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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.

Perspectives on Pagliaro Selz: The First Building in the First Year Village

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Visualization of one of the new first year buildings, which will include a gas fireplace in the common space. Photo Credit: GOucher College FMS

In the Fall of 2016, Pagliaro Selz Hall opened. This dorm is a first-year only building, and the first of three new buildings that will comprise the first-year village. The intentions behind the first-year village are to create a space for integrative learning, strengthen co-curricular community space, bring faculty back to live on campus, and help to better prepare students for the jobs of the future. This community of first-years is said to be a living-learning environment planned for interaction, with prominent communal areas for students to come together to cook, share, and learn.

“Goucher College’s focus on innovation extends beyond our classrooms and approach to learning and also encompasses student-life. That vision is reflected here in Pagliaro Selz Hall,” said President Bowen.

With this vision in mind, President José Antonio Bowen speaks about how the design features of Pagliaro Selz, the long hallways and distance to the bathrooms, the glass walls of the laundry room, and the increased speed of wifi in common rooms as compared to in rooms, are all measures intended to increase student interaction, prevent isolation, and ultimately increase first-year retention rates. Contrary to this objective, first-year retention rates have actually decreased since the implementation of Pagliaro Selz in the Fall of 2016. In the Fall of 2015, there were 82% returning first-years, 79% returning first years in the Fall of 2016, and 78% returning first years in the Fall of 2017.

Linda Barone, the Associate Director of Planning, Design, and Construction said in an interview, “The first year village [is] so central to Jose’s vision. And I think it really is going to make a huge difference for first year students coming in, in terms of creating community.” She discussed the amenities that will be in the first-year village, such as an outdoor fireplace, a rehearsal space, a gaming lounge, and a student success center.

While the first-year village aims to build community among students and ultimately increase first-year retention rates, student’s experiences with a first-years-only dorm give insight into the effectiveness of a first-year village and if Goucher was successful in its intentions.

The idea of a first-year village, with brand new buildings and facilities can be a major attraction to a prospective student. While touring Goucher, current first-years received mixed information on what their dorm situation would be for the 2017-2018 year. Some were told that the first-year village would be finished by the time they started at Goucher, others were told that all freshman would be living in PSelz, and some were told that P. Selz would only hold some freshman, while the rest would be housed elsewhere while construction of the first-year village continued. The last situation is what this year’s first-years actually got, although not what all freshmen were told when touring Goucher.

When asked about their experiences with living in Pagliaro Selz, first years currently living in P. Selz and current Sophomores who lived in P. Selz last year commented:

“My experience is unfair. I live in P. Selz, and my other friends live in air-conditioning-less buildings like Probst and Winslow. We are all paying the same for housing on campus, but some are stuck in buildings that get no A/C and are not taken care of.” -Brandon Rodriguez ‘21

“I think living in P. Selz as a freshman is incredibly isolating. It feels more like an apartment complex than a dorm facility. It feels really sterile and divided, there is definitely a lack of community. People in the Stimson buildings seem much more close knit and integrated into the campus as a whole. P. Selz is really cut off due to construction and everybody keeps to themselves.” -Natalie Simendinger ‘21

“It was mixed. It was nice to always have acquaintances around and the common rooms were really cozy. Problem was a lot of people did a shit job of keeping them clean. I also didn’t like how cut-off it felt from the rest of campus especially since pretty much all my friends were seniors and I had to go to wherever they were. It was nice to experience living in a newly designed residence hall but I definitely don’t miss it.” -Sophomore Communications Major

“I feel very lucky to have lived in P. Selz. It was certainly cool to be able to control my own air conditioning and to have a brand spankin’ new dorm room and furniture. I did find, however, that most of my friends that I made my first year ALL lived in P. Selz. It’s almost like a lot of those friendships were just out of convenience— you live down the hall from me, it’s easy to see you and hang out… I felt like I did not make ANY upperclassmen friends since all I did was chill in P. Selz. but I felt that I was missing out on experiences that other first years who DIDN’T live in P. Selz had— shitty dorms, older neighbors, and just SPACE from fellow first years.” -Kallie Blakelock ‘20

“I think it is a great place to have your first year at Goucher, being able to all be together and get to know each other while you go to class and commiserate with each other. There was definitely a culture of privilege and students not appreciating what they had within the freshman village last year, and well as this year and is something that I assume with continue into the future.” -Antonia Pettit ‘20

When asked about their experiences living in Pagliaro Selz last year, as compared to their living situation this year, current sophomores said:

“Now I live in Mary Fisher, and it’s pretty disgusting but it’s comfortable. I can’t explain it but it’s got a really cool vibe to it. It also helps that it’s right in the middle of campus which makes everything easily accessible.” -Sophomore Communications Major

“This year i lived in Stimson Probst. I LOVE Stimson. the rooms are more homey than P. Selz— The Stimson people also have a shared story. Everyone has this opinion that Stimson sucks, but once you live there, you realize that it is actually pretty cool. It is close to food, close to my parking spot, and has a plethora of age groups throughout. My friends did not live near me so i was forced to go over to their different dorm rooms which was good for me.” -Kallie Blakelock ‘20

When asked about a potential social divide among Goucher students created by Pagliaro Selz, there are conflicting views points. Some simply state that no social divide exists…

“I don’t think the social divide is really there.” Ramona Kamb ‘21

“Not really, they just happen to live somewhere else.” Dina Diani ’21

And others believe that the social divide is present and problematic…

“P. Selz is far from most buildings and it requires others to walk along the construction. P. Selz is for first-year students. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are excluded from the

residential side of the building and it is not fair. But how will first-years create relationships with upper-level students if they [upperclassmen] can’t step foot in a residential common room without waiting for somebody to open the door?” -Brandon Rodriguez ‘21

“I think since P. Selz is a strictly freshman filled place it can be hard to mingle with other  classes. In Stimson there is more variety and it’s easier to find friends who are older. P. Selz has very limited options in terms of who you can become acquainted with.” Natalie Simenginer ‘21

“I absolutely think that there is a divide; before I even moved onto campus upperclassmen felt cheated out of the newer, nicer dorms that they typically worked for and now these brand new first years are just getting these amazing, “hotel like” dorms handed to them. The first years living in Frolicher or Stimson are definitely valid in their feelings in that they have been cheated out of something. They are all paying the same amount of money to live in extremely different living conditions.” -Antonia Pettit ‘20

When asked for their opinions on the up and coming first-year village, students had mixed feelings. Some believe it will be a mostly positive addition to the campus and community:

“I like the idea of the first year village because I hope that the new buildings will help create a community of first years that will be able to have more interactions with each other and build a stronger community that can grow past their time at Goucher.” -Antonia Pettit ’20

“Once there is a first year village, I feel first years will be brought together and be closer. At that point, all first years will live closely so there won’t be any physical separation” -Dina Diani ’21

“Once it’s completed I think the campus will flow better since construction will be out of the way. The construction is one of the biggest isolating factors by far. Hopefully it will create a community but also allow the incoming kids to explore campus with ease. I hope it also holds events and gatherings for different classes so there is some diversity for the freshman.” -Natalie Simendiger ‘21

While some students foresee major issues with the first-year village:

“Once the First-Year Village is complete, upper-level students will lose 1/4th of the student population. This means that first-years will probably have their own bubble. Most upper-level students may feel excluded and unable to enjoy everything that the first-year village has to offer. Yes, they will probably have access to the first floor. But the residential space will not be welcoming.” Brandon Rodriguez ‘21

“The first year village will be good for establishing a tight community with incoming freshman but I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of the money and effort put into the FYV should’ve been put into fixing the dingier parts of campus that the majority of the students live in. It feels like most of the school’s money is being spent on people who don’t go here yet.” -Sophomore Communications Major

“While I can see how in theory the first year village would be a good idea. In practice, though, I foresee big problems. If all of the first years live together – ALL OF THEM- it is very likely that they will spend most of their time in that complex and therefore not make friends with upperclassmen, which I think is crucial. they will get sick of each other, just like my friends and I did. They will grow together through their shared first experiences in this new chapter in their life— but part of that chapter is making older friends and being uncomfortable sometimes (I mean this in terms of meeting new people or living in NOT top quality dorm rooms). I think all dorms should be grade mixed. Sectioning them off will not do them good in the long run.” -Kallie Blakelock ‘20

While Pagliaro Selz and the first-year village may seem like a beneficial addition to the campus in theory, students’ personal experiences with the dorm say otherwise. Will the up and coming first-year village achieve the goals of increased interaction and development of a stronger community, or will it have the opposite effect, creating a more significant social divide between first-years and upperclassmen?

Campus Construction Continues, “Undaunted”

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Construction Plans: The orange indicates construction locations for the new science, interfaith, Mary Fisher Dining Hall, First Year Village, new athletic facilities, and new equestrian facilities. Photo Credit: Goucher College FMS

On March 10th, Goucher announced Undaunted, a new fundraising campaign to raise $100 million. A large portion of this campaign is dedicated to raising funding for new construction projects. There will be no major construction of buildings during the fall semester of next year (Fall 2018), but the new tennis center will be under construction. Both the first year village and the new campus dining hall are on track for completion in August 2018, while several other projects are in the works.

The First Year Village will feature a gaming lounge, a rehearsal space, a student success center, a demonstration kitchen, and an outdoor courtyard with tiered seating, a gas fireplace, and spaces for hammocks. The courtyard amenities in the First Year Village were inspired in part by a student workshop on creating community spaces. The new buildings are part of an initiative to prevent isolation and increase social interaction through the design of buildings. (See P-Selz article on page 5).

The new dining hall opening in Mary Fisher will have a retail and a to-go area on the first floor and six stations on the second floor which will be all-you-care-to-eat dining, including a pizza oven and Mongolian grill. There will also be a Kosher station; rather than being a separate space as it is currently, Kosher will be integrated with the main dining hall.  There will also be a small reservable dining room in Mary Fisher. (See Dining Hall article on page 1 for more details).

With the re-opening of Mary Fisher, the Gopher Hole will return and the dining halls in Stimson and Huebeck will be converted into student spaces. In general, there will be many more spaces on campus available next semester for student meetings and performances.

Counseling Services will also be moving to new, larger, facilities on the third floor of Mary Fisher, along with Case Management (See article on Counseling Center on pg. 2).

This summer, there are a couple smaller projects planned for Van Meter that will be funded in part by capital renewal funds. A tiered seating classroom in Van Meter will be converted into a recording studio (with funding by the Sherman Fairchild Grant and Academic funding from the capital renewal budget) and a student hub/gathering space will be created on the first floor of Van Meter, in the location of the fishbowl classroom across from the Writing Center.

Construction for the new science addition to Hoffberger Science Center is slated to begin June 2019, with possible completion date in 2021. The new Tennis Center, featuring 12 new tennis courts, stadium seating, and new lighting, will also be underway, thanks to a generous donation from 100-year-old alumna Evelyn Dyke Schroedl ’62.

Goucher will be relocating the equestrian program to facilities on the back part of campus,  around and including the area of the old equestrian fields. The plans for the facility include building two new barns for the varsity team and a barn for broader use. The plans include classroom space, indoor and outdoor arenas, and a residential cottage for the equestrian center residential staff person. Goucher is also partnering with the state of Maryland to bring the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to Goucher. Their facility which is planned to be in a reclaimed local banker barn, and it will include a museum, an office space, and an archive for the Maryland Horse Breeders.

The project will require the removal of a number of trees. The college has surveyed the area for “specimen trees,” meaning trees are particularly unique or old, and will attempt to keep as many of them as possible, although it is unlikely that they will be able to keep all of them.

The project will occur over the course of three years, in part because two years are needed for the grass to grow. According to a study of the Maryland horse industry, cited by Goucher’s “In the Loop,” Maryland horse farming brings in more than $1.15 billion in economic activity every year.

Construction plans for an interfaith addition to the chapel are also complete. The addition will include six offices, four prayer spaces, a great room, a space for Hillel, a community kitchen, and a quiet meeting room for groups like Surviving Together and the bereavement group. The offices are intended for the chaplain and the executive director of Hillel, with additional offices for any part time staff, which will currently most likely be used by student interns and Goucher Christian Fellowship staff and the Israel Fellow to Hillel.

The goal of the Interfaith Center will be to create spaces for people who practice a variety of religions. One of the prayer rooms will include a Muslim absolution station. While the other spaces could change intentions because their religious affiliation will be determined

by furnishing rather than by architecture, the plan is to have Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian prayer or meditation spaces. In an interview, Chaplain Cynthia Terry also made clear that the interfaith addition will be open to all students, not just students who are religious.

The original projected start date for the Interfaith Center was much earlier, but the plans for the building turned out to be considerably more expensive than initially expected, with a cost estimate of $4.5 million. In order for construction to begin, more fund-raising will be necessary.

This is generally the case for the building plans. The new science center is projected to cost $22.5 million, and that is only in hard construction costs, not including costs like architects or paying for furniture.

“It’s a tough time to be a liberal arts school,” said Darragh Brady, project manager. “Liberal arts colleges are fighting to stay alive, fighting to survive. It is smart of Goucher to do this construction. They are recognizing that in order to lure students, they have to have science labs like the ones at University of Maryland, otherwise students will just go to the University of Maryland.”

Down the road, Goucher plans to lease the land for a building between the main entrance of the college and the Sheraton and Edenwald. While they currently have proposals from about twenty developers, it is still undetermined to whom the ground lease will go and when construction will begin.

For more information on Dining Halls, see page 1. To read about student perspectives on the First Year Village, flip to page 5.

New Counseling Center in the Works

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With the re-opening of Mary Fisher in the fall semester of 2018, the counseling center will have new, larger facilities on the third floor, with seven offices instead of the current four. The center’s staff will also increase in number. Currently, there are two full-time staff, three part-time staff, and three graduate externs. Next year, there will be three full-time and one part-time staff members, for a slight decrease in active staff hours. The largest increase will be in graduate and doctoral externs, going from three externs to six in the fall.

These new facilities are part of an effort to respond to the high demand for mental health services. According to the 2016-17 Healthy Minds Study, about 49% of Goucher students have a previous diagnosis as of a mental disorder. Students also display a high rate of anxiety and depression, with 37% screening positive for anxiety and 43% for depression.

On-campus counseling services are highly utilized. The center has needed a wait list for the past three semesters, with an average of 10 students being on the list. In 2016-17, the center completed intakes for 354 students and there were 97 crisis walk-in sessions. Of the 2017 graduating class, 45% of graduating seniors used counseling services at some point during their enrollment at Goucher.

Currently, the center’s clinical services are limited by its space. The center has two full-time staff three part-time staff, three graduate externs, and four offices. Because they have expanded, the counseling staff also sometimes holds counseling sessions in their lunchroom in urgent situations, and one of their offices is a re-purposed laundry lounge room. Counseling in this re-purposed office is more challenging because of the room’s distance from the other offices, which makes it difficult to consult with other counselors if necessary.

Monica Neel, Director of Counseling Services, hopes that the new facilities will provide more than enough space for counseling services. “We’re pretty much getting what we need out of it…I think we’ll have ample space…and a capacity to grow,” she said.

The new counseling space in Mary Fisher will also be separate from health services. The current counseling space is attached to the health center, and students are processed in a waiting room that is focused on physical health. With the new facilities, the space will be more centered around mental health. The center will include self-care spaces such as a self-use resource library and a small, low-stimulation meditation room, that students will be able to access without passing through the counseling center.

The new counseling waiting room will also be equipped with electronic medical software. Monica Neel, Director of Counseling Services, hopes this technology will give students a sense of “ownership…for their own care and progress.” The electronic software will also allow the school to more easily and efficiently collect and analyze data regarding students’ mental health.

Case management offices will also be in the new space, for easier communication between counseling staff and case management.

The plans to use this space in Mary Fisher as a new location for the counseling center happened very quickly. Previous plans for the third floor space had included the possibility of putting in dorm rooms, but after the decision to move and preserve the Froleicher building, the beds were no longer necessary.

Conversation about using the space as counseling facilities began this semester, with Vice President Brian Coker, Dean Andrew Wu, and Monica Neel. The first mock-ups of plans were prepared within a month after conversation started. “I think we’ve got great ‘buy in’ everywhere,” said Neel. “It’s not like we have a VP or President who is resistant to talking about mental health.”

The project is part of efforts Goucher is making through its partnership with the JED foundation, a non-profit dedicated to emotional health and suicide prevention for young adults. The JED Foundation provides a framework to ensure that the school meets certain benchmarks of best practices regarding mental health. Prior to Monica Neel being Director of Counseling, there was no director; the counseling center was part of the health center. Because of this, there was no mental health model on campus or frame of reference as to how the counseling center compared nationwide. After Monica Neel learned about the JED Foundation at a conference in Fall 2016, Goucher began its partnership with JED in January 2017.

The new counseling center facilities have been authorized to be completed in the fall, although the funding has not yet been secured. The college is currently looking for donors among alumnae/i.

Dining Hall Nearly Done, Meal Plans Get Makeover

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Come fall, the campus will be different. Fences will be gone, halls will be re-purposed and the center of on-campus dining will shift. What this dining will be like in practice is hard to say but there are plenty of concrete details that can be shared before the fall semester.

Meal Plan Changes

Current state of construction (top) and visualization (bottom) of the new dining hall, which will include a Mongolian grill station. Photo credit: Linda Barone

To begin, let’s talk about the new meal plans. For the upcoming year, the campus has shifted from a semester-long block meal plan to a weekly one. We used to have seven different plans (five if kosher and commuter are excluded) which have now been consolidated into four different plans (three if the commuter is excluded). The new plans are 10, 14, and 19 meals a week with $250 dining dollars and a commuter plan that is exclusively dining dollars although the amount is yet to be determined.

A quick comparison of meals (assuming there are around 15.75 weeks in a semester) shows that the old 100, 120, 150 Kosher and 190 plans have been cut, leaving just the 150, 240 and a modified commuter plan. While they are not exactly one to one, the 10 block is roughly equivalent in number of meals to the 150, the 14 to the 240, and the 19 to a new, 300-ish meal plan. In terms of money, the new 10 (at $2,550 per semester) is approximately equal to the old 150 plan, the 14 ($2,920) to the 190 and the 19 ($3,315) to the 240. All figures are from the 2017-2018 Goucher Meal Plan Information Sheet and the current Goucher Meal Plan website.

What this means is that, on the whole, prices per meal per plan are down, and those on the old 150 plan, if staying on the 10, will pay slightly less than last year. This does mean that the cheapest plan is now more expensive than it used to be. However, if you do need to change your meal plan, you will be able to change mid-year. Additionally, all first years will be required to be on the 19-meal plan. Norman Zwagil, a Manager for Bon Appetit, said this decision was made in order to reduce food insecurity on campus and to make it easier to manage meals week by week.

Dining Hall Changes

On the dining hall side of things, Stimson, Huebeck, and The Van will all be closed starting next fall, replaced with the new dining facility in the building that used to be Pearlstone. Alice’s will remain open and the Gopher Hole, a late-night hangout that has been closed since construction began, will re-open. There has not been any confirmation on the Gopher Hole’s re-opening date as it is not run by Bon Appetit.

Inside the new dining hall will be two areas to grab food, one requiring a meal swipe and one that takes dining dollars as well as meal swipes (during certain hours). The one that takes dining dollars will be located where the old bookstore used to be and will function like the old Passport Café (Pearlstone) used to and how Huebeck currently functions. There will be grab and go

Pizza oven in the new dining hall under construction. Photo Credit: Linda Barone

options, both hot and cold, as well as a full visible grill, a pizza station, an ice cream station, an entrée station, and an expanded deli/salad station. Two registers will service this section.

The other dining hall will be upstairs and there will be two stations where you can swipe to enter the food area. According to Norman, it will be all-you-care-to-eat and will contain a multitude of stations, such as the Mongolian Grill (which can make stir fry), the Bakery that is currently in Huebeck, a Kosher station, Global Bowl, Entrée, Allergen Free, Salad bar/deli, Breakfast, Piatti (pizza, calzones, pasta) and two beverage stations. How this will be laid out within the space has not been made clear as of yet.

Another new aspect of dining will be mobile ordering, which will allow a student to call up the dining hall and they will prepare the order for you. While details on this are still being figured out, it seems this will be useful for those with allergies and those on the go.

In terms of what will be done with Huebeck, Linda Barone, Associate Director of Planning, Design, and Construction, says that they’ll be able to open the wall back up and use it as a multipurpose space. “The thing that’s missing most right now on campus is general meeting space, spaces for presentation, so that space, when you open up the wall, can hold about 250 people. With the wall closed, each side can hold about 100. The lounge [in Huebeck] will become—what is currently now seating—will turn back into a lounge.” As for the Stimson dining hall, she says that they’re taking out all the equipment, all of the refrigerators will be gone and that the tables in the middle will also be gone.

 

 

 

Spin Bikeshare Comes to Goucher

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Goucher’s Bikeshare Program. Photo Credit: Madeline St. John

What’s orange, has two wheels, a couple gears, and makes me think of popsicles and summertime? That’s right. I’m talking about those neon bikes we’ve all seen around campus. They showed up sometime within the past few months, and everytime I see someone on one, I wish I could drop everything and go for a ride. But where did they come from? How can I use one?

I sat down with Gabi Silver, ‘21, to help me answer these questions. Gabi told me that he first saw Spin back in October, when he was visiting D.C. for the weekend. He reached out to Spin personally, asking about potentially bringing a bunch of bikes to campus, and they responded enthusiastically, saying they’d love to bring 25 bikes to Goucher. The following is a piece of my interview with Gabi. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

NL: If I wanted to rent a bike, what steps would I have to go through to do so for my first time?

GS: It couldn’t be more simple, especially from a user’s point of view. It requires an app, so for iPhone users you go onto the App Store, and for Android users you go onto Google Play. You just search for an app called ‘Spin Bike Share.” It’s an orange app with an orange logo, and once you log on, and you use your goucher.edu email, it automatically sets the rate from $1/half hour to $1/hour. You put in a credit card [number], and from there, you just scan any of the QR codes located on the bike itself, and start your ride. It just kinda charges you for that: from the time the bike unlocks to the time you put the lock down.

NL: Are there rules about taking bikes off campus? How does that work?

GS: Since we’re on a campus, the agreement we made with Spin and the Goucher administration is that when you take a bike out you have to bring it back to campus within 24 hours. So that means that you might want to go to the Post Office, Target, or Walmart, [or anywhere off campus], but as long as the bike is back in the region of Towson within 24 hours, which you can see on the map on the app, you should be good. You shouldn’t get an email from us saying “Please bring the bike back.”

NL: But if someone rents the bike after I end my ride and before I can bring it back to campus, then it’s not my problem.

GS: Exactly. Yes. The actual bike relocation happens between me and the local bike repair company, and that’s not your problem if it happens. And if you do get an email saying you didn’t bring it back, just let me know, and I can definitely forward it to the right party.

NL: How long can I rent the bike for?

GS: We have 25 [bikes], as I said, on the Goucher campus, and there’re 100 at Towson..if you keep it for for 24 hours, you will be charged [the $24] for keeping it for that amount of time. So it’s not the kind of system where we want you to claim it as yours. In fact, that’s highly discouraged and against the Spin user agreement. The intention is to make it a system that’s fun and shareable for everyone.

Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to Gabi at gasil001@mail.goucher.edu. Happy riding! 

Neve Levinson

 

Goucher Students Organize Restore the Night

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Restore the Night is a weeklong campaign of events and workshops that intend to raise awareness, create a sense of solidarity, and ultimately put an end to sexual and gender-based violence. While this campaign’s ideology is derived from the worldwide campaign Take Back the Night, it is not the same. Take Back the Night events have been held on Goucher’s campus in past years. The event consisted of a single-night gathering where survivors’ stories were shared. With only a single night to focus on such an emotionally charged topic, it can often be a very heavy, upsetting and somber night. Sarojini Schutt (’18) and Maggie Ratrie (’18) wanted to do something different, and organized a campaign addressing different aspects of the multifaceted topic of sexual and gender-based violence through different events over the span of a week.

Restore the Night differs from Take Back the Night in regards to the focus on restorative justice – an approach that aims to mend the harm caused by a crime, emphasizing accountability of offenders and healing for victims. With Schutt’s senior Peace Studies capstone project, her focus of study is restorative justice in the survivor community, while Ratrie’s senior thesis holds a focus on restorative justice on the side of the perpetrator. Schutt is hopeful that this method will take hold, saying that, “When I leave Goucher, I want people to understand that restorative justice is just one of many methods that can and will work on this campus.” Another goal of Restore the Night is to create a more inclusive space than that of Take Back The Night.

Concerning the new goal, Schutt said “[At Take Back the Night] there never feels like a space for other stories, of people who don’t identify as survivors, people that know something happened to them but are not really able to call themselves a victim or a survivor. This week-long campaign is giving a space for so many people to jump into the conversation, whether it is just a guy that doesn’t know what his role is, or a nonbinary person that doesn’t feel comfortable labeling themselves as a survivor because the term is so feminine.”

Schutt also hopes to dispel any myths surrounding sexual violence and rape culture, perpetuated through certain language and dialogue, stating, “Take Back the Night doesn’t shatter the myths enough for me, and does not include the multitudes of stories that need to be told.”

The events held over the week-long campaign share an emphasis on community. Ratrie hopes for more of a community effort, rather than one person doing all the work or feeling alone in the matter, stating, “Injustice anywhere in our community affects all of us.”

Photo credit: Sarojini Schutt (’18) and Maggie Ratrie (’18)

Schutt believes it “takes a community to be able to say enough,” and so we must work together in support of each other to put an end to sexual and gender-based violence. Every community member holds responsibility in rape culture, and has a hand in being able to demolish it.” As Schutt aptly described it, Restore the Night is “a place to understand what your role is.” Additionally, Schutt said that Restore the Night is “about raising awareness of power and privilege” among different groups and individuals within a community.

 

Through months of hard work and emotional labor that began in October, Restore the Night has finally become a reality. Sarojini Schutt and Maggie Ratrie are the main organizers of the campaign, but mentioned they could not have done it without the work of Lydell Hills, Kate Erickson, Jamison Curcio and Elaine Millas. This is the first time this campaign was held at Goucher but Schutt proclaims, “This is the first Restore the Night, and hopefully not the last.”

Goucher Poets: Donché Golder

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As a part of this semester’s theme of community, the Kratz Center for Creative writing is sponsoring a series called “Poetry as Community,” bringing local poets to campus to build new connections. To add to this conversation of poetry as a means of creating community, the Q is asking student poets to share their poems. To start off this series, here are a couple poems from Donché Golder, ‘18.
In his words, Donché Golder is an aspiring poet and a native of Baltimore City. He’s a 4th year English Major, Professional Writing Minor who plays chess and reads manga in between stressing over whether he will be employable after graduation.

To read about poets that inspire Donché, click here.

Hallmark Scene

Look at it
The fire place lit
Gifts sit idle
Under the tree
Children sit around
Smiling
Crying
The golden retriever smiles
At the feet of father
His pipe lit
Mother stands behind
The red armchair
In front of the window
Where we witness
Another White Christmas

Thanks for another
Noninclusive representation
Of a capitalistic holiday

 

Lover’s Exchange (List of Sedoka: Read from right to left)

Shu
you reaches this When
and vanished have will sun the
.contrast in pale will moon the

Omaa
gently rest words Your
.heart my is that bed the on
.later arrive will response My

Shu
.love received have I
draws note the on fragrance The
.you to closer ever me

Omaa
,touched truly am I
.away far stay must you but
.die you’ll ,you sees father If

Shu
.wrath his seen have I
,armies vast his seen have I
.beauty seen have too I but

Omaa
you ask not do I
,here emotions your still to
.letters these for yearn I but

Shu
letters the like And
,you before appear will I
.sun black the of night the on

 

יעל

The monster sits in the dark

and peers deep into the truth.

 

He looks back at them,

lustful incarnations in the cradle of time.

 

He recalls יעל.

Her curly brown locks,

and the way she didn’t hesitate

to embrace him.

 

His guard let down.

Her skin smiling, elephant tusk

wrapped around a child of Adama.

She, born in gods image,

bore into him.

 

He drank of her milk.

Secure in her tent,

he fell asleep.

 

She stared into the eyes of a beast

whose true existence could not be fathomed

by weaker men;

men tired from wars: internal and external.

They fade.

 

The monster sits in the dark

retells the truth of a woman of light.

 

 

 

Featured Image: Poetry Broadside created by Donché Golder.

Meet the Band: Cries for Help

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How much do you know about the Goucher music scene? Do you know about any of the bands here at Goucher? A few days ago, I had the opportunity to interview John Eng-Wong to talk about his band Cries for Help and what direction he wants to take the group in. The band Cries for Help was formed one night in early September of 2017, only a single day before their first performance at one of Goucher’s many open mic nights. Current band members include Goucher freshman John Eng-Wong as lead guitarist and singer, Goucher freshman Erica Manson on piano, Goucher freshman Andrew Harper on drums, and Goucher sophomore Dylan Samuel on bass and rhythm guitar. Frontman John met pianist Erica in a Goucher music class, and almost immediately afterward, the two decided to pursue music together in a band. Not too long afterwards, drummer Andrew and bassist Dylan both found the band through the Independent Music Club here at Goucher. Since then, Cries for Help has built up a repertoire of 9 finished songs and have played over a half dozen shows together as a full group.
In terms of music genre, Cries for Help considers themselves to be a punk band with emo undertones. The band’s major musical influences include the Obsessives, Slaughter Beach, Dog, the Hotelier, the Smiths, Alex G, and Frank Ocean. Lead guitarist John Eng-Wong says he hopes that band will eventually get into the Philadelphia emo scene. According to John, Cries for Help also plans to do some studio work over the summer to create recordings for all their songs and potentially start releasing albums. Currently, the band manages to hold full band practices two to three times a week while crammed in a single on the third floor of Probst. When I asked John where he draws inspiration from as he writes his lyrics and music, he told me “I want to write things that are hard for me, both as an artist and as a human being.” There is a massive difference between a piece of music that is hard to play because of tempo or note complexity and a piece of music that is hard to play because of its emotional impact or personal connection to the musician. Some songs can be both and some songs can be neither. John then explained to me how playing and creating music allowed him to express emotions and communicate ideas in ways that words could not by themselves. As both an artist and musician myself, I could not agree more.
Cries for Help is playing a show in Baltimore on March 31st at a venue called Big Red Booking with several other local artists, including My Heart, My Anchor, At Face Value, and Heart for Hire. I would highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to watch these outstanding musicians at work and get a taste of the Baltimore music scene. Follow the band’s Instagram at @criesforhelp or check out John’s personal Bandcamp at https://johneng-wong.bandcamp.com/.

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