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…]

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…]

Sibling life at Norwich

Identical twins Ashley and Courtney Nau, from Sunrise, Fla., have been inseparable for the past 20 years.

For the two sophomore physics majors, college life hasn’t changed their relationship or living situation from what it was growing up.

“We really didn’t have much of a say last year but we chose to do it this year,” Courtney said. Her sister Ashley added, “When we picked beds it was easy. Courtney said, ‘well I had top bunk as a kid so I guess I’ll take that again.’”

The Naus are able to remain close because they are roommates. “Share a womb together, share a room together,” Ashley joked.

At Norwich University, some students have a special experiences with their roommates – because they are siblings.

In interviews, siblings, both twins and singletons (sisters and brothers), explained their reasons for wanting to live with each other.

The Nau twins chose to because of convenience and closeness. “It’s so easy. We have the same habits and level of cleanliness, so why change?” Courtney said. [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…]

‘Tis the season to be SAD

Junior Tony Rodriguez using a HappyLight.

It’s not unusual to see cadets outside the chapel on the coldest days of the year, blowing bubbles, watching them freeze and roll along the concrete.

Rev. William Wick has seen nearly three decade’s worth of Vermont winters, and while his office may be decorated in skiing memorabilia, he understands that the snow may not bring joy to everyone. This is why Wick keeps bubble-blowing supplies in the cabinet of his office: It’s a way to combat the blues that can come with a long winter.

“Those who have been here longer, know that it’s coming again. First thing for anything, you may anticipate cold stuff, but don’t know what it’s like to walk through it,” Wick said. “Sometimes they don’t realize what is happening, sometimes they’re aware of it and they can adjust. Other times it’s a ‘Why am I feeling this way?’” [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…]

Road to the ring not an easy path

For some unlucky juniors in the Corps of Cadets, the cherished goal of finally putting on the traditional junior ring may have to wait.

According to these cadets, they are thwarted by a failure to meet certain requirements they think are unfair or should be changed.

Since the early 19th century, it has been a Norwich tradition for junior cadets to receive class rings. The coveted ring carries a lot of sentiment and reflects accomplishment, a representation of the three years completed, and graduation ahead.

But as with many things at Norwich, the junior ring is not given – it must be earned – and that means cadets have a list of requirements to fulfill before they can wear one.

[Read more…]

Tattoos are a proud mark of accomplishment for athletes and club members at Norwich

 

Earned, Never Given.

This concept reflects long-standing tradition throughout many Norwich University clubs, teams, and specialty units. For each of these groups, earning one’s place means reaching a level of achievement and dedication – and often that recognition comes with the right to wear a tattoo if you are selected or deemed eligible by your team or group.

These inked designs serve not just as an image of one’s sacrifice and dedication to these organizations, but a more permanent reminder of how far one has come during their time here at Norwich.

Since the Norwich campus is home to many extracurricular organizations, some notable organizations in the scheme of tattoos would be the men’s and women’s rugby teams, the Norwich Artillery Battery, and the Mountain and Cold Weather Company. [Read more…]