairly in the dark about what actually happens during the ceremony. Even fewer people actually know the painstaking planning that goes into Recognition itself.

The planning for Recognition usually takes about couple of months to finalize. According to the Regimental S3, Steve Thomas, 21, a criminal justice major from Southport, N.C, communication is essential for planning the ceremony and events.

Traditionally, the Rook Performance Challenge, the culminating event for rook training, and Recognition are held on separate days on the Super Bowl weekend. However, a scheduling conflict occurred when the Super Bowl party was scheduled for the same time as the ceremony in Plumley Armory.

“There was only two options, we either do it at 1830 [Saturday] or we had to do it at 2200 [Sunday],” said Thomas. “The Cadet Colonel did not want to do it in Shapiro again,” the location of last year’s ceremony.

The plans were then finalized about a week prior to the ceremony that Recognition would be held in Plumley on that Saturday prior to the Super Bowl to help maintain the tradition of previous classes.

“The ceremony itself went very well, based off the views of the recruits and commandants I talked to,” said Thomas. “It was more symbolic than last year, with all the upperclassmen above you banging their rings on the railing, and a bigger attendance.” [Read more…]

A rewarding project on ‘The Great War’ and Norwich alums

A view of the exhibits at the Museum of the Great War in Pay de Beaux, France.

Norwich alumni who served during World War I are the focus of a project that both a military history class and a French class are collaboratively working on. Once finished, the work will be sent overseas sometime during the summer to the Muśee de la Grande Guerre du pays de Meaux (Museum of the Great War, located in Pays de Meaux, about 30 minutes from Paris in central France).

“Our forces over there had hopes and dreams,” said Frances Chevalier, a Professor of French and chair of the department of modern languages. “It’s important for us to learn more about what they experienced.”

Chevalier began this project following a string of visits to France. Professor Chevalier went on these trips to explore the history of France and while there, she found the resting place of her uncle, who had fought and died during the war, possibly in the trenches at the Battle of Verdun.

Chevalier said that her experiences in France, touring the cemeteries of the American deceased and discovering the resting place of her uncle were what would lead her to commit more time into researching World War I. That research would eventually culminate into the service learning project that is now under way. [Read more…]

Costly new ‘premier’ parking spots lack appeal for students

Premium parking spots have been designated on campus, including at this location behind South Hall. But the cost seems too much for students. Photo by Evan Bowley

A plethora of parking problems have long been a source of aggravation for students and faculty at Norwich University. Now, the Norwich Security Department is offering a potential way to improve the situation– at least if you are a student willing to pay extra.

Norwich is offering nine special parking spaces at extra cost located behind South Hall and the infirmary.
The announcement of the option first appeared on the Norwich University student website, explaining, “The reserved parking spaces will only be issued by the Security Office, where you will receive a special sticker. They will be issued on first-come , first-serve basis beginning today, Dec. 14, 2016.”

The announcement was signed by Norwich’s Chief of Security, Lawrence Rooney, who explained that the idea came from Norwich student government.

The cost of these premier parking spaces is $337.50 for the spring semester, which is in addition to the annual parking pass. There is no doubt many students would love to leave parking hassles behind, but according to student interviews, the price tag is a deterrent from buying the pass. [Read more…]

At the studios of Dog River Radio, WNUB-FM, the programs are colorful and eclectic

WNUB at Norwich University is also known as Dog River Radio.

Left, Christian Torchon ‘19 (aka DJ Dangue) on air with special radio guest Caitlin Judith Heale, ‘20, and right, Michelle Masperi ‘19 (aka DJ Debile) on a show called Euromix. WNUB is both an outlet for creativity and a hands-on learning experience for students wanting to learn the art of putting on a radio show. Overseen by Prof. Doug Smith, with modern equipment and now streaming live, online listeners tune in from all over for an eclectic range of shows.             Evan Bowley photo

Dog River Radio has been a voice in the Norwich community for decades. Behind the FM signals going out over campus, a lot of things are going on behind the scene.

“Listeners of WNUB only hear what goes into producing our own live shows,” said Colin Tarpey, 23, a political science major from Cohasset, Mass. “Unlike big time stations, we are fully responsible for managing every aspect of our shows, which can be a challenge.”

Norwich students have long been responsible for managing and operating the radio station. Students are expected to voice track, record promos, and record commercials, complete class projects, and fulfill their weekly live show time slot. It’s a lot of responsibility and work but it also provides a lot of opportunity to be creative.

“The students may create, produce, and execute their own weekly two-hour shows however they wish so long as they stay within FCC and station rules,” said Doug Smith, an adjunct professor from Grantham, N.H. in the Communications Department who is WNUB-FM faculty manager. “I inform them of the FCC regulations that we must live under plus my own rules and guidelines.” [Read more…]

Norwich Artillery Battery has a blast on St. Barbara’s Day

Norwich Artillery Battery members fire their howitzer, one of 23 rounds shot on St. Barbara’s Day. Kellie Lincoln Photo

Norwich Artillery Battery members fire their howitzer, one of 23 rounds shot on St. Barbara’s Day.   Rebecca Friend photo.

The Norwich Artillery Battery (NAB) went out with a bang this past St. Barbara’s day with a howitzer show, firing rounds of blanks that rattled the town of Northfield.

St. Barbara is known as the patron saint of artillery and she is celebrated every fourth of December by artillery units all around the world.

The story of St. Barbara goes back to the Middle Ages when she was going to be executed and her executioner was struck by lightning. St. Barbara then became known as the saint of loud powerful noises, and artillery obviously falls in that category.

Many NAB members had never heard of St. Barbara until they joined the battery. Take Shane O’Neil, 20, a junior studies in war and peace major from Glen, N.H.

“Before joining NAB I never had any idea who St. Barbara was,” said O’Neil. “If you asked me in the past, I wouldn’t have even known there was a day for her.” But O’Neil, like many other members of NAB, enjoys putting on their loud yearly performance. “I’m super excited to participate and be loud,” said O’Neil. [Read more…]

Mustache competition brings out best, and worst

Erick Urquieta was awarded the “most stylish” mustache award in a competition during November. The mustaches spurred debate on whether underclassmen in the corps should be allowed facial hair.

Erick Urquieta was awarded the “most stylish” mustache award in a competition during November. The mustaches spurred debate on whether underclassmen in the Corps should be allowed facial hair. Darwin Carozza photo.

Over the course of the fall semester, many corps sophomores and juniors have chosen to grow out a mustache, generally considered a senior privilege in the Corps of Cadets.

But for the month of November, an exception was offered for sophomores and juniors within the corps as part of a “No Shave November” event, explained Erin Gats, 22, the regimental commander of the corps and a senior in communications from Livermore, Maine.

“Since mustaches are normally a senior thing, we extended the tradition out to the sophomores and juniors for the month of November,” Gats said. “Administration did not have an issue with this either, for the month of November.”

The Naval department also had a mustache challenge for the month of November, according to Jonathan Edwards, 21 a sophomore in computer security and information assurance.

Foxtrot company wanted to have a “No shave November” competition, according to Connor Wills, 21, a junior in studies of war and peace with a minor in German from Kiowa, Co.

“I wanted to get some company cohesion with something they could be proud about. I knew most already wanted to grow mustaches already, so I asked the Foxtrot commander if we could do a competition,” said Wills. [Read more…]

Photographer Mark Collier captures life at Norwich, creating an image of the school

Lugging enough gear for any eventuality, Mark Collier captures moments large and small at Norwich as the University's professional photographer. Above, he aims a big lens on hockey practice. Photo by Stephanie White

Lugging gear for any eventuality, Mark Collier captures moments large and small at Norwich as the University’s busy, and personable, professional photographer. Above, he aims a big lens on hockey practice. Photo by Stephanie White.

At Norwich University, a photojournalist and friendly face can be spotted at almost every school and community service event in the thick of the action.

Mark Collier, staff photographer for the Office of Communications at Norwich and a native of Barre, Vt., has captured some of the most profound, as well as everyday, moments at Norwich and is no stranger to the faculty, staff and students. From taking photos of the Army Golden Knights, the Dalai Lama, and even going into burning buildings with firefighters, photography is “as natural as breathing,” says Collier, who says he has been involved with photography since the age of 10.

Kathleen Murphy Moriarty, associate vice president of marketing & communications, leads the office where Collier works and describes him as “Creative. Capable. And committed.” Collier’s role, she says, is that of a “visual storyteller and his work enhances the factual and emotional elements of Norwich. Through his clear, high quality, truthful images, we communicate meaningful and memorable messages that imprint our target audiences.”

Collier approaches photography with an artist’s eye. He’s typically seen taking photos of everything from the school including landscapes, buildings and people, as well as Norwich merchandise. “He may or may not have the luxury of time on his side to take the perfect shot, so opts to shoot as the event unfolds, capturing the action of the moment and the prevailing emotion that personifies what those involved must be feeling,” says Moriarty.

“I think this is year four at Norwich, this will be my first graduating class,” says Collier, who came to Norwich because he wanted a change.
[Read more…]

Plan for expanded fitness facilities needs funding before it can happen

A lack of space in the Plumley Armory fitness center has long drawn student complaints, but Norwich is making plans to fix the overcrowding – though it will take time.
“Andrews Hall is entering phase three of a construction project for an addition on the athletic complex that will include a new fitness center,” said Anthony Mariano, director of athletics. But for now, the school has embarked on a major campaign for new academic halls that began this fall and is its current focus.
“I think once the school finishes the current capital campaigns, I would bet that the next capital campaigns will be focused on the addition to Andrews,” said Mariano, noting “The school’s priorities are currently set on the new academic halls.”
According to Mariano, phase three in the athletic complex will include a new fitness center that will also include new locker rooms, some office space and an expanded training room that will be added on to Andrew’s Hall, which is connected via Doyle Hall to Kreitzberg Arena.
“The new fitness area would basically incorporate all of the things down in Plumley but in one large room instead of three separate rooms,” said Mariano. The question is, will this gym be used for the athletic teams or for students?
“What hasn’t been determined is whether or not the current space in Plumley will be used,” said Mariano. This plays a big role in the plans for the addition on to Andrews because there is still debate going on about the size of the new fitness center. “Ideally it would be great if we had two fitness areas, one for the student population and one for athletics,” said Mariano.
[Read more…]

As new policy is drafted, transgender students speak out about their experience

Transgender students Bryson Santiago (left) and DeLuka Alexander pose for a picture. They are appreciative of Norwich’s efforts to draft policies for transgender students and say they feel comfortable going to school as members of the Corps of Cadets.

Transgender students Bryson Santiago (left) and DeLuka Alexander pose for a picture. They are appreciative of Norwich’s efforts to draft policies for transgender students and say they feel comfortable going to school as members of the Corps of Cadets.

Norwich University is required by law to honor requests from students for accommodations consistent with their gender identities, and Norwich’s president is affirming the school’s responsibilities.

“The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights in conjunction with the Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights states that recipients of Title IX federal funding cannot exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently on the basis of sex of any person in its educational programs or activities,” said Norwich President Richard Schneider in a memorandum Oct. 24. “Funding recipients must treat a person’s gender identity as the person’s sex.”

The president said that Norwich University does not currently have a policy, but university officials are drafting one that allows transgender students to access housing options consistent with their gender identity.

Furthermore, Schneider said that the university may not require transgender students to stay in single occupancy accommodations or to disclose personal information that is not required of any other students.

Cadets and students alike have questioned how this new policy will be implemented and what accommodations would need to be made, but transgender students at Norwich are excited to see what becomes of this policy.

“My goal is to try to get a gender neutral bathroom in every (building),” said Bryson Santiago, 18, a rook in the Corps of Cadets and a health sciences major from The Bronx, N.Y., who is a transgender male. “It is totally necessary, because there are other transgender males in the school who say that using the female (bathroom) is awkward for them.” [Read more…]