Norwich’s new ‘Civic Scholars’

Left, Civic Scholars Chad St. John, Alexandria Spezia (middle) and Jordan Lutz work at the Vermont Foodbank, volunteering to help hungry Vermonters.

On a recent Saturday at the Vermont Foodbank in Barre, nine Norwich students found themselves getting an unusual workout and hands-on education in the business of feeding hungry Vermonters.

Working together, they sorted 15 pallets of food, which would go out to a network of 225 food shelves, meal sites, senior centers and after-school programs, providing 26,000 meals to Vermont residents in need. Think of it as off-site homework.

The students are part of the new, innovative Civic Scholars Program, which joins a long tradition at Norwich of responding to the needs of communities surrounding the university campus and beyond. From building an orphanage in Tanzania to the thousands of volunteer hours donated by students cleaning up in Northfield following Tropical Storm Irene in August of 2011, students at the school have always responded to the call for service. [Read more…]

22nd Annual Colby Symposium offers a look back at the legacy of World War I

  “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” –Aldous Huxley

One hundred years ago today, on April 6, 2017, the United States formally entered World War I. In the months leading up to that day, President Woodrow Wilson officially severed diplomatic ties with Germany, and our nation readied itself for war. Six weeks later, the first U.S. infantry troops landed in France to begin training for combat.

The entrance of U.S. military forces into the four-year long global conflict helped turn the tide in favor of an Allied victory, but at a tremendous cost to American lives. When the Armistice was signed on Nov.11, 1918, of the more than two million U.S. soldiers who served on the battlefields of Western Europe, some 116,000 made the supreme sacrifice, 14 of them Norwich alumni. [Read more…]

Corps freshman is raising the bar

  Norwich University gets a wide range of athletes, but Gabriela Carrasquillo isn’t just any ordinary college competitor.

Carrasquillo, who plans on becoming an intel officer in the United States Army, has set herself an athletic goal that aims really high in her sports passion, which is weightlifting. “I aspire to make it to the Olympics one day,” said Carrasquillo.

Carrasquillo, 19,  is a freshman criminal justice and Spanish major from Framingham, Mass., who got into Olympic-style weight lifting at the age of 15. “I really got into it about last year. I competed three times,” said Carrasquillo. In two of those three competitions, she placed in the competition, and currently Carrasquillo is the North Atlantic Junior champion and Bay State champion for weight lifting in her division. [Read more…]

Prof. Dough Smith teaches his longtime passion

“Growing up I’ve always loved listening to radio as a young kid and since then my fascination with it grew,” said Professor Doug Smith, from Grantham, N.H.

He added “I had a piano teacher that actually worked in a radio station and I would spend most of my piano lesson actually talking to her about radio and I just found it to be very interesting.”

Most people know all about WNUB, the radio station on campus, but most people don’t know the person behind the station. Professor Doug Smith, who has been making the trek from New Hampshire to Northfield since 1999, runs WNUB from top to bottom as well as teaches communications courses on campus.

“When I was younger I use to mess around with short wave radios, crystal radios and always loved listening to music so that’s kind of where most of this started,” said Smith.

He was amazed at how radios work and his love for music only made his interest for radios much greater. [Read more…]

New center for writing is drawing students

Nearly one year ago, Bailey Beltramo sat in his barracks on the campus of Norwich University. The excitement of studying abroad in Ireland the following semester was starting to mount, and he was counting the days until he could leave snowy Vermont for the rolling hills of Ireland.

But before heading out, an opportunity to expand his resume and apply his knowledge of writing to help students presented itself. [Read more…]

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…]

Was Recognition earned, or simply given?

Editors note: This commentary was written by a member of the Corps of Cadets. Because of concerns about potential backlash and repercussions, the writer requested anonymity. The Guidon felt the opinions expressed were worth publicizing despite being anonymous and do reflect a segment of the Corps of Cadets.

Despite failing various tasks to become a cadet here at Norwich University, freshmen are still being passed on and recognized as cadets upon the completion of Rookdom. 

As a senior cadet at this private military institution, I have become accustomed to the traditions once held so highly in esteem here, and have held myself to the standard expected of me by the cadre I had my freshmen year. 

The oath taken upon arrival at this institution lays out the guidelines and standards that are expected to met and upheld from the time one enters the Corps. 

So, in saying that, students that choose the Corps of Cadets check a box saying that they understand what standards they are to meet to become a recognized cadet. 

Yet unfortunately, this does not happen. 

Every year, despite being told that they have to pass all training, go to all classes, and attend all morning formations, there are cadets who do not complete all of the established requirements but still earn the title and join the corps. 

Not all of the students that come here and check the box are failing the requirements to become a cadet, however. This makes it unfair to those who uphold the standard, while the rest are just passed on. 

[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…]