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23 questions and answers on spring semester protocols

As Norwich University adjusts to coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions and navigates the Spring 2021 semester, parents and students have posed several questions. Here are answers to queries posed on social media platforms in recent days.

Departure protocols
Q: May students leave campus?
A: Yes. Students may leave at any time to study remotely for the rest of the spring semester. Norwich University is not forcing any student to stay; each student and family should make the decision that’s best for them. Students who would like to leave must contact their academic adviser, who will begin the paperwork, and inform their company mentor (Corps of Cadets) or Residence Life staff (Sean O’Reilly). We will continue to apprise students, and their families, of any updates to spring semester operations. Our www.norwich.edu/psa website will have the latest information.

Q: Will students who leave campus get a reimbursement of room and board?
A: Students who depart campus to study remotely will be charged by the day for the time they were in residence on campus. A prorated room and board credit will be applied from the time students depart. Note that gift aid adjustments will occur, as appropriate.

Q: Will there be other financial adjustments if students move off campus?
A: When students move off campus, there will be an adjustment to their charges and, in all likelihood, to their financial aid. To understand specifically how aid will change, campus-departing students or parents should speak to a financial aid counselor by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (802) 485-2850.

Q: If a student chooses to leave campus, can they come back if campus opens back up? 
A: No. If a student chooses to leave campus, they cannot come back when things open back up (exception being for students called away for service/duty, such as with the National Guard).

Q: Will leaving campus affect a student’s eligibility to obtain ROTC contract/scholarship?
A: No. Leaving campus will not affect a student’s ability to obtain a scholarship and/or contract regardless of ROTC program. However, to maintain eligibility, students must let their primary instructor know that they will be departing campus to continue instruction remotely, participate in both classes and LLAB /MIL LAB, ensure that their GPA is very good and also be certain to maintain or exceed their fitness standards. 

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Q: Have rooks completed training objectives and earned recognition as full members of the Corps of Cadets?
A: Yes. The Corps of Cadets Commandant Col. Michael Titus said rooks are recognized. He and Regimental Commander Caleb Miller ’21 laid out the privileges rooks may enjoy once the modified in-room quarantine ends: the ability to switch out “ROOK” covers to patrol covers, the permission to close room doors after business hours on weekdays and all day Sunday, and the permission to use personal identifiers “I” and “me.” The privileges will not, however, include wearing civilian clothes; rooks must stick to their uniforms.

Q: Has this rook recognition information reached the cadre?
A: Yes. This information was clarified Feb. 5. Rooks should direct any other recognition questions to the company mentor.

Q: Will there be a rook recognition ceremony?
A: Yes, but not during the spring term. President Mark C. Anarumo said this recognition will likely come in August ahead of the 2021-22 academic year.

Q: Will students who depart campus be dropped from specialty units (such as cavalry or drill)?
A: No. Students who leave campus will not be penalized.

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Ceremonies and rites

Q: Will there be Commencement and Commissioning?
A: The university is planning to host in-person Commencement and Commissioning ceremonies, but how it will look and who may attend are so far undetermined. As soon as plans are finalized, the university will share them with graduating seniors and their families. We ask for your continued patience as we navigate the challenging situation created by this pandemic together.

Q: Will there be a Junior Ring ceremony this semester?
A: Unclear. The university will monitor the coronavirus situation and decide.

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Q: Can students have food delivered to campus?
A: Not yet. As soon as it can be done safely, Norwich University will allow students to order takeout food for delivery to a specific campus location for pickup.

Q; Why is breakfast bagged?
A: Amelia “Millie” Heidenreich, general manager of food contractor Sodexo at Norwich University, said in an Feb. 5 town hall Wise Campus Center dining hall meals take about three and half hours to serve, . Given Vermont Health Department requirements to serve students by dorms to keep the dining hall people count low, reduce in-and-out traffic and allow between-meals cleaning, to have in-person hot breakfast, service would have to start at 5 a.m., which Heidenreich said is infeasible now. Therefore, the breakfast meal is being offered as a bagged-meal takeaway.

Q: Why has food been boxed for takeaway?
A: For timing. With the quarantine guidelines, Sodexo can feed only one dorm at a time and essentially has 15 minutes to get 250 students in and out, Heidenreich said.

Q: What if I have food allergies?
A: Signs at the Wise Campus Center dining hall entrance and the former soup station will direct students to Sodexo staff who can address their needs.

Q: Can I get extra portions?
A: Yes. Students may take as many entrees as they need.

Q: When will the Mill and Dunkin’ Donuts return?
A: As soon as modified in-room quarantine is over and in-person classes resume these options and the Pick Five will resume, too, Heidenreich said.

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Campus life

Q: How will I get postal mail?
A: Mail is being sorted by dorm and hand-delivered by Facilities Operations to a specific room in each dorm. Company mentors (Corps of Cadets) and Residential Life staff (civilian) are coordinating mail delivery from that specific dorm site to individual student rooms. This sorting and hand-delivery take time. We appreciate your patience.

Q: When will modified room quarantine end and in-person classes resume?
A: Tentatively, Tuesday, Feb. 16. President Mark C. Anarumo will make decisions informed by testing data and the guidance of our medical team and Vermont Health Department officials. We will be communicating with the university community routinely and encourage students to watch my.norwich.edu announcements and their email for updates.

Q: Are rooms in residence halls and barracks subject to random search?
A: No. Residential Life and Commandants Office staff, at President Mark C. Anarumo’s directive, have instituted round-the-clock patrols of these buildings to ensure student health and safety and adherence to health protocols. However, Senior Vice President of Student Affairs and Information Technology Frank Vanecek said rooms are not being searched randomly and will be entered only if something unusual, like the sound of loud, multiple voices behind a closed door, signals that something might be amiss.

Q: May students spend activity time outside with another person other than their roommate?
A: Students are asked to sign up in roommate pairs or individually for activities. Most locations include more than two students in one location, so students certainly might engage with others in those specific, controlled environments. The expectation for all approved activities and locations is to adhere to distancing, wear a mask, and all COVID-19 protocols, including those outlined in the Student Behavioral Contract.

Q: I need a list of emergency contact numbers and email addresses. How can I get them?
A: An eight-page document listing emergency phone numbers, email addresses and in-case-of-emergency instructions from Facilities Operations was delivered to every residential room on campus.

Q: I’m feeling stressed out. Whom do I call?
A: The Counseling and Wellness Center is here to help by phone at (802) 485-2134 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Seven clinicians are meeting with students over video chat during business hours. The after-hours crisis line is (802) 793-3903.

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