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…]

The iPad Initiative

You may have noticed many students on campus working on Apple iPads this year, or writing on them with a high-tech “pencil” in some cases. Norwich is one of a few universities leading the way in exploring use of the powerful devices in classes, labs and for homework.

So what do students using them think? Opinion depends on the students and the major, but based on interviews, the iPad initiative holds promise – and also some issues for Norwich administrators.

Professor Aron Temkin, the Dean of the College of Professional Schools, oversees the iPad initiative working with the Norwich president, board of trustees, and the provost. “The iPad initiative is an effort to enhance the access faculty and students have to technology in a way that supports their teaching, their learning and their scholarship,” explained Dana Routhier, the office manager of college of professional schools, who is playing an important role in the deployment of the iPad initiative.

According to Routhier, there are approximately 240 iPad users this semester. The users are upperclassman who are majors in nursing, athletic training, history, studies in war and peace, psychology, education, geology, environmental science and Chinese.

In interviews, students in those departments shared the experiences and impressions that had using the devices. Most students held a positive initial reaction when finding out that they would get iPads, but some expressed confusion about what they were supposed to do with them.

“For me, I have a lot of technology so I felt like it was another thing to try out,” said Alec Schreurs, a 20-year-old junior health science major from Ansbach, Germany. [Read more…]

To stay or not to stay

When the end of the fall semester approaches, students at Norwich start to plan whether they are coming back for one more semester, going home or transferring. For international students, it is not a simple process and decision to make.

According to U.S. students at Norwich, it is normally not a hard decision. They are all in their country, and the decision of staying or leaving the institution is based on their academics or family issues. But for international students, it is based on a lot more, sometimes difficult, factors.

“It is the end of the semester, and I still don’t feel comfortable here,” said freshman Bivek Rana, who is 19 and a health science major who came all the way from Nepal. “It is a really hard decision to make, because I have to consider a lot of things when coming up with what is best for me.”

The long distances from their country and homesickness are always a strong factor that has a lot of weight in their decision. And according to international students, it sometimes gets into the way of their major goals as a student.

“I knew before coming here that I would have a lot of challenges, since I’m not in my country. But I knew the importance of getting an education here at Norwich for my future, and that is why I decided to give it a chance.” Rana said. “But it is harder than what I expected, I have been thinking a lot about it, and the fact that I miss my family and I’m not in my country started to be something that I can’t deal with.”

When international students struggle not to become preoccupied or distracted, their lives at Norwich become way harder. Though for some students that are able to adapt to their new life at Norwich, leaving the school is something that they don’t think about.

“Thankfully, I came to Norwich as a soccer recruit, so being here to do what I love made it easier for me to be away from home,” said junior Alessandro Delia, 22, a business major from Empoli in Italy. “If I didn’t have soccer I don’t think I would’ve stayed, because I would have struggled a lot to make new friends and to adapt by myself to the life here.”

According to international students involved with sports, the practices and games routine offers kind of a relief from stress for them.

“During my freshman year I still struggled a lot. I really wanted to be in Italy with my friends and family, but soccer helped me make new friends and to find a new family,” Delia said. “The soccer season really helped me while I was sad for not being in my country. Every time I practiced or played, I completely forgot I was so far from home, because I was doing something I loved, and the guys from the team always supported me a lot since they knew my situation.”

One of the things that add to stress for foreign students is the fact that their process of acceptance to transfer to another school is complicated and takes a lot of time.

“I was thinking about transferring to a school in a bigger city, but after I found out how complicated was for me to transfer, I decided to stay here next semester,” said freshman Rameshwar Shrestha, 20, another Nepalese student from Khandbari who is majoring in computer science. “I would have to come back home, and in Nepal go to the American consulate to transfer my visa and all the documentation, and that would take a lot of time.”

Shrestha also commented on how difficult and lengthy his process of being accepted to Norwich was at first. He said it took almost five months for him to receive an answer from Norwich, and he said that going through this process all over again wasn’t worth it.

“Transferring would not be worth it for me, I have everything I need here at Norwich, and for me to get this opportunity was really hard.” Shrestha said. “I wouldn’t even get accepted in another school in time for me to start studying there in the right date, so I figured the right decision for me, it’s to stay here and finish my four years at Norwich.”

Adapting to a new culture, language and lifestyle and dealing with distance from family and friends, were all issues mentioned by these international students when deciding what to do in the upcoming semester. But dealing with all of that in order to get the degree they want, is also part of maturing.

“I’m now going to my fourth semester here at Norwich, and I’m glad I decided to stay instead of transferring or going back home, back there in my freshman year,” said sophomore Ivan Bansah, 20, a health science major from Ghana. “It wasn’t easy, but it is not supposed to be easy. I knew back there that all these difficulties were only going to make me a better person and student,” Bansah said.

Students said that a key to overcoming the concerns about whether to stay or go is having the right mindset and knowing that it is a period of their lives that will define their future and the person they will become. If you can absorb that idea, it becomes an easy decision whether to leave or stay.

“Deciding to stay and accepting all the challenges of being an international student here, was the best decision of my life.” Bansah said. “I already became a more mature person, and I’m focused on the major goal, which is to get my diploma. I know it will always be challenging, but it will be worth it in the end.”

Norwich students find Tinder helpful in dating and social life in rural Northfield

Norwich students and the dating app Tinder have what you might call an up and down relationship: Sometimes, it’s rocky, other times everything is sweet.
Some students just use it for fun, as a way to talk to other people around them. Others use it to find a relationship or go on dates. If it’s successful, or not, is always a gamble, said Christopher Richards, 20, a junior criminal justice major from Minneapolis Minnesota.
“I used it before I came to Norwich,” said Cody Adams, 18, a freshman business management major from Newark New Jersey. “It definitely helps getting out there while up here because it opens up your window to talk to people from other universities,”
“Most people here at the school use Tinder as a way to get out there, so we aren’t limited to just Norwich,” agrees Steve Gordon, 19, a sophomore criminal justice major from Boston, Mass.
For those not familiar with it, “Tinder is basically a dating app that people can swipe left or right depending if they want to match with that person; when you match with someone you can go on a date or just talk to them,” explains Fredrick Fox, 19, a sophomore architecture major from Kansas City, Mo. [Read more…]

Norwich radio station WNUB will celebrate 50 years on air this December

Students do a show at Norwich’s radio station WNUB, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this December.                                                                                                      Evan Bowley Photo

WNUB has clearly been able to stand the test of time as Dec. 8, 2017, marks its 50th anniversary at Norwich University. A celebration of its 50 years will take place on the 8th in the Mill located in the Wise Campus Center.

Professor Doug Smith has been the manager of the station since 1999, and teaches classes that teach students the fundamentals of running a radio station, as well as how to run their own show.

“The experience is really good for them in terms of understanding how radio stations and radio broadcasting really works,” said Smith.

While the station itself is located on the second floor of the communications building, the signal actually broadcasts from an antenna atop Jackman Hall. The station features three studios: One is for on air entertainment, and the other two are used for production and editing.

WNUB was founded in 1967 by a group of engineering students. Up until the classes to teach broadcasting techniques were offered, the station was entirely student run as a club.

Smith is organizing the anniversary event.

“We’re having a big celebration in the Mill on Dec. 8th, counting down the top songs from the past 50 years, along with contests, prizes and giveaways,” said Smith. [Read more…]

Campus spooks? Some find Norwich a haunting experience

Alumni Hall leads the list of spooky stories on the Norwich campus. It’s got a lot of history inside, and maybe a ghost or two. Photo by Adam Ganz

At Norwich University, Halloween doesn’t just occur in October, but rather all year long. On a campus with 200 years of history, you’re bound to experience something haunting, whether it be rumors passed down from older students or a spooky personal experience.

Perhaps the most notorious locale for haunting stories is Alumni Hall, the oldest building on campus, built in 1905. In March of 2012, The Norwich Record featured a story titled “Spirits Among Us,” which outlined the terrible story of two cadets, brothers, who hung themselves in the same room a year apart.

“The hangings were viewed as tragic but unrelated coincidences until one fateful day, when a cadet walked into the same basement room and saw his buddy standing on a chair getting ready to hang himself,” wrote The Norwich Record. When asked “why?” “the cadet then explained that the woebegone victims had each appeared in the mirror, coaxing him to join them.”

The room was then sealed off by bricks, according to rumor, and is used as the building’s facilities room. However, when the wall is knocked on, there is a hollow sound where a door once was and there are countless stories of unsettling noises and events stemming from Alumni Hall to this day. [Read more…]