Artsy side of Norwich gets the spotlight

With a tentative ear, Katie Whitney listened as the voices from the stage before her eyes carried into the rafters and bounced off of the concrete walls, getting lost in the meters of emptiness which lay behind her.

The acoustics weren’t great, something she was quick to realize, but at this point, Whitney knew her options were very limited. This certainly wasn’t the usual venue for her event, but knowing what is to come next year, she did not mind being displaced for the time being.

“The sound is terrible in there, but what mattered is that students had a chance to let their voice be heard,” said Whitney, a member of Norwich University’s class of 2009, and the director of the annual Battle of the Voices competition held March 2nd and 3rd.

For the first year since its creation in 2014, Norwich University’s spring singing competition was not being held in Dole Auditorium, due to its recent destruction as part of a major construction campaign to improve campus facilities. Having lost the one acoustically engineered location on campus for an event of this nature, the group moved to the school’s gym and multipurpose space, Plumley Armory with hopeful and determined hearts, coming together to make it the most successful performance to date, with more than 200 in the audience cheering on the performers.

“Honestly, being in Plumley didn’t really put any kind of damper on the event. The location is not what matters, it is the talent that is being displayed for everyone who comes,” said Meaghan McGrath, a 23-year-old member of Norwich’s senior class, and a Vermont local. “My junior year I had attended the event as a spectator, and this year, I just decided to give it a shot, and I am certainly glad I did.” [Read more…]

For foreign professors, many barriers to overcome

Professor Alex Chung, along with several other professors, belong to the group of faculty members who made the decision to follow the American Dream – and teach despite the language barrier.

The presence of a minority group of professors, teaching even though English is not their first language, is among the aspects that give Norwich University a special flavor.

“For me, language is just a tool. It does not matter how smoothly you can speak, as long as you can communicate, you can do anything, even teaching,” said Chung, an assistant professor of economics and finance who comes from Taiwan.

Many young people from Asia, when searching for a job in the teaching environment, look at opportunities in the United States, identified as the destination with the “least restrictive” teaching system, according to Prof. Chung. They also come to the U.S. because its colleges and universities stress dialogue and interaction in the classroom.

“The best aspect of teaching in the United States, is that students are able to be passionate in expressing their opinions, arguing, and arguing back for something,” said Yangmo Ku, assistant professor of political science, and associate director of peace and war, from Seoul, South Korea. “This type of free debate and free communication style is a very strong point the American culture has compared to the Korean one.” [Read more…]

Dorm thefts are a growing complaint

It was like any day for Edwards Burnham. After a long day of studying, exercising, and working for the school, Burnham looked forward to relaxing in his room.

“Like any other day I walked back to my room, it was empty like usual because my roommate and I have different schedules, I went inside and grabbed my stuff to get ready for a shower,” said Burnham, 21, a junior criminal justice major from Boston, Mass.

Burnham never once thought that he would have to watch out for his personal items when going out for a quick shower.

“I showered for maybe 15 minutes, came back to my room and I noticed that some stuff went missing,” Burnham said. “I had a video game, a controller, and a book stolen – it was a bit odd, but they were gone.”

Theft on the Norwich University campus has become a bigger a issue this year than in years prior, according to students whose stuff has been taken or have friends who have seen items taken. Interviews reveal the problem of theft in the dorms is a major concern. [Read more…]

LGBT students face struggles in dating

For Erik Rajunas, a 22-year-old from Gloucester, Mass., dating in college can be a little tricky at times.

“Sometimes you don’t even want to date people because you’re afraid that if it doesn’t go well people will talk. It’s a really small school,” he said.

There is also another challenge when it comes to dating, and it isn’t the fact that there isn’t a large population of females on campus.

“It’s a predominantly male school but that doesn’t mean everyone is available. Most people tend to identify as straight, so it’s tough because there is a small gay population here and there’s not a lot of options,” Rajunas said.

At Norwich University, students who are part of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community have different experiences trying to find someone to date.

The LBGT students explained their sexuality so that those who are heterosexual might understand it.

“I’ve always known I was attracted to men, and it’s not even sexual it’s more that I’ve always just enjoyed the company of a man and could see myself living with another guy,” Rajunas said.

Caleb Valcin, a 20-year-old sophomore nursing major from Miami, Fla., explained that being gay feels “right” to him because he “like[s] the way being around a guy in a more intimate and loving way feels. It’s hard to explain but it just feels right, “ he said. [Read more…]

Two fire sprinklers go off, flooding Corps dorm rooms in two separate incidents

 

Students in Patterson work on cleanup of flooding on the second floor after a sprinkler head accident flooded a number of rooms. Kanisha Gonzalez photo

(EDITORS NOTE: Two fire sprinkler accidents flooded two separate Corps dorms within four days in late February. This is the first of two stories about the unfortunate wet events – this one in Patterson Hall – which fortunately caused no major damage).

It was a normal Tuesday afternoon for Victoria Davis-Cortes as she finished her class for the day and returned to her room to prepare for mil-lab, the army ROTC military science lab where which cadets learn and practice skills they will use in an army officer career.

As she routinely did that day, Davis reached for her rucksack, a military bag with straps similar to a backpack used to carry all army essentials, which was placed on the top of her wall locker. As she pulled it out, it accidentally tapped the sprinkler head in the room.

“It started to sprinkle at first and then it just burst with black water running out if it. In a matter of minutes, it started to flood our room and start rushing to the room across the hall,” said Davis-Cortes, 20, a sophomore criminal justice major from Bronx, N.Y.

That slight tap on Feb. 20 to a sprinkler around 12 p.m. led to a heavy flooding of four rooms in Patterson, according to the students living in room 210. Davis’s roommate was in 210 when water let loose.

“We were both shocked, but then we started to take all our sheets off the bed when it began to sprinkle because it was the closest,” said Daney Reyes, 20, a sophomore criminal justice major from North Plainfield, N.J.
[Read more…]

Two fire sprinklers go off, flooding Corps dorm rooms in two separate incidents

(EDITORS NOTE: Two fire sprinkler accidents flooded two separate Corps dorms within four days in late February. This is the second of two stories about the unfortunate wet events – this one in Ransom Hall – which fortunately caused no major damage).

On Friday, Feb 23, in the early afternoon, most cadets in Ransom Hall had their rooms tightly kept, awaiting the official annual regimental room inspection.

Cadets like Kailin Duncan, from Chicago, Ill., had fully cleaned and tidied up their rooms. All beds were perfectly made, wall lockers arranged with their clothes in order, and floors swept and mopped.

Duncan, 20, lives on the top floor of Ransom Hall and “was about 30 minutes out from inspection.” He was in an exciting game of Rocket League while waiting when “all of the sudden, the fire alarm went off.”

“I thought it would be over soon, so I didn’t bother to rush — but then it continued; I opened my door and saw two guys at the end of the hall screaming, and I just saw water spilling out of their room.”

Around 2:30 p.m., 30 minutes before regimental room inspections, the fifth-floor hallway of Ransom Hall suffered major flooding due to a damaged sprinkler head in room 501. Multiple rooms neighboring room 501 also experienced flooding issues due to the massive amount of water exiting the broken sprinkler, said Bizhan Yahyazadeh, the head of facilities operations. [Read more…]

David Allen, newly hired, hopes to expand international flavor at Norwich

David Allen, the new assistant director of the International Center and Services, at his desk at Norwich University.                                                                                      Darwrin Carozza photo

David Allen knows all about what it’s like to travel and learn in a foreign land. So it’s no surprise he is making the most out of his new occupation at the Norwich University International Center.

Hired at the beginning of February, the new assistant director for international programs and services speaks clearly on what his main goals and future projects are.

“A big initiative Norwich has at the moment is the internationalizing of the campus,” Allen said. “If we cannot bring students in, we will bring them out, so they can come back and further deepen the university community.”

Norwich prides itself in having an international perspective, and affirms in its vision statement that students will be, “American in character, yet global in perspective.” This international perspective can only be achieved by immersing the student body in the rest of the globe, and bringing international students to the university.

“By studying abroad, you have the opportunity for transformation,” Allen said. “I did not understand it when I was studying abroad, but it really does give you a different perspective of the world.” [Read more…]

New Norwich University website ready to launch after two years of work

A screenshot of Norwich’s current website. A total revamp of the site has been under way for two years and will launch soon.

After two years of work, Norwich is close to unveiling a completely new website that will “bring Norwich University, online, to the 21st century,” in the words of Norwich’s office of communications.

The revamped website, which is the digital face of the university, is expected to be rolled out to the public sometime this month.“It’s our front door to the world and we want to do NU proud,” said Loida Alvarez, the director of web services in the office of communications for the university. “This launch is just the beginning.”

The overhauled website will serve as an “integral part of recruiting new students, faculty, and staff. This will allow the university to build on the proud tradition that is already in place,” said Nick Fischer, the administrative assistant in office.

The theme behind the development of the new website was “three clicks or less,” according to Jeff Dobbin, one of the web developers who works in the office, which is located at the northern end of the campus in Flint Hall on Central Street.

“We want to make people explore as much as they want but also find what they want to find in three clicks or less,” Dobbin said. “That was a key. It was difficult, but it was something we emphasized.”

In the same vein, the OC focused heavily on making the website easier to access and use on mobile devices, something that is difficult to execute on the current site.

“There was a study recently that showed that 79 percent of prospective students in the next generation are looking for schools on their mobile device first before they would apply,” Dobbin said. “That was kind of the background behind, ‘okay, we need to redesign.’” [Read more…]

Norwich bids former Cadet Mo Smith adieu

Having spent a career in the Army traveling everywhere from Hawaii, Germany, Japan, Chicago, and back again to Northfield, Vt., Maurice “Mo” Smith accomplished just about everything one could hope to accomplish in a lifetime.

During World War II, he spent time teaching young troops how to maintain and fix tanks for the Army. Upon retirement he returned home to maintain the family business of owning and operating drive-in movie theatres.

Mo accomplished many things during his lifetime. He made a career for himself, had a family, and gave back annually to the institution he was most proud of, Norwich University, making him a lifetime member of the Alden Partridge Society, for donating over $20,000 back to the school.

Colonel Maurice H. Smith passed away on Sunday, February 4th, 2018. [Read more…]

Norwich resolute about maintaining marijuana prohibitions on campus

Martha Mathis, now in her 26th year as the Dean of Students at Norwich University, has witnessed a vast number of challenges that the school has faced and overcome; for each challenge, her judgment has never changed.

“I think anything that has the potential to interfere with your success, I would not be for,” Mathis said. “Anything that can be competition for students to be the best that they can be, I am always going to vote no.”

NU will face a new test in the coming months, however, one that Mathis warns could have the potential to “really change the course of your life.”

With that risk in mind, the University plans to stay firm with its policies after the state of Vermont’s decision to legalize marijuana, according to ther Norwich University administration.

“It isn’t really going to affect us at all, in terms of our policies,” said Dr. Frank Vanecek, the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Life. “We are going to maintain our rules and regulations regardless of what the state decides to do.” [Read more…]