Norwich remembers 9/11

Major campus overhaul looming

Norwich University will begin bicentennial renovations and construction in the next few weeks, bringing noticeable changes to the campus, upgrades to dorm and classroom buildings, and some upheaval to classroom schedules.

The renovations, which are expected to be finished by fall 2019, will affect both faculty and students, who will have to adapt to temporary classroom and office space until construction is finished on campus.

The university budget for the renovations and construction has been estimated at $59 million and is coming from donations as part of a major fundraising campaign tied to the bicentennial.

“We have several projects that are going to be on their way very soon,” said David Magida, chief  administrative officer at Norwich.

As part of a normal process of renovating dormitories. Patterson Hall will be renovated this summer, which will start the day after commencement, said David Magida, chief administrative officer.

Besides beginning the renovations on Patterson on the south end of the quad, Norwich will also begin the process of constructing a new building called Mack Hall starting this April, which is part of the major renovations planned for the Webb/Dewey/Ainsworth buildings. The Mack Project will be located behind Webb on the north side.

Magida said the busy summer will also include starting the renovations of Ainsworth, which houses the College of Liberal Arts faculty. As with the entire package of planned renovations, the goal is to bring buildings up to speed in terms of teaching/learning styles and to address critical maintenance items on campus. [Read more…]

New center for writing is drawing students

Nearly one year ago, Bailey Beltramo sat in his barracks on the campus of Norwich University. The excitement of studying abroad in Ireland the following semester was starting to mount, and he was counting the days until he could leave snowy Vermont for the rolling hills of Ireland.

But before heading out, an opportunity to expand his resume and apply his knowledge of writing to help students presented itself. [Read more…]

A day on the job with George Sanders

It’s hard to find a man happier and more eager to serve on Norwich’s campus than George Sanders, one of the hard-working grounds crew.

The business of keeping Norwich University clean and landscaped falls to the team of blue-shirted personnel who can easily be seen walking around campus hard at work.

Mowing, shoveling, snow removal, room set ups, planting, and general outside upkeep are the duties of the grounds crew at Norwich University. It is not an easy task for the 11-member crew to keep all 1200 acres of Norwich land in pristine condition.

The strength of the grounds crew lies in the dedication and personal effort put forth by each employee and the coordination of information from their superiors – safe to say it’s no easy job.

“I love it, I’m outside working, inside, making everyone happy, seeing everyone smile,” said George Sanders, 34, who lives in Northfield. “I’ve been doing this work all my life, it comes naturally.” [Read more…]

Was Recognition earned, or simply given?

Editors note: This commentary was written by a member of the Corps of Cadets. Because of concerns about potential backlash and repercussions, the writer requested anonymity. The Guidon felt the opinions expressed were worth publicizing despite being anonymous and do reflect a segment of the Corps of Cadets.

Despite failing various tasks to become a cadet here at Norwich University, freshmen are still being passed on and recognized as cadets upon the completion of Rookdom. 

As a senior cadet at this private military institution, I have become accustomed to the traditions once held so highly in esteem here, and have held myself to the standard expected of me by the cadre I had my freshmen year. 

The oath taken upon arrival at this institution lays out the guidelines and standards that are expected to met and upheld from the time one enters the Corps. 

So, in saying that, students that choose the Corps of Cadets check a box saying that they understand what standards they are to meet to become a recognized cadet. 

Yet unfortunately, this does not happen. 

Every year, despite being told that they have to pass all training, go to all classes, and attend all morning formations, there are cadets who do not complete all of the established requirements but still earn the title and join the corps. 

Not all of the students that come here and check the box are failing the requirements to become a cadet, however. This makes it unfair to those who uphold the standard, while the rest are just passed on. 

[Read more…]

Concealed carry on campus? Opinions seem to be divided

Eight states now have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin, according to http://www.armedcampuses.org.

With states and schools starting to have discussions about allowing concealed carry on college campuses in the wake of recent mass shootings and pressure from 2nd Amendment activists,, the question slowly rises here at Norwich. Opinions among students and staff are very mixed.

Frank Vanecek, vice president of enrollment and student life, doesn’t agree with the idea of having weapons allowed on campus.

“We want to keep weapons off campus. The president of Norwich’s philosophy is to keep weapons off campus. If there are no weapons on campus, there should be no shootings so that’s the benefit of it,” said Vanecek.

He stressed that ensuring a safe environment for the Norwich community was a very important priority.

Norwich administration doesn’t take the subject lightly when it comes to safety, and has had multiple discussions on whether it will allow guns on campus. [Read more…]

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…]