Major love for Game of Thrones at NU

It’s Sunday evening at Norwich University. While many students are prepping for the week and what’s to come from it, in a lot of rooms folks are prepping for a certain show to come on.

Brittany Fields, a senior psychology major said, “I’ve heard people actually call Sunday Game of Thrones Day in correlation to the show coming on at this time.”

Game of Thrones has developed a huge fandom – 17.4 million viewers across cable, HBO Go, and HBO Now tuned into the Season 8 premiere – and Norwich is no different, with a huge cult following of Game of Thrones.

One of its fans is Jordan Wall. “Although the show has been on for nearly a decade, I barely started watching it last year,” said Wall, a 20-year-old sophomore accounting major from Jacksonville, N.C. “I caught up this past spring break, and here I am now watching the series finale.”
Wall said that all it takes is a mention from his friend that there’s a new episode out, and he will just stop whatever he’s doing and go watch it.

“I’ve only watched it since about the beginning of this year, but I’ve been able to binge since then to catch up to this season,” said Jane Carr, a 22-year-old senior accounting major from Kennebunk, Maine.

People from her company would set up times to see it, so she decided to take the time to watch Game of Thrones, she said. It was a great way to bond. [Read more…]

SGA: For the students, made up of students

Left to right, SGA secretary and sophomore Madhurane Muthukumaraswany, president and senior Audrey Meakin, and junior Liam Manning..

In the last year, many changes have occurred on Norwich’s campus, from new buildings to new policies. While some of these are credited to the commandants or Norwich administration, there are other groups and organizations that are also working towards positive change for the students and the university.

One of the changes that was made in the 2018-2019 academic year was to appeal a proposal to tighten Norwich’s honors requirements. This action was, in part, due to an increasingly active role being taken by the Norwich University Student Government Association (SGA).

According to Prof. Mike Kelley, the faculty advisor for the SGA, the changes to honors requirements was the “perfect” opportunity for the governing bodies at Norwich to work together to find a solution in a matter that was important to both sectors.

The SGA had been hearing complaints from the current seniors and juniors about a proposal on what qualifies as “cum laude” Latin honors. Norwich SGA for 2018-2019 was under the leadership of Executive Branch President Audrey Meakin and Senate Chairman TJ Carley. With their collaboration they were able to execute changes in the Latin honors designations on behalf of their fellow students.

The honors issue involved a plan to change the grade requirements, which would have impacted a large number of upperclass juniors and seniors.
“Juniors and graduating seniors had worked really hard to get an honor that will go on their resume and on their diploma,” said senior Audrey Meakin, a 22-year-old from Marblehead, Mass. “The way it was implemented was so you could work three years to get cum laude with a 3.0 GPA (grade point average), but then it was changed 3.4 and there was no time consideration or grandfather clause. This is where SGA stepped in.” [Read more…]

Norwich Cadet Cole Nickerson has his own unique spin on life

Yo-yo whiz Cole Nickerson shows off a trick for our Guidon photographer Andrew Thomas. His unusual passion has caught the attention of many classmates.

Norwich University’s Cole Nickerson was once a passionate fan of the art of yo-yoing, but life took him down a different path. Luckily for Nickerson, and many others, that passion was sparked once again.
“I was amazed the first time I saw someone with a yo-yo that didn’t retract immediately. That was in seventh grade. A buddy of mine got me into it, and the passion took me pretty far,” said Nickerson, a 20-year-old junior in the Corps of Cadets from Nashua, N.H.
“I found my old yo-yo from seventh grade while I was cleaning out my bedroom over spring break, and I felt the passion reignite me into the yo-yo life,” said Nickerson.
Nickerson’s re-sparked joy for yo-yoing has gained him a respectable following as a result of his cool tricks, quirky lingo, and approachable demeanor.
Since March 19, when he launched his Instagram page, Nickerson’s following has seen rapid growth racking up a multitude of likes, comments, and views on his pictures and videos using Instagram as his only social media platform. [Read more…]

A painful ruck, a great cause

Skyler Grathwohl and Alexandria Spezia truck up a hill during the Norwegian Ruck March on March 30. Ethan Hagstrom photo

For Alexandria Spezia, helping to organize one of the most intense events at Norwich University was a welcome challenge. Actually doing it was even better.

The Norwegian ruck march is a yearly fundraising tradition to raise money for the Wounded Veteran Retreat Program.
“I helped the organization this year and I was promoting something that I had never done before,” said Spezia, a 21-year-old junior, computer and electrical engineering major from Wyckoff; N.J.

Spezia felt like it was finally time for her to get out there and attempt the daunting ruck march. So on March 30, she joined with lots of cadets who embarked on a march totaling 18.6 miles, not to mention a distance also tallied in blisters and very tired feet and legs.

For those who don’t know, a ruck march involves carrying a pack with a certain amount of weight.. “The average weight for the army is 35 pounds, then they give you a distance, and you run, jog, walk or whatever to get to that distance,” explained Steve Rabbia, 19, a sophomore history major from New Hartford; N.Y.

The designed route for the event took the cadets towards the town of Roxbury down route 12A, past Roxbury, and back to campus.
“The founder created this ruck march for his son who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan,” Spezia said. “All this is for a great cause and it makes it worth it.”

Both civilians and corps are welcome to join for a $15 entrance fee, with all the proceeds destined to support the Wounded Veteran Retreat Program.

“I think it’s a good cause and it’s cool that the event is something physically and mentally challenging,” Rabbia said.
Going through a physically grueling event alone can prove to be quite the challenge. Most participants preferred to face the 18.6 miles-long adventure with a four-people team or less.

Spezia started with a group but, during the event, they got split up. She ended up staying with one team member the whole time, and the two of them endured together.

“I ran it with Skylar Grathwohl. I learned that day that Skylar has really long legs and that I would have to run to keep up with her,” laughed Spezia.
[Read more…]

Lessons from Prague: Human rights are universal, but how we see them depends on where we live

Prague: A window on a different world

 I personally believe that every trip officially begins once you reach the destination, you step outside and take that very first breath of air in a different environment. After months spent inhaling freezing Vermont air, and a dozen of hours breathing recycled airplane oxygen, stepping in the open-air of Prague was almost cathartic. I stood firmly outside just the time to fill my lungs with as much fresh air as possible, and for a second my mind brought me back to my home-country, Italy.

 A long frosty semester spent in Vermont buried by snow can play some tricks on your mind: Even if Italy and the Czech Republic have little in common, at first impression it felt familiar. At the end of the day, there are only a few European countries in between them, instead of an entire ocean.

  On the bus ride to the Anglo-American University, where the conference is hosted, by looking outside the window my mind kept comparing and flashing to my beloved Italy. I noticed people wearing stylish modish clothes and walking around the city smoking cigarettes and sipping espresso instead of diluted Dunkin’ coffee. I admired the combination of very modern and innovative building like the “Dancing House” designed by Vlado Milunić, standing next to ancient monuments dating back to war times. Tiny city cars were zigzagging between old bridges and narrow streets in order to pass slow trams and public buses.

  Finally, I saw green grass growing around wide parks, where people were enjoying the bright sun and the warm weather above 50 F, which will not occur regularly in Vermont for the next couple of months. From the nostalgic point of view of an Italian, Prague is a momentary cure for a homesick girl who has spent too much time in the light-deprived winter of Norwich University, yet an undiscovered city preserving an incredible turbulent history while following the European trend towards modernity and globalization. [Read more…]

Thoughts from Prague, Part II: History and Human Rights brought home

Guidon staffers Sonja Jordan and Michelle Masperi are in Prague during spring break to cover a conference on Human Rights co-organized by Norwich history professor Rowland Brucken.  

Last night we went on a guided tour throughout the city. We were all hungry, jet lagged, and had been on our feet all day. The wind was brisk and my feet were throbbing with every step on the old cobblestone streets. But when you are in the pack, you follow.
  We started first by seeing the Charles bridge. The sun had set and the water was lit up with the reflections of the car and boat lights. It was windy and loud, but oddly, I felt at peace and very quiet when I saw the bridge that had started being built in 1357. This bridge is the oldest man-made structure I have seen in my whole life. This bridge is older than my country.

  We pushed on, and arrived at the Cathedral Church Sts. Cyril and Methodius, otherwise known as the Parachutist’s church.It was here that on June 18, 1942, Operation Anthropoid was carried out. In the church was Reinhard Heydrich, the third-highest ranking Nazi, who was assassinated by seven Czech and Slovak men. This is considered one of the greatest acts of resistance in all of occupied Europe, especially considering Czechs were not allowed to fight in the war due to the Munich Agreement. [Read more…]

Thoughts from Prague

Guidon Editor Sonja Jordan, whiling away time on the way to Prague, Czechoslovakia, to report on a Human Rights Conference for the Norwich student newspaper.

After many meetings, many email chains, and many nights of hard work at Norwich, Michelle Masperi and I found ourselves this week traveling 3,800 miles throughout the late night on a flight to Prague, in the Czech Republic, for an Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Rights. Invited to join the trip at the last minute, as both Guidon staffers and communications majors, our aim is to report on this conference, organized in part by history professor Rowly Brucken, who also arranged for a group of Norwich liberal arts students to attend. But first we had to scramble to get organized and pack and get to Boston for our flight.

The first flight was delayed 40 minutes and was nearly empty, with full rows of seats left unoccupied. I spent the flight dozing and watching World War II documentaries. I looked out the window and saw nothing but black, it felt like I was actually time traveling. Behind me, the baby who stared at me though the crack in the seat cooed quietly, and I dozed to be awoken by a woman with Swiss yogurt and the strongest airplane coffee I’ve ever had.

We arrived bleary eyed at a brief stop in Switzerland, where I purchased a small iced tea for the cheap price of $10, and had my first experience at customs. I got the very first stamp in my passport, and ran across the airport for a much needed nap at the gate. Simultaneous to our travel, a group of students from Norwich attending the conference with us were spending their layover in Dublin, where they drank real Irish Guinness at 6:30 in the morning (the only acceptable drink to have at that hour in Dublin).
[Read more…]

New supervisor tries to spice up experience at the Partridge Pub

Andrew Thomas (left), Korey Leonard and Connor Guzda at a Pub quiz night trying out new drinks. Picture by Connor Guzda.

There were new drinks galore at Partridge Pub on the Norwich University campus, as the month of October brought “spooky drinks” to the bar and a new manager who wants to spice things up.
Eric Rosa, the new supervisor for the pub at Norwich University, has begun to make his mark on campus with Oktoberfest-like drinks at the school bar. The specials began October and will possibly run through mid-November.
“I wanted to do something special for the month of October,” Rosa said. “I personally, like Halloween, so I kind of found some spooky drinks that were easy to make.” These five new drinks include a 14th Star Brewery Oktoberfest Beer ($6) and four new mixed drinks each costing $5.
[Read more…]

Regi Ball rook proposals: Drama and anxiety

With Regimental Ball just around the corner on Oct. 27, the annual ritual of “rookie proposals” for dates is causing anxiety and humor throughout the halls of the barracks surrounding the Upper Parade Ground at Norwich.
“Rookie proposals can be pretty out there,” said Leah Andrea, a 21-year old communications major from Pittsburgh, Pa. “I have seen some hilarious ways to ask a person to a dance, it’s definitely not something you see every day.”
According to Andrea, there is not any specific criteria someone must follow during a rookie proposal. Generally, the recruits need permission from their cadre, but once permission is granted they may begin making their plans.
[Read more…]