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Goucher Fit

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Before I got to Goucher, I was really excited that I would be able to take part in these wonderful exercise classes. So far, I have been to yoga, Zumba with Moe, and kickboxing.  

I find myself constantly returning to kickboxing because there is something about it that makes it my favorite class. First, I like that each session varies depending on the amount of people who attend. We usually start with light exercises such as jogging and sprinting. Some days, we will pair up or group up. If there are pairs of two, one will be punching the pads the other person is holding them. If we have groups of three, one person will be punching and/or kicking the bag, one will be using weights or other related activities, and one will do some running and other exercises. Second, although I have been the only female student in past exercise classes, I like that these tend to be more female dominated. It gives me the sense that we are as capable as others of doing what we can. Third, I appreciate that it is a do what you can, no judgement atmosphere because I’ve found myself being slower or not being able to do the same intensity as others. In the end, kickboxing has offered me the best workouts I have ever done, making me want to come back for more.  

 Another potential factor that I would enjoy kickboxing was that I had never taken a kickboxing class before I arrived at Goucher, whereas I had many previous yoga and Zumba experiences. For Zumba on Mondays, I wasn’t able to go back after the demo week because of my first-year experience, but hopefully will be able to attend once that’s over. 

For yoga, I preferred the stretch-based yoga to the other forms as it fit my style more partially because it didn’t require me to hold any poses too long. 

GoucherFit offers classes every day of the week, including weekends, except for Fridays. The classes offered are Abs with Adele, Athletics Yoga, GopherShred, GoucherPUMP, HIT, Kickboxing, Pilates, Spiritual Yoga, Yoga, Yoga Express, Zumba and Zumba with Moe. Look on the IMLeagues website or app for a full schedule of these wonderful classes. Don’t miss out! Come try it out and find your best fit!

By Meredith Schulhof

Top Ten “Overheard at Goucher” Tweets

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Photo Credit: @overheardatgoucher on Twitter

The Twitter feed “Overheard at Goucher,” with almost 300 followers, posts cryptic messages of words overheard on campus. Accepting submissions, the anonymous student who runs this Twitter page updates fairly recently and has been active since November of 2017. The student, who prefers to keep their identity to themselves, stated to the Q, “Yeah I just think Goucher kids are really funny especially when you take snippets of a conversation out of context!!” So here are my favorite ten #overheardatgoucher tweets from over the years.

  1. “Consent is important whether we are sharing grapes or sharing tongues” – 27 November 2018
  2. “I’m still not clear what a gopher is” – 27 November 2018
  3. “I thought about being a sexy fox for Halloween, but I don’t want people thinking I’m a furry” – 31 October 2018
  4. “I’ve never seen a lightning bug in real life, only on Camp Rock” – 4 October 2018
  5. “I actually really like the presidential alert it felt like I was in a big group message with the whole country” – 4 October 2018
  6. “I’m a hoe for memory foam – 4 October 2018
  7. “Cleaning my diva cup in the Jeffrey bathroom was probably the most stressful part of my weekend” – 3 October 2018
  8. “It could’ve been a rom com but it was Jeffery Dahmer” – 20 September 2018
  9. “…and now he’s got a whole new scrotum” – 31 August 2018
  10. “I’m gonna need you to take an entire stadium worth of seats” – 15 May 2018

Honorable Mentions:

“All we do is Juul and Ju Ju on that beat” – 25 August 2018

“Knees are just leg knuckles” – 26 January 2018

Why Zumba?

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Instructor Moe de La Viez leading Zumba. Photo Credit: Rob Ferrell.

Peering through the 60 students drenched in sweat and the steamed-up mirrors of the multipurpose room in the Sports & Recreation Center, you will find Moe de La Viez at the front of the room, swaying to the beat of Shakira’s “Waka Waka” as she instructs the cool down of her semiweekly Zumba class.

De La Viez, a senior production and design interdisciplinary major, first started teaching Zumba at Goucher in August of last year, not really knowing what to expect. “Part of me didn’t really expect a lot of people to be there or for me to even be that good at it. It’s hard to get Goucher students to do things so I expected the worst,” de La Viez said.

There exists a widely held belief that Goucher culture is one of being uninvolved and lackadaisical. “So many events are just so under-attended,” said sophomore Natalie Simendinger. She thought back on an event she went to last semester held by the music club, at which several non-Goucher bands came to campus to perform, including a band from New Jersey, and “less than 15 people showed up,” Simendinger recalled. This is just one example of countless under-attended events at Goucher. “I’ve heard that nobody shows up to sports games either, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never gone to one,” Simendinger said.

So, expecting the worst, de La Viez was pleasantly surprised when 25 students showed up to her first class back in September of 2018. As the semester continued, this number grew. “It just became more popular and like midway through the semester I maxed at having 60 people!” de La Viez said. “I have at least 15 people who come to every class, and most classes have new people too. It’s awesome.”

The regulars who attend de La Viez’s class have an inside look into how she accomplished the amazing feat of getting 60 Goucher students to attend something, breaking the stereotype of the indolent nature of Goucher culture. Derek Borowsky, a first-year, tries to attend every class, describing Zumba as a combination of dance, cardio, and stress relief.

“I enjoy the music and the fun environment,” Borowsky said. “While it is definitely a workout, I don’t go there to be active. I primarily go to have fun and let go of some stress.”

Borowsky believes the class has reached such outstanding attendance records because it has so much to offer, including community, fun, dance, a chance to unwind, and good music. “Most people find at least one of those ideas appealing, so while we all might go for different reasons, a lot of people really love it.” Borowsky said.

Sophomore Amelia Meier, another Zumba regular, describes the class as upbeat, casual, fun, and chill. “The combinations are hard, but so fun. It gets your heart beat up, the room gets steamy and everyone is all smiles by the end.” Meier said. “Also, it’s so dang fun, and such a great workout!”

Meier also attributes the class’s success to the instructor, Moe. “Moe is amazing; she keeps things interesting in the class by changing which routines we do.” Meier said. “Having Moe as a teacher makes the class even better.”

De La Viez first discovered her interest in Zumba when she started taking classes at her local gym after graduating high school. She got certified as a Zumba instructor over the summer and wants to instruct Zumba after graduating Goucher. She hopped on board with Goucher Recreation this semester to launch her Zumba club.

So –– what exactly is Zumba?

Zumba is an hour long, Latin-inspired, high-intensity dance and fitness class. It was created the mid-1990s by Beto Perez, a Colombian celebrity fitness trainer who forgot to bring his aerobics music to class one day and decided to improvise using the Latin music he had in his car.

In 2001, Perez brought Zumba to the United States and partnered with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion, creating Zumba Fitness, LLC, thus starting a world-wide craze. By 2015, there were over 14 million Zumba students in 186 countries.

Zumba uses music that comes from Latin dance, including cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, samba, hip hop music, and tango. Each song in the class has a repeated set of movements, including lots of squats, lunges, and hip movement. The repetition allows the participates to pick up on the choreography, regardless of their previous dance experience. In a single Zumba class, a person can burn up to 600 calories.

Students of all years, experiences, and fitness levels gather on Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. for de La Viez’s Zumba class.

The low pressure, fun, and communal nature of Zumba contributes to its popularity over other, more intimidating, fitness classes that Goucher Recreation offers, such as High Intensity Interval Training, Weightlifting Basics, or GopherSHRED.

For college students, swamped with classes, work, clubs, etc., it is easy for fitness to fall by the wayside. Because of the lack of time, intimidation of the athlete-filled SRC, or just pure hatred of cardio, many students aren’t getting the exercise needed to fuel active minds. Zumba can be a great entryway into fitness.

“I know a lot of people are nervous to work out in the weight room, or others, like myself, may not like traditional methods of cardio like running,” de La Viez said. “Zumba doesn’t feel like cardio, so it rocks! You still sweat like hell though. It’s a fun workout and people get really into it.”

De La Viez’s Zumba class, with all odds stacked against it, managed to attract up to 60 students at a time, and de La Viez wants it to continue to grow.

President Position Profile Released

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The introduction to the President Position Profile.

Around 5pm on February 25th, a President Position Profile was released to the public on Goucher College’s website. This comes as the latest development in a presidential search process conducted by the Presidential Search Committee, which has been advised by outside search firm Isaacson, Miller.

The profile will be used to recruit candidates in the next phase of the process, which will remain confidential. As Rebecca Swartz, Partner at Isaacson, Miller, stated in a February 15th email interview with The Quindecim, “[it] 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.”

To determine what characteristics, challenges, and opportunities to highlight, several listening sessions were held. The first student listening session was held on December 9, initiated and facilitated by GSG Co-Presidents Samuel Anderson and Noah Block, both ‘21, with student representatives Marissa de La Viez ‘19 and Josiah Meekins ‘19 present. Two listening sessions were held over January Term on January 22nd, one exclusively with Goucher Student Government officers and representatives and the other with students. A final student listening session was held on January 31st at the start of the Spring semester.

Additionally, according to Swartz, listening sessions “[were] held with staff, faculty, students, alumnae/I, the Board of Trustees, and senior leadership.” An online survey was made available to the Goucher community from December 18th to February 8th.

More detailed background information may be found on the Goucher Presidential Search page as well as in four previous Quindecim articles: “Presidential Search Enters Confidential Phase,”Student Representatives of Presidential Search Committee Conduct Listening Session,” “Presidential Search Committee Formed,” and “President Bowen Announces Departure.”

 

An Interview with Katie Calabrese of Little Gunpowder

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Little Gunpowder. Left to right: John Eng-Wong, Katie Calabrese, Sarah Dreyfus. Picture credit: Allie Bowerman.

Little Gunpowder is a band fronted by Katie Calabrese, a senior at Goucher. The indie fuzz rock band — which consists of drummer Kieran Dollemore, bassist Sarah Dreyfus, and guitarist John Eng-Wong — is currently working on an album titled Gasoline Girl, which will be released this winter. We sat down with Calabrese to talk about the new record, her songwriting process, and influences.

My first question is — when did you start writing music and what was your first instrument?

I started writing music probably when I was about 16 or 17 because I was having a really hard time in high school, and I went to a special boarding school for kids that were having trouble in high school. And we didn’t really have music, and there was nothing to do, so everyone learned how to play instruments. And that’s when I started writing music.

I started playing music much younger, though, when I was 6. And I started playing electric bass when I was about 6 years old until when I was about 10 years old.

You told me that you are working on an album right now, so I’m interested in hearing a little bit more about that. I’m wondering if you could describe the sound of your album, and I’m wondering if it’s any different than the sound of your previous projects at all.

I would say that it’s incredibly different than my previous projects because my previous stuff, the stuff I that have on Bandcamp right now, is acoustic, indie, pretty mellow singer-songwriter stuff. But this stuff, I would still consider it indie, but it’s more fuzz and it’s full band and it has more of a punk element to it, I think, than a lot of my other stuff has. And I’m really excited about it because it has this theme of femininity and mental illness and these images of how women or feminized people are demonized, yet also glorified and sexualized around mental illness. So it’s kind of a look at that and a look at the struggle of mental illness. It’s really important to me that there’s a message of hope without being overly optimistic. So there’s this message of “it’s really hard and it might not get better, but that’s okay that it might not.”

That all sounds really interesting; I’m so excited to hear it. What does your songwriting process look like?

My songwriting process, usually, it can start in a couple of ways. Sometimes it will be [that] I’ll sit on a verse or just two lines for a super long time. And then one day I’ll be playing guitar and I’ll come across something that I like and just apply it to that. I usually write songs pretty quickly, like over the course of a few hours or maybe I’ll take a break and come back to it, but usually the total time on songs is probably like 3, 4, 5 hours, so not incredibly long. But usually it will take me a long time to get to a place that I want to write. I don’t write super often, but when I do finally get something that inspires me, it just happens really fast.

What have you been using to record this album, like mics and interfaces and instruments, and things like that?

We’re recording at my drummer’s friend’s house. I don’t know that much about recording, but we’re live recording the drums and the guitar, and then the bass is being recorded at the same time, but it’s being recorded directly into the computer, and then I’m doing voice overdubs with it. It’s in a basement, you know; it’s nothing fancy, but I’m really excited about it because for me, in recording, it’s so much more important that you get the live rawness rather than really clean perfection, studio done.

And I think that’s really important to that fuzz sound that you were talking about.

Yeah, exactly.

What was the most fun song to write, or the song that was the most memorable for you?

We have this really fun song that we do called “Turn Me Off.” I guess I don’t really have a super fun time writing most songs because usually I’m in a mood. But that song was particularly fun because I hadn’t really been writing for full bands previous to now. So all my songs – I felt like I had to write them so that they really, really carried themselves lyrically and that they could be interesting without any accompaniment. But this song is incredibly simple. It’s four power chords, and it is really repetitive. But the thing that was really fun about it is that I was able to write it knowing that my band is really talented and it would be really interesting and crazy. So now it’s one of our favorite songs to play because we have weird breakdowns, we change speed, we start off with only some parts, we have this crazy drum thing going on, we have guitar solos. So I think that’s been really fun for me. Being able to transition from being a singer-songwriter artist to doing more high energy, full band stuff has been really, really fun for songwriting because it’s challenged me to write differently, but also it makes it easier to write because you don’t have to worry about “oh, is this going to hold itself by itself?”

Now, I’m really curious to know a little bit more about what the difference is between writing as a singer-songwriter and doing a solo thing versus writing for a band because it sounds like there’s a huge difference.

Oh, definitely. I feel like for writing for solo, I really liked using a lot of picking stuff. When you’re doing full band, you can make different things [go] on without having to change the actual core center of the music, without having to change the chords, or change the song that much. You can have a different type of drum beat, or you can have a guitar solo, or you could have the bass do something funky. So you have this option to play around inside the original structure of the song, whereas when you’re doing more singer-songwriter stuff, you really just have the guitar, so you have to have more moving pieces within the actual construction of the song itself. So I’ve been having a lot of fun being able to write songs that are more simple on the writing end, but more complicated on the instrumental end, rather than more complicated on the writing end and simpler on the instrumental end.

Who or what are your musical influences or inspirations?

There’s a couple different types of music that I like, but then there’s a couple that I feel like I emulate. So the stuff that I really listen to — I like Anderson .Paak, Gorillaz; those are my two favorites right now. But the people that I feel like I emulate, and also really love listening to [are] Hop Along or Angel Olsen. I really love Courtney Barnett. And I really love Mitski. And I feel like those are artists that I really identify with because I think that they do such a good job of having this intense emotion and power in their songwriting, but still keeping elements of femininity. I feel like it’s this power that doesn’t feel like it has to emulate masculinity, but is its own thing, and I really admire that.

That’s a good segue into my last question . . . what [have you] been listening to lately?

I’ve been definitely listening to Noname’s new album, which is incredible; that’s a no-brainer. I’ve been listening to Mitski’s new album, for sure. I’ve been listening to Pavement a lot recently. And I’ve actually been listening to The Killers a lot; I really love The Killers, and I’ve always really loved The Killers.

Restroom Review – Welsh Hall Bathroom 2nd Floor

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Hello all! I’m here to write a comprehensive restroom review for you. Now I know you’re thinking “why would you do that?” Well, first of all, stop hypothetically questioning me in my own article. It’s rude. Second of all, it seemed like a funny idea. Third of all, struggling with the bathrooms on campus is almost universal when it comes to college. At some point in your tenure at this institution you WILL need do something that you CANNOT do while someone else is showering (for your own sake as well as theirs).

Now I need you to bear with me as I write this bathroom review, as surprisingly this kind of thing doesn’t really exist. Even on the internet! I know, I was surprised too. It did exist on the internet at one point but has been since scrubbed clean. So, for me it’s a bit like trying to write a restaurant review, but there’s no existing record of what a restaurant review might look like.

Okay! Let’s get started.

Welsh Hall Bathroom 2nd Floor

As to avoid confusion since the basement is technically the “first” floor, the bathroom to which I am referring is next door to the piano room. Now this bathroom is not going to be one of the well-kept secrets of this campus; I’m not giving you any insider knowledge (that’ll come later). Rather than drag this restroom down with negatives, let’s talk about what it’s got going for it.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more private pissoir on campus. One room, no stalls, sturdy handrail, LOTS of room. Heck, I wonder if it’s not some kind of journalistic crime that I didn’t measure the room so I could give you the exact stats. A good-sized mirror, over a large flat sink, perfect for holding your phone or your purse while you wash your hands. Paper towels! Never thought I’d have to start putting those in as a positive on this campus. I had assumed that paper towels were a given, but all the restrooms in the new buildings just have that one single, pathetic Toto hand dryer. I don’t like leaving places with damp hands, so Welsh gets some points for that. Also, a hook on the door that can hold a decent amount of weight.

Now onto the negatives; there were bound to be some. The three most important factors to me in these reviews are privacy, cleanliness, and hours. Welsh loses some SERIOUS points on hours. I can’t deduct too much because I don’t have explicit proof of the Welsh Hall bathrooms even having hours; there was a time my sophomore year where I was very much aware that the Welsh bathrooms were closed in the evenings. The building no longer seems to close the bathrooms at night. I checked a few days last week and this week and they appeared to be left unlocked well past 9 pm.

For cleanliness, Welsh neither gains nor loses points. I’ve seen the bathroom in a varying number of states without any discerning pattern to the mess or lack for thereof. Acoustics are also a problem for Welsh. While the single room and lock give you absolute privacy, the acoustics of the room make it seem like an illusion. Sound from the common room travels very easily into the space and leaves you feeling like you’ve got a waiting room or an audience. My recommendation is bringing headphones if you can. On the bright side, I was nervous that the sound was a two-way thing, and that any small noise could be heard by the people in the hallway or common room. In my anxiety I decided to run a test. Leaving my phone running a song at a medium volume on the sink, I stepped outside to see what could be heard through the door. No sound carried! I could barely make out the song playing even with my ear pressed against the door (I’m sure I looked a sight).

Décor is also an issue with Welsh. It’s hilarious but also uncomfortable: a poor choice of mirror layout means that if you are sitting (as a lot of people tend to need to do in a restroom) you will be looking straight into a mirror opposite yourself. It’s very uncomfortable to have to accidentally look yourself in the eyes. I again would recommend bringing headphones and a phone into this restroom situation.

Overall I would say that, despite everything, I would give the Welsh 2nd floor bathroom a 7/10.

 

Photo credit: Goucher College Virtual Tour (accessed through a google search)

Underlying Issues Identified as Student Organizers Engage With Administration

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Student organizers and administrators discuss student demands during a Sept. 12th meeting. Pictured around the table from left to right: Maya Williams (Radical Student Union representative), Skyler O’Neil, Isabelle Turner, Interim Associate Dean of Students Nicole Johnson, Isabella Favazza, Dean of Students Brian Coker, President José Bowen, Vice President for Advancement Trishana Bowden, Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Stephanie Coldren, Interim Provost Scott Sibley, Zoë Gilmore, Vice President for Finance and Administration Lyn Lochte, Faculty Chair Micah Webster, Oonagh Kligman, Noah Block (GSG representative), Associate Dean of Students for Community Life Stacy Cooper Patterson, and James Williams.

On August 15th, an email was sent out by the Office of Communications to Goucher students in which President José Bowen formally announced the results of a Program Prioritization Process (PPP). The email included important links to a list of future program changes and an FAQ page. While this newspaper had announced that a program prioritization process was taking place on May 18th of this year, for many students it was the first time that they had heard of Goucher’s plans for Academic Revitalization. In our Sep. 14th issue, The Quindecim reported on the town hall meeting that had occurred on Aug. 27th in response to these changes.

The town hall meeting was met with a huge turnout of more than fifty students in the small dining hall space, and within 24 hours The Quindecim‘s live video of the event had garnered more than 400 views from students, alumnae, and professors alike. “I’m impressed and very proud to have seen such a high turnout,” said Isabelle Turner, ’20, a student sitting on the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees. “I’m not surprised, though, because when it comes down to it, I think students care deeply about this place. “It implies a sort of camaraderie that – at Goucher – is rarely expressed overtly.”

Turner and several other students had been meeting and organizing a coordinated, student response to the PPP before the fall 2018 semester had even started. Aidan De Ricco, ’20, and Oonagh Kligman, ’20, both Residential Assistants (RA’s), had been sharing their feelings with one another about the announcement between trainings and talked about organizing a student led protest. “It affected me personally, it affected a lot of other students, and I wanted to be informed,” said De Ricco.

De Ricco and Kligman quickly connected with other concerned students on campus who felt a need to organize: Zoë Gilmore, ’21, India Fleming-Klink, ‘21, James Williams, ’19, Isabella Favazza, ’19, and Turner. After exchanging information through Facebook, they gathered in person and discussed the possibility of protesting Convocation. After feedback from other students they realized that such a move might alienate others affected by the PPP announcement, and that they needed to establish a space for wider student dialogue. Two meeting dates were set up to maximize availability: Sat., Aug. 25th and Sun., Aug. 26th. They were advertised on the Facebook class pages.

Both meetings saw more than 20 attendees, foreshadowing what would be an even more well-attended town hall meeting that Monday called upon by the student organizers. Those who showed over the weekend, including representatives of Goucher Student Government such as Samuel Anderson, ‘21, were asked to introduce themselves, then the opportunity was opened for emotional expression. The goal, organizers explained, was twofold: 1) to offer a space for healing and the practice of mutual care and 2) to offer a space for people to release their reactive energy ahead of the town hall so that they would subsequently ask clear, informed questions.

While the two-hour-long town hall meeting shifted tensely between measured, informative exchange and frustrated, accusatory outbursts, both student organizers and administrators saw its value. “We got to hear each other and what our needs are, and now we need to [address them],” President José Bowen said. “Needs are important, and if those needs are not being met, we need to work on that.”

Turner, impressed with the way in which Faculty Chair Micah Webster and Internal Review Team member Michael Curry addressed the crowd, saw their dialogue as a model for future conversations between administrators and students. “I think it was both moving and effective to speak to students with the respect and empathy and emotional intelligence that they did. They did a wonderful job of achieving the relational transparency we so need between student body and administration.”

Relational transparency was a key theme that came up throughout student organizing and the town hall meeting. Students expressed mistrust of the administration’s motives, feeling that information was being withheld from them for the sake of Goucher’s institutional reputation and survival. They felt left out of the changes happening at Goucher, particularly when it came to decision-making processes. Many wondered if the PPP had been necessary. “I think we needed the story of this process to be told to us completely and honestly,” Turner said.

Unfortunately, the question of how to tell a story becomes complicated when a college is responding to the needs and interests of multiple stakeholders. In an interview, Bowen said that “there is no financial crisis, but there will be if we don’t prepare.“ He added, “the Board [of Trustees] did mandate that we needed to have this year’s budget closer to balanced.” In a 2013 article, The New York Times states that “colleges have been on a borrowing spree […] nearly doubling the amount of debt they’ve taken on in the last decade to fix aging campuses, keep up with competitors and lure students with lavish amenities.” Consequently, as stated in a report published by the American Association of University Professors, “an administration contending with serious financial problems is likely to resist the wide circulation of budget figures. If bad news is lurking in the numbers, the institution’s situation might get worse if information becomes widely known and affects enrollment decisions and alumni giving.” “Nobody wants to air our dirty laundry,” said Bowen.

Reflecting a nationwide trend, Goucher has had to find creative ways of saving money while still aiming for gradual growth, Bowen explained. Facing increasing cost and a smaller pool of college-bound 18 year olds, administration identified four longer-term options: raising tuition, lowering financial aid, adding students, or subtracting services and programs. Since the board had pledged not to raise tuition above inflation, the first option was ruled out. The second option was not possible given Goucher’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and its need to attract more students. The third had already been attempted but had hit a maximum. The fourth option was left. As a result, the PPP was initiated.

Photo credit: Informational sheet shared by President José Bowen.

In making these budgetary calculations within the context of a competitive system of higher education, the Board of Trustees had played its role — ensuring intergenerational equity at Goucher and the institution’s long-term well-being. However, summarized by Bowen, “as a trustee, my focus is ten years from now [but] as a student my focus is now.” As Goucher announces and begins the process of phasing out majors, it must consider a number of different parties — students, prospective students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumnae — all of whom are invested in Goucher and an integral part of the community but whose immediate interests can be at odds.

With the PPP, students felt that their own needs and interests had been overlooked, sowing distrust and bitterness about the administration’s motives and their plans for the future. With the town hall meeting, student organizers attempted to bring student needs back to the forefront of administrative discussions. On their end, recognizing student blowback, administrators sought to repair a broken relationship.

Both parties agreed that the town hall meeting had limitations in achieving these objectives. Turner pointed to the often lengthy responses of panel members. Student organizers were unable to get to all of the questions that they had crafted for the panel. Those questions sought to uncover information that students felt had been withheld or obscured from them. “Relationships are harder to build in a town hall,” Bowen admitted. “It doesn’t allow for more in depth conversations. This has to be ongoing.” Student organizers, recognizing the necessity of more long-term and engaged conversation, concluded the town hall by demanding a follow-up meeting on Sep. 12th.

The Sep. 12th meeting was a pivotal moment in what has become an ongoing dialogue between student organizers and administrators to resolve student grievances. While the town hall had established an important precedent to conversation, the Sep. 12th meeting, held between seven student organizers and nine administrators, faculty, and staff members, unearthed a larger, systemic issue: the lack of an effective feedback structure between campus bodies. As a result, the PPP had come with significant miscommunication.

“More transparency at the beginning of the process would have been better,” Bowen admitted in the meeting, “but if person hears costs have to be cut, will there be more certainty or more fear?” “Goucher students can lean into uncertainty if they feel included,” Turner responded. All attendees, however, were unsure of exactly what that process of inclusion should look like. “In some ways, we thought having a student on the committee would resolve this issue,” Bowen said. Yet in a separate interview, Turner had claimed, “I have never been invited to speak to student morale at Trustees meetings.” Typically, GSG is relied upon to represent students and communicate information back to them, but over the years it has suffered a decline in student involvement and buy-in. “Students don’t get involved in these things because they don’t see anything coming from it,” said Webster.

Current GSG leadership recognizes their past shortcomings and hopes to make significant changes in the future by calling on students to rebuild and rebrand their structure. In the meantime, student organizers continue to seek to represent students as best as they can and push forward changes: better advertising of faculty meetings, better advertising of and more opportunities for student input in the Revitalization Process, and full disclosure of Goucher’s history in relation to slavery. Many more demands — outlined in a petition which garnered 481 student signatories — still need to be addressed. As Dean of Students Brian Coker put it, “higher ed is built on process.” This process may very well determine Goucher’s future.

New Campus Sustainability Coordinator, Daniela Beall

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How do I exist within the systems around me? How is my environment influenced by economic factors, weather patterns, systems for managing waste, and the moods of the people around me? How can I work with others to make our shared environments more equitable? How do I even engage with these questions on a philosophical level, much less in a way that creates a tangible impact on Goucher’s campus and the world beyond?

Daniela Beall, Goucher’s sustainability coordinator, is an invaluable resource for students grappling with some of these huge questions. After working on sustainability initiatives as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Towson University, she brings an incredible level of energy to her new position on campus. When I asked about what she views as her role on campus, she responded in part that, “there are a few ways of looking at it. One is providing leadership for sustainability initiatives, being an advisor to student groups and helping support student initiatives… and then a large part [of my role] is to be a connector”. By serving as a person who knows about all the types of sustainability initiatives happening in all niches of campus, she can put different individuals or groups in touch with one another so that they can, as she put it, “build power together and build on each other’s work instead of recreating the wheel”. Beyond just connecting people who come to her directly, she also plans on communicating with the campus population as a whole regarding larger-scale initiatives.

When asked about ideas or projects that she would not consider in her purview, Beall told me that she “[sees] sustainability as really broad. I consider myself a generalist, I know a little bit about a lot of things, and trying to see the systems and ways they are interconnected. I am a big fan of collaboration and partnership”. If a student comes to her wanting to talk about equity through a sustainability lens, for instance, she wants to “talk to folks in CREI and to faculty members and bring their specialties and their resources to the table as well,” and if she isn’t the best resource for the situation, she can still connect students to other people on campus who might be more able to help them out.

What is a project that you want to bring to Goucher that will allow us to build more sustainable systems on campus? This can relate to waste management or energy conservation, as is traditionally considered when thinking about sustainability, or it can relate to any other idea that is able to last a long time and improve our ecosystem. One long-standing sustainability initiative that Daniela highlighted that allows students to enact projects like this is the Goucher Environmental Sustainability Advisory Council (GESAC). GESAC is the governing body that awards financing for sustainability projects from the Green Fund. Daniela is “more than happy to be a resource” in this process, and encourages any student who wants to work through this process to come talk to her. There are also a number of student groups dedicated to sustainability, such as the Food Recovery Network, Goucher Green Coalition, Eco Team, Trail Maintenance Club, Plant-based Nutrition, Bee Club, the CBL Environmental Justice Partnership, and many others.

Photo Credit: LinkedIn (via a quick Google search)

Want to learn more about sustainability? Beall recommends reading the United Nations’ “Sustainable Development Goals,” posted on the door of her office, which is located in Hoffberger 116. You can contact Beall through the Gopher app, via email (daniela.beall@goucher.edu), or by phone (410-337-3035).

Club Chat – Life After College Club

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Graduation is soon upon us, so what better time to talk about a campus organization that’s all about what to do once you’ve left school? I spoke with Joshua Rudin (‘18) who is the president of the Life After College Club – a club dedicated to promoting financial literacy and life skills among the student body.

Why did you start this club?
Because I know it’s a very important series of topics to discuss financial planning aspects. Such as budgeting, credit cards, saving for meals. I know that a lot of my friends are looking for that money on the weekend that they could spend on pizza, or whatever they would want to spend it on. So I wanted to give them tips on ways they could do that. A lot of people say “Oh, I don’t have enough money to do this” but if you save enough, you’ll be able to do what your friends are planning do, in addition to other things. These are life lessons that I really think students should learn before they get into the real world.

What is your clubs mission?
We want to educate college students about knowledge that they might not know. We have the answers to questions, thing like, how do I save enough to order pizza twice a week, or how do I take out a loans for a car, or to move off campus. That’s the mission, to educate students about these kinds of things, without having to take a course of personal financial planning.

What kinds of events have you had?
We invited a local credit union to campus, and they gave a brief overview about credit cards, debit cards, some rules about them, when you should use them, what a FICO score is… and they gave us a brief quiz to see what we knew already, and filled in the gaps of our knowledge of what we didn’t know. It was a great event, and I hope in the next few years they’ll be able to return to campus and present again.
We also send out newsletters and important topics in the news: things like information from financial journals or articles from blogs that other college students write. We also had a Career Education Office event, where the CEO came to our club and edited our resumes and cover letters for firms we were applying to. We really want to prepare people for life after college, instead of being stuck wondering “what do I do now?”

What challenges have you faced?
The biggest challenge has been marketing. I actually ran this club two falls ago as the Business and Economics club. But I didn’t realize that people associate it as some kind of investment club. I changed the name to emphasize that it’s not just investments or not just finance, it’s about building those life skills.

Do you think Goucher is a financially literate campus?
I think they can be, but I don’t think they necessarily are. A lot of people are complaining about the same things: that they don’t have enough money to do the things they want. I think they probably aren’t taking a step back and thinking: well, what if I budgeted this out, or what if I got a part-time job. Taking a step back and realizing how much you can do is the key.

Any goals for the future?
We want to have more events, and have the CEO come more often. Perhaps if the marketing was better to reach our target audience: mainly seniors and juniors, but I also want to reach younger students as well. I think they could really utilize it the most and carry it on through their junior and senior year. Another big goal I had was to set an association with a Towson university club or another similar organization.

Why should someone join your club?
I think there aren’t a lot of clubs on campus that offer “free knowledge” about things that help you later on. Our club teaches skills you’ll need to utilize soon after graduation. It’s important stuff you need to know.

And that’s that for this installment of club chat! 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!

Featured Image Credit: Graetnew.com

No Long-term Mental Health Treatment On Campus

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On Campus Counseling Services Are Unable to Support Students with Long-term Mental Health Concerns

Last semester, Olivia Robertson, ’19, was having trouble sleeping and, as she put it, “things weren’t going well” with her mental health. She couldn’t remember the details of her appointment with the counseling center because it was “a hazy, emotional time,” but she remembered being told that by the center that they couldn’t help her because her situation sounded like a more serious, long term issue. She recalled a counselor telling her something like “we don’t think that we can really treat you here.”

Goucher’s counseling center, like almost all college counseling centers, operates on a short term treatment model, which ranges from 8-12 sessions. There is no “hard” limit on sessions, and they often see students for the duration of a semester, but they do typically recommend that students with needs for specialized services and/or persistent counseling, seek services off-campus. The center is only open ten months out of the year and it doesn’t have the capacity to serve students with long term or specialized needs.

A high percentage of Goucher students suffer from mental health conditions that are more long term and serious than coming-to-college anxiety or anything that a few trips to the counseling center might fix. According to the 2016-17 Healthy Minds Study, 14% of Goucher students screened positive for severe anxiety and 20% for major depression, 15% reported suicidal ideation, and 38% reported self-injury. 38% of Goucher’s undergraduate population means about 560 students.

Nationwide, mental health demands in institutions of higher education are increasing, and it is typical for students to come in for one or two counseling sessions. However, it is less typical at the national level for students to come in for more than ten sessions. In contrast, at Goucher many students use the counseling center for the length of a semester, and others are in need of even more prolonged services. “Pragmatically, I just don’t know that there’s a way we can manage that,” said Monica Neel, the Director of Counseling Services.

The counselors at the center are also “generalists,” Neel explained. “We need to be able to treat anything that walks in the door,” she said. For students with long term or more serious mental health concerns, it is important that they have access to more specialized care.

When students are advised to go off-campus, however, they might not seek services elsewhere. Through a Google search, Robertson found a therapist that she consulted with for a while, but she didn’t follow up with the off-campus resource list provided by the counseling center.

Robertson was also discouraged by the services she did receive from the center. They provided her with a list of local service providers and asked her to fill out a plan for suicide prevention. “[It was] a very DIY [Do-it-Yourself] kind of sheet, like ‘instead of trying to kill myself, I’ll call my mom,’ which is not…super useful? It was just a lot of information that I could’ve just googled…It serves the purpose but is not the same level of usefulness as actually having counseling available.”

Robertson didn’t schedule a follow-up on-campus appointment, and she hasn’t returned to the Goucher counseling center since. “I think it was discouraging because they were sort of saying that there weren’t really the resources here to treat me, and I guess I would extend that to say probably any real sort of mental health issues, compared to like, short-term, adjusting to college issues,” she said. And she’s right. The counseling center isn’t able to treat students with severe or serious mental health issues. Like almost all campus counseling centers nationwide, they must operate on a short-term model.

The counseling center is “tremendously well-staffed for a school our size,” according to Monica Neel. The nationally recommended number of counselors is 1 per 1400 students enrolled, and at Goucher there are 3.5 staff for an undergraduate student body of 1,473.

The counseling center is reaching maximum capacity simply because so many students need and use the center’s services. In the past school year, the counseling center completed 354 individual intakes and there were 97 crisis walk-in sessions, for average of three a week.

This semester, the counseling center did not reach a wait list level, but it has had one for the past three semesters. The counselors do their best to manage it; the average wait time is 7-12 days. The counselors assess students over the phone for safety before putting them on the wait list. While there is an assessment of immediate need made within 1-3 days of a request for an appointment, simply knowing that there is a wait list can discourage students from seeking on-campus help. “It’s unacceptable,” said Olivia Siegel, ’18, who works as a Resident Assistant and Peer Mentor. “No student should ever have to wait to speak with a mental health profession in person.”

This wait list may also soon improve with the new counseling center space in Mary Fisher. However, even with the new larger facilities, increased counseling staff, and longer clinical hours, the on-campus counseling center won’t be able to treat students with long term or specialized mental health concerns.

The counseling center hopes the short term restrictions will not deter students from at least making an appointment and completing an intake form. In situations in which counselors recommend off-campus resources, they typically provide a minimum of three clinicians, taking into consideration the student’s clinical needs, transportation situation, and insurance type.

There are also additional resources available like the after-hours mental health hotline that provides phone support by licensed clinicians. “They are there for students who need some support, and it can be something more benign all the way up to suicidal ideation,” said Monica Neel. These clinicians are familiar with Goucher and Goucher’s campus. They have a map of campus and can provide students with information on where to go to get help. Goucher also has a communication agreement with St. Joe’s Medical Center to ensure a smoother process if students need to be hospitalized.

Alexandra Graves and Cameron Cox are Goucher’s case managers, and they can collaborate with students to create individualized plans of support.

Faculty have some basic training in mental health through the counseling center, and Residential Life and Public Safety staff complete their own training.

Goucher also offers access to psychiatry, through health services, although it is limited. The psychiatrist is only on campus six hours a week.

Other on-campus resources that may be helpful for students include Peer Listeners, the Student Bereavement Group, the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), the Center for Race, Equity, and Identity (CREI), and the Office of Accessibility Services.

Addendum: [This information was published in a earlier article but it was deemed beneficial to include it on the same page on the website to create a more holistic picture of mental health services at Goucher]

Many Goucher students are taking action regarding their mental health, and those that use the counseling services generally have positive things to say. According to internal statistics, in 2016-2017, the Goucher counseling services completed intakes with 354 individuals, which is roughly 25% of the student body. 1,349 individual counseling sessions occurred, and there were 97 crisis walk-in sessions, for an average of three a week while classes were in session. Of the 2017 graduating class, 45% of graduating seniors used counseling services at some point during their enrollment at Goucher.

“I’ve personally had a really good experience with counseling center,” said Monthie. “They technically say that they do have a policy you’re not supposed to go back-to-back semesters but I’ve done it. You just fill out a new form.” Director of Counseling Services Monica Neel confirms that there is no hard limit to the number of sessions that students can have, although the center does operate from a short-term treatment model.

In the Healthy Minds Study, students also reported high satisfaction with the counseling services. 87% of students reported having knowledge of mental health services on campus, 37% thought counseling was “very helpful” for mental health, compared to a national average of 31%. Student satisfaction with hours, scheduling and quality of therapists at the campus counseling center was all in the high 80% range.

The stigma surrounding mental health and mental health services is also relatively low at Goucher. In the Healthy Minds Study, only 38% of students reported perceived stigma, considerably less than the 47% nationally, and only 4% of students reported that they would think less of someone who received mental health treatment, compared with 6% nationally. “[At Goucher,] it’s pretty accepted to take a mental health day,” said Adina Karten, ’18.

Correction: An earlier version of this article included the phrase “turn away” which does not accurately represent the services provided by the Goucher counseling center.

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