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

That’s what she said…

Often times here at The Guidon, we are asked (and ask of ourselves) what is “the student voice”? It is a term I hear even when it is not directly spoken. Regardless, it is said in daily conversations in the Chow Hall. It is written in the SGA’s legislation. It is whispered in the library and blared out during the UP 500. It is sung during Karaoke Night and danced to at Junior Ring Ball. All of those voices, conversations, movements, and songs contribute to “the student voice.” [Read more…]

That’s what she said…

It is always an interesting conversation to have regarding how students “grow up” through the four-year progessive leadership model that is Norwich University. NU is a learning lab unto itself for students to take on various leadership positions, whether civilian or corps. We take, typically, recently graduated high schoolers and turn them into the future leaders of the world with our program. But, when, during the course of this leadership training, do we actually “grow up.”

Though nearly all, if not all, of the students here at NU are technically adults. I admit that I am guilty of referring to my subordinates as “kids” from time to time. The other day, a colleague of mine called me out publicly for using that term and I realized that I never really thought about it before. It was just part of my vocabulary when referring to my group of subordinates.

Maybe it is just my style of leadership and/or the desire to build bonds with the people I am leading. Maybe it is how my mind views and processes how I can make the most trustworthy connection to those under my purview. Maybe, more than likely, it is the need to give them a sense of security in their role as a subordinate. Maybe, it is just because I have a maternal streak in me so prominent that it affects my arguably effective leadership style.

Yes, I completely understand the idea behind avoiding the word “kid.” We are not kids, we are adults making adult decisions. The term “college kid” should be offensive considering that some of us are even making the very adult decision to put our lives on the line for our communities, states, and/or country. I never meant it in a condescending way and, as far as I can tell, no one has really taken it that way before. But, the argument still stands to reason.

However, I would like to argue that we associate so much wisdom and knowledge with the term “adult,” This is college, this is a time of learning and making mistakes. “Adults” are looked at to know without or with minimal mistakes. “Kids” are allowed to fail and be forgiven much more easily.

In a way, referring to my subordinates as “kids” is my way of allowing them to fail because I will forgive them and take blame. And, for the record, I have never once received a complaint from a subordinate about my calling them a “kid.” So, I must be doing something right.

That’s what she said

A s some may know, I wear many hats on this campus aside from just being the Editor-in-Chief of The Guidon. I am a cadet, a student, an intern, a published journalist and the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) in the Corps. We at Norwich all carry with us a selection of covers, ready to switch out to fit the situation. Even I do not need a code flag to tell me who I need to be at any given time.

But, what happens when these different roles we play cross? I was recently faced with this dilemma when I was writing the story in this issue on recognition. I pride myself on my journalistic ability, but this one was difficult to piece together while withholding my own bias.

As a cadet, I was supportive of the delay. As a journalist, I was happy for the big story. But, as the PAO I was defensive.

I was worried for the image issues that would conflict with the strong front our cadet leadership worked hard to put out all year. That bias began to influence my ability to give you the truth. And then I realized, while I was transcribing the interviews for my story, that sometimes you have to remove all of your hats and accept the fact that you are one person created by your experiences. The story you have in your hands has come from the PAO, a cadet, and your favorite Editor-in-Chief all wrapped up into one.

They are the facts balanced by my mixed emotions which I think makes it a fair story.