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…]

Intramural sports looking to gain recognition

Intramural sports are a great way for students to stay active and play the sports they love. While many of the students at Norwich University played sports in high school, they choose to stop once they get to college, turning to intramural sports as an outlet for fun and exercise.

Intramural sports are set up by other students and brought to life with the help of the university. They give students who do not have a chance to play college sports a chance to say they are part of a team, whether it’s a club or for the varsity level. The sports take place year-round and change within the seasons. “We look to have at least one each season, and depending on interest, we consider planning more,” said Nolan Aurelia, 22, a business major from Hartford, Conn.

With many of the students at the university not participating on a varsity sports team, the intramurals help students meet others who have the same athletic interests as themselves. “Intramurals at Norwich have never been great, and it’s a huge challenge to try and get people aware of intramural activities available,” Aurelia said.

This season, the staff attempted to get a co-ed softball league going throughout the school, but the plans fell through because not enough people were aware of the opportunity. “Ice hockey is always a desirable activity, but it is next to impossible to get ice time,” Aurelia added.

With having all these sports, it brings up the question, is there being money made out of this, and where is it going? One possibility might be as a great way to raise money for charities, “No charities, but definitely something we would like to do. We have to establish intramurals first,” Aurelia said. “No one has to play in these tournaments … that is the beauty of it all, there is no commitment, if you sign up then realize you don’t want to compete there is no issue.” [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…]

Sibling life at Norwich

Identical twins Ashley and Courtney Nau, from Sunrise, Fla., have been inseparable for the past 20 years.

For the two sophomore physics majors, college life hasn’t changed their relationship or living situation from what it was growing up.

“We really didn’t have much of a say last year but we chose to do it this year,” Courtney said. Her sister Ashley added, “When we picked beds it was easy. Courtney said, ‘well I had top bunk as a kid so I guess I’ll take that again.’”

The Naus are able to remain close because they are roommates. “Share a womb together, share a room together,” Ashley joked.

At Norwich University, some students have a special experiences with their roommates – because they are siblings.

In interviews, siblings, both twins and singletons (sisters and brothers), explained their reasons for wanting to live with each other.

The Nau twins chose to because of convenience and closeness. “It’s so easy. We have the same habits and level of cleanliness, so why change?” Courtney said. [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…]