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Welcome to the Office of Public Safety!

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Located on the ground floor of Huebeck, is the Office of Public Safety. To many, this is a safe haven and to some, unexplored territory. Established in 2007, Public Safety has worked to keep our campus safe through many programs and services. Now, 10 years later, they have made significant changes to campus, and have more in the works for the future. I sat down with Director David Heffer, to find out more!

“We consider ourselves to be very proactive. We don’t wait for a problem to arise before we try to solve it.” -David Heffer, Director of Public Safety Photo Credit: Usha Kaul

Q: How long have you been director and how many officers make up the squad?

A: I have been the Director of Public Safety since August, 2015 [and]  our force is made up of about 35 officers including full and part timers.

Q: What do you look for in an officer when you are hiring?

A: There are a number of factors that we look for when hiring public safety officers.  Previous experience in public safety and customer service is helpful.  We also look for individuals with positive attitudes who have a real passion for helping people.  The office appreciates a diverse workforce and strives to sustain that diversity.  The job of being a public safety officer is demanding both physically and mentally so we look for individuals who can make good decisions under difficult circumstances.

Q: What are some responsibilities of our officers?

A: We always have an officer at the gatehouse, the communications center, patrolling the residential side and the academic side of the campus.  We also post an officer at the Athenaeum overnight.  We do staff large planned events.

Q: What have been the recent changes to some of the campus resources and what has sparked them?

A: A number of changes have been made around campus including; closing off the pond and the back gate to vehicular traffic; inserting cameras into the blue emergency phones on campus to see the emergency; and the new app 911Shield.

Heffer has been “told that our user adoption rate (for 911Shield) is one of the highest of any type of this product in the country.  Many campuses use this type of product but we utilize a system that mitigates some of the deficiencies we have with GPS location on campus by using Wi-Fi.”

Heffer brought me into his office and explained the app, and allowed me to test it out and see how it rings in the office and how my location can be detected no matter where I am. The hope is to never have to use this app, but, in the case of an emergency, I’ll be prepared.

Some other changes to the campus include face-to-face emergency training with new staff members to ensure their complete understanding and proficiency in emergency situations. Public Safety has also updated their website that lists services and also allows people to easily report concerns anonymously. There is also a new ID policy in place, where all persons are checked at the front gate (pedestrians and vehicles) after 8pm. The athenaeum goes through a full sweep every night at midnight by the officer on duty.

Students and their families have raised the concern that vehicles and pedestrians are not stopped at the gate house. According to Heffer, “We now have staff there 24 hours a day 7 days a week during academic session.  Vehicles are stopped after 8pm every day of the week.”

Q: What are some public safety changes that are coming soon?

A: We hope to increase the number of cameras on campus as well as reconsider some of our traffic control patterns.  We also actively monitor situations occurring on other college campuses as well as around the nation to identify issues that might impact us so that we can develop strategies to prevent and/or mitigate the impacts.

In response to a question about the connection between campus culture and safety, and there is no comment at this time.

“The job of being a public safety officer is demanding both physically and mentally so we look for individuals who can make good decisions under difficult circumstances.” -David Heffer, Director of Public Safety. Photo Credit: Usha Kaul

To close, here are some programs and services offered by Public Safety:

They help run the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). They are the home of the famous Lost and Found. They provide support in emergencies.

Feel uncomfortable walking around campus? Call up Public Safety and they are happy to help out!

Lose that one card again? No worries! They can print you another!

Locked out again? Just call the office and they will be happy to help!

Register your vehicle!

Register your visitor!

Report incidents! They’ll go in the Q’s Public Safety Blotter, which can be found on the following page.

USHA KAUL

This Month in Goucher History

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Photo Credit: Goucher College Digital Archives

 

At Goucher, we have the luxury of having all of our publications digitally archived! Any student here can access old issues of the Quindecim through the library website. When examining these issues, it is interesting to see how our college has evolved over the years. This time of year, when winter break and finals are coming up, is especially fun to look back at in Goucher’s history to see what was happening.

Photo Credit: Goucher College Digital Archives

December 14th, 1922: The Goucher Weekly came out on December 14th, 1922 and had some interesting events happening on campus. Goucher’s debate team, called the Agora, held a debate about whether fraternities should be allowed on Goucher’s campus. Three faculty judges sided with the team that said fraternities shouldn’t be allowed, on the grounds that they are undemocratic, lower academic standing, and destroy college unity.

The student decorum committee submitted a small poem, which said that, “A Goucher girl upon the street/ Should look precise and very neat”.

December 1st, 1950: This issue of the Goucher Weekly reported that Robert Frost spoke to a huge, campus audience. He shared that he usually wrote his poems with logic in mind at first, then moved on to a witty idea. He also stated that he especially enjoyed writing ‘eclogues’ (a poem in classical style) for the same reason he enjoyed chewing tobacco: because women couldn’t do it.

There was an editorial written on communism, critiquing the policy of the Red Scare. The student who wrote the editorial also recounted an incident where a Baltimore man ranted about how all Communists should be in jail. When the man realized that the student did not agree, he said, “You’re from Goucher aren’t you? That place is loaded with Communists, too!”

December 1st, 1999: This issue of the Quindecim reported that Muslim students were struggling to have accommodations made for Ramadan at Goucher. The student writer raised dietary concerns, in part regarding the availability of food during Ramadan, and emphasized the need for a prayer room for Muslim students.

There was an article which raised concerns with the addition of the shuttle stop by the Towson Town Center. Goucher had been the first college in the area to set up a shuttle system for students. The Collegetown shuttle had only been established a few years earlier, and was being expanded. Students worried that adding additional stops would make it harder to come to class on time. One student complained that the shuttle was supposed to be for “educational purposes and not for mall stops.”

Goucher was also undergoing construction at this time, similar to our campus currently. One article comments about how Stimson was built ‘nearly half a century ago’ and needs to be replaced soon. Goucher was also changing to more electronic systems, putting in place the OneCard system and implementing online class registration.

December 10th, 2003: In December 2003, the Quindecim reported that Goucher was still under construction. There was an article detailing the plans for building the Athenaeum. Goucher was also revamping its curriculum and finding new ways to integrate general education requirements.

Additionally, Goucher was trying to find new solutions to busy dining halls. Pearlstone was seeing much more student traffic than Stimson and was overcrowded, which meant it had difficulty keeping food in stock.

Goucher Pets: Botticelli the Ferret

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Botticelli the ferret, owned by Rebecca Silber ’19, is one and a half years old and has been at Goucher since August of 2017. Silber has owned Botticelli for a little over a year.

Botticelli the ferret. Credit: Rebecca Silber

“We met at Petco,” says Silber. “I’d been frequenting the local pet shops looking for the right match for several weeks. I went to visit him multiple times until I knew he was the right one. He was much bigger, and a bit older than the other ferrets because he’d been adopted and returned. The Petco staff said that he’d been returned malnourished, with cigarette burns on his ears. I couldn’t help but get him after hearing that.”
Now, Botticelli doesn’t have to worry about mistreatment. Silber cares for him just as much as he cares for her. As her emotional support animal, Botticelli helps alleviate Silber’s anxiety. “Having him grounds me to the space and allows me to feel a sense of home,” she says. “Having him means I have to be conscious of my surroundings and that I have to be there for him. Sometimes just looking at him helps calm me down, and if I’m having a panic attack I’ll let him out and he’ll run around. Focusing on him means not focusing on myself, and I calm down far quicker.”
Running around is one of Botticelli’s favorite activities, along with digging. Silber’s succulents have been dug up more than a few times, and most of them are now dead. Botticelli also loves cat toys, such as laser pointers and anything with a string. “He’s also a big fan of any sort of bag he can get into, especially if it makes noise while he rustles around,” says Silber.
Though ferrets are a fairly common pet in the United States according to the American Veterinary Association, people often do a double-take when they see Botticelli around campus. “He’s harnessed-trained, though many ferrets aren’t because you have to get them used to the harness as soon as you get them,” says Silber. “A lot of people think he’s a very small dog or kitten when they first see him. They often ask to pet him, which he loves, and he especially loves getting attention from children. I’ve had a lot of older people tell me that they remember ferrets from the ‘80s. He’s a unique one.”
Ferrets come in a variety of colors, including chocolate, silver, albino, and cream. Like cats, ferrets can squeeze themselves into nearly any space, thanks to their flexible rib cage. Unlike cats, though, ferrets require a lot of attention.
“Ferrets aren’t good for inexperienced pet owners. Botticelli can be destructive and loves getting into my trashcan. That he’s deaf doesn’t change the fact that he can be quite mischievous.” According to Silber, about 75% of white ferrets are deaf and affectionately known as Wardys. “Because he’s deaf the construction doesn’t affect him at all. He loves it here! I spend more time with him here than I do at home.”
Ferrets, like otters, are part of the mustelidae family and are carnivores. “[Botticelli] eats a special ferret food that I get off of Amazon. Most of the ferret food in pet stores is the equivalent of junk food for ferrets. Admittedly, he likes junk food a lot more, but I’m trying to be careful because malnutrition can lead to issues with the lymph system. He loves chicken and eggs,” Silber says. “A lot of people will feed their ferrets mice or chicks, but I used to have pet rats and I can’t stomach it.”

Botticelli the ferret. Credit: Rebecca Silber

Botticelli is very friendly and can often be found sleeping, as ferrets sleep about seventeen hours a day. “He’s a great pet for a busy person. If you ever see us out and about, feel free to come say hi.”

CDO Student Profile: Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum

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Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum. Photo Credit: Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum

STUDENT PROFILE: Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum

CDO: We’re talking to Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum, class of 2020. Brett, let’s start out on a serious note. What two animals would be combined to become you?

Brett: Bear Cub and Caterpillar

CDO: And what’s your major?

Brett: Political Science and International Relations

CDO: How did you go about choosing a major?

Brett: I took a bunch of intro classes to test out the waters, then I looked into the requirements of each major and tried to gauge what I’d like to take. I talked extensively to my advisor and some upperclassmen friends and by the end of it all it seemed obvious!

CDO: In what ways have you utilized the CDO team/resources?

Brett: The CDO helped me find a summer job in my town that was relevant to my career path. They also helped me format my resume and taught me some cool resume tricks for the future. (Note from the CDO: We did not pay her to say this!)

CDO: What has been the result, to date, of being proactive in your career development?

Brett:  I had a fun summer job at an environmental education center which is something I’m passionate about. I also feel a lot more confident looking for internships and applying for career focused positions.

CDO: How do you reduce and manage the stress that can come with being a busy college student?

Brett: Make time for fun! Even if it’s just a quick Stimson lunch with some pals or a walk in the woods or a quick game of chess.

CDO: What do you think Goucher students MUST KNOW about…

o    Choosing a major:

Brett: If you are planning on going to a grad school of some kind your major isn’t super relative. Just take classes you’re interested in and see where it leads you!

o    Getting involved on-campus:

Brett: Do it! Whether you’re attending the student government open meetings or common hour happenings, participating in academic events, or joining clubs. Also, make sure you’re taking part in all the student to administration conversations! These happen during Mobile Dean or common hour or even via email or on Van Meter Highway, but keep your eyes peeled!

o    Gaining work experience:

Brett: Goucher has a lot of resources, specifically at the CDO, but also within the academic departments. Ask your advisor for help!

Thanks to Brett for sharing her insight! Have some perspective about majors, careers, resume writing, etc. you would like to share with the Goucher community? Write to us at Career@goucher.edu!

Staying In-Style With Aubin

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Photo Credit: Aubin Niragira

Who: Aubin Niragira, ’20, from Jersey City, NY

Q: What are you wearing today, Aubin?

A: I’m wearing this sweater that’s not thick enough. And then these pants are from my dad, from like the 90s. It’s a little bit big on me but close enough. I actually waited quite some time to be able to wear his clothes. You can tell when clothes are pretty old and I kind of like that, but [my dad] prefers that I wear new clothes.

Q: Do you thrift?

A: Sometimes… it’s not as cheap as what you would think it would be because it’s become a trend, so now it’s more expensive. The other day I went to [a thrift store] in New York called L Train Vintage. I was expecting it to be cheap, but it was extremely expensive, so I got absolutely nothing.

Q: How have you been been dressing for these fluctuating temperatures?

A: I try to start the day off with more layers than I need. I try to stack up on layers and then slowly take them off. But I don’t always do that. Like I didn’t today. I do have this denim jacket that I could honestly wear every single day. It works with most things, and even if it’s hot out it still works. It’s pretty versatile.

Q: What inspires your fashion?

A: I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram. I feel like Instagram is somewhat about showing off, you know? Also just the way people pair things together is something I see on Instagram.

Q: Do you use Instagram to capture your own style?

A: It used to be about just picking up on fashion but now I’m using it to show off my style. It’s kind of stressful, actually, because then I hold myself up to a high standard – but I’m trying to do that less. I follow some random, really upscale brands like Versace. Like I could never buy their stuff, but the silhouette of things and the way that they pair things could apply to regular streetwear.

Q: If you could describe your style in one word, what would it be?

A: I would say, like lately, it would be pretty… simple or minimalistic, ’cause I’ve been wearing a lot of black and white. Which is different to what I used to wear because I used to wear a lot of bright colors. I didn’t notice that I was making the change until recently when I looked in my closet and thought I was just really good at matching, but then realized that I just had black and white clothes.

Q: Tell me about that fur coat that you wore at Gala last year.

A: I got it my Sophomore year of high school. It was actually just a joke at first. I went thrift shopping with my friends and it was around the time that Macklemore’s song came out. Then it ended up being very warm. I actually had kind of a scare ’cause I was smoking a cig and some ash got on it and it’s very flammable, but it ended up being fine. It’s not real fur – I got that question a lot.

The Roots of Change: Students Learn to Mobilize

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About four weeks ago, on Tuesday, September 5th, the Trump administration announced that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (also known as DACA). The program granted work permits and deferrals from deportation, renewable every two years, for immigrants brought into the US as children or teenagers before mid-2007. The political move to end DACA soon took the internet by storm, with DACA recipients (also known as DREAMers) and proponents pressuring political figures on the left and right to respond to what they deemed to be a discriminatory act. I was browsing through my Facebook feed that Tuesday afternoon when a particular video alerted me to the political unrest: student-led walkouts at Denver high-schools were occurring in real-time in my home state of Colorado. Little did I know that only a few buildings away, other Goucher students were viewing the same video. “I didn’t know much about DACA. It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was sitting with all of my friends at Alice’s and then all of my friends were talking about the walk-out in Denver,” said Sarojini Schutt ‘18, a Peace Studies major. After researching DACA and the Trump administration’s decision, Schutt and her friends were inspired to act.

In response to threats to DACA, students took matters into their own hands, tabling on Van Meter and urging other students to call their representatives. Photo Credit: Usha Kaul

First, her friend Sabrina Nayar ‘18 sent out an informal invitation through the Facebook class pages to meet at Alice’s patio. “It started out with just 7 people but then people walked in,” Schutt said of the meeting. At first, students were calling for a walk-out the following day, but this particular method of mobilization was put into question by a few individuals at the table. Eventually, the group decided to call Robert Ferrell, a Goucher Communications staff member, regarded as a campus mentor and activist, for advice. “Rob brought out the point that if we do walk out now, people are going to associate it with Black Lives Matter (BLM),” Schutt told me. In 2015, in addition to leading a walk-out, Goucher students had led a die-in in front of academic buildings. Goucher had changed the listing of its address from “Baltimore” to “Towson” shortly after the Baltimore uprisings began, an act which many black students on campus saw as an affront to the BLM cause. The die-in made an impression on both administration and students alike. Pro-DACA mobilizers began to realized the importance of historical context when choosing appropriate methods of protest.

Goucher students led a die-in in front of academic buildings in 2015, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Photo Credit: Rob Ferrell

Students gathered together that afternoon realized that they themselves were not DREAMers, and that fighting for the program as allies carried different implications. “It was almost like [by walking-out] we would be appropriating [DREAMers]’ protest,” Schutt said. Important questions such as, “what is the proper way to respond to this event?,” “what is the most effective way of protesting?,” and “what message do we want to send?” had to be discussed. “We talked about intent vs impact, and the implications of our actions–like what [DREAMers] actually need and what that looks like,” Schutt told me. After more than three hours of conversation, Goucher students, cycling in and out of the meeting space, conceptualized a new plan for mobilization. “Our plan was to table and kind of disrupt the flow of Van Meter Highway,” Schutt told me.

Sabrina Nayer, ‘18, encourages her fellow students to take some time to learn about DACA. Photo Credit: Usha Kaul

In the next few days, volunteers tabled in front of the main entrance of the Athenaeum, urging students to call their representatives. The way in which these students had decided to take matters into their own hands impressed me, and it reminded me of similar instances of student-led mobilization on campus. Over the course of my three years at Goucher, I had already witnessed students pushing for new student work policy reform. The semester before my first year, students led protests in response to police brutality against black Americans like Freddie Gray. Goucher has a legacy of students coming together on their own to stand up for what is important to them.

Yet, while I admired the ways my peers had organized the pro-DACA tabling all on their own, I noticed that many students avoid eye contact with the protesters and hastily walk past, which led me to question the success of the movement. Were they achieving the goals that they had set out to achieve? Brett Rapbaum, ‘20, while a pro-DACA student mobilizer herself, noticed some faux-pas in the way the movement attempted to create change. “It was like 10 people at the table at once, and it was a lot of first years who weren’t even aware of what DACA was,” she told me. While fruitful reflection and discussion had set the stage for the movement, it had been carried out by a decentralized group of people. Since no leadership structure existed, there was no system of accountability for misinformation, or consensus on proper tabling methods. “I heard lot of mega-phony type stuff, just like, ‘You can’t spare 2 minutes? Really?’,” Rapbaum said. As a Student Leader for Civic Action, Rapbaum has learned to avoid blaming people for not knowing something that they’ve never been taught. What she saw in some of the pro-DACA tabling was intimidation, not only of busy students who “wanted to be involved but couldn’t be in that moment,” but also of people who could have been informed about DACA and its importance. “It created enemies where they didn’t have to exist,” she explained. While she noted that the tabling did attract and motivate many students to action, she saw the movement’s tactics as effective in the short term but not so much in the long term. “This is an issue that’s going to be present for several months, and it’s dangerous to have something that’s sparked right away and then fizzles out,” she told me. “This is a long haul marathon, not a sprint.”

This is an endemic problem at Goucher. Student mobilization on campus often carries huge shock value and can spark very specific, short-term changes, but when it comes to long-term change, Goucher movements are faced with a variety of problems. About a year ago, students mobilized against a ‘New Student Work Policy’ announced in June – with great success. Yet the reason for its success was precisely predicated on its short-term goal: to revoke a policy that would restrict salaries for many students, particularly those who were international and/or of low-income. Ahmed Ibrahim ‘19 was one of the leaders of the movement. “I was very worried about what was going to happen with me staying on campus and working to meet the amount I needed to get my education. I knew people who worked on-campus and off-campus. This policy is going to screw them over. So what can we do about it?” Just like the pro-DACA mobilizers, Ibrahim met with other students working on campus over the summer who would be affected by the new policy. Some, like James Williams ‘19, had past experience affecting change, and they formed a core group of leaders. Williams helped the group form an incremental plan where their grievances would be expressed in increasingly visible and confrontational ways until the policy was revoked.

The group established some ground rules for their movement, such as complete transparency with students and administration. Most of the developments had occurred over the summer, so many students, particularly the incoming class, were out of the loop. Ibrahim informed students about the new policy by confronting people on Van Meter or in common rooms. Then, he and the rest of the group met with staff such as Karen Sykes and Luz Burgos-López.“[Their] summary was like yeah I hear you, but we can’t do anything about it because it was a joint decision by Goucher admin.” They took the next step. Williams sent out emails to administrators like Brian Coker and even José Bowen. “They responded. They were like, ‘yeah, we should have a discussion about it.’ Then it was a back and forth, like bargaining about it,” Ibrahim said. They pushed harder, directly confronting administrators like Leslie Lewis, LaJerne Cornish, and Emily Pearl during Student Employment Day. Administrators responded by suggesting an appeals process and encouraging student input.

Subsequently, the group used Facebook and tabling on Van Meter to collect signatures from students, staff, and faculty. Around 600 to 700 people signed their petition. The group then told administration that they would be meeting in the Athenaeum to engage in a more involved discussion about the policy with their peers. “I remember there were 7 us and then 35 people who joined,” Ibrahim told me. “We made a list of grievances on a board and took a picture, and we reflected on an appropriate course of action.” Here his story began to echo Schutt’s description of organizing the Pro-DACA movement. What was clearly different about Ibrahim’s account, however, was that an identifiable structure existed throughout the process. He and the rest of the core group leading the movement were able to convince administrators to convene with 10 to 12 students at a town hall meeting. “The agreement was ‘yes, we’re going to repeal the policy, but we’re also going to work with administration on a new policy’,” Ibrahim stated. Over the course of the next semester, student workers were able to create the more equitable work policy that exists today.

To be sure, the pro-DACA movement had its own successes. Schutt, Rapbaum, and a number of other mobilizers were able to identify key resources on campus that helped them inform and empower a large number of Goucher students. For example, they knew to go to CREI (Center for Race, Equity, and Identity), which supplied them with many of the flyers and print-outs that they handed out. They also coordinated with OSE (Office of Student Engagement), which provided additional information on DACA during common hour. Finally, they were able to identify key spaces for organizing and mobilizing more students. “We met in the P-Selz lobby, which is just like a really accessible space. It’s big, and there’s a projector that all students can use. We were able to send out mass emails, and also we were able to post on the Facebook pages about stuff,” Rapbaum told me. Some mobilizers even convinced a professor to bring their class to the DACA information table.

The Emergency Trump Task Force (ETTF), which formed out of the pro-DACA movement, created a Hurricane Relief Fund for victims of the recent hurricanes. Photo Credit: Usha Kaul

Yet, just as quickly as it had appeared, the pro-DACA movement melted away. As was seen with the movement against the New Student Work Policy, students from disparate groups tend to coalesce around certain issues, but not for long. Had the New Student Work Policy movement sought to change an economic policy beyond Goucher’s campus, it would have encountered many of the same problems that the pro-DACA movement faced. Goucher students thus lack the structure necessary to make the long-term changes they seek. Some, like Williams, have taken notice of this missing puzzle piece. “Ideally, we should have gotten more of a campus conversation about [mobilizing], because student activism stuff seems to pop up and go away really quickly,” he told me. The Goucher Leadership Council, a group of nominated student leaders, could have assumed the role of shaping a student network, but as Williams pointed out to me, it became more of an important ‘therapy space’ for leaders who are stretched thin. Having helped found the Radical Student Union (RSU), Williams hopes to achieve radical change on campus, but acknowledges the difficulties in doing so. “Some people start out and really start to spread agency of who’s going to do [the organizing]. But what ends up happening is, there’s so many people that have people in their pockets and nobody really knows who’s in charge, so the movement dissipates,” he explained. RSU members hold different views of what constitutes ‘radical change’, so the group hasn’t been able to agree on an effective system for student mobilization. That being said, the group has been working on building community. “Student mobilization needs to look like something where students come together – and clubs are dying, or if not dying, living in a silent-ish way,” Williams said.

 

Ridwan Ladwal, ‘20, behind the table for the Hurricane Relief Fund, organized by ETTF. Photo Credit: Usha Kaul

One group that has emerged out of Goucher’s past activism may be planting the seeds for the kind of consolidation Williams envisions. The Emergency Trump Task Force (ETTF) formed out of the pro-DACA movement when Usha Kaul ‘17 and seven other students decided that DACA’s revocation was only one of many Trump administration decisions that needed to be confronted. Zahir Mammadzada ‘21, one of the seven, questioned the effectiveness of shock-value protests. “Protests are effective to some point. Pressuring government bodies is more effective because shutting your mind off doesn’t really legally change anything.” Kaul chimed in, “often times I feel like people don’t understand the issue completely when protesting. They often just join the mass.” To Mammadzada and Kaul, ETTF serves as a pre-existing support structure of activists who will help table and inform when mobilized. When Kaul decided to create the Hurricane Relief Fund, she knew where to go. “We’re really pushing the whole ‘education and understanding the issue’ concept. We know that we can’t fix world problems 100%, but in order to move forward we need to educate people about the issues we’re facing,” she told me. Mammadzada added, “You’ve got to start somewhere!” Admittedly, ETTF’s political objectives are unlikely to draw in all of the Goucher student body. However, the group serves as a starting model for pulling the campus together, a process which, if ever completed, would empower students more than ever before.

 

Campus Construction, Honest Opinions

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While Goucher promises new innovation and advancements for Goucher’s future student population, its current students are the ones dealing with the transition. Currently eighty percent of the college’s residents are affected by the campus’ progress, with nuisances such as excessive noise six days a week and half of the campus being closed down- forcing students to walk around the Loop as opposed to cutting through the Quad, as they did last year. While Goucher promises a fresh new dining hall and two brand new freshman dorms to accompany the four story P-Slez, the current situation on Goucher’s campus is less than convenient.
For students living in Bacon House of Mary Fisher, there is a long walk from anything on campus besides Dorsey and the academic buildings. Bacon used to be easily accessible to facilities such as Pearlstone, a place that can be remembered by current juniors and seniors. The building is now only accessible through one door at the bottom of the loop. At the end of the hall, noise can be heard, sometimes as early as seven in the morning, from workers building a new common space that was supposed to be built before opening week. Most don’t seem too bothered by the less than average conditions for Goucher dorms, but it’s certainly not the normal that’s expected.
This year’s freshman don’t seem too pleased with the promises of freshman dorms and villages, especially with the inconvenient construction. The two First Years interviewed for this article, GS and MW, both expressed their displeasure with the new updates. They stated that the construction, which intends to create a new freshman village for the purpose of community, is doing the exact opposite as it continues to move forward. Since the out-of-place buildings are away from everyone else on campus, there is sentiment that it is hard to make friends with upperclassmen, since getting around to other places on campus can be difficult or time-consuming. Not only that, but the noise complaints are even worse. Noises from the jackhammers or the machinery moving Tuttle cause the whole P-Selz building to shake. “A mirror fell off of the wall in [my friend’s] room because of the vibrations,” said Madison Webster (‘21). This is certainly something new students didn’t expect when touring Goucher last year.
Goucher’s newest advancements are being met with not too much excitement from the current students, who will not benefit from the new structures. The ever-present amount of projects that are happening all at once are impeding on one of Goucher’s core appeals: the scenery and accessibility. One of Goucher’s more alluring factors for incoming students is the small community, now stifled by the current construction. With the inconveniences it creates, students don’t seem too excited about the new structures that are being put up around campus, mostly greeting the updates with a nod of nonchalance, and maybe even a slight eye-roll.

The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS)

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Arnelle Hanley from the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). Photo credit: OAS

Goucher’s Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) opened its doors four months ago, and its director Arnelle Hanley has been busy at work ever since. The purpose of OAS is to provide a space for students who are seeking accommodations “to better engage with the Goucher community,” according to Hanley. Her work is not limited to learning or physical disabilities. Rather she is available to help students gain access to help with whatever limitations and barriers they may experience inside the classroom and all around campus. This can range from long term, chronic issues to temporary issues, such as broken ankles.
She collaborates with “pretty much any office that you can think of,” including residential life, counseling, health services, FMS, dining services, admissions, financial aid, and the Office of International Studies. She’s been meeting with prospective students and their families through admissions. With OIS, she’s been helping students think about the accessibility of the study abroad programs they’re considering and supporting them with aspects of their applications. She’s also been meeting with every academic center. She’s been a part of ongoing conversations with FMS about what accessibility looks like as Goucher is building new buildings and what it looks like in our current buildings in regards to what types of accommodations we can make now to make the buildings more accessible.
In respect to the dining halls, she may help students navigate dietary restrictions, as well as help develop systems that will make the dining halls more physically accessible for students who use a wheelchair or cane. One idea she’s been in conversation with the dining facilities about is the acquisition of trays for those who need to better balance their food and plates and utensils, etc.
Yet, Hanley’s job doesn’t stop there. “I look at my job as not just helping students access Goucher, but also preparing them to advocate for themselves after Goucher…I’m always thinking of life after Goucher.” She strives to empower students to advocate for themselves while at Goucher so that they can do so confidently with HR in their future careers: “Your parents can’t call your future employer,” she says.
Currently located in an office in the Alumni House, she will hold open hours for students to book appointments with her on Starfish. In the meantime, students can email her at arnelle.hanely@goucher.edu. “If you’re not sure who to go to, start with me…once you talk to me, I already know who the contact person is for you,” she says. ACE, Frona Brown (the Learning Disabilities specialist), and Hanley are developing a system that will allow them to effectively communicate between themselves. Starting the conversation with Hanley will allow her to efficiently direct students to the best resources for their personal needs. If a student already has a relationship with ACE or Frona Brown, Arnelle encourages them to maintain those relationships, but any student who hasn’t yet developed a relationship with these resources should contact Hanley first to discuss whether they need accommodations and what those resources would look like. Hanley reiterates that “my office is here to help you problem solve, not to solve your problems.”
Students, faculty, and staff can help Hanley make Goucher more accessible by reporting all barrier issues they notice and experience on campus. This can be suggestions as to where handrails can be placed around campus, or something as specific as the magnet locks being so low in a dorm building that people are likely to hit their heads on such a barrier. Reporting handicap buttons that don’t work and any barriers in classrooms are also helpful.
For more information about the Office of Accessibility Services and other campus resources, please visit the new and up-to-date Accessibility website: http://www.goucher.edu/student-life/accessibility-services.

Stories of Immigration

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Note: This article was written at the end of last semester. It remains relevant, however, especially in light of Trump’s recent attack on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Two recent Goucher graduates, Sabrina Jimenez, ‘17, and Fernando Parra Chong, ‘17, shed light on the continuously misrepresented, marginalized members of the United States: immigrants. For their senior independent project, Jimenez and Parra Chong, both Latino immigrants themselves, took on the task of conducting, recording, and transcribing interviews from local Latino immigrants living in Maryland. The project began spring semester, 2017, as they interviewed people from El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, and Honduras.
Why is it important to retell these stories of immigration? In the age of Trump and mass media, immigrants are often misrepresented by statistics and generalizations. Parra Chong stated, “these misconceptions [of immigrants] are because the public hasn’t heard their stories.” What better way to truly understand the experience of an immigrant than by listening to them?
Both Parra Chong and Jimenez have conducted numerous interviews and gained insight into the factors that persuaded or forced people to leave their home country, their families, and their comfort. One story included a woman who chose to move her immediate family, (herself and her two sons), from Mexico to Maryland after being targeted by rebel groups. She was a professor in a University in Mexico and was only given a one-year visa to stay in Maryland upon presentation of her legal documents. She is currently approaching the end of her stay and has the choice to live undocumented in the States, risking deportation, or move her family back home and face the same threats. Jimenez stated, “A lot of these immigrants are refugees from their own countries, yet they’re not classified as refugees.”
Jimenez noted the increase in fear, specifically related to the Trump administration, that has permeated through the latino community. “People have been living here undocumented for years, a lot of them are developing back-up plans. Not everyone has the choice to leave.” Unfortunately, due to the high stress and uncertainty of their situations, “many immigrants here struggle with mental illness.” In addition to the high stress environment, immigrants cope with leaving their home and families behind while adapting to a new culture in the States in which they are often discriminated against.
By presenting their findings and interviews in psychological summaries, pamphlets, and at the Goucher Symposium on April 26th, Parra Chong and Jimenez hoped to “give voice to the marginalized group of people.” These stories allowed others to “view them as people, not immigrants, put themselves in their shoes, and empathize.”

Fresh Check Day: a New Goucher Tradition

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Fresh Check Day aims to improve mental health awareness on campus. Photo credit: UBC

On September 22,  from 2-6pm in the Athenaeum Forum, Goucher College is having its very first Fresh Check Day. The event will be a resource and activities fair dedicated to improving mental health through raising awareness of the mental health obstacles college students often face, as well as introducing tools students can use to tackle these issues head on. There will be booths on topics such as mental health issues, suicide prevention, positive coping and life skills, and stigma reduction. Fresh Check is a program developed by the Jordan Porco Foundation, a family foundation that came about after the suicide of their son. This national non-profit will provide prizes for the event, such as a TV, t-shirts, and some other small items. JED Campus, a nationwide initiative of the Jed Foundation, also supports the event. The JED foundation works to promote emotional well-being, reduce the risk of suicide and serious substance abuse, and encourage the creation of healthy, thriving student communities.
Cameron Cox, the new Student Development and Outreach Coordinator, and co-chair of Goucher’s JED Campus Committee, states “I hope students learn as much as possible. I hope that we can dispel some of the myths about mental health, and really get the campus talking more about the importance of mental health.” Cox is not the only one interested in disposing with the stigma regarding mental health; students from the Peer Mental Health Advocacy Group, a club currently in the process of becoming official, are also aiding the event. This club-in-development hopes to build a base of motivated students who will explore the educational and support programs desired by the Goucher community, and create safe space in which they can educate their peers on matters related to mental health.
Jacob Givelber, a student helping to lead the establishment of the Peer Mental Health Advocacy Group, hopes that the Fresh Check Day is a success. He can’t express enough how important it is to rid Goucher, as well as other colleges and universities, of the negative stigma that surrounds mental health. He emphasizes that not talking about problems does not make them go away and that while mental health disorders cannot be seen, that doesn’t make them fake. Purging Goucher of the mental health stigma could save lives. Cameron Cox hopes “this is something where everyone can leave feeling like ‘I feel comfortable talking about this with my peers and the people I work with on campus, whether they be my professors, coaches, other students, or staff members I come in contact with.’”
Goucher’s Fresh Check Day has received support from the wider community and on-campus. Fresh Check community sponsors are The Bergand Group, Greater Baltimore Counseling Center, The Renfrew Center, TurnAround.  On-campus sponsors are Athletics, Community-Based Learning, CREI, Peer Listeners, The President’s Office, The Provost’s Office and faculty, Residential Life, The Student Affairs Office, Student Counseling Services, and the Title IX office.

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