The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

Author

Aubrie DiBenedetto

Aubrie DiBenedetto has 4 articles published.

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Aubrie DiBenedetto is a sophomore at Goucher, plays women’s lacrosse, and is undecided about her major. She loves to write, tell stories, and does a little poetry on the side. She really loves her pets, her family, her team, and again, writing. This is her first full semester with The Q and she couldn't be more excited!

The Labyrinth: A Place of Peace for Stressed Out Students

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Picture by: Aubrie DiBenedetto

When someone finds a spot that they consider a hidden gem, they might be compelled to tell everyone they know, but something usually holds them back and they may only share it with a few people. Most hidden gems are meant to stay hidden. They provide their finders with a private space that they can call theirs.

It’s no surprise that a lot of Goucher students don’t know about the hidden gems on our campus. My favorite, located between the Haebler Memorial Chapel and Mary Fisher Hall, is one that shouldn’t go unnoticed and be hidden anymore. From the outside, it looks like a small circular garden and seating area, but if you walk to its entrance, you will see a brick and gravel maze-like path. But it’s not a maze, it’s a mindfulness and meditation labyrinth.

Mazes are meant to trick and confuse you. They’re meant for you to find your way out of them on your own. A labyrinth has no tricks, isn’t meant to confuse you, or make you choose your own path. It’s meant to help you find your center and find clarity. It’s a tool that’s been used for centuries for mindfulness and meditation. The labyrinth is a representation of the journey inward to our own true selves and then back into the real world. On top of likely having an emotional and even spiritual response to walking a labyrinth, the body also has a physiological response.

The labyrinth, located between the Chapel and Mary Fisher, is one of two labyrinths on Goucher’s campus. The second one is a portable canvas one that when fully spread out barely fits in the Heubeck forum (it actually goes up the walls a bit). But the permanent one is more than just a calming place.

While all labyrinths are very similar, there are differences that come with each one. For Goucher, the outdoor labyrinth is also the site of two very special trees that are dedications to two students from the class of 2010 who tragically passed away in 2006. Goucher wanted to build the labyrinth before the students passed away, and thought that combining the labyrinth and the dedications would be the perfect way to not only provide a space for others to enjoy and memorialize two students but also might bring more meaning to the Goucher labyrinth. The trees and their significance set it aside from the other labyrinths located around the area.

I sat down with Goucher’s Chaplain, Cynthia Terry, to talk about the labyrinth and how it came to be. I asked her “Why put one on Goucher’s campus?” She told me that, “a college campus is a perfect place for one.” They are used as a calming space and a place for mindfulness and meditation; and I have to agree with her because I think a college, full of very stressed out students, is the right place to have a labyrinth. The Goucher websites labyrinth page says that the labyrinth can be used as an “opportunity to reflect on the transitions and decisions of your life”. A place that can be calming and possibly bring clarity to students? Everyone needs that peace and space in their life.

If you want more information on labyrinths, there is a wonderful documentary called “Labyrinth Journeys” by Cintia Cabib that Cynthia Terry recommended.

Is Goucher Allowing Bon Appetite to Steal From Students?

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Last year, Bon Appetite at Goucher had a much simpler way of going about meal plans. I’d sign up for the meal plan I felt best fit my needs and that’s what I was given for the semester. Say I signed up for the largest meal plan with 240 meals; I’d get that number of meals and I could use them whenever and however I wanted.

Now, Goucher has come up with a new plan on how to better manage our meal plan needs. I can still choose my meal plan, but there’s a catch. If I sign up for the now largest nineteen meals per week plan, all I get is nineteen meals to use over the course of a week and they’re use-or-lose. If I don’t use all nineteen, they will disappear, meaning I can’t save meal swipes for later in the semester or whatever I choose.

Additionally, last year I was given three-hundred dining dollars (flex) to use at other dining locations on campus over the semester. But this year, that has been cut down to two-hundred-fifty dollars on flex to use.

What gives, Goucher?

I stumbled upon a petition demanding that Goucher make a few changes to the meal plans. First, make food equitable, meaning we should be able to use our meal swipes throughout the semester and across campus in locations such as Alice’s. Meal swipes not used during any given week should always roll over to the next. Second, food should be available in more locations, meaning Goucher needs to reopen The Van and open Alice’s for longer hours including Sunday nights. Goucher need to make the main dining hall hours longer at night and on the weekends. Third, no tax on flex. These, and other demands, had to be met by Bon Appetite last Thursday (September 13th), and students must have a transparent email detailing the plans to make it happen. Since demands haven’t been met and there has been no communication from Goucher or Bon Appetite, students were planning on protesting in Dorsey on Monday (September 17th). Which did not happen.

I am upset that our semester meal plan was changed to a weekly plan and my mind keeps coming back to one particular thought. I cannot resist wondering if Goucher is allowing Bon Appetit to steal from its students. Yes, I knowingly signed up for the meal plan assuming what my needs on a weekly basis would be, but my meal swipes are disappearing because I choose to eat somewhere besides the dining hall (not including the Pick Three option at The Market, which takes meal swipes). My flex has gone down by fifty dollars. Last year, I used every last penny of my three-hundred flex dollars.

Thankfully, Goucher has admitted to some of its mistakes and refunded all of the tax that was charged on flex, which is a step in the right direction. I’m not saying that there is a right or wrong way to go about feeding a campus full of students. I am simply saying that there should be a way to go about meal plans that makes everyone happy.

 

Check Out Your Rowdy Rodents!

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Check Out Your Rowdy Rodents!

September 15th – September 28th

 

Sat. 15th

-W Volleyball-

(Tri-match)

  1. Hollins @ 12pm
  2. Trinity Washington @ 4pm

 

Tue. 18th

-W Volleyball-

  1. Penn St. Harrisburg @ 7pm

 

Wed. 19th

-W Soccer-

  1. Widener @ 7pm

 

 

 

 

Fri 21st

-W Volleyball-

  1. St. Mary (Md.) @ 7pm

 

Sat 22nd

-W Volleyball-

  1. Bridgewater (VA) @ 12pm
  2. Misericordia @ 4pm

-M Soccer-

  1. Drew @ 1pm

-W Soccer-

  1. Drew @ 4pm

 

Tue 25th

-Field Hockey-

  1. Immaculata @ 4pm

-M Soccer-

  1. Gwynedd Mercy @ 7pm

-W Volleyball-

  1. McDaniel @ 7pm
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