A day on the job with George Sanders

It’s hard to find a man happier and more eager to serve on Norwich’s campus than George Sanders, one of the hard-working grounds crew.

The business of keeping Norwich University clean and landscaped falls to the team of blue-shirted personnel who can easily be seen walking around campus hard at work.

Mowing, shoveling, snow removal, room set ups, planting, and general outside upkeep are the duties of the grounds crew at Norwich University. It is not an easy task for the 11-member crew to keep all 1200 acres of Norwich land in pristine condition.

The strength of the grounds crew lies in the dedication and personal effort put forth by each employee and the coordination of information from their superiors – safe to say it’s no easy job.

“I love it, I’m outside working, inside, making everyone happy, seeing everyone smile,” said George Sanders, 34, who lives in Northfield. “I’ve been doing this work all my life, it comes naturally.” [Read more…]

Security policy class gets a D.C. tour

Behind Brad Hanson, the nation’s capital bustled with life as vehicle headlights illuminated the interstate. Inside the Residence Inn at Pentagon City, Hanson sat back in his chair and reflected on his time spent touring Washington D.C.

From the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, to the National Counter terrorism Center, Hanson and a select group of students visited various federal institutions that were located in and around Washington D.C.

The trip, facilitated by Norwich alumni as well as Yangmo Ku, a professor at Norwich University, took place during spring break and allowed his security policy class to gain a better understanding of how the government works, challenged students to overcome a made-up security policy scenario devised by the alumni, and connected current students with alums from Norwich.

“We saw stuff people don’t (normally) see,” Hanson said. [Read more…]

Stimulant drug Adderall attracts student misuse at Norwich

Adderall pills like these are often misused in college without a prescription to heighten focus or ease anxiety. But they can have serious medical side effects when used incorrectly, and selling prescription drugs is illegal and can lead to state and federal charges.

The abuse of stimulant drugs such as Adderall has been noted as a medical concern in numerous studies in recent years, especially focusing on its misuse by college and high school students.

The National Center for Health Research (NCHR) in 2016 cited the potential risks and growing misuse of stimulants like Adderall, stating, “many people use these drugs for non-medical purposes and without a prescription, especially college students who buy them from a friend with a prescription.” In a report by Simon Essig Aberg, the Center added that “The use of drugs like Adderall and other so-called ‘study drugs’ has skyrocketed over the past two decades.”

Not surprisingly, students here at Norwich University admit – anonymously – to taking different stimulant drugs while in school. “I only used Adderall during finals week to stay awake longer and to be focused longer,” said Joe, a Norwich University student who requested anonymity. “I used it to stay alert and focused during finals.”

Joe added that he doesn’t usually use Adderall and that he only started buying it in college. “I paid for it and got it from people I trusted and was friends with,” he said, because he did not trust the random people that were selling it in his classes. His concern was to avoid buying the drug from an unreliable source, he said.

A civilian student (Cedar) who requested anonymity is one of the many students who sells Norwich students Adderall. He says he “would sell it to be able to make some money throughout the week.”

“I would take the amount I would need for the month then sell the rest to the people that would need it,” he explained. The surplus comes from not taking the correct dosage that his doctor recommended. He only takes the drug when it is needed in school rather than taking it daily. [Read more…]

Concealed carry on campus? Opinions seem to be divided

Eight states now have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin, according to http://www.armedcampuses.org.

With states and schools starting to have discussions about allowing concealed carry on college campuses in the wake of recent mass shootings and pressure from 2nd Amendment activists,, the question slowly rises here at Norwich. Opinions among students and staff are very mixed.

Frank Vanecek, vice president of enrollment and student life, doesn’t agree with the idea of having weapons allowed on campus.

“We want to keep weapons off campus. The president of Norwich’s philosophy is to keep weapons off campus. If there are no weapons on campus, there should be no shootings so that’s the benefit of it,” said Vanecek.

He stressed that ensuring a safe environment for the Norwich community was a very important priority.

Norwich administration doesn’t take the subject lightly when it comes to safety, and has had multiple discussions on whether it will allow guns on campus. [Read more…]

Norwich English professor has a sweet hobby on the side

Professor Patricia Ferreira handling her bee hives in Burlington.

Professor Patricia J. Ferreira is a world literature professor at Norwich University, but in her spare time, she has a fascinating second profession, as a beekeeper and a member of the Vermont Beekeepers Association.

Ferreira’s unusual interest in bees came after her education. A native of Boston, Mass., she graduated from Keene State University in New Hampshire and then continued her studies at the University of Vermont and McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

“I went to Keene State University as an undergrad and the University of Vermont as a graduate student and McGill university in Montreal,” said Ferreira. She was working as a journalist when an interview with a beekeeper sparked her interest in the world of bees and how beekeepers maintain hives and sell the honey.

“When I first came out of college I was a journalism major and so I had ended up interviewing a beekeeper, and so I was able to put on the beekeeping suit and all that business and I just find the bees to be so fascinating,” said Ferreira.

Ferreira became a beekeeper after signing up for a beekeeping workshop that lasted for three weeks.

“I quit (the journalist job) but I always had the bees in the back of my head so then eight years ago, there was an advertisement in Burlington where I live, it was to do a co-op there and a class workshop to learn about beekeeping. So I just said okay I’ll take it.”

Bees have been a part of her life ever since. [Read more…]

New alcohol violation rules (VAPS) are in the works

On any weekend, you can find students staggering from barracks to barracks, evidence of the constant battle revolving around preventing the consumption of alcohol, especially in the Corps of Cadets.

A violation of the alcohol policy, or VAP, can involve anything from illegal consumption of alcohol, misrepresentation of age, presence of beverage containers to disorderly conduct according to the Norwich University Student Rules and Regulations (NUSRR)

The school can take disciplinary actions based on the regulations in the NUSRR that spell out a “two-strike policy,” meaning that if someone violates the policy a second time, they will be charged with a Class I infraction, which can lead to dismissal from the university.

The Student Government Association (SGA), however, has drafted a new revised alcohol policy that would shift to a fine and penalty system. It is in the draft stages but has backing from the Norwich administration.

The existing alcohol policy was developed years ago, and it was designed to persuade students not to drink, according to Frank Vanecek, the senior vice president of student affairs.

Nolan Fergusson, the Honor Chair and an SGA Senator, said the new alcohol policy currently being drafted seeks to improve on regulations that many agree don’t work. “The VAP policy as it stands would be replaced by a policy that works off a fine-based penalty system. After each offense, the student would be fined, and based on the severity of the offense, sent to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings as necessary. The fines are meant to cover those meeting costs,” said Fergusson.

There is also a plan to cover dorm damages that happen on campus related to alcohol use, Fergusson mentioned. He said those students for whom AA classes are deemed unnecessary would have their fines compiled in a “dorm damages” fund that would be drawn from at the end of each year to pay for the damages occurred over the course of the year. [Read more…]

Behind Rook Recognition lies a lot of planning by leaders

Throughout the years, Norwich University has seen Rook Class Recognition change in many ways. Recognition for the rooks serves as the culmination of 18 weeks of training to achieve the requirements, standards, and privilege required to earn the title of Cadet. These recognition ceremonies can range in location, time, day, and the events leading up to it.

Keeping to tradition, people outside of Norwich are kept fairly in the dark about what actually happens during the ceremony. Even fewer people actually know the painstaking planning that goes into Recognition itself.

The planning for Recognition usually takes about couple of months to finalize. According to the Regimental S3, Steve Thomas, 21, a criminal justice major from Southport, N.C, communication is essential for planning the ceremony and events.

Traditionally, the Rook Performance Challenge, the culminating event for rook training, and Recognition are held on separate days on the Super Bowl weekend. However, a scheduling conflict occurred when the Super Bowl party was scheduled for the same time as the ceremony in Plumley Armory.

“There was only two options, we either do it at 1830 [Saturday] or we had to do it at 2200 [Sunday],” said Thomas. “The Cadet Colonel did not want to do it in Shapiro again,” the location of last year’s ceremony.

The plans were then finalized about a week prior to the ceremony that Recognition would be held in Plumley on that Saturday prior to the Super Bowl to help maintain the tradition of previous classes.

“The ceremony itself went very well, based off the views of the recruits and commandants I talked to,” said Thomas. “It was more symbolic than last year, with all the upperclassmen above you banging their rings on the railing, and a bigger attendance.” [Read more…]

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…]