UNIFY holds first annual ball

Most weekends at Norwich University, students are resting from a busy week, found in their rooms or blowing off steam off-campus. Others are found quietly studying in the library. However, a small group can be found in Andrews Hall, working out on Sunday afternoons.

Lydia Guy says that Sundays are her favorite days because of the work, and workout, she gets to do. She spends her Sundays with Special Olympic Athletes. After nearly a whole school year of Sundays spent working out, they decided to have a celebration of sorts.

On March 31, the UNIFY group on campus threw a ball for the special athletes and their mentors to celebrate the work they have done the past year, and the work they will continue to do. The theme was a masquerade ball, and guests showed up in formal dresses and suits.

The ball included a sword arc performed by members of the drill company, as well as a formal dinner. Then the special athletes, mentors, and their families spent the night dancing and taking pictures.

Anthony Rodriguez Jr, a 20-year-old communications major from San Antonio, Texas, was one of the cadets on the sword arc. Donning his most formal uniform, he said it was an “incredible honor to perform this detail,” and that he would do it “time and time again,” if he could. [Read more…]

Lights out at Norwich!

Almost everyone has been through some kind of black out or power outage. They have happened all over the world, and they are nothing new, but a recent power outage at Norwich revealed a crazy side of what happens when the lights go out.

It was just like any regular evening around 10 p.m. for Kaylan Duncan, 20, from Chicago, Ill. He was relaxing during his usual Wednesday night entertainment. “I was playing PubG on my personal computer, you know the usual,” said Duncan “When all of a sudden my computer crapped out, and so did all of the other lights around me.”

“Even though I was in the middle of a winning streak, I knew it was probably just a glitch or a short blackout,” said Duncan. “I just tried to stay calm and grab a flashlight or something, just like any regular human being would — but I look out of my fifth story window out to the U.P. and the whole campus just goes bats–t crazy.”

Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on April 3, the student body and Corps of Cadets at Norwich went crazy and weird activities, pranks and a loss of total control took over the Upper Parade Ground during a 15 minute blackout in the town of Northfield. Instead of reacting to the power outage like Duncan, a business management major, “hundreds were out on the U.P. doing just the weirdest things you could possibly imagine,” said Duncan. [Read more…]

The Brian Bill Memorial Challenge

Expect Challenge. Achieve Distinction, is a phrase pasted on any sort of Norwich University informational packet one can think of.

Expecting challenge is exactly what Brian R. Bill did upon arriving to campus as a freshman.

He distinguished himself through his graduation from Norwich University by gaining a degree in electrical engineering. He made that choice of major because he found it to be the most difficult major available to students.

Bill was also involved with the Mountain & Cold Weather Company (MCW) and the varsity swim team during his time at Norwich. He took down any obstacle that was in his path and gave anything he attempted his all.

When Brian R. Bill was killed in action on Aug. 6, 2011, after his CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down while on a mission over Afghanistan, the Norwich University Golden Anchor Society began holding an annual memorial challenge in honor of Bill.

“The challenge is something along a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race concepts where participants run through a 3-mile, 5-mile, or 10-mile event that contains different obstacles that they have to get through, around, or over,” said Jake Nichols, a 21-year old senior geology major from Batavia, N.Y.

Nichols is the current president of the Golden Anchor Society on campus and was the person spearheading the organization, planning, and preparation of this year’s Brian R. Bill Memorial Challenge. [Read more…]

For gay students at Norwich, room to grow, lead and be themselves

Morgan Woods

It might seem unlikely that a small, long-standing strict military college nestled in the hills of Vermont could be a judgment-free place to be gay. However, Norwich, founded as the nation’s first private military school back in 1819, has made a name for itself with its open acceptance of members of the LGBT community.

For two cadets in the military Corps, the guiding university principle of fostering leadership and judging people by their character and skills, not their gender or sexual preferences, has proven to be true, and the school has lived up to motto.

“Whether it’s interacting with the people living around me, or going to classes as a functioning cadet, me being attracted to men is not an issue,” said cadet Andrew Guiberson, a 20-year-old sophomore business management major from North East, Md. “The issue is me doing the tasks that are asked of me, like it should be.”

A similar viewpoint is shared by Morgan Woods, a 20-year-old junior psychology major from Newton, Mass.

“It was always a thought in my mind when picking schools because I knew I wanted to go into the military on active duty and I knew that I wanted to live the (military) lifestyle 24 hours a day, and I knew that I was gay,” Woods said. “When going through senior military colleges to pick, having to decide whether or not I wanted to live my school life back in the closet again for my career there was a big factor.” [Read more…]

New rules at The Pub rile students

The Pub at the Wise Campus Center has long been the most popular local bar, because of its easy accessibility on campus and entertainment events. The Pub has always been run by Sodexo, the on-campus food service provider and vendor that runs dining facilities.

That, say some students, has changed recently.

“The Pub used to be busy most weekends, because it’s the closest place for every student over the age of 21 to go to,” said Shane O’Neil, a senior and War and Peace major. O’Neil was a regular “for about a year” at the Pub, since he turned 21 and could legally drink.

But, said O’Neil. “I put a little stop from going there, for a little while,” adding “most people stopped going there because of the changes.”

Those changes took place at the beginning of the semester after the long Christmas/New Years break. Students complain the major rule changes are discouraging student clientele from going to The Pub and socializing and enjoying themselves. [Read more…]

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…]