For band, drill team, unforgettable moments

Marching alongside their musical counterparts, the Norwich University Drill Team was present for the eighth time at this year’s inauguration ceremony. The drill team members were excited to have the country and the rest of the world watch them. “This was my first time going to a presidential inauguration,” said Anthony Rodriguez, 19, a sophomore communications major from San Antonio, Texas, who was excited for this once-in-alifetime opportunity. Before the parade, drill left with band early on Thursday to begin the day long drive to the nation’s capital. Steven Cruz, 21, a junior criminal justice major from Lowell, Mass., was one of the few who were responsible for picking out the five freshmen to go on the trip. “We took all the freshmen into consideration, but we made sure we were picking the ones that stood out the most and were the most dedicated and trained every day,” said Cruz. “Getting to do this event is honorable because not everyone gets to do this and it’s a great way to give back to the university and see new things,” said Cruz. Though they appreciated the experience, some students had hopes for more of a chance to demonstrate their skills on the national stage. “I would have rather like to have seen more of a performance than just marching,” said Christopher Cook, 21, a junior international studies major from Strafford, Pa. Cook wished they had stopped and done a quick performance, since he heard that others in the parade got the chance to do so. Senior Austin Hammonds, 22, felt the same way on the performance side of the drill team, which he often watches practice. “They’re the drill team, the whole thing should be them performing those incredible moves that they’re always practicing and doing at other events,” said Hammonds. “I’ve seen them do some really wild tricks in the past and was surprised they didn’t do them.” Still, Cook and Hammonds were glad that Norwich could participate in this opportunity. “I’m proud of them, and proud of our school,” said Cook.

For band, drill team, unforgettable moments

The Norwich University Regimental band got to be a part of history as it marched in 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. “For me personally, being a part of it is very exciting but it is more exciting for the cadets getting to march for the newly elected President of the United States,” said Norwich University Regimental Band Director, Lt. Col. Todd Edwards. This was the band’s eighth performance in the Presidential Inauguration, beginning with ceremonies for John F. Kennedy in 1961. They have since performed for Richard Nixon in 1969, Jimmy Carter in 1977, George H.W. Bush in 1989, George W. Bush in 2005 and Barack Obama in 2013, according to Norwich University’s archives. Jackie Tarasuk, from Bethel, Pa., double majoring in psychology and criminal justice, was one of the cadets put in charge of organizing the trip to D.C. “Personally, for me it was very exciting, I love going on band trips and being able to pull the drill team and band together to perform for the president is really an exciting experience,” she said. Though the band had just three days to prepare after returning from the semester break due to late notification of being accepted to march, training for the event has been long in the works. “Band has really been preparing for this since the beginning of the year, we have had this day marked on our calendars for a while and we just needed to be selected to attend,” said James Wagner, a sophomore construction management major, from Granville Mass.. Acceptance to the event was based on a submitted video of the band marching in a parade which was reviewed and selected by President Trump himself explained Edwards. The band got their call to march around the time of the election. “It was really an amazing experience being able to perform for the President of the United States of America,” said Gio Allen-Masu, a sophomore from Richmond, Va. Allen-Masu pointed out that “political preferences to the side, it is still a once in a lifetime experience, I mean how many people can say they performed for the president?” “It was a very humbling experience just being in Washington D.C. and experiencing the inauguration. It’s one thing to just watch it on TV but its another to actually be there in person and marching for the president,” said Wagner. “Getting to be on national television and getting to see the President of the United States is very exciting, but once again for me it really means a lot to me getting to see the faces of the cadets as they experience this for the first time,” said Lt. Col. Edwards.

A rewarding project on ‘The Great War’ and Norwich alums

A view of the exhibits at the Museum of the Great War in Pay de Beaux, France.

Norwich alumni who served during World War I are the focus of a project that both a military history class and a French class are collaboratively working on. Once finished, the work will be sent overseas sometime during the summer to the Muśee de la Grande Guerre du pays de Meaux (Museum of the Great War, located in Pays de Meaux, about 30 minutes from Paris in central France).

“Our forces over there had hopes and dreams,” said Frances Chevalier, a Professor of French and chair of the department of modern languages. “It’s important for us to learn more about what they experienced.”

Chevalier began this project following a string of visits to France. Professor Chevalier went on these trips to explore the history of France and while there, she found the resting place of her uncle, who had fought and died during the war, possibly in the trenches at the Battle of Verdun.

Chevalier said that her experiences in France, touring the cemeteries of the American deceased and discovering the resting place of her uncle were what would lead her to commit more time into researching World War I. That research would eventually culminate into the service learning project that is now under way. [Read more…]

Costly new ‘premier’ parking spots lack appeal for students

Premium parking spots have been designated on campus, including at this location behind South Hall. But the cost seems too much for students. Photo by Evan Bowley

A plethora of parking problems have long been a source of aggravation for students and faculty at Norwich University. Now, the Norwich Security Department is offering a potential way to improve the situation– at least if you are a student willing to pay extra.

Norwich is offering nine special parking spaces at extra cost located behind South Hall and the infirmary.
The announcement of the option first appeared on the Norwich University student website, explaining, “The reserved parking spaces will only be issued by the Security Office, where you will receive a special sticker. They will be issued on first-come , first-serve basis beginning today, Dec. 14, 2016.”

The announcement was signed by Norwich’s Chief of Security, Lawrence Rooney, who explained that the idea came from Norwich student government.

The cost of these premier parking spaces is $337.50 for the spring semester, which is in addition to the annual parking pass. There is no doubt many students would love to leave parking hassles behind, but according to student interviews, the price tag is a deterrent from buying the pass. [Read more…]

Rooks get a trial run of new leadership training program

A four-year cadet training program is currently in the phase of beta testing at Norwich University with the goal of making cadet training more professional and interesting.

On Jan, 24, the Adaptive Leader Training and Education program took place across the NU campus. The program was tested during Tuesday Afternoon Training (TAT).

“We have been doing some critical analysis of the training program for all cadets and in so doing we saw some opportunities presented to us that we could take advantage of and make the cadet training more professional, more focused, more interesting, more challenging, dynamic, exciting and fun,” said Col. Rick Megahan, the Fourth Battalion Assistant Commandant

The development of the program started before Christmas 2016 and the primary focus of the program is to develop leadership skills for first-year Corps members. [Read more…]

At the studios of Dog River Radio, WNUB-FM, the programs are colorful and eclectic

WNUB at Norwich University is also known as Dog River Radio.

Left, Christian Torchon ‘19 (aka DJ Dangue) on air with special radio guest Caitlin Judith Heale, ‘20, and right, Michelle Masperi ‘19 (aka DJ Debile) on a show called Euromix. WNUB is both an outlet for creativity and a hands-on learning experience for students wanting to learn the art of putting on a radio show. Overseen by Prof. Doug Smith, with modern equipment and now streaming live, online listeners tune in from all over for an eclectic range of shows.             Evan Bowley photo

Dog River Radio has been a voice in the Norwich community for decades. Behind the FM signals going out over campus, a lot of things are going on behind the scene.

“Listeners of WNUB only hear what goes into producing our own live shows,” said Colin Tarpey, 23, a political science major from Cohasset, Mass. “Unlike big time stations, we are fully responsible for managing every aspect of our shows, which can be a challenge.”

Norwich students have long been responsible for managing and operating the radio station. Students are expected to voice track, record promos, and record commercials, complete class projects, and fulfill their weekly live show time slot. It’s a lot of responsibility and work but it also provides a lot of opportunity to be creative.

“The students may create, produce, and execute their own weekly two-hour shows however they wish so long as they stay within FCC and station rules,” said Doug Smith, an adjunct professor from Grantham, N.H. in the Communications Department who is WNUB-FM faculty manager. “I inform them of the FCC regulations that we must live under plus my own rules and guidelines.” [Read more…]

Norwich Artillery Battery has a blast on St. Barbara’s Day

Norwich Artillery Battery members fire their howitzer, one of 23 rounds shot on St. Barbara’s Day. Kellie Lincoln Photo

Norwich Artillery Battery members fire their howitzer, one of 23 rounds shot on St. Barbara’s Day.   Rebecca Friend photo.

The Norwich Artillery Battery (NAB) went out with a bang this past St. Barbara’s day with a howitzer show, firing rounds of blanks that rattled the town of Northfield.

St. Barbara is known as the patron saint of artillery and she is celebrated every fourth of December by artillery units all around the world.

The story of St. Barbara goes back to the Middle Ages when she was going to be executed and her executioner was struck by lightning. St. Barbara then became known as the saint of loud powerful noises, and artillery obviously falls in that category.

Many NAB members had never heard of St. Barbara until they joined the battery. Take Shane O’Neil, 20, a junior studies in war and peace major from Glen, N.H.

“Before joining NAB I never had any idea who St. Barbara was,” said O’Neil. “If you asked me in the past, I wouldn’t have even known there was a day for her.” But O’Neil, like many other members of NAB, enjoys putting on their loud yearly performance. “I’m super excited to participate and be loud,” said O’Neil. [Read more…]

Norwich unveils plaque honoring alums who died in Global War on Terror

Family members of fallen soldiers in the Global War on Terror who were Norwich alumni solemnly stand at a new memorial plaque unveiled on Veterans Day.

Family members of fallen soldiers in the Global War on Terror who were Norwich alumni solemnly stand at a new memorial plaque unveiled on Veterans Day. Stephanie White photo.

  When Norwich held its Veteran’s Day ceremony on Nov 11 to honor all veterans, past and present, the university used the occasion to unveil a plaque honoring the six Norwich alumni who gave their lives in the Global War on Terror.
  It was cold and snowy as Norwich Cadets marched across the upper parade ground to pay their respect to those who served in the armed forces.
  The ceremony began as scheduled with the formation of cadets, followed by flyover of two F-16s assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing in Burlington.     The entire crowd turned to watch the skies as the jets roared overhead and disappeared behind Jackman Hall. “In honoring the Veteran’s Day ceremony, the air force had jets fly over Norwich which, in my opinion, was pretty amazing to see,” said Jose Garcia Padilla, a junior English major from San Francisco, Calif.
  After the jets vanished, the band began to march and play. “What followed after that was band’s call for the march to the Upper Parade Ground. I had the honor of initiating the fire with my gun crew,” said Padilla.
  The ceremony continued with the regimental band playing while the cadets marched off the Upper Parade Ground. Padilla said, “it was a really nice ceremony. All went as planned and I think it was a really nice way to pay our respects to those who have served our country over the years and remember the six cadets who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
[Read more…]

Plan for expanded fitness facilities needs funding before it can happen

A lack of space in the Plumley Armory fitness center has long drawn student complaints, but Norwich is making plans to fix the overcrowding – though it will take time.
“Andrews Hall is entering phase three of a construction project for an addition on the athletic complex that will include a new fitness center,” said Anthony Mariano, director of athletics. But for now, the school has embarked on a major campaign for new academic halls that began this fall and is its current focus.
“I think once the school finishes the current capital campaigns, I would bet that the next capital campaigns will be focused on the addition to Andrews,” said Mariano, noting “The school’s priorities are currently set on the new academic halls.”
According to Mariano, phase three in the athletic complex will include a new fitness center that will also include new locker rooms, some office space and an expanded training room that will be added on to Andrew’s Hall, which is connected via Doyle Hall to Kreitzberg Arena.
“The new fitness area would basically incorporate all of the things down in Plumley but in one large room instead of three separate rooms,” said Mariano. The question is, will this gym be used for the athletic teams or for students?
“What hasn’t been determined is whether or not the current space in Plumley will be used,” said Mariano. This plays a big role in the plans for the addition on to Andrews because there is still debate going on about the size of the new fitness center. “Ideally it would be great if we had two fitness areas, one for the student population and one for athletics,” said Mariano.
[Read more…]

Army ROTC field training exercise brings injuries, complaints

Cadets in the field during the recent controversial field training exercise.

Cadets in the field during the recent controversial field training exercise.

A department-wide field training exercise Oct. 14 with the Norwich University Army ROTC resulted in numerous injuries and organizational problems, according to extensive reports from student participants among the 680 Army ROTC cadets of all class years.

Army ROTC officials at Norwich, asked to comment on the problems with the exercise and injuries to cadets, denied any knowledge and promptly escorted this reporter out of their offices on the bottom floor of Jackman Hall.

However, an informal survey and anonymous interviews of students in the FTX was conducted via social media. It not only confirmed extensive problems but detailed numerous injuries suffered during the exercise, which a sophomore army cadet called “overall, a giant charlie foxtrot,” using military slang.

Because ROTC officials declined to comment, a social media survey was used to ask for comments and rating of the exercise. A total of 94 responses were recorded, 42 percent of them from sophomore MS2 cadets. The comments revealed that those participating not only felt that the “planning and organization was horrendous,” but confirmed that numerous cadets ended up in the infirmary, mostly for physical injuries and hypothermia. [Read more…]