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…]

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…]

In men’s hockey, forward Kevin Salvucci has found his stride

Kevin Salvucci at practice in Kreitzberg arena.

As the Norwich University men’s ice hockey team heads into playoffs for the 2016-2017 postseason, many players have contributed to a fine season and had an impact on the team. Each class year has had players that have been key components to the Cadets’ impressive 21-1-3 record. But few on the Norwich roster have stood out to students, community members, and hockey fans as much as Kevin Salvucci. [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…]

With heads held high, Norwich band, drill team did school proud

Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States (1801–1809), and one of the influential framers of the Constitution, was the first U.S. president to be inaugurated at the Capitol in Washington D.C., a city he helped plan. In his first inaugural speech, delivered on March 4, 1801, he said the famous words that are paraphrased in the Norwich University mission statement: “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union …, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which … opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

I bring this up because I received some negative feedback not long ago in response to the news that our Regimental Band and Drill Team would be performing in President Donald Trump’s inaugural parade. Now mind you, the vast majority of the feedback we received was overwhelmingly supportive of our students, but there were some detractors who were upset that our students were participating at all, and others who were unhappy with the statement that our students were “representing Vermont.”

We live in a country where, thankfully, difference of opinion is tolerated. It is our right as American citizens to think as we choose—a right that many have fought and given their lives for. But it is important to remember that opinions are not the same thing as principles. Two sentences prior to the above quote, Jefferson says: “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” I believe he is alluding to our Constitution, which comprises several principles, among them, the sovereignty of the people, the limitations of government, the separation of power, checks and balances, and so on. It is these democratic principles which guarantee Americans their freedoms and unify us as a people, regardless of our differing opinions.

Whether our students were consciously aware of it or not, these unifying principles were front and center at their performance on Jan. 20, 2017. They marched not just for Norwich University, but also for our democracy, for our founder, Alden Partridge, and for all Norwich alumni since Alonzo Jackman, our first graduate. With heads held high, they marched absent of any political agenda, and with only pride for their regiment, their university, and their country.

As Norwich University’s president, I could not be prouder of our students for continuing this Norwich tradition—one that dates back to the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961. At least one member of the class of 1963 who marched in that parade recalls being starstruck as he caught sight of the young president—so much so that he stopped beating the bass drum. In true Norwich fashion, the other band members continued on in perfect step, not missing a beat, until the bass drum struck up again two measures later. Such opportunities as this bring honor and prestige to our university, and help to form the Norwich bonds and memories that last a lifetime.

For 10 men’s hockey seniors, camaraderie and high hopes for playoffs

William Pelletier, #20, one of the 10 seniors on the men’s hockey team, celebrates a goal with fellow senior Tyler Piacentini, #21. A close-knit senior class has matured to create a dynamic and powerful offense for the Cadets.

The Norwich University Men’s Ice Hockey Team has clinched three regular season championships over the course of the last four years. This kind of success is largely unheard of in NCAA Division III hockey and showcases the impressive ability Norwich puts on the ice every game.

Much of this success over the last four years has come from this year’s current senior class of ten players who have dedicated thousands of hours to building a successful team over the course of their four-year Norwich career.

“We’ve got nine four-year players that [were honored] on Senior Night, and one three-year transfer player,” said head coach Mike McShane. “We’ve all had our ups and downs, but this has got to be one of my absolute favorite classes.”

McShane added that good team leadership was a natural byproduct of this veteran crew, and a key element to winning any games. [Read more…]