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Events in Baltimore (February 16th-March 2nd)

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February 16

  • 4 Hours of Funk** at The Windup Space
  • BEYONCE VS RIHANNA DANCE PARTY at Ottobar
  • IT’S UNVALENTINE’S DAY! DANCE PARTY* at Metro Gallery
  • Caz Gardiner w/ The Flying Faders, Suburban Hi Fi at Sidebar
  • Shellshag w/ Bigmouth, the Guests, Faunas, Pearl at Joe Squared
  • The Future in the West** at The Crown
  • REACHES//PWM//TarikEvolve//SeanKing** at The Crown
  • LITZ 2 Day Run (Live Album Release): Funk You* at The 8×10
  • Frozen Harbor Music Festival: Day One at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Frozen Harbor Music Festival: Day One at Rams Head Live!
  • Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series at Royal Farms Arena
  • “Pictures at an Exhibition” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest of Your Life at The Lyric
  • Ladies Night at Grand Central Nightclub
  • “Along with the Gods: the Two Worlds (신과함께-죄와 벌)” at The SNF Parkway

February 17

  • Baltimore Into Comics Issue #17 at The Windup Space
  • STACKED LIKE PANCAKES w/ THE STOLEN, MORE TBA at Ottobar
  • SURF ROCK NIGHT! OTTOBAR’S SHRUNKEN HEAD w/ KILLERS FROM SPACE, THE TSUNAMI EXPERIMENT at Ottobar
  • JOSEPH & THE BEASTS w/ Manners Manners, Santa Librada, DJ Pancakes* at Metro Gallery
  • Rats In The Wall w/ All Torn Up, Pearl, Syringe at Sidebar
  • Elegant Filth: Live Burlesque** at The Crown
  • LITZ 2 Day Run (Live Album Release): Box Era* at The 8×10
  • Frozen Harbor Music Festival: Day Two at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Frozen Harbor Music Festival: Day Two at Rams Head Live!
  • Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series at Royal Farms Arena
  • “Pictures at an Exhibition” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Charles Revival Series: “Night and the City” at The Charles Theatre

February 18

  • ROAD TO SXSW at Ottobar
  • HONEY RADAR w/ Margins, Homosuperior, Birth (Defects), Henry Owings* at Metro Gallery
  • GLOOP, Jim Shorts, Middle Kid, Too Soon Jokes at New America
  • INTERVALS “THE WAY FORWARD TOUR” w/ JASON RICHARDSON, NICK JOHNSTON, NIGHT VERSES at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series at Royal Farms Arena
  • “Pictures at an Exhibition” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Cinema Sunday at The Charles Theatre

February 19

  • Hortio Dark at The Windup Space
  • Charles Revival Series: “Night and the City” at The Charles Theatre
  • “Chisholm ’72 – Unbought and Unbossed”: President’s Day Screening! At The SNF Parkway

February 20

  • Black Mass w/ Led To The Grave, Narrow Grave at Sidebar
  • SILVERSTEIN & TONIGHT ALIVE w/ BROADSIDE, PICTURESQUE at Baltimore Soundstage
  • STRFKR w/ Reptaliens at Rams Head Live!
  • Louis Malle’s “God’s Country” presented by Colette Shade at The SNF Parkway

February 21

  • Drink and Draw!** at The Windup Space
  • TRONG-PONG: Black Light Table Tennis at The Windup Space
  • I SET MY FRIENDS ON FIRE w/ KISSING CANDICE, AWAKEN I AM, AT THIS POINT, SPERMASAURUS REX at Ottobar
  • YNDI HALDA w/ Staghorn, Time Columns at Metro Gallery
  • Pow Pow Family Band/ $100 Girlfriend/ James and the Giant Peach** at The Crown
  • ELM February Residency: lespecial* at The 8×10

February 22

  • Beat Barrage featuring Ashley Sierra and Ullnevano and MORE! at The Windup Space
  • FULL OF HELL w/ PRISONER, NEOLITHIC, R-COMPLEX at Ottobar
  • DJ DIAMOND DUSTIN SPINS PUNK & METAL!** at Ottobar
  • IAN BROWN MEMORIAL w/ Alms, Cemetery Piss, Pearl* at Metro Gallery
  • No Zodiac w/ Strengthen What Remains, Iron Price, Dahmed., Cancer Priest at Sidebar
  • UFO VOL 11** at The Crown
  • A Night Of Japanese New Wave & Obscure** at The Crown
  • Roots of Creation Grateful Dub Tour ft. Kash’d out, The Elovaers* at The 8×10
  • “Rite of Spring” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Justin Moore: Hell on a Highway Tour at The Lyric
  • Charles Revival Series: “Get Out” at The Charles Theatre

February 23

  • Surf Harp (Record release) w/ Operator Music Band, Zula, Chiffon, Jacober at The Windup Space
  • TIM BARRY w/ JOSH SMALL, ROGER HARVEY at Ottobar
  • MATT TALLEY (EP RELEASE) w/ Locus Sound, Thunder Club, Flying Jacob, TM Lockemy* at Metro Gallery
  • Street 45’s w/ E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart, 3rd Grade Friends, Subtastics at Sidebar
  • Depth Perception Presents: The Pleasure Tour ft. Exmag + Bass Physics, DeltaNine, Image.Nation* at The 8×10
  • ELI YOUNG BAND w/ MELODIME at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Katt Williams at Royal Farms Arena
  • “Off the Cuff: Rite of Spring” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Baltimore Craft Show at Baltimore Convention Center
  • “Golden Exits” with director Alex Ross Perry! at The SNF Parkway

February 24

  • LET THERE BE HOUSE! at The Windup Space
  • BLACK MASALA at Ottobar
  • BUTTER::
  • OLD-SCHOOL CHILL HOUSE VIBES W/ DJ DAN G & MORE!** at Ottobar
  • PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH w/ Praise, Unholy Sights* at Metro Gallery
  • Bad Time w/ No Parking at Sidebar
  • June Star with Stars and the Sea w/ Leland Sundries, Saddle of Centaur at Downsquares
  • Night Gruuvs** at The Crown
  • Splintered Sunlight* at The 8×10
  • THE PRINCE EXPERIENCE at Baltimore Soundstage
  • “Off the Cuff: Rite of Spring” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Charles Revival Series: “Boudu Saved From Drowning” at The Charles Theatre
  • MET Opera: “La Bohème” at The Charles Theatre
  • Atomic Comics Klatch (ACK!) at Atomic Books

February 25

  • Baltimore Record Bazaar Winter Show! at The Windup Space
  • “Expert of Nothing” comedy game show at The Windup Space
  • “MORE LAUGHS” THE ANNUAL BIG FRED BIRTHDAY COMEDY SHOW at Baltimore Soundstage
  • “Rite of Spring” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Revival Series: “Warner Brothers Cartoon Show” at The Senator

February 26

  • VÉRITÉ w/ Roses And Revolutions, Pale Spring at Metro Gallery
  • Runaway Brother w/ The Neckbeards, Clairvoyant, Pinkwench, 96 Olympics at Sidebar
  • Charles Revival Series: “Boudu Saved From Drowning” at The Charles Theatre

February 27

  • Brews and Board Games** at The Windup Space
  • Gutter Demons w/ Meteor King, Skapparoneday at Sidebar
  • The Beanie Bros Tour 2018* at The Crown
  • Oak House / Drone Theory / Stars and The Sea* at The Crown
  • Atomic Reading Club: Less Than Zero at Atomic Books

February 28

  • TRONG-PONG: Black Light Table Tennis at The Windup Space
  • ADULT. w/ HIDE, Extended Release* at Metro Gallery
  • ELM February Residency: DJ Williams Shots Fired w/ All Star Cast* at The 8×10
  • Revival Series: “Once Upon A Time In America (Extended Director’s Cut)” at The Senator
  • Gunky’s Basement Presents: “American Psycho” on 35mm! At The SNF Parkway

March 1

  • Foxhole Atheists at Sidebar
  • MONDO BALTIMORE: Trash Flicks and Cult Epics!
  • Ed Schrader’s Music Beat w/ Wume, Smoke Bellow* at Metro Gallery
  • CHEFS: The Sizzling Kitchen Showdown
  • Revival Series: “Belladonna of Sadness” at The Charles Theatre

March 2

  • Tomason (record release) w/ Sea Lilies (record release), Flying Faders, Yanni II at The Windup Space
  • Pressing Strings w/ Skribe* at Metro Gallery
  • Lost in Society w/ Rooney’s Show, The Stifled, Old Bay Thrashers at Sidebar
  • SOOHAN w/ Anna Morgan – Christian Dope at The 8×10
  • “KÉKSZAKÁLLÚ” at The SNF Parkway
  • “Western” at The SNF Parkway

Frisbee Golf at Goucher

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Map of Goucher’s Disc Golf Course Photo Credit: Professional Disc Golf Association

Do you know where to find Goucher’s Frisbee Golf course on campus? Did you know that Goucher actually has a Frisbee Golf course? Do you know what Frisbee Golf is?
Frisbee golf (officially called disc golf) is a sport that combines the core premise and scoring system of golf with the use of specialized frisbees and frisbee golf baskets as opposed to golf balls and holes in the ground. The goal of disc golf is to throw the frisbee into the frisbee golf basket, called a hole, in as few throws as possible while navigating the terrain of the course. Following the first hole, players throw from the tee box based on score, with the lowest scorer going first, just like golf. Official disc golf courses range from 200 to 400 ft. long and often include many obstacles such as trees, foliage, and elevation changes. However, the most important thing players must consider for every throw in frisbee golf is the wind current. The strength of the breeze (or lack thereof) is pivotal to the destination of each disc thrown, forcing players to adjust their throws accordingly. To start each “hole” in disc golf, players throw their discs off of concrete slabs known as tee boxes that also provide the hole number, the direction of the disc golf basket, and distance to the target disc golf basket from the tee box.
The disc golf baskets have chains that allow them to catch discs thrown at them and are usually painted bright colors to make them more visible to players. In order to complete a hole, discs have to land either in the basket or on the chains. The disc golf frisbees themselves are smaller than conventional frisbees to allow longer and more accurate throws. Discs come in many different shapes to allow for various types of short to long range shots. Putter discs are meant for slow, accurate, and controlled shots at a close range, usually when attempting to score in the disc golf basket. Mid-range discs have slightly sharper edges at the bottom of the disc compared to putter discs and are meant for faster and longer distance shots at the cost of decreased accuracy. Driver discs have the sharpest angles at their bottoms and are meant for the fastest and longest distance throws at the cost of accuracy. Drivers are often used to tee off at the beginning of each hole. However, owning a wide collection of different type discs isn’t essential to the sport, and you can easily play a course only using a single disc per person.

Frisbee golf basket with disks. Photo credit: https://beanmimo.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/bringing-disc-golf-to-ireland/

Goucher’s disc golf course can be found in the woods behind Van Meter Hall, with the tee box for the first hole located by the tennis courts. Disc golf may sound intimidating to newcomers with so many rules and technicalities, but the reality is that if you can toss a frisbee, you’re ready to play. So grab some discs, a couple friends, and play some frisbee golf right here in the woods of Goucher! To see a map of the 9 hole course here at Goucher and get more specifics on the course, check out https://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=1321&mode=lf.

Freshmen Perspectives: Homesickness

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“As humans, we instinctively crave familiarity, security and some degree of a routine. All of this disappears when you are thrown into college: a completely new, unpredictable and ever-changing situation.” Photo Credit: semionbarbershop.com

As you, a first-year, enter your first spring semester of college after a month-and-a-half long winter break, a familiar wave of discomfort and longing for home may wash over you. This unease and anxiety can be summed up in one word: homesickness. In a paper co-written by Chris Thurber and Edward Walton, published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, homesickness is defined as “distress and functional impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home and attachment objects such as parents.” Even though homesickness stems from being away from home, it isn’t always directly about missing your house or the physical aspects of home. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama’s School of Public Health explains, ”You’re not literally just missing your house. You’re missing what’s normal, what is routine, the larger sense of social space, because those are the things that help us survive.” When moving to a new environment, one can easily get overwhelmed because quite suddenly, nothing is familiar anymore. As humans, we instinctively crave familiarity, security and some degree of a routine. All of this disappears when you are thrown into college: a completely new, unpredictable and ever-changing situation. Homesickness is more of a spectrum and something that comes in waves. Homesickness is not black and white. Every individual experiences it to a different degree, at different times, and in different ways. The following quotes are from several first-year students at Goucher regarding homesickness during their first semesters of college:
“In the beginning of the first semester there was so much going on I wasn’t really able to focus my energy on missing home, and it was all so surreal I think my brain didn’t really believe that this was my new home. I would say it took until [the] end of September or October for me to get really homesick, and it was pretty bad.” -Emma Needham (’21)
“During the first few days, I was excited rather than homesick. There was a lot to get used to. But then as we progressed into October, I felt really homesick. I began counting the days until I could go back home and I felt isolated from everything I have known. I thought of home everyday and tried to find anything that could connect me back to home.” -Dina Diani (’21)
“About halfway through the beginning of the first semester I got pretty homesick. I was just missing the familiarity and the comfort of home and I was missing a lot of the good food that I ate back home. I miss my family, but I think just like the comfort and easiness of living back at home was getting to me because everything was so new and to some degree difficult and hard for me.” -Ramona Kamb (’21)
“I think I felt especially off because break was so long-I had gotten so comfortable at home back into my old routines and habits that it felt actually kind of sad to come back here. I was excited to see my friends and all but I for sure was missing home last week.” -Emma Needham (’21)
“Because of the first semester acting as kind of a trial for me, this semester is bringing a lot of new excitement with different classes and a more rigorous schedule so I’m not as homesick as before. But I have my moments where I miss the mountains and my family and my boyfriend.” – Tiana Ozolins (’21)
“Things feel much more normal and natural this semester.” -Esther Gordon (’21)
“I mean, the second semester only just started but I know I was homesick more first semester because again everything was so new and I really wasn’t adjusted to this new chapter of my life in college living. Now that I am more comfortable around my peers and that I know people it’s gotten a lot easier and I definitely feel less homesick.” -Ramona Lamb (’21)
Evidently, everyone has had a different experience. Even though current freshmen are now more accustomed to the college lifestyle, having lived it for a whole semester, returning from the long winter break can bring back feelings of homesickness, and this is normal. The goal here is to provide freshmen with different personal accounts from their peers, so they can hopefully to find aspects that may resonate with them, and ultimately know that they are not alone on this journey.

Club Chat – Economic Education Club

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Naked economics by Charles Wheelan. Photo Credit: Google Images

Even at a small school like Goucher, there can be dozens of clubs active at any given time. Every semester, organizations are created and disbanded in the blink of an eye. How is someone supposed to keep track of it all?
I’m here to help! Club Chat is an issue by issue profile of an active club on campus. From long established to newcomers, Club Chat will give you an in-depth glimpse into an organization so you can figure out if it’s the right fit for you.
This week we will look at Economic Education club, formed this semester. I spoke with club President Surbhi (‘19) for more details.

Q: What is your Club’s general purpose?
A: We go to Goucher, and it’s very politically liberal. And there are a lot of things brought up in economic classes that aren’t brought up in the liberal community. It’s little things, like, what is bitcoin? Or talking about the new tax law–what is good about it? What is bad about it? Trade treaties–are they good? Are they bad? What I want to do is start a conversation and have an educated seminar; this is why they [tax laws, trade treaties] might be hated, but they aren’t the worst things in the world. There is a middle ground, and a lot of the things you enjoy are because of these capitalist things that you might not realize.

Q: How does your club work structurally? Do you have meetings? Are you more event based?
A: More of an event based club. I attended a conference with the Foundation for Economic Education while I was interning for the Charles Koch Foundation and it was very good! I did the entrepreneurial track, and we learned so much about how to do your taxes, how to have a passive income…
We learned a lot of these things that I wished was talked about more by Goucher students. I have contacts through this organization for people who can come talk. We’ll sort of do a weekly meeting, where we will have a webinar where someone can talk to us online. We’ll also have actual events, and sometime at the end of the semester we would like to have a debate.

Q: What gave you the idea to start the club?
A: Basically I just wanted to do a few events, like talking about bitcoin. I’ve had bitcoin since it was like ten dollars, I’ve made about two to three thousand dollars on it, and I have a lot of bitcoin left: I paid tuition with what I gained from bitcoin. That’s what I wanted to do. There are options that you might not know about: investment banking, which checking account or banking account is best for you…

Q: Why should people participate in your club out of all the other options out there?
A: For their own development. All of these things that I’ve learned in classes in seminars I thought were very valuable things. Basic financial empowerment, knowing what’s happening with tax laws and economics outside of the college can be so helpful when you’re going out into the job market. These are things that might not necessarily be taught at the college, but they can be helpful when deciding what job to get or how to progress in their jobs.

Q: Anything else people should know?
A: This is not a propaganda club—free market or otherwise. A lot of things we’ll talk about are things like why is Planned Parenthood good economically, or why immigration is good economically. I’m definitely going to have a speaker come in to talk about how amazing immigration is. Those are liberal issues – so it’s not a partisan club like “you love free markets or you don’t show up”. These are things in economics and they aren’t black and white—so let’s explore it. It’s purely educational, there’s no motive to turn people to capitalists or republicans.

Interested in having your organization featured in the next issue of the Q? Email me at firut001@mail.goucher.edu for your chance to be in the next edition of club chat.

From CDO to CEO: The CDO Rebrands

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The CDO changes its name to the Career Education Office (CEO). Photo Credit: CDO Goucher on youtube.com

We all know that room at the end of that hallway in Van Meter. The one that has lights around the door and doughnuts on Fridays. It’s the Career Development Office, a.k.a. the CDO. However, on January 29, 2018, during the first-year group advising meetings, it was announced that the CDO would soon become the CEO.
Now, let’s backtrack a bit to when this plan was initially being discussed. At the end of last semester, the CDO was having focus groups with students ranging from those who have visited them to those who have not. The goal of these focus groups was to talk about what the student body thought of the CDO and what changes they hoped could be made. During these meetings, pizza was distributed, ideas were thrown out, and the general feeling was that the student body did not quite know what the CDO did. To be more precise, it seemed that students were scared of the CDO because it represented “the real world” after graduation. To students, the CDO seemed like a place to go after a resume had been drafted, a cover letter written, and an interview lined up.
So here’s a small snippet of what the CDO actually does. The CDO is a place to go for help writing a resume or cover letter. It has a closet for when one is unsure of what is worn typically for an interview, or for a formal or semi-formal event. It is an inviting place that offers discussions with alumni/ae both on Tuesday afternoons over tea, and on Friday mornings over doughnuts and coffee. Alums give advice ranging from when to go to Human Resources to when to quit a job.
In the spirit of innovation, the CDO has taken student advice and has decided to incorporate its services more into the experience both in and out of the classroom. Starting next year and with the class of 2022, the CDO will become the Career Education Office, or, CEO, the same acronym as Chief Executive Officer, although unintentionally .
What does this mean for Goucher? Well, for one thing, it means another wacky acronym that Admissions Ambassadors can throw around. But for future students, this means classes will incorporate goal-setting with regards to career plans within the curriculum and that hopefully, every student will have a resume by the end of their first year. However, for students graduating in 2021 or before, this means that the CDO (or CEO) will start to become a place that resembles less a door at the end of the hallway that should be avoided at all costs, and more of a friendly helping hand along the way to the next stage of one’s life, beyond the hallowed halls of educational institutions.

Possible Rise in First-Year Transfers

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When a high school senior commits to a college or university, they must be absolutely sure that the institution is their dream school, right?
It is as if there is a universal expectation for high school seniors to have this important next step in their education figured out. Most prospective freshmen apply to an institution with no doubt that they will be satisfied with their decision. However, after experiencing their first semester, some may discover that their school does not meet all of their needs. Two scenarios can happen after this stage: either the student solves their problems at their current school, or they decide to transfer to a school more capable of suiting their needs.

How many students within the Class of 2021 are contemplating transferring?

It cannot be accurately determined. For the Fall 2016 cohort, Goucher College maintained a decent first-year student retention rate. According to Goucher’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, 78% of first-year students from the fall semester returned to Goucher to continue their education, and the remaining 22% did not return (2017 Student Profile). The amount of students who transferred is unknown. However, there are a number of current first-year students who are considering transferring. Two students came forward with their accounts, and both wish to be kept anonymous due to personal reasons.

This specific student has not yet decided whether they are transferring. However, they are in the process of thinking it over. Here is their story:

“Before I came to Goucher, I thought that I had chosen the right school. I thought that I would fit in and have a smooth first semester. From what I have experienced so far, that was not the case. In the beginning of the year, it felt like I was meant to be here. But the longer I stay here, the more I realize that it’s not the school for me. First, I think that I am paying too much money into investments that I believe the school does not need at the moment. Instead of expanding the first-year village so fast, more funding could go towards the educational buildings for academic resources. Also, my social experience hasn’t been so great. Sometimes I feel like an outsider in the Goucher community, and that’s not how you should feel at any school, especially while away from home. And when you feel like you don’t fit in, it takes a toll on your emotions. I have an amazing support system here but sometimes that’s not enough to keep me happy. I would rather have a positive connotation for the school that I’m attending than a negative one. Also, I will admit to having some bad experiences during my first semester which could be altering my opinion of the school as a whole. I will keep that in mind as I determine whether I will transfer or not.”

The next student believes that they will transfer after the Spring 2018 semester. This is their story:
“I loved Goucher during the first month of classes. Faculty, staff, and even my peers were so nice and supportive. But, as the semester dragged on, my opinion of the college began to change. Goucher has a very small community, and as a latino student, I feel that my culture is not represented well enough. The school advertises that they have a high ethnic diversity, yet the majority of the student population is white with a sprinkle of other races mixed within. My cultural identity is very important to me, and I feel detached from my home because of the lack of latino representation within the community. Also, the community does not act as close-knit as Goucher states. There are many cliques throughout the school who only interact with people who are similar to them. It’s as if after the first month, people settled on a certain friend group and did not want to branch out and make new friends. I had a hard time finding a consistent friend group, and because of this, my social anxiety rose. As for academics, my classes do not challenge me. I feel that I am paying way too much for a school that doesn’t challenge my mind. And, Goucher policies seem to change every year whether it be in academics, housing, etc., and this appears to me as being unstable. Despite all of this, I do believe that Goucher possesses many pros, however, I think that I could find the same pros at any other school I were to attend.”

There are two notable patterns between the students’ statements. Both believe that they do not belong in Goucher’s community, and although the school strives to strengthen community building, these individuals do not think that there will be a change in the way students interact toward each other. Both students also think that they are paying too much money for what they are receiving from the college. These appear to be the most relevant claims for the students’ decision to transfer. However, they may have a bias against the school from negative experiences encountered throughout their first semester.
Although these are only two accounts from the freshman class, there could be many more first-years who have similar beliefs. It is vital to discuss these issues in order to discover what can be done to change the campus for the better. Not only for current students, but for future students as well.

Works Cited
2017 Student Profile. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2018, from http://www.goucher.edu/institutional-effectiveness/2017-student-profile

Smoke-Free Campus Committee Student Member Gives Insight into Process

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Map of Designated Smoking Areas Photo Credit: Goucher College

Last year, Goucher’s administration announced that smoking on campus would be banned entirely by the Fall 2018 semester. Now designated smoking areas have been set up to phase in the Smoke-Free Campus Initiative.

The decision to  become a smoke-free campus was made  last November as a reaction to three students with severe asthma being sent to the hospital, as well as complaints from parents of prospective students.

The initiative’s rollout was confusing to some students, who were unsure of the new rules or how the ban was initiated, due to the survey released last semester that gave students the impression that the initiative was simply a possibility, and that they would have a say in this decision.

Below is the transcript of an interview with a student member of the Smoke-Free Initiative Committee, who requested anonymity. This interview will hopefully give Goucher students a window into the decision process and what is to come. The transcript is lightly edited for clarity.

Q: Let’s start with some background on how you got involved with the Smoking Initiative Committee or Group.

Anonymous Student (A): “I was taken to the hospital for a severe asthma attack from secondhand smoke freshman year. Then I was told by Brian Coker that Andrew Wu had put together an initiative to go 100% tobacco free, but he needed student input to do it. So Andrew Wu put together this group. It was already decided by Jose Bowen that ‘yes this is going to happen’.

Q: So Andrew Wu is the one that spearheaded it?

A: Yes. I definitely give him the credit. He put together a group and it was very clear that this was happening.

Q:  So there wasn’t a lot of debate involving students, professors, or staff about whether the initiative was going to happen or not?

A: No. There was no debate about it happening. But the debate is the most humane way to have it happen, and the best way to make it so no student feels left behind.

Q: And what was the concern with the “most humane” way to do it?

AS: The concern is that if we take away all tobacco automatically people are addicted to it. If you’re addicted to something like that you’re going to have severe withdrawal symptoms. So we came up with the idea of what if we limit it to certain spaces on campus. But since the 25 ft rule is very unenforceable, we figured out 7 different spots on campus that are accessible, but not in the way of students who don’t want to be around it. So we sat down with a map of campus and those spots were not only decided based on lower traffic, but to also deter people. Because one of the things we noticed in the group, which I think is a pretty big deal, is that according to the survey, a lot of students start when they come here. And if we want to have a healthy campus we shouldn’t have our socializing focus around sitting in a circle smoking cigarettes.

Q: So the goal was to decrease visibility of smokers?

A: Yes. And to help people figure out a different way to become friends. Sitting in a circle smoking is not the best way to build a friend group. And we want to make it less appealing socially.

Q: I’m aware of the health center’s offering of free smoking cessation materials; are you guys expanding on this at all?

A: Yes, we are compiling a list of free, immediate treatment websites to help professors and students quit.

Q:  One of the issues around this is the issue of banning smoking on a campus where professors and staff smoke; can you elaborate on this?

A: From what I’ve heard a lot of professors have wanted this for a long time.

Q: Ok, were there any roadblocks you guys experienced?

A: One of the hardest things was figuring out where to put  [the smoking areas], and Goucher knows there will be pushback from students. We aren’t trying to get rid of smokers; we’re trying to get rid of the habit. We just want to make sure the students with this addiction are helped.

Q: In your opinion, has this been successful in not making smokers feel excluded or unwanted on campus?

A: I don’t think we received any direct pushback, although it’s pretty clear that students were against it. They aren’t thinking about the health side of it, only the social side, which is hard. Because when you think about the health side of it, yes this is the obvious answer. So yes, there was pushback, but it didn’t stop us from continuing. We tried to make it very clear that this was predetermined. And that’s what students had a hard time understanding. They thought this was up for debate. It wasn’t. It was predetermined, not a choice.

Q: Do you think that the survey distributed last year contributed to students thinking that this was debateable?

A: I do think the survey was a little confusing and made students think “oh this matters,” when the decision was already made. So yes, I do think the survey was not very well-worded. It should have included more “what can we do for you, how can we get you to quit,” however I was not part of making the survey. I think it was an attempt to work with students and get input. But I think the way it was done was counterproductive.

Q: Would students having a firm idea that this was predetermined without their input make them more receptive or accepting of it?

A: I can’t speak for them, but I think my hypothesis would be that they would still be just as upset because they feel like their voice isn’t heard. Our argument is that their voice is being heard, but at the end of the day the administration has to do what is right for the campus. It’s safety first, fun second.

Q: Going back to your point about students who pushback or disagree with it, what do you think the Smoking Initiative Group and Goucher can do to improve the initiative’s appeal to students?

A: I think everyone knows it’s a health issue, but when you’re addicted to something, and you’ve made a social life out of it, you won’t think about how it hurts people. So I think it’s an addiction and they can’t fathom the idea of quitting. But I also think that when you come to Goucher, if you see a group of people sitting smoking and laughing you’re going to want to join in and the way to do that is to start smoking. It’s just a really unhealthy path.

Q: Do you feel that the initiative has been successful so far and having the effect that you wanted?

A: I think for the most part it’s doing well. To me it seems like it works better during the day, but at night it seems that students start to ignore it and I think that they try to be sneakier about it, but we’re working on resolving that with more patrolling public safety officers.

Q: How do you catch smokers?

A: So now we have more officers patrolling, and if you’re a student and see someone smoking, call public safety.

Q: Ok, so next year this will extend to campus becoming fully tobacco free…

A: Yes, tobacco, vaping, e-cigarettes, everything.

Q: Why vaping and e-cigarettes?

A: Well it’s a health hazard, and we can’t give them a loophole. If you give students a loophole they’ll take it. These also have second hand effects.

Q: What do you think will happen once it’s banned? Because obviously you personally want a 100% smoke free campus, but realistically there will always be those who just choose to leave to smoke, or violate the rule. So do you feel that it’ll just become a bigger pain for smokers instead of actually getting them to quit?

A: That was our goal with smoking destinations, as you see they’re not meant to be comfortable, they’re meant to be a hassle. We purposefully made them uncomfortable to make it clear that this was not permanent. These are a way to help you realize that you have to start leaving campus, or you can take the other option and quit.

Q: Do you think that in effect you’re just forcing adults to quit smoking?

A: If it’s an addiction I would argue someone would go to those lengths to do it. I don’t think that people would be logical; if you’re addicted and it feels good in the moment you’ll do it anyways. We aren’t forcing them, but we’re highly encouraging them to quit.

Q: How is this not strong arming students into quitting, if only because of how isolated Goucher’s campus is?

A: That’s fair, but the other colleges that have done this have been successful.

Q: What would your counter be to the argument that this is a further attempt by Goucher to insulate students? Smokers exist in the outside world after all and you can’t isolate yourself entirely from smokers.

A: I think that when it comes to health of the general campus, Goucher needs to take health into account very seriously. Now in the real world I can choose to avoid that. Here it’s really hard, there’s no roundabout I can take. In my neighborhood it’s looked down upon. So I know that when I go home I don’t have to worry about it. I can walk a few blocks and not worry about it.

Q: I’m assuming you’re from a city?

A: I’m from Washington D.C. and a better well off area, so it is looked down upon because everyone there is very well educated.

Q: Do you feel that you achieved your goal?

A: I feel like my goal hasn’t fully be achieved. Because while I would like people to understand the other side of it, like I understand if you’re addicted to it, I think my goal would be to work with the students who feel left behind, because I want them to have a more positive outlook on this. We want to help make you a healthier you, one that can focus on academics and get further in life than having to worry about your health.

Q: Is the amount of criticism stemming from students feeling their freedoms are being taken away?

A: Honestly I don’t understand why people start [smoking] here. I understand if you come here from a place that has put you into that but I don’t understand if you’re here and you’re highly educated why you would do it.

Q: What was the smoking initiative group comprised of in terms of demographics?

A: There were four or five students (all of whom were quitting or had quit) and four smokers who don’t want to quit, but I don’t like using that phrase because I don’t think they necessarily don’t want to quit, they just aren’t ready yet. They’re future non-smokers.

Modifications

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A story straight out of our campus traditions, bathed in the grey glow of a dismal future, and all set up for one, single line. Enjoy it while you can, for the undead are hangery [sic] and your brains are looking mighty delicious today.

When the outbreak happened, it wasn’t our fault that there wasn’t any way of protecting ourselves. When the uprisings did happen, there was just no chance for some of us. Sure, many tried. But for the most part there was no way of knowing what to do. In the many barracks splattered around the northern UK, people were trying desperately to find a way of self-defense. After The Great Slaughter, guns were banned globally and confiscated from the citizens of the world. They were locked in deep underground vaults with no way of knowing how to open it. Many have tried, but for the most part, people have resorted to more…unconventional means. There have even been a few renegade units that have resorted to just throwing bullets at the zombies while making gun noises in hopes to scare them off. Surprisingly, it works, but only for a time. Only until the zombies come to their senses and try to return.

A bullet a day keeps the zombies away.

However, I knew that there had to be a way. There were whisperings of a new barrack on the rise which had somehow managed to repurposed old children’s toys into fully realized weapons that were able to actually kill some of the infected. When I arrived at the barrack in question, my eyes widened in realization. The guards were outfitted with bright neon pink, orange, green, blue, and yellow weapons.

All plastic. All deadly.

I approached them with my arms up above my hand and stumbled about trying to show them I meant no harm. “I’m a survivor! I’m a survivor don’t shoot!” I said.

They did the normal tests on me, which was to be expected. When I passed, I was let inside and brought straight to the barrack leader’s tent. A huge burly man held in his hand a bright pink, flowered nerf gun, covered in crayon scribbles.

“Those are the weapons?” I asked.

He nodded.

It was then that I realized: it’s nerf, or nothing.

BENJI GUTSIN

Argyle Tempeh

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God damn hipster restaurants with their god damned hipster food and their cutesy names for their cutesy dishes. Poison! Societal Poison! That’s what this place is! God! Ten minutes sitting on repurposed barrels and not a waiter in sigh- Finally! a waiter.

“Oh, welcome,” they say, as if I have a choice to be here. “I’m your dining facilitator, Graysen, note that’s with an A and an E. In that order. We do not use menus here. Instead, we present for you a dining itinerary with three experiences on it. You will not pay for the experiences. Instead, there is a suggested donation of $40 per seat.”

God damn hipster restaurants-

“Your food stylist, Moonstoneshadow, has prepared for you three different locally sourced dishes: A deconstructed Gerald salad, Zucchini spaghetti ala Mace, and finally Argyle Tempeh served with an avocado black garlic thousand island aioli.”

-with their god damned hipster food-

“The animals that have given up their freedom for your meal are Gerald, Mace, and Argyle. Gerald was an antibiotic free, five-year-old hen from the Jamisdale farm where they grew up happy and healthy wandering the vast fields. Mace was a grass-fed, free-rage, gluten-free, organic cow, prepared in a paleo-friendly style. Argyle was a puffer-fish, who lived their life roaming the vast Atlantic Shelf and caught in a humane, low-energy style and delivered to us through a fair-trade network and-”

– and their cutesy names for their cutesy dishes! Like I give a shit where my food came from, so long as it tastes good. Why did Arsonay drag me out to this place? And what’s with the décor? Taxidermy and black and white photos of spoons and half eaten food? Ugh. Fine. Fine. Calm down. You’re doing a good thing accompanying her here. Smile. It’s just one meal.

“-what would you like paired with meal: bitters or tonic water?”

Wait, shit, were they talking to me?

“Uhhhhhhhhhh, you got any coffee?” I ask. Arsonay raises her eyebrows in disbelief. Crap baskets. I guess that’s not a question you ask here. Greysan, or was it Graysen, looks mildly peeved but that could just be their vertical bridge piercing.

“Unfortunately, tonight we only have bitters or tonic water. Anything else would sour the experience.”

Shit on a brick. “Ok. Then I’ll take the tonic water without the tonic.” I flash a smile and fight the urge to scream. Graysen walks away and I turn to Arsonay, who has been playing with the candle in the center of the stump that acts as our table.

“Do you visit here often, cuz?” I ask, warming my face up with another smile.

“Nah. It just popped up in the last couple weeks or so but it sounded so quaint that I had to bring you here on your visit.”

“Oh. Joy.” I say, my confidence in this place waning even more than it already was.

An hour and two dis-, I mean experiences, later and I’m finally finishing the salad. As much as I hate to admit it, the food has been pretty damn good. Graysen appears, two short spears in hand, their tips flat and angled towards us. They take away the now-empty mason jar, replacing it with the spear. They also take the chessboard that experience two came on. On the spear is the tempeh in all its soy block glory. I take one bite of Argyle and suddenly the fish is living up to his name. Arsonay, the spears, the weird-ass taxidermy and black and white images of half eaten food – all are now fitted with a brand new brown and green diamond layer.

Arsonay is screaming something. I can’t tell what it is but I can tell it’s not good.

“Hey. Asshat,” a voice says. I look around to try to pinpoint it.

“Down here, chuckle fuck!” I look down at the spear, which is melting just a tiny bit, and see a whole puffer-fish smoking a cigar. I’d rub my eyes but I can’t seem to move my arms or legs.

“Yeah, the toxin’ll do that. But hey, look on the bright side,” the fish says, floating in front of me, “at least it’s not enough to kill ya.”

I want to yell at the fish but it’d do no good. I’m no longer in the restaurant. Instead, I’m under the sea, staring at schools and schools of silver fish. They’re all so pretty under the sparkling sun, surrounded by all sorts of creatures; pink coral, Acadian redfish, yellow-finned and green-finned tuna, not to mention the vast expanses of blue and black sea. Then, out of fucking nowhere, Argyle is back, but this time he’s suspended in the mouth of a Wobbegong shark. He speaks again, the cigar in his mouth still lit.

“Yeah, not scientifically accurate but what the hey, it’s your hallucination.”

The Wobbegong, a toothless, flat kind of beast, just swims away and I’m left floating. That doesn’t last long as I’m suddenly jerked back to the ground.

I wake up and I’m in the back of an ambulance, the sirens getting ready to murder my eardrums. Arsonay is sitting next to me wringing her hands. I clear my throat and the medic begins doing whatever it is that medics do while Arsonay starts to apologize.

“I’ll be fine,” I tell her, “but next time, I’m picking the restaurant.”

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