Cuts to student aid will hurt

Going to college to create a better future should be a dream available to all, not just to the few who can afford it. Yet the Trump administration seems to be taking the opposite view.

If on-campus Norwich University undergrad students received no aid of any kind, they would be paying approximately $54,474 ($52,776 off-campus) each year alone to attend college here, not including the costs of books and transportation, which can be a small fortune by itself.  According to the most recent update (2014-15) from the National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator tool, 27 percent of all Norwich University undergrad students received federal Pell Grant aid, and 62 percent received federal student loans. Last school year (2015-16), students received approximately $3.2 million in Pell Grant aid.

The Trump administration recently released its fiscal year 2018 budget request, which, per the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), included “significant cuts to certain federal student aid programs, and decreased the Pell Grant program surplus”. This budget proposal would affect student aid funding for the 2018-19 year. [Read more…]

It’s time to spice up student life at Norwich University

Assistant Editor Jasmine Bowman

When freshmen in the corps take on rookdom, they usually cannot leave campus unless they are a part of a sports team. That means from August to February, rooks cannot leave campus unless it’s family weekend, thanksgiving break, holiday break or some type of event.

That’s many consecutive days on campus which can probably get nerve-wracking.

However, it can also seem that way for civilians and/or upperclassmen in the corps. This is because many students lack transportation, parking is an ongoing problem, and it can feel like you are trapped here. [Read more…]

Thoughts on a perfect plan

Brian Gosselin

Brian Gosselin

If you had told me in 2006 that I would be graduating with a degree in communications in December of 2016, I would have immediately picked up the phone, called an ambulance and sent you to the mental ward. That is because 18-year-old Recruit Gosselin, resplendent in his freshly ironed BDUs and with a nice fat Air Force contract, had his life completely planned out. I was going to get my degree in mechanical engineering by 2010, be a pilot, and retire after 30 years.

It was the perfect plan.

But that’s not what happened. After realizing that I didn’t want to be an engineer, I switched to the communications department. That was good enough to keep me content for a while, but it just wasn’t for me. I loved my school, I loved my Rook buddies, but something didn’t feel right. I was starting to realize that having a perfectly planned life was boring. I had trapped myself in my own life, all by the age of 20.

So after my junior year, I left school and enlisted as a Cavalry scout in the Army. This came as a shock to my family, as I was the first of my family, including all my cousins, to drop out of school. But it was what I needed to do. [Read more…]

It’s time to address overcrowding at Plumley Armory gym

When students begin their academic experience at Norwich University, the oldest military college in the nation, many quickly come to the realization that physical fitness will be a significant part of their daily student life. Whether it be exercising with a respected armed service branch, lifting in the gym, or exercising with school athletics, the first thing that students realize is that there is limited space available to meet their physical fitness needs.

There has long been an outcry over the lack of space in the university gym in Plumley Armory. Students are disenchanted and have had enough of the shortage of space and limited equipment in the gym. There are no shortage of opinions on what should be done. For example, some students believe that those belonging to university sports teams should have their own gym space and gym equipment so that other students are not interfering with their workouts. 

Since physical fitness is a major component and or requirement of both the athletic and non-athletic student’s life at Norwich, the university should realize the benefits of providing students with adequate fitness facilities. 

It is clear that the majority of the Norwich University population do some form of exercise to stay physically fit on a daily basis, whether it be athletic teams or ROTC students. As a result, the gym in Plumley Armory on any given day is operating at full capacity. 

That is not the only issue. Many of the students here on campus feel that the gym is lackluster in appearance and is in a desperate need of an upgrade. Also, for a number of years, the Plumley Armory gym has been the only place on campus to lift weights, which creates a shortage of available and lack of adequate space.

It is easy to find students who are unhappy with the conditions of the equipment, the amount of equipment, and the overall size of the gym. Chris Leach,19, a computer science major, from cj, Vt., is one of the many student athletes on campus that feel athletes on the university sports teams should have their own gym on campus.

“The gym just isn’t big enough for all varsity sports team,” says Leach. Also, at times when there are multiple university sports teams using the equipment and space, there is insufficient equipment to work out and waits, which results in areas of the gym being inaccessible to non-athletic students,” says Leach, a Norwich University baseball player. 

Many would agree. With inadequate space and outdated equipment in Plumley Armory, it is a significant problem when there are as many as 20 different varsity sports teams utilizing the gym at any given time throughout the academic year. Referencing the fall semester alone, there are eight teams occupying the gym at any one time.

It’s obvious that the main issues relevant to Plumley Armory gym center on inadequate space, shortage of gym equipment and insufficient time available to accommodate the variety of students and their individual needs. 

Lots of students have ideas how things could be better. Says football quarterback Garrett Chapell, 19, a criminal justice major from Byron, N.Y., “When the gym is at its busiest time during the day, it would be better if the gym were larger with an open floor plan, which would make it easier to move around the gym when it is at or near full capacity. Also, it would be better if there were additional gym equipment that would enable the entire football team and the other additional students in the gym, the capability of completing their workouts in an efficient manner without any inconveniences.” 

With more students entering the school this year, the available space in the gym continues to decrease. 

An obvious remedy for the overcrowding issue would be to open a new gym for the sports teams and Plumley gym for the corps. Additionally, the purchase of new and updated equipment would also prove to be beneficial in meeting the needs of the vast amount of students who utilize the existing outdated equipment. 

Says Jacob Snow, 19, a physics major from Richmond, Va.: “President Schneider is advocating for additional funding to improve academic buildings; however, due to the increased population and advent of the largest freshman class, the improvement of the Plumley Armory gym should be considered a priority as well.” 

Ideas to address the workout crunch abound. How about relocating the Naval Department to another building which could free up some additional space for the gym, enabling it to increase its capacity. Leach likes that idea and also constructing another area in Andrews Hall to create another gym for athletes. 

There is little disagreement on campus that Plumley Armory gym fails to adequately meet the needs of the majority of Norwich’s student athletes and those engaged in the various military ROTC branches. Both have rigorous physical education requirements which require an adequate recreational facility. Based on this fact alone, combined with its diminished size, outdated equipment and overcrowding issues, the Plumley Armory gym at Norwich’s is in dire need of improvements to meet and satisfy the varying requirements of a diverse student population with a variety of physical fitness goals.

 

Feeling Overwhelmed? Prioritize

If you’re anything like me, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point in the semester. I do a few different things on this campus and the culmination of all my areas of responsibility can feel like at lot, at times. One of my favorite author/blogger/life-hacker/entrepreneurs is Tim Ferriss, and as you can probably guess, he’s all too familiar with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to give up doing what you like to stop feeling overwhelmed. The keys are to set strict rules about your time and to prioritize your responsibilities. Ferriss gives this advice on his site http://fourhourworkweek.com/2013/11/03/productivity-hacks/:
1) Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. What’s most important usually is most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.
2) For each item, ask yourself:
– “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
– “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”
3) Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.
4) Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less-important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.
5) TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.
6) If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and go into a downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
I can personally attest to the successfulness of this method. While I don’t always have two hours to block off, I try to work on one task at a time, starting with the ones that stress me out the most. The lesson here is: do what needs to be done, and the rest will fall into place. (With a little luck.)

The Army reverses course on its restrictions on tattoos. It’s a wise decision.

tattoo story 2What words come to mind when you think of a soldier? Courageous most likely. Patriotic. Brave. Strong, both mentally and physically. Heroic. A list of adjectives that piece themselves together to create an image of the ideal warrior.

As an institution, the army has grown to accept differences in race, gender, and now sexual orientation of its members, differences which, in the past, did not conform to the standard. Yet despite this, army leadership still deemed it right to deny enlistment and promotion for tattoos that did not meet strict criteria, because tattoos do not conform to the image of those in uniform.

It is wrong that the army would deny someone’s abilities, courage, patriotism, and willingness to serve because of ink that has been embedded in their skin. The Army has wisely decided to reverse some of its policies on tattoos after considerable outcry from the troops.
[Read more…]

A welcoming home means a lot to left-behind rooks

Norwich University is a private military college, which means that like at other private military colleges, the freshmen here have a different first year than other college freshmen and sometimes need to escape. As someone who has gone through Rookdom, I can say that it is rewarding – but honestly, about as much fun as standing in the ice and snow while some random person you barely know screams at you. In fact, that exact situation happens a lot here at Norwich University. [Read more…]

That’s What She Said…

Sometimes, even for the best of writers, it is hard to find the words to say. How do my readers expect me to summarize the last four years, three of which have been with The Guidon, into a short few paragraphs? How can I condense all of the work we have done this year into just a few sentences?

I will try to do so without sounding like a Hallmark card. [Read more…]

That’s what she said…

At Norwich University, some people call me “Ma’am” or “Eaton.” Some call me more informal names like “Elle” or “Ari”. Others call me more colorful and unpublishable names. And, if I was successful here in my four years, all will use one from each category at some point (hopefully ending with the more friendly of the three). [Read more…]

That’s What She Said…

‘Honor’ and ‘integrity’ are probably two of the most important and common words you hear on campus aside from “I will try” or “Norwich” and “Forever”.

Being the military brat I am, I moved in the middle of my sophomore year in high school, from outside of Ft. Benning, Ga. to just outside of Seattle, Wa. Back in the day, I was very involved in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and transferred to the local Navy unit. The culture shock from my military base on the east coast to the west coast was challenging with regard to the level of patriotism and military support. But, I was also quite taken aback by how honest and morally grounded the cadets were for high school students.

“Integritas,” my new commander would greet us with a fist pounded against his chest. I did not understand what he meant, until he told me a tale of the Roman soldiers making the same tight-fisted gesture against their armor as they yelled the Latin root word for our word “integrity.”

The word means “whole” and that their armor was not broken. It was strong and honorable, like the soldier himself. They were mighty warriors who serve as the renowned models for many militaries to this day. As NU cadets, we live by their code today with our “Integritas” keeping our armor of education and moral aptitude strong. Like the Romans, our integrity keeps us whole as Cadets and as we look to the future.

“Integritas!”

Arielle Eaton, Editor-in-Chief, The Guidon