A shift in culture at Norwich

Women’s panel offers perspectives on female paths, leadership paths

Norwich University admissions advisor Sarah DeBouter found her experiences as a former female civilian student to be a driving force in her efforts to create inclusiveness and connections for future students at the university.

“I did experience a lot of adversity as a strong female leader on a primarily male dominated campus,” DeBouter said of her four years of study at Norwich. “When I think about my experience as a student, and what I would have made it better, I think about having more resources accessible to minorities on campus.”

DeBouter was the only female member of the honor committee during the merger of civilian and cadet honor committees her junior year. It was the first year civilian students had a voice on campus and could participate in designing their own class rings.

“I was told more than once that I had no right to speak or to an opinion,” DeBouter said. “There was a large tension between the lifestyles, and I think that fueled a lot of my fire.”

As the official coordinator, DeBouter encouraged students, staff, and the local community to join her in Milano Ballroom on March 25th for a women’s panel for open discussion and a networking event to highlight their accomplishments in the face of adversity.
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New silver coin will mark commissioning

In the spring of 2015, 21-year-old Kalynn Butchko was notified that she had been wait-listed for the United States Air Force Academy and reluctantly began looking elsewhere to start her college career.

The senior mechanical engineering major from Las Vegas, NV., chose Norwich to take advantage of opportunities with the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC).

“Norwich had something more to offer than all of the other schools,” Butchko said. “It’s just the right amount of military and just the right amount of college. I’m honestly glad I didn’t get into the Academy.”

One of the opportunities she probably never expected was to create a brand new tradition at Norwich.

Recently, she and five of her peers, representing their respective ROTC military branches, were selected to serve on a prestigious committee charged with coming up with a design for a new coin that is destined to stand the test of time and become ingrained in Norwich heritage.

For the first time in collegiate military history, Norwich University will be awarding newly commissioned seniors silver challenge coins. The university’s president is hoping graduates will keep the coins forever as their “personal coins” and a reminder of their roots.
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Lacrosse shoots for conference championship

Senior Aidan Moulton looks to get past an opponent from St.Joseph’s of Maine. NU Athletics Photo

The Norwich University men’s lacrosse team is looking to keep the same goals they’ve had over the last three seasons, which is striving to ultimately win a championship.

After a strong season last year, in which the team had a record of 13-6, the Cadet lacrosse team hopes to carry on the high expectations from last season and capture the GNAC title.

In the process of trying to win a championship, the team also wants to focus on executing at a high level and developing young talent that head coach Neal Anderson has been able to recruit.

“Last year the team struggled with playing four quarters of lacrosse, and putting together a complete game,” said senior midfielder Will Conroy of Dorchester, Mass.

This was seen in this year’s 10-9 loss against the University Southern Maine but Conroy remains optimistic. “Our focus now is to execute on technique for an entire game,” he said.

The team is off to a good start in conference play standings at 3-1, and is 5-4 on the season.
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Unit Manning Reports mean job anxiety

Every year members of the Norwich University Corps of Cadets get nervous waiting for decisions on what assignments they will get next year in the corps. This was especially true after it was announced the decisions would be a week later than the announced deadline just before spring break.

Annabell Davis was one of those waiting to see what would happen.

“I didn’t know if I was going getting the job I wanted,” said Davis, 19, a sophomore mathematics major from Rocky Top, Tenn., “and the wait made me nervous.”

“It was all worthwhile when the UMR came out,” she said. “Lt. Col. Edwards walked over with Aiden Cruz and said ‘Mr. Cruz, do you know Ms. Davis and Cruz said, ‘yes sir’ and finally, Lt. Col. Edwards said ‘Well you’re looking at your First Sergeant.”

The UMR (Unit Manning Report) for the school year 2019-2020 was released on Monday, March 18, telling many cadets what their job in the corps would be for the upcoming year. Everyone who wants a job in the corps must apply and then cadets are ranked in an order of merit list. The commandant staff looks at the cadet’s GPA, PT score, extracurricular activities and a plethora of other factors and accomplishments.
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Commandant’s leave policy memo on junior ring weekend creates cadet confusion, frustration

Confusion and frustration have resulted from a March 19 memo by Commandant of Cadets Col. Michael Titus regarding the policy for leave over Junior Ring Weekend and its conflicting date with Easter weekend.

While the release of the memo highlighted a policy that has been in practice for years, a number of cadets have been forced to change their plans for one of the highlight weekends marking a milestone in their progress in the Corps of Cadets.

Junior Ring Weekend is a much anticipated event that cadets, and civilians, look forward to reaching at Norwich. Upon fulfilling the requirements to receive their rings, they are rewarded with a weekend of leave and a chance to celebrate with friends and alumni.

The ceremony where students receive their rings is school-sanctioned at two separate events, for civilian students and cadets. How students choose to conduct post-event celebrations aftewards is their own choice, but it has long been tradition for many students to rent a condomium somewhere to drink safely and legally off campus, spending time with friends and alumni who join in the ceremonies.

Col. Titus’ policy states that “…resort condominiums which are typically booked by Norwich students celebrating receipt of their junior rings are OFF LIMITS to freshman and sophomore cadets.”

Col. Titus also stated that “the primary reason for the policy is because this year, unlike previous years, Junior Ring Weekend coincided with Easter weekend.”

“Since the two coincide this year we had to find a way to reconcile these two vastly different leave policies. This policy memo is that solution,” Col. Titus wrote.
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Chasing the podium

Connor Keating has been training vigorously for the past eight weeks, both on the mat and in the weight room for another chance to earn All-American honors on the big stage.

“I do eight training sessions per week, with some days being two-a-days, and both in the weight room and on the wrestling mat,” said Keating, the 33-year-old assistant wrestling coach for the Cadets.

Keating’s efforts are a reminder that coaches at Norwich have not just a deep level of knowledge in their sport but can also be, like their athletes, still competitors as well.

Keating will be competing in the U.S. Open in freestyle wrestling from April 24-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For many wrestlers of all ages, weights, and experience, the U.S. Open is the cream of the crop for freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling in America.
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The ring ruckus

As a senior with her own Corps of Cadets ring, I understand the excitement and importance in celebrating one of the most important weekends of a cadet’s time on the hill. It is a milestone that does not come without hard work and determination.

With the release of a new memo on Junior Ring Weekend leave policy by the Commandant of Cadets, it quickly became obvious that many cadets were upset by the rules set out. The memo stated that sophomores and freshmen are barred from attending at the condominiums that juniors traditionally rent to celebrate at over the weekend.

It makes sense that freshmen shouldn’t attend condos, since it runs the risk of violating fraternization rules. Sophomore carry the same risks, but since they have a lot more freedom than freshmen, these risks can come with severe consequences. In past years, sophomores typically served as designated drivers for upper class cadets, however, as pointed out in Anthony Rodriguez’s story on Page 10, it’s not their job to take care of upperclassmen. Seniors are responsible for the people under their command, and since we’ve had our junior ring weekend, it is time to step up and take care of our own.

The memo by Col. Michael Titus merely serves as a reminder of a policy that has been in place for years. I had to check in with seniors my sophomore year over junior ring weekend, so they knew that I was safe.

It’s no secret that the weekend comes with a lot of partying and drinking, and with that, people need to take policies and memos seriously. It’s against the law to drink underage, that is what should stop sophomores from taking part in the festivities in the first place. Norwich has had more than enough incidents with cadets involved with drunk driving. It is all of our responsibilities to make sure that the weekend is fun, memorable, but safe.

The real conflict that was the catalyst for this memo to be released is the fact that junior ring weekend coincides with Easter weekend. Some juniors will have to make the tough decision to either miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime weekend, or be away from their family during a major religious holiday. The timing of the weekend as a whole is where the conflict lies, and I hope in the future that the administration puts more thought into their planning to prevent such strife surrounding a weekend as important as Junior Ring.

The President’s Corner

Don’t ignore valuable internships

The Annual Spring Career Fair, held last week in Plumley Armory, presented 57 employers to 330 students who attended to explore opportunities to enhance their academic learning with real world experiences. One of those employers was represented by a 2002 NU graduate named Robert Kipp, who took the opportunity a step further, meeting with a group of students following the Career Fair to give them advice.
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Hard work by ‘Shock Platoon’ puts Norwich drill team in top ranks

As cadets from 24 different military schools sat in a small auditorium at Tulane University, members of Norwich’s Shock Platoon anxiously awaited the scores from the judges in the annual nationwide drill competition.

Instructors from Tulane University, who were the hosts for the Mardi Gras collegiate nationals, announced that the United States Military Academy (west Point) had taken third place overall. Then they announced that Norwich University had taken second place.

“I was absolutely shocked,” said Joseph Kim, a senior civil engineering major and commander of the Shock Platoon, who noted they “came down all the way from Vermont” the first weekend in March to prove they were capable of putting on a top-notch performance.

That they did. Norwich’s Shock Platoon competitors put on a show at Tulane University, taking honors as the only school to place in every single event, along with winning second overall in the nation.

“We worked extremely hard to get where we were at,” said Shawn H. Wan, a 21-year-old senior computer security and information assurance major from Jackson, N.J., who heads the drill team. “Being the commander for two of the events, it was humbling to see how far we came,” he said.
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Baseball team hopes off-season work and new attitude can improve on last year

As a member of the Norwich baseball team, Chris Davis knows that in order for the team to be successful this year, they have to be gritty and really grind it out this season.

The team has to do the little things right and make the simple plays out on the field and take the season one game at a time – and everyone has to do their part to contribute.

“Baseball is a rhythm game, and its players are those of habit so we kind of fall into a routine that helps us prepare and compete,” said Davis, a 20-year-old junior and pitcher from South Berwick, Maine.

Some of the struggles the team faced last year came from people not knowing their roles or what was expected from them, Davis said. “On any given day there could be position changes or lineup changes with really no explanation,” he said.

He sees a difference this year that gives him hope of a turnaround, despite the youth and lack of collegiate experience by much of the pitching rotation.

“Jake Ryan, our senior captain, is the ace of our staff with the most in-game experience out of our small group,” he said, but he also see promise for the rest of the pitchers. “Nick Landis, Jon Grasso, and Tanner Raymond round out our rotation and have their own strengths and weaknesses that they bring to the table,” Davis said.

But where he also draws some optimism is from the competitive drive that the pitchers have, which he thinks gives the team the best chance to win when they take the mound.

“Our bullpen is young, and we all have our roles, it might be to close a certain game, get a big out or simply bridge from the starter to the closer,” Davis said.

The pitching staff is a tight-knit group that supports each other and picks each other up when they’re down said Davis. “That’s all we can do for now.”
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