A momentous milestone for Norwich, and personal milestones as well

The Class of 2019 is getting ready to wrap up their college careers and carry the distinction of being the bicentennial class. This is the most important time for our graduates as they venture out into the world and make their mark in the world. We all are so very proud of your accomplishments and for representing our bicentennial year! This class is so fortunate because when you come back to celebrate your 50th, Norwich will be celebrating its 250th anniversary!

At Norwich, behind only graduation and commissioning ceremonies in terms of milestones, are the Junior Ring ceremonies. As the Class of 2020 is the final class for whom I will have been president for all four of their Norwich years, those ceremonies took on an even more significant meaning to me this year.

In addition, the Class of 2020 was Norwich’s largest incoming class, which inspired me to take my first ever all-class selfie with them when they arrived at Norwich three years ago. I promised them that I would take a final selfie with the entire class at commencement. Next year, I look forward to doing that.

Two really memorable moments happened this year at the Junior Ring ceremonies. The Corps and civilian students have two separate ring ceremonies, so every year I figure out how to attend both!

This year, the cadet class of 2020 honored me by inviting me to their ring unveiling, where they announced they had added two stars to their ring design in my honor. No class has ever done that for me, and for that I am so grateful.

In their ceremony, the civilian Class of 2020 also did something no other class has done: They purchased and presented me with their class ring. I was equally moved. Indeed, the entire Class of 2020 is very special to me.

The entire Class of 2020, both Corps and Civilian who received their rings this spring, is living proof of the value of a diverse and inclusive student body.

I am in a similar position as this class. Next year, when they graduate, I will retire. That makes them my last senior class. So in that sense, we are members of the same class.

To the entire Class of 2020: You are leaders of character and principle, forging your own paths, making contributions to your communities and to the world at large. Thank you for your hard work that has earned you the right to wear your class ring. Wear it with pride; you all deserve it. And thank you for the great distinction you bestowed upon me through your Junior Ring ceremonies; I will never forget it!

Thoughts on taking on challenges, and finding resources to succeed

At Norwich, we challenge our students every day in every way possible. We believe that it is through challenge that we find our upper limits and learn to distinguish ourselves. It is only though pushing beyond our limits that we find our true potential.

Spring is a very busy time of year as students wrap up their work for another year. In just the past several weeks, Pegasus Players were busy developing and performing their one-act plays; students are buttoning up undergraduate research to showcase during Student Scholarship Celebration Week April 29 – May 3; ROTC conducted field training exercises; sports teams have been and continue to hustle as much as ever; the David Crawford School of Engineering held its annual end-of-year convocation where students present final projects; and, of course, all students are preparing for final exams and capstone projects, and much more.

It is also a time to celebrate students’ accomplishments through academic showcases, honor society inductions, ROTC’s Tri-Service Awards, commencement and commissioning exercises. This graduating class comprises Norwich’s Bicentennial Class. It is worth noting that when the Class of 2019 celebrates its 50th reunion and enters into the “Old Guard,” Norwich will be celebrating its 250th anniversary!

It is up to each and every one of us to ensure that you as individuals thrive so that as a whole Norwich University can thrive and continue to offer the citizen-soldier model of service to students and to the nation. [Read more…]

The ring ruckus

As a senior with her own Corps of Cadets ring, I understand the excitement and importance in celebrating one of the most important weekends of a cadet’s time on the hill. It is a milestone that does not come without hard work and determination.

With the release of a new memo on Junior Ring Weekend leave policy by the Commandant of Cadets, it quickly became obvious that many cadets were upset by the rules set out. The memo stated that sophomores and freshmen are barred from attending at the condominiums that juniors traditionally rent to celebrate at over the weekend.

It makes sense that freshmen shouldn’t attend condos, since it runs the risk of violating fraternization rules. Sophomore carry the same risks, but since they have a lot more freedom than freshmen, these risks can come with severe consequences. In past years, sophomores typically served as designated drivers for upper class cadets, however, as pointed out in Anthony Rodriguez’s story on Page 10, it’s not their job to take care of upperclassmen. Seniors are responsible for the people under their command, and since we’ve had our junior ring weekend, it is time to step up and take care of our own.

The memo by Col. Michael Titus merely serves as a reminder of a policy that has been in place for years. I had to check in with seniors my sophomore year over junior ring weekend, so they knew that I was safe.

It’s no secret that the weekend comes with a lot of partying and drinking, and with that, people need to take policies and memos seriously. It’s against the law to drink underage, that is what should stop sophomores from taking part in the festivities in the first place. Norwich has had more than enough incidents with cadets involved with drunk driving. It is all of our responsibilities to make sure that the weekend is fun, memorable, but safe.

The real conflict that was the catalyst for this memo to be released is the fact that junior ring weekend coincides with Easter weekend. Some juniors will have to make the tough decision to either miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime weekend, or be away from their family during a major religious holiday. The timing of the weekend as a whole is where the conflict lies, and I hope in the future that the administration puts more thought into their planning to prevent such strife surrounding a weekend as important as Junior Ring.

The President’s Corner

Don’t ignore valuable internships

The Annual Spring Career Fair, held last week in Plumley Armory, presented 57 employers to 330 students who attended to explore opportunities to enhance their academic learning with real world experiences. One of those employers was represented by a 2002 NU graduate named Robert Kipp, who took the opportunity a step further, meeting with a group of students following the Career Fair to give them advice.
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The President’s Corner

 

President Schneider. Photo by Norwich University

At Norwich University, your college experience includes world-class academics, and a robust and enriching campus full of opportunities that range from membership in the Corps of Cadets to athletics, outdoor activities on Payne Mt., to cultural events and many varied student clubs and intramural sports.

In order to better understand how administrative decisions affect the student experience, it is necessary to survey the community every now and again, and we are currently involved in that process now. There are two different surveys: one just for first year students and seniors, the second for all full-time matriculated students.

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On the importance of mental health…

Norwich University recently celebrated a mental health awareness week. The week kicked off with a lantern release and featured daily talks highlighting men and women’s different mental health needs and concerns. Clearly the university is trying to push for a campus that is aware of not only its physical health, but emotional health as well. However, this should not be limited to a week. This should be something that students actively should pay attention to.

With the loss of a fellow student this school year, we should be more aware of our self internally, and pay attention to our loved ones and friends, in not only their times of need, but checking in now and then as well. Sometimes, it is the people we pay the least amount of attention to who may need our time the most. As a tight-knit community, we need to band together to lend a helping hand to our friends, families, and members of our communities to ensure that we are all checked in on.

As the editor of this paper and a member of this community, I urge you all to take care of yourselves – more than just hitting the gym or knocking out your school assignments. Pay attention to your sleeping and eating habits, as well as your relationships with others. Make sure that you are taking care of your needs emotionally, physically, and mentally. We all have our own bodies and minds to take care of, and making a change starts by making a change in yourself.

 

Letter to Editor

 

Norwich University Athletic Director Anthony Mariano received this letter about the Norwich wrestling team and The Guidon is printing it since it reflects on how Norwich athletes can have an impact beyond campus.

 

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Vaine and I am a homeschool mom to a 13 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. On January 8, 2019, I had the pleasure of bumping into your Men’s Wrestling team at Get Air in South Burlington, VT. In this day and age of complaints, I strongly feel it’s important to share my story with you.

On this particular day, my son was celebrating his birthday with a “buddies day out”. We picked up two friends who are around his age and size. We arrived at Get Air around 11:00 am. Surprisingly, we were turned away because we were “too big” to enter. I did not realize it was Tot Time until noon. Our group then spent the next hour getting lunch and returned at 12:00.

You should have seen the three boys when we re-entered the facility. Their eyes grew as they saw a large group of college men who were almost three times their size. My group asked me if they (the college group) was going to give them trouble or tease them, etc… I assured them that all would be fine. We paid and went into the trampoline park.

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The President’s Corner

Want a voice in what happens at Norwich? Join the SGA, and vote

Student Government Association (SGA) elections are coming up Feb. 25 – March 1. This is a great opportunity for you to exercise your right to participate in the shared governance of the university. The SGA is the student organization that is committed to working on maintaining a positive relationship between the student body and the administration by serving as a hub for communication and the source of problem-solving efforts for issues of concern to students.

The SGA is a vital component to student life on campus and works closely with the faculty senate and staff council to work out issues. This is what it means to be an engaged citizen. Students: I implore you to vote in a couple weeks. Then, next year, run for office and learn first-hand what it means to govern. The opportunities for effecting meaningful change for the everyday life of students and the community are limitless.

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On the importance of Community

Cadet Connor Druin

Cadet Connor Druin

With the passing of a fellow cadet, I am reminded that Norwich University is not only an institution, but also a community. Connor Drouin, a senior cadet, passed away at the age of 22 over Thanksgiving Break. On a frigid Tuesday night, the corps of cadets donned their “grey-on-whites,” the most iconic uniform of the cadet, and stood a vigil during echo taps.

Drouin’s rook platoon, 15-2-2, stood together as a unit on the upper parade ground in special remembrance for their fallen rook brother. The UP was silent except for the firing party and bugle. Numerous civilian students joined to pay their respects at the ceremony. All barracks rooms facing the UP were dark, and every cadet saluted as the firing party performed a 21 gun salute, and echo taps played in the dark.

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The Failures of Affirmative Action

About a month ago, a trial took place on a suit by a group of Asian-Americans against Harvard University, claiming it limits the number of Asian students the Ivy League institution admits. This case, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, may have a drastic impact on the future of college admissions and practices, as it threatens the existence of Affirmative Action in colleges.

This case addresses one of the chief concerns regarding Affirmative Action. While rectifying race issues of the past – these issues primarily being limited opportunities for minorities to attend universities – shows good intentions, the fact of the matter is that with limited spots, providing an unbalanced opportunity to one group will always hurt others.

While Affirmative Action was created to help those unfairly discriminated against, the process itself discriminates unfairly. When Asian-Americans outperform virtually every other group, they should not be punished for merely being the wrong race. Those who outperform should be rewarded, not punished, for circumstances outside of their control.

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