Honoring the honor code

Recently, across several college and university campuses around the country, students and faculty members have raised the alarm about racism in response to incidents of harassment. As president at the oldest senior military college in the nation, the birthplace of ROTC and the place where leaders are produced, it is my duty to confront the reality of the insidious issues of racism and other forms of harassment in our own population. To that end, Norwich provides not only resources for responding to issues, but also the education and infrastructure to promote, support and enforce ideas of honorable living, which are at the heart of prevention.

Any person in the Norwich community experiencing harassment – racism, sexism, sexual assault, bullying, or any other kind – needs to know where they can turn for support.

• Our Employee Relations, Equal Opportunity and Title IX officer, Stephanie Drew, receives reports of misconduct and oversees investigations into them. Any member of the community can make a report to her office, which is located on the third floor of Jackman Hall.

• The Washington County Sexual Assault Crisis Team is a community partner with office space located in Marselius Hall, below the infirmary. We have been working with the Washington County Sexual Assault Crisis Team since the 1990s because they are victim advocates and the experts in the county. Together with their incredible work we are all stronger. Through this coordination, students and community members have access to the best resources; a range of options in dealing with these violent crimes and a level of accountability to the outside community and to the experts that address this issue in Washington County. Anyone can seek counsel there and remain anonymous until they wish to initiate an investigation.

• Counseling and Psychological Services provides free of charge to members of the Norwich community – students, faculty and staff – individual and group counseling in a confidential setting. In addition, thematic groups and psychoeducational workshops can be provided in response to specific needs. These services are conducted by a highly trained staff of licensed professional psychologists and doctoral level psychology interns. That office is located in Kreitzberg Library, Suite 405 or can be reached after hours (M-F 8-4:30) at 802-793-3093.

• Campus security is prepared to assist with any report of harassment and is located in the Hayden Building or by calling ext. 2525 or 2499.

• Less formally, any member of the faculty or staff can be a resource to a student or peer in need.

When Norwich students were getting harassed on social media last fall, I took action to both block the anonymous messaging site from Norwich servers and to order an investigation into the incident. I and the entire leadership at Norwich are committed to creating and promoting a safe environment for all.

The Honor Code provides a good compass to encourage honorable behavior. Integrity is the basis for honorable living and can be honed by internalizing the Norwich Guiding Values. By doing that, community members will possess knowledge, integrity and awareness to assess the moral-ethical aspects of every situation and the personal courage to take appropriate action regardless of consequences.

Norwich seeks to develop leaders of character. When you come to Norwich, you agree to follow these Guiding Values:

• We are men and women of honor and integrity. We shall not tolerate those who lie, cheat, or steal.
• We are dedicated to learning, emphasizing teamwork, leadership, creativity, and critical thinking.
• We respect the right to diverse points of view as a cornerstone of our democracy.
• We encourage service to nation and others before self.
• We stress being physically fit and drug free.
• To live the Norwich motto—I will try!—meaning perseverance in the face of adversity.
• We stress self-discipline, personal responsibility, and respect for law.
• We hold in highest esteem our people and reputation.

‘Run. Hide. Fight.’ Here’s a guide to survive an active shooter event

According to Time Magazine, there have been 23 college campus shootings in 2015. From a campus safety perspective, Norwich has been thinking about and planning for this issue for a long time. We have our siren, which indicates that everyone should shelter in place, and we have the RAVE communications system, which we use to send messages to the phone, email and texting contacts you have provided in your Banner profile. We have practiced how to shelter in place and we regularly test our siren and RAVE systems.
The reality is that no organization can plan for every scenario. Over the years we have learned that these types of campus shooter events can play out in a matter of minutes any time, any where and for any range of reasons. The new conventional wisdom says that you should do what makes the most sense to save your life in the moment. [Read more…]

Embrace the spirit of research

Before I came to Norwich, one of my previous positions was as vice president of research at Drexel University in Philadelphia. There I oversaw faculty and student research at the doctoral, masters and undergraduate levels. Time and again I got to see not only the accomplishment of research well done, but more importantly, I observed students and professors engaging in the process that is research. [Read more…]

The President’s Corner

Two weekends ago, we executed a very successful Homecoming Weekend, which brought more than 1,000 NU alumni and family members on campus for three days of reunions and celebrations. I hope many of you had the opportunity to speak to our alumni while they were here. They are extremely interested in what you are doing, and enjoy exchanging Norwich stories with you.

The main reason we hold reunions in the fall is so that alumni can experience a vibrant campus full of young people, and interact with them. It reminds them of when they were students, and also gives them a chance to see how Norwich has changed since they were on the Hill—as well as how it hasn’t changed.

[Read more…]

Be a part of history

It is not every day that you are invited to be a part of history. But on April 25 of this year, you will have the opportunity to do precisely that.
For nearly 200 years, Norwich University has adhered to the founding principles laid down by Captain Alden Partridge. From our mission to train citizen soldiers to our commitment to experiential learning, nearly everything we do here at Norwich can be traced back to our founder’s vision. [Read more…]

The President’s Corner

Certainly by now, most of you reading this have heard of the Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, which takes place each spring on the Norwich campus. Named for former Ambassador and CIA Director William E. Colby, the two-day event exposes students, faculty, alumni, and the public to the works and views of prominent authors, historians, journalists, diplomats, and other national figures. The 2015 symposium will take place on Wednesday, April 8 and Thursday, April 9. [Read more…]

President’s Corner

Norwich prides itself in educating the whole person – mind, body, and character. For that reason, Norwich offers students a wealth of opportunities to broaden their education in varied and interesting ways, both inside and outside the classroom. [Read more…]

Climate change is a hot topic

In recent months, the topic of climate change has once again caught the attention of world leaders.

[Read more…]

Some thoughts to mull over winter break

As you prepare to leave Northfield for a well-deserved winter break, I want to take this opportunity to point out a few semester highlights and proud moments in our history. In August we opened the brand new West Hall civilian dorm on Upper Disney, and in September, we launched the five-year countdown to our Bicentennial and kicked off our Year of Service. [Read more…]

November offers reason to give thanks

The month of November is significant in our culture for a couple of reasons—the first of which is Veterans Day.
As you witnessed last week, Veterans Day presents an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of the men and women who defend the freedoms you and I enjoy. [Read more…]