The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

Author

Neve Levinson

Neve Levinson has 19 articles published.

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Neve Levinson is a junior majoring in Spanish and American Studies. They enjoy playing frisbee, reading the news, and learning about peacebuilding processes around the world. As the Editor-in-Chief of The Quindecim, they intend to document and address the many changes taking place on campus. What other pieces of news need to be covered? Want to write about it? (Or just tell them about it?) Email Neve at nelev001@mail.goucher.edu.

What’s up with the President? Part I of II: An Interview with New Goucher College President Kent Devereaux

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Goucher College President Kent Devereaux. PC: Goucher College Website

President Kent Deveraux began as Goucher’s President on July 1, 2019. Students heard news of the announcement on June 13 through an email sent by Ruth Shapiro Lenrow ’74, who serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Goucher subsequently released a welcome video and several articles announcing some of Kent’s plans over the summer.  As is standard practice for the Editor-in-Chief, I sent an email to Kent asking to schedule an interview with him so we could begin building a solid working relationship. We coordinated a time for the interview, and Quindecim News Editor Jibril Howard ‘22 and I conducted the interview on September 18th, asking a range of questions focused on understanding how Kent is approaching his role as President. 

After introducing ourselves and sharing a bit about what we’re studying, I asked Kent, “If you can describe Goucher College in three words right now, what words would you choose?”

Kent paused, collected his thoughts, and responded: 

“…I hate to use the word ‘innovative,’ but what I’m trying to get at is welcoming and then there’s this other aspect of inquisitive, because people here–I hear that constantly–people are curious about things and the faculty is really interested and eager to sort of do things, so that’s definitely part of it. And [sic] passionate would be the other part of it, and I say that because all of our alumnae and alumni who I’ve met with so far are extremely passionate about Goucher…and so many students I meet here are passionate about what they are doing, and probably connected to the international study abroad component…those are kind of two sides of the same coin: the people who [went] here years ago are very passionate about this place and kind of the passion I feel from a lot of students I talk to about what they want to do.”

I followed up by asking if he sees those things changing or being different in the next five years or so as he spends more time here. Kent replied: 

“I don’t know. I hope we don’t lose those qualities; I think those are incredibly good qualities to have. I think some people describe they say, ‘you know, Goucher is not from the student experience, it is not a competitive experience, but supportive and challenging’ and I want to make it more supportive and more challenging. Competition for competition’s sake, apart from, perhaps, sports and some other things, is not an end all be all, so how do we kind of raise our game across the entire college, and everything we do, thinking more intentionally about the things we do. So I hope we don’t lose those three qualities, but I’m sure as time goes on I’ll have a better sense of the Goucher community and so some other things will come to the fore.”

One of the biggest questions Jibril and I had when we sat down to plan the interview related to Kent’s top three goals as President.

“First and foremost, our number one priority is raising the funds to build the new science center research facility…so we’ve gotta raise our game there…I don’t want to lose focus on academic excellence, because there’s been a lot of focus on building buildings, and buildings are not a college…we’re also launching the search for the new provost, the head, chief academic officer of the institution, so that will be nation-wide, really an international search for the best academic head of the institution. So that all to me is about academic excellence, how we can raise our game now. And the third thing is about increasing enrollment at the college, and that is just about making sure we have the right type of student who wants to come here…So we’re going to be doing a lot more marketing, because we want to make, we want to make Goucher more known nationwide. So I guess those would be the three things: science, academic excellence, and increasing enrollment. Because the campus now, with the First Year Village, we can handle, you know, several hundred more students and still be relatively small.

Kent further mentioned admissions and ways to market Goucher to potential students reminded me of a campus-wide conversation in Fall 2017 that originated from a Peace 220 class. Representatives from the class at the time wrote multiple articles documenting their processes and releasing the results of a survey they conducted with the student body, which are available on The Quindecim’s website, www.quinnews.com. One of the class’s culminating events was an open conversation centered around the question: “Does Goucher have an identity?” As a first year at the time, I participated in this discussion partially because I felt it tapping into something deep that parts of the student body were grappling with. I also felt a certain level of ambiguity towards the question, particularly during my first year on campus. With this in mind, I was really curious about how Kent was conceptualizing a Goucher student identity. His response honed in on two themes he repeated throughout our interview: global education and social justice.

 “We are still only one of three, maybe four schools in America that requires 100% study abroad. That’s not been in the previous marketing–in terms of our website, in terms of email, the literature going out, that was always not front and center. And I think it should be…[T]here is [also] a long history at Goucher for a commitment to social justice…I’m a firm believer that if you speak plainly and put that message out there, it’ll resonate with people and you will get the right kind of student who is happy here and who stays here all four years; they won’t transfer and say, ‘ah, this is not exactly what I thought [it would be].’ So, sometimes, you know, we think we’re being clear but we’re not being clear, and you have to be really clear: this is what we’re about. So people go ‘oh, I wanna go there.’”

When asked about his decision-making process, Kent made it clear that he “never make[s] a decision alone.” He also described his process as “collaborative.” When we asked about how he views sustainability on campus, he responded in part: 

“Well, I am, quite frankly, I was just surprised that we don’t have a sustainability plan. We have a number of sustainability strategies, but they are disconnected and not holistic in the way they need to be. And also realizing that part of this is you can’t do everything at once…Let’s have the conversation about sustainability and let’s come up with a plan. Let’s do it, and once we make a plan, let’s execute it… So that’s something that I see happening next year. Having that sustainability plan that maybe for 2020, where does Goucher want to be in 2030? Set some aggressive targets: could we be a zero-G campus in ten years? I don’t know. Some other colleges are doing some pretty interesting things, so there’s a lot for us to learn there.”

Tying some of these ideas together, we asked about Kent’s commitment or idea or strategy for accessibility on campus. Kent mentioned meeting recently with representatives from Equal Access, talking briefly about how the new dining hall is not completely accessible. He added, 

“…I look at accessibility and it needs to be–we haven’t done a campus plan in a long, long time. And you know, we’re building a science research center, we’ve got a couple buildings we want to build. I am of the opinion we need to pause, get the science research center going [sic], but then we also cue up a long-term campus plan, and that campus plan would really look at the accessibility issues. Because, you know, this building is reaching the age where it is going to have to be renovated; a couple of other buildings are going to need to be renovated, so when we do those renovations, how can we bring them into the 21st century?”

We followed up by asking about shorter-term issues that we know about, such as the frequency that the lift in Mary Fisher is broken or the elevator in P.Selz doesn’t work. Kent pointed to the necessity of hiring “key staff” in this area.

This is Part One of a two-part series. Please look forward to the next Quindecim edition for the second part!

Update: The Provost search was announced in an email from the President’s Office to the student body on September 24. 

President Devereaux Fields Questions in Anti-Vaccination Town Hall

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Photo source: TIME Magazine. https://time.com/5542064/kelly-townsend-anti-vax/

In a June 19 article for the Washington Post, Lena H. Sun and Amy Brittain lay out the donation history of couple Lisa and Bernard Selz of, New York City, New York  in relation to growing anti-vaccination, also known as anti-vaxxer, movements growing in New York . While not linking the Selz couple to Goucher College, students quickly linked the names Lisa and Bernard Selz to Pagliaro Selz Hall, the oldest building in the newly-built First-Year Village. One response shared on the Gopher App came from junior Jeremy Bloch ‘21, who created a Change.org petition to “Change the Name of Goucher College’s Pagliaro Selz Hall to Florence B. Seibert Hall.”

Over the summer, Bloch began working with new President Kent Devereaux to coordinate a Town Hall to address the matter amongst the Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) community on campus. The Quindecim was copied on an email exchange between Bloch and President Devereaux early in September. In the weeks leading up to the Town Hall, I met up with Bloch and the GSG Co-Presidents Noah Block ‘21 and Sam Anderson ‘21 to discuss some background logistics. The Town Hall was eventually opened up to all members of the Goucher community via posts on Facebook class pages on September 15, the day before the event.

The Town Hall began with an opening backstory provided by the President, who described vaccinations as “settled science.” Beyond indicating that vaccinations are a “Public Health policy issue” that the Board of Trustees supports, religious exemptions are the only reason why faculty, staff, or students may opt-out of being vaccinated on campus. President Devereaux also cited that the class of 2023 is 100% vaccinated, including 15 individuals who had not previously been vaccinated.

From there, he pivoted to talking about Goucher as an institution of “liberal arts and sciences,” stressing his commitment to building the new $35 million science research center that will renovate and greatly expand the current Hoffberger Science building. He also described the issue in relation to the Selz couple as opening up conversations about how the College decides to accept funding and from whom, suggesting an impact investing as one avenue for pursuing values-driven investing policy. 

During the question-and-answer period of the event, President Deveraux made it clear that any public statement regarding the Selzes would be “premature,” and that he plans to meet with them individually in the coming months. 

Also discussed during this time was the importance of crafting a sustainability plan, Environmental and Social Governance, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and the importance of sharing student voices in public forums such as at Goucher Student Government meetings, which take place every Tuesday from 7-8pm on the bottom floor of the Ath across from Alice’s. 

 

Note: Neve Levinson is fully vaccinated and calls Washington state, the place where the most recent death related to measles has been documented, their home.

Check it Out: New Free Store Now Open!

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Yes! It’s happening!
Photo Credit: Neve Levinson

It’s official! The new Free Store is OPEN!

Gavin Stewart ‘21, shared with The Quindecim last Monday that he has “been enlightened by Brett [Rapkin-Citrenbaum ‘20,]’s dream and idea of a year-long Free Store.” Stewart described the purpose of a Free Store as “a place where people can put their stuff that they don’t really use or don’t want, and they can pick up stuff that they want to use or they have a desire for. So if you go in there in need of pants, and you see some pants that fit you, and they’re kinda cool pants, you can take ‘em, and that’s just a thing.” This Free Store is replacing the one currently located between Hooper and Dulaney.

As Stewart pointed out, “[t]here’s no money. It’s moneyless. We’re destroying capitalism.”

Beyond this, Stewart emphasized that “really, this place is something that I want the school to define for itself. I have some good ideas, but I really want it to be a community space” where community members can implement their visions for a communal space.

One example of a creative idea emerging from the new space is that “the Fashion Club is linking up with the Free Store and making clothes, and making their own fashion out of clothes that are donated to the Free Store, maybe showcasing it back into the Free Store, so you could have your own brand and you see people wearing the clothes that you created. There’s sort of a sustainability aspect linked to it, as well.”

Related to the sustainability aspect of the Free Store, Stewart pointed out that, to make all of this happen “takes people and people’s time. I have a great team of people working with me this semester, great staff who have been helping me out: Daniela [Beall], the [Sustainability Coordinator]..and it kinda just takes like time too…we need to find a space, and it needs to be cleared out, it needs to be clean, and it needs to be designed so like it doesn’t get obliterated, and it takes a lot of planning, and rules, and anticipation of what could go wrong.”

An email to the Goucher faculty, staff, and students and signed “the Free Store,” noted that “[t]he Free Store will open at 10 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m. everyday.”

Stewart is stipulating that items brought to the Free Store are clean and free from holes — basically, “it’s clothes that you can see other people wearing.”

Stewart closed the interview with a clear directive: “You know, Goucher, I’m putting this in the hands of you. I love you…let’s make it happen.”

Find the new Free Store in Heubeck 128 next to the laundry room.

News Corner With Neve: Official Stimson Shutdown, Earth Week, and the Reemergence of The Preface

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Earth Week flier, courtesy of GESAC.

If you’re looking for ways to reconnect with the earth in time for April 22nd, GESAC has you covered! The group has created ten programs (pictured) to help unleash the inner green thumb that all gophers are known for having.

In a prime manifestation of the rebirth and newness of spring, The Preface has arisen! In an email to people interested in learning more about the publication, the forces behind its regeneration shared how to access the Preface online! https://blogs.goucher.edu/preface/. They are hosting a reading on Thursday, April 18, from 4-6pm in the Publications Office, which is located in Mary Fisher between Hooper and Dulaney. Find them on Instagram @prefacelitmag

Trying to figure out when your finals are? Look no further!

Thinking about next year? In an email interview with The Quindecim, Linda Barone, who is both the Interim Director of Facilities Management Services and Associate Director of Planning, Design, and Construction, said, “We will not be using Stimson next year for student housing. There are really several reasons that factor into this decision. Stimson Hall, because of the type of construction is not conducive to being renovated and in its current condition, is harder and harder to keep up to a standard that we want our residence halls to be in. Parts of the infrastructure and even the built-in furniture is worn out and needs to be replaced.  We are not able to add air conditioning to the building without a major renovation and as we saw this past fall, it can get pretty hot in the building when we have a warm fall or spring. We also have enough beds to support our student population in the other buildings on campus without needing to use the rooms in Stimson. It is also not cost-effective to heat and clean it, when the building is only partially occupied.”

The proposed changes to CPEs passed unanimously at the April 3rd faculty meeting. The changes were formally released to the student body in an email from the Office of the Provost on April 4th. A related email sent by Ann Duncan, Curriculum Coordinator and Emily Perl, Assistant Provost for Integrative Learning, announced several dates when students may come learn about how the changes will affect us and plan our schedules for future semesters. Send all your questions to advisor@goucher.edu.

In recent news, Goucher Hillel’s “Shabbat 100” initiative took place the evening of Friday, April 12th. A whopping 106 people attended, shattering all previously held records for Shabbat dinner.

And finally but arguably most important for local goings on, G.I.T. produced their final piece of performance humor for the year to a packed audience in the common room of P.Selz on Friday, April 12th. The troupe, known widely for their award-winning comedy, produced enough laughs to lift the mood on campus for one shiny moment of joy.

BONUS: In intergalactic news, “The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. [On April 11th], in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal[ed] that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow,according to the EHT website.

To the rest of us, this means that Dr. Katie Bouman “help[ed] develop the algorithm that created the first-ever image of a black hole,” according to the BBC. The image was “captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) – a network of eight linked telescopes – [which] was rendered by Dr. Bouman’s algorithm,” according to the same article. If you haven’t seen it already, check it out.

The first-ever picture of a black hole. Image compiled by Katie Bouman and the rest of the Event Horizon Telescope team.

GIT (Goucher Improv Troupe) Wins BIG at Tournament and More: News Corner with Neve

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Tea bag found in Undercroft. Photo by Neve Levinson

On March 27 at 8:30 p.m., the GIT (Goucher Improv Troupe) took the stage at March Mayhem. Subtitled “The BIG College Improv Competition,” this tournament featured four colleges battling to see who could win over their audience most effectively through laughter and general jolliness. This year’s GIT is comprised of Langston Cotman ‘19, Dylan Margolis ‘20, Sarah Dreyfus ‘21, Olivia Hollender ‘19, and Cameron Stewart ‘19. In a zippy and electric interview with Cotman, and Margolis, the duo described the event: “It was two rounds, and four schools faced off against each other. We did long form improv for eighteen minutes, and then one team goes first, one goes second, and then the audience votes” on who the winner should be, said Cotman. In the championship round, Margolis added, “we chose to do realism, and we portrayed boarding school students preparing to say goodbye to the school to the school they’ve literally never left before graduation.” The accompanying trophy is theirs for the duration of this year, until they “hopefully will be the defending champs so we can keep it in our house,” Cotman added with a laugh. Keep your eyes peeled for where this trophy will appear on campus.

In other news, the majors and minors fair took place in Mary Fisher during Common Hour on March 27. With an energetic turnout, students were able to talk to QR tutors as well as professors in each of the academic programs currently offered at this institution.

Wondering what the fancy green tablecloths were doing on the Forum’s tables this week? It was for the Mary Fisher Tea, held on March 26 from 2-3:30 p.m. According to the program for the event, “Mary Fisher was a beloved figure among students at the Women’s College of Baltimore, and after her death in 1902, alumnae gave the college a triptych of Tiffany windows in her memory. For her 100th birthday in 1950, the Goucher community gathered to honor her with a tea and to dedicate the four houses of Mary Fisher Hall, the first building on the Towson campus. In later years, Goucher alumnae clubs worldwide met each spring to recognize her life.” Want to find out what happened to those Tiffany windows? Yeah, me too. When asked about the experience of performing at this event, Chris Elliott ‘19, noted performing “[f]our songs [at the tea]. The first was ‘Amazing Grace,’ by H. Leslie Adams, which isn’t your typical Amazing Grace, but a version that Adams wrote with African-American and jazz influences in it. The next three songs were all jazz tunes: ‘Fly Me to the Moon,’ ‘Cry Me a River,’ and ‘All of Me.’” Elliott continued, “[t]he event consisted of mainly older Goucher alum who’ve graduated many years ago. President Jose Bowen and Bryan Coker were there, as well as other current workers like Lynn Satterfield and Rob Ferrell.” To those of you wondering, “the ‘pinky up’ rule was not enforced, nor was it talked about during the event unfortunately.”

The Office of Title IX released the “2018 Reports of Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking” data to the student body via email on Thursday, March 28. This data, available through the link embedded in the email as well as the website for the Office of Title IX, is federally required of the college in order to “participat[e] in federal financial aid programs” under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. While the official email announcing the release of the 2017 data noted that, “[s]ince Spring 2015, the Title IX (TIX) Office has shared an annual report of closed cases with the campus community,” data from 2016-2018 is on the Title IX website. According to this year’s data, “55 incidents or suspected incidents were reported to the Title IX Office in 2018,” down from 61 the year prior. Both of these figures are above the “total of 49 incidents or suspected incidents were reported to the Title IX Office in 2016.” In an interview with The Quindecim, Title IX Coordinator Lucia Perfetti Clark said “…the number [of reported cases] tends to be holding steady [year to year]…I’m glad that the numbers stay on the higher side…I always take the higher numbers as a sign that students feel like they can report, which is what we work pretty hard to foster.”

The Office of Communications announced via email on Friday, March 29 that the College will now be partnering with eCampus as our “new online textbook partner.” This partnership will be replacing the current one between Goucher and Barnes & Noble. Members of GSG who were involved in advising the decision noted that this partnership, while establishing the provider of textbooks and resources for courses, does not cover the management of the campus bookstore next to Alice’s.

A final newsy tidbit for this week is that the sun has been making its appearance more frequently this week, and, in quintessential Goucher fashion, we gophers have begun to poke out of the ground from hibernating all winter. The Mary Fisher patio is being frequented more often by seekers of Vitamin D who also intend to do homework. Is it possible the groundhog was correct and spring will really come early this year?

News Corner With Neve

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Picture Credit: @gouchercollege on Twitter 
  • Ground was broken on the Evelyn Dyke Schroedl ’62 Tennis Center on Friday, March 1. The soil used for the groundbreaking is still in the parking lot next to Alcock.
  • As announced in a January 14 email to the campus community, “Dr. Andrew Wu has been appointed as the college’s Associate Dean of Students and Director of Athletics (AD), effective immediately.” Wu served as the Interim Director since Spring 2018.
  • Congratulations to this year’s winners, runner ups and honorable mentions for the Appelstein-Sweren Book Collecting Contest (pictured)!
  • The Middle States team doing Goucher’s reaccreditation will report their findings from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Merrick on March 13.
  • At the faculty meeting on March 6, Interim Provost Scott Sibley said, “I think we’re ready” in relation to the arrival of the Middle States accreditation team the week of March 11.
  • The interview process is underway for three undergraduate advisors who will advise all undeclared students beginning August 2019. The three advisors will serve in lieu of faculty advisors for students who have yet to declare their majors.
  • The dance program is looking to offer two concentrations within the existing major: one in Dance Studies and the other in Dance. The proposal, unanimously endorsed at the March 6 faculty meeting, will cost no additional money, as all courses within each track already exist on campus.
  • Sneaking into the last few minutes of the faculty meeting, a new program proposal was introduced, tentatively entitled Applied Science and Technology. The goal of the program, explained Associate Professor Rodney Yoder, is to support students who begin their college careers in highly structured STEM majors and decide to study a different subject partway through. The proposal includes tentative tracks in Physics, Chemistry, and Environmental Science, and will hopefully add a track in life sciences, said Yoder. The cost of the program will be three additional courses that do not currently exist.
  • Faculty Chair Micah Webster announced that he will be stepping down from this post at the end of the year due to health concerns. Professor Nina Kasniunas will carry out the rest of Dr. Webster’s term.

GSG Had Their Annual Retreat and Here’s What’s Up

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Goucher Student Government, 2018-2019. Photo Credit: Neve Levinson

On February 10 in the Pinkard Room, Goucher Student Government (GSG), held its first retreat of the semester. In its current iteration, GSG is comprised of sixteen Senators, and two Co-Presidents (all listed at the end of this article). Their advisors are Stacy Cooper Patterson, Associate Dean of Students for Community Life, and Aisha Rivers, Director of Student Engagement. (Both of their offices are in the Office of Student Engagement, which is in the left side of the Mary Fisher lobby.)

GSG is in a transitional stage in terms of both structure and in creating institutional memory and continuity. An ongoing conversation throughout the retreat centered around the goals of GSG and how its members go about achieving those goals. Underpinning this conversation was a larger discussion about how GSG has been organized on an interior level in the past, and how to use that knowledge to create an institution that fulfills a need within the Goucher community. A key piece of this is that the GSG constitution now allows for two Co-Presidents to hold office, an amendment made last fall.

GSG Co-President, Samuel Anderson (‘21), explained that the reasoning for having two people hold this position model is to “ease the burden of one individual.” He added that both Co-Presidents are on the same level of the horizontal hierarchy as one another: there is no President or Vice President split. Co-President Noah Block (‘21), added that a key goal of this configuration is “collaboration.” As presented and discussed during the retreat, GSG in its current iteration seeks to model a horizontal leadership structure that shares power and responsibility evenly amongst its eighteen members.

Given this framework, a conversation that members of GSG began and returned to throughout the retreat centered around what the role of a Senator is right now, and to imagine what it can possibly look like. One senator mentioned that as a Senator, they are here “because we are all student leaders.” They discussed how horizontal structures allow individual senators to bring their personal passions to the group and work on them collaboratively, without taking orders or instructions from the top of the hierarchy. Senator Jibril Howard (‘22), spoke of Senators as visible connectors between students and each other or other members of the campus community. Senator Lilith Saylor, (‘20), raised concerns about this allowing GSG to be “too fluid,” and Senator Terrin Calder-Rosen (‘19), added that members of campus administration have questions about how Student Government functions and who to consult when seeking student feedback.

Other discussions that began at this retreat included ways to build on the record-setting 40% voter turnout for GSG elections last semester; ways to learn from previous leaders within GSG and its precursor, Student Government Association (SGA); and personal campaigns each senator was interested in taking on in order to build coalitions across campus with the common goal of improving Goucher, its climate, and how it functions as a whole. Senator Campbell Shepard (‘22), a member of the men’s soccer team, mentioned working with head men’s lacrosse coach Bryan Laut to generate continuing dialogue among athletes relating to toxic masculinity. Senator Em Lassen (‘21), proposed building on their role  as secretary of Equal Access in order to work with student groups to improve accessibility across campus life.

The Quindecim will continue reporting onGSG meetings that are open to the student body as well as potentially reporting future retreats such as this one.

Goucher Student Government members:

  • Samuel Anderson (Co-President), class of 2021
  • Noah Block (Co-President), class of 2021
  • Terrin Rosen, class of 2019
  • Sarah Piohia, class of 2019
  • Lilith Saylor, class of 2020
  • Zac Kassay, class of 2020 (currently abroad)
  • Marie Mokuba, class of 2021
  • Claire Corliss, class of 2021
  • Em Lassen, class of 2021
  • Xavier Rivers, class of 2021
  • Alexandra DiGiovanni, Class of 2022
  • Yuchen Ding, Class of 2022
  • Alistair Watson, Class of 2022
  • Derrick Burnette, Class of 2022
  • Ty’lor Schnella, Class of 2022
  • Derek Borowsky, Class of 2022
  • Campbell Shepard, Class of 2022
  • Jibril Howard, Class of 2022

Esports Joins Campus and Landmark Conference

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The Spring 2019 Goucher College League of Legends team. From left: Tasos Tagtalenidis, (‘22), Matteo Giunta-Fausty,(‘21), Zack Palmer, (‘19) Paul Ryu, (‘19) Tristan Whalen (‘22). Photo Credit: Neve Levinson

League of Legends is a fast-paced game in which two teams each of five players face off in an epic battle. As Kien Lam points out in an article posted to the game’s official  website, “[t]here are only two outcomes to any game of League of Legends. One team wins and one team loses — such is the law of our sport.” This last word is important: sport.

Goucher is a member of the Landmark Conference, which is part of the Division III level of collegiate athletics. The announcement was published on the Conference’s website on November 20, 2018.  “The Landmark Conference will foster Esports competition for its member institutions during the spring semester of 2019…Six of the eight conference members will field teams, with competition occurring via Riot Game’s League of Legends property.” The announcement also notes that, “[w]hile competitive video gaming has existed essentially since the advent of video gaming technology, Esports began to mature into its present state as streaming technology became more widely available. The first collegiate teams started to emerge in the mid-2010s.”

As stipulated by the Landmark Conference, “Each Esports team must be recognized and sanctioned by its institution’s Office of Student Life/Affairs and/or athletic departments. Participants on each team must meet institutional requirements for good academic standing and be eligible to participate in school-sanctioned club or intercollegiate sports, as defined by the respective institution.” At Goucher, Esports is currently housed in our recreation department, which is also its source of funding.

In an interview with The Quindecim, Director of Student Wellness Jean Perez and Jennifer Macko, Campus Recreation Coordinator, talked about how the team came into existence, beginning with conversations with Zach Palmer, the president of the campus League of Legends club, beginning last spring. Perez also noted that her role involves “helping with logistics and the back end of things and getting things up and running” for the team.

Macko added that, “…since we’ve done the promotion recently, there’s been a lot of interest coming in, either for being a sub on the A team or forming a B team or even to help with viewership. There’s a lot of interest in streaming and a lot of people will just participate in Esports simply by watching Twitch streams, they really enjoy that.”

To see Esports in action, their tournament space is located in Ath 321, just behind the QR Center. Stationed outside of it is a friendly white noise machine to help reduce any sounds emanating from the room beyond. While both Perez and Macko expressed interest in eventually moving it closer to the athletic facilities, Perez pointed out that, “it seems like a good space so far.”

To livestream tournaments, check out the official Gopher Twitch stream at https://www.twitch.tv/goucherleagueoflegends.

The official Landmark Esports page is http://www.landmarkconference.org/sports/esports/2018-19/schedule?teamId=9sdj46kr3q1ivy4o.

To learn more about the team, either contact Zach Palmer at zachary.palmer@mail.goucher.edu or Jen Macko at Jennifer.Macko@goucher.edu.

Presidential Search Enters Confidential Phase

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The search for a new president of Goucher College began in October of last year, after an email was sent out to the student body from Ruth Lenrow, chair of the Board of Trustees. Since then, a Presidential Search committee was formed. The committee is comprised of student representatives Marissa de La Viez ‘19 and Josiah Meekins ‘19, faculty members Phong Le ‘03, Jamie Mullaney P ‘22, and Gillian Starkey, two staff members, Jennifer Pawlo-Johnstone, Executive Director of Alumnae/i Engagement, and Andrew Wu, Associate Dean of Students Director of Athletics, and 11 trustees. Lisa Stromberg ‘83 and Miriam Katowitz ‘73 chair the committee. (For more information on the members of the search committee, see https://www.goucher.edu/explore/leadership-and-vision/presidential-search/committee.)

On December 9, de La Viez and Meekins hosted a listening session aimed at receiving student input on who the future president could be, and the values our community expects them to embody.

In a message posted to the Presidential Search page of the Goucher website on December 18, Stromberg and Katowitz noted that “Isaacson, Miller has been engaged to manage the search process. Isaacson, Miller is one of the most highly regarded national executive search firms. Rebecca Swartz and Chloe Kanas will serve as the firm’s co-consultants and will provide the counsel for the PSC’s work throughout the course of the search. The profiles of the firm, the consultants and their support team can be found on the Goucher College Presidential Search website.”

According to the “Schedule of Listening Sessions with Isaacson, Miller,” posted on the Presidential Search page of the Goucher website, a second meeting took place at 3 p.m. on January 22 with “Goucher Student Government officers and representatives.” An hour later, there was an “[o]pen forum for all students, Buchner Hall, Alumnae/I House. A livestream will be available.”

When asked via email why these listening sessions were conducted during winter break, Stromberg and Katowitz noted that, “[a]s you may know, our search consultant is headquartered in Boston and comes to meet with us in Towson at certain times. We were able to schedule a visit to campus at a time that worked for the consultant and the other constituent groups (alumni, faculty, administration, and board members) during January term. We made the decision to add a listening session for those students who were on campus during January term because the consultant would already be on campus. We recognized that not all students would be available on the January 22 date, hence we offered a live-stream opportunity.  We added an additional listening session on January 31, during the first week of the spring semester. Please note that the on-line survey was also available during this time.”
“It is important for us to keep the process moving forward and by holding four listening sessions for students (before break, two sessions on January 22 and again on January 31), versus one listening session for the other constituent groups, we hoped to get as many students involved as possible,” Lenrow added.

When asked a follow-up question of if the livestream was available online, Katowitz and Stromberg stated that, “[t]he listening sessions held on January 22 were one time confidential discussions for those in the room or on-line.  They were not posted on a public site or platform.”The online survey mentioned was open until February 8. In a February 15 email interview with The Quindecim, Rebecca Swartz, Partner at Isaacson, Miller, was asked to describe the survey results and number of responses received, as well as a breakdown between students versus faculty versus staff versus alumni. She was also asked, “[w]hat were variances in the written data from what information you received through the listening sessions?” In response to these questions, Swartz said of the survey results: “[a]bout 250 individuals participated in the community survey. Over 80 students responded, about 55 faculty and staff, and over 100 alumni and broader community constituents. Note that about 15 individuals did not indicate which group they identify with. Given the rich mix of respondents, a variety of perspectives were voiced in both the survey and the listening sessions (the latter of which was held with staff, faculty, students, alumnae/I, the Board of Trustees, and senior leadership). The most profound thread through them all is the shared, fierce dedication of this community to this institution and deep care for its future.”

While the next step of the search process is confidential, Swartz noted that, “[w]e and the search committee have synthesized our learnings into a comprehensive document called a ‘position profile’ which provides a picture of Goucher and the current institutional moment; and most importantly, it outlines the challenges and opportunities that the next President must lead Goucher in tackling. A final version of this document, which is a public document and which we will use in our recruitment of candidates, will be made available in the coming days.”

The Quindecim will post the position profile as soon as it is made available.

Two New Programs Approved By Faculty

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The faculty met on December 10th in order to finish its business for the semester. The only item on the agenda was to answer the question: will we create new programs at Goucher College?

As per Parliamentary procedure, this business item began with a Debate. The first program discussed was the Integrative Data Analytics major. Faculty members shared their opinions both in favor and in opposition to approving the program. A few main points were addressed:

  • What is the purpose of creating new programs for the College considering the motivation for undergoing program prioritization in the first place?
    • Multiple suggestions for how to answer this question arose. One argument is that the faculty must look at the curriculum holistically and fill in holes as needed. The professors arguing in favor of the program contend that data analytics, an emerging field of study, has the potential to fill some of these holes while still placing Goucher at the cutting edge of this program.
  • If this program is approved now, does that mean that new programs may not be implemented in the future?
    • Professor Scott Sibley, the Interim Provost, answered this question with a solid “no.” More programs, should they progress past their current initial stages, may be considered in the future.
  • Are there existing PhD and Masters programs for students who complete this major?
    • According to members of the Center for Data, Mathematical, and Computational Sciences, while all mathematics are related, because Data Analytics is an applied field that is just beginning to emerge, it is not currently well-defined. A few Master’s programs exist; there is an expectation that more Master’s and PhD programs will emerge within the next several years.

A paper ballot was conducted and the item passed 63-5.

The second program debated was that of the Professional and Creative Writing majors. Most of this discussion centered around the following subjects:

  • Tenured and non-tenure track positions, particularly in relation to advising
    • As answered by the professors proposing the program, they are already advising both first years and students in the Writing program.
  • Staying relevant as a liberal arts college
    • Members of faculty in favor of the major suggested that having a strong writing program is critical to the liberal arts
  • Promoting interdisciplinarity
    • If the college emphasizes writing as its own majors, then more students will be confident at writing, which will strengthen other programs with academic crossover
  • How to integrate the Race, Power, and Perspective aspect of the Goucher Commons into the courses offered

A paper ballot was conducted and the item passed 55-15.

“The next step is to submit new program proposals to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). If approved by the state, then they will become official Goucher programs. As for timeline, I hope as soon as possible…The MHEC process though can take months,” said Professor Micah Webster in an email exchange with The Quindecim.

Announcements:

  1. The faculty listening session conducted by the Presidential Search Committee will take place Friday, December 14th, at 2pm in the faculty lounge.
  2. The Applestein-Sweren Book Collecting Contest is still going on! An an email blast sent out Monday afternoon by the Library listed Jenny Sataloff, Research Librarian/Learning Commons Assistant as the contact person for the contest.
  3. Charm City Ballet is presenting “A Christmas Carol” for this upcoming weekend only! Fun fact: both directors and three members of the CCB faculty are Goucher graduates.
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