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Outside the Goucher Bubble: A Collection of US and World News

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PC: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

US News

  • On October 9th, President Donald Trump blocked US Ambassador to the European Union Gordan Sondland from providing testimony to the House impeachment inquiry investigating his July 25th phone call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. The impeachment inquiry, conducted by committees in the House of Representatives, is looking into whether Trump improperly withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for political information on Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden. Later the same day, President Trump tweeted that he would not comply with the impeachment inquiry which has prompted fears of a coming constitutional crisis between Congress and the White House.
  • On October 6th President Trump announced the sudden withdrawal of US troops from Syria, in a surprise move which overturns a decade Middle East foreign policy and precedent. The sudden reversal in US foreign policy stunned US allies and prompted rare dissent from Congressional Republican allies. Longtime Trump-ally Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-S.C.) declared the move “…a big win for Iran and [Syrian President] Assad, a big win for ISIS…” A spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) described the move as “stab in the back.” The decision paves the way for a Turkish military invasion into Kurdish territory and has sparked fears of a humanitarian crisis.
  • On October 1st, former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder in the shooting death of Botham Jean in his own apartment. Guyger, who claimed she shot Jean believing him to be an intruder in her apartment, was later found to have gone into the wrong apartment and shot Jean as he sat watching television in his living room. The case was widely seen as a test of the immunity often held by police offices in the wrongful shooting deaths of black men in the US.

World News

  • On October 1st, China and the Chinese communist party celebrated its 70th The occasion commemorates the creation of the modern-day People’s Republic of China in 1949 by chairman Mao Zedong. The festivities which included a massive military parade, intricately choreographed plane flyovers, and patterned flower displays, showcase the rapid economic and political rise of China over the past decade under current President Xi Jingping. However, the 70-year anniversary has come amid an unexpectedly turbulent time with pro-democracy protests disrupting Hong Kong and with international ire growing over the detention of ethnic Uighur Muslims in so-called “re-education” internment camps.
  • On October 9th, a gunman in the German city of Halle killed two people and wounded two more as after he tried and failed to enter a synagogue during the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. In a since-deleted live-stream of the attack uploaded to a video-game platform, the shooter descries feminists and immigrants before declaring “the root of all these problems is the Jew.” The shooting in Germany mimics an attack earlier this year in March where a far-right gunman killed fifty-one people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    The ‘Made in Africa’ Mara smartphone. PC: Mara Group
  • On October 7th, Rwandan technology firm Mara Group launched the first “Made in Africa” smartphones. The Mara X and Mara Z smartphones uses Google’s Android operating software and will cost roughly 176,000 ($190) and 120,000 ($170) Rwandan francs respectively. The development of the smartphones comes as Rwanda seeks to develop its burgeoning reputation as a regional hub for tech.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/us/politics/sondland-trump-ukraine-impeach.html
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/07/us-to-let-turkish-forces-move-into-syria-abandoning-kurdish-allies
  3. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/amber-guyger-sentencing-resumes-after-murder-conviction-death-botham-jean-n1061146
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/28/world/asia/china-national-day-70th-anniversary.html?searchResultPosition=5
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/09/world/europe/germany-shooting-halle-synagogue.html
  6. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rwanda-telecoms/rwanda-launches-first-made-in-africa-smartphones-idUSKBN1WM1TN

Inside the Bubble: A Collection of Goucher News

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  • A much-loved member of the Goucher community, David Heffer announced his resignation as Director of Public Safety to purse a job opportunity in another state. Arriving from George Washington University in Washington D.C. in 2015, Heffer has since cultivated a close relationship with the student body, teaching self-defense lessons and overseeing the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) team.
    Goucher 1021 Hip Hop Team performs at Umoja Talent. Show PC: Jibril Howard

    However, a low-point of his tenure at Goucher came last year when a hate crime directed towards black students rocked the campus. The hate crime sparked a series of protests which called for better campus safety and a first-year class on cultural competency. Heffer leaves the Goucher community in good standing and with the best wishes of many Goucher students.

  • The Goucher Consent Coalition, a student organization dedicated to ending rape culture on college campuses, is sponsoring an art exhibition calling for Title IX reform. Organized by senior Kennedy Buttefield ’20 the art exhibition calls for performance, visual, and art submissions focusing on sexual assault at Goucher. The event is scheduled for the Hyman Forum towards the end of October.
  • Responding to calls for greater student advocacy in sexual assault cases, the Title IX office has announced the creation of a victim and survivor advocacy program. Held from 5:00 PM to 7:00
    Paige Beverly ’22 performs at Umoja Talent Show. PC: Jibril Howard

    PM, victims and survivors of sexual assault can speak in confidentiality to members of Goucher Post-Baccalaureate program.

  • At the beginning of the Fall semester, David Friendlich was appointed the new General Manager of Bon Appetit, overseeing dining services in the Mary Fisher dining hall, the Student Market, and Alice’s. He takes over following the departure of long-serving Norman Zwagil at the end of last semester.
  • During Common Hour (1:30 PM to 2:30 PM) on Wednesday, September 25th Goucher held it’s first Information Exchange event on Van Meter Highway. Created by junior Sam Anderson ’21, the Idea Exchange hosted tables and provided an open mic to groups, offices, and clubs from across campus. According to Anderson,

“The purpose [of the Exchange] was and is to facilitate a marketplace of ideas where people from across the campus community, staff, faculty, and students, would come together to share and workshop ideas with others. We have drifted over the decades since the 1960s…The Exchange places a whole lot of information in one place for easy consumption and the environment of the space encourages taking that information and turning it into action.”

The next Idea Exchange will take place during Common Hour October 23rd. Persons  interested in reserving a space at the exchange can contact Anderson at samuel.anderson@mail.goucher.edu.

  • From October 4th through 6th Goucher hosted student’s family and friends for Family Weekend. Highlights of weekend included a speech from President Devereaux, the Annual Goucher Crabfeast, and Umoja’s Annual Talent Show. The lineup at Umoja’s talent show included performances from Paige Beverly ’20, the 1021 Hip Hop Team, Eudel Ndong ’22, Nae Jefferies ’20, Mafereh Kabay ’20 and the Ganem Gophers.

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

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This is the second part of an interview conducted on September 18th with new Goucher College President Kent Devereaux. This part, conducted alongside Quindecim Editor-in-Chief Neve Levinson, covers questions ranging from concerns about Kent’s previous tenure as president of New Hampshire Institute of Art, his decision-making strategy and vision, to questions about upcoming construction projects on campus.

Thinking about student concerns about campus changes following the at-times turbulent, change-filled, final couple years under President Jose Bowen, the Q asked Kent what he saw as his biggest challenge in his first year at Goucher. Kent laughed.

“The biggest challenge is getting everyone to row the boat in the same direction. That’s you know, that’s part of it, there’s been so much change. That part of this is kind of calming things down and getting everyone moving in the same direction and unified behind these ideas of focusing on global education and social justice, and I think that’s a big part, and so a lot of that will be a big challenge. The other big challenge will be finding a new provost, finding a new vice president of advancement. There are a couple key leaders we need within the organization to make sure that we can move forward effectively. So I think those are the big challenges.”

Following up on Kent’s answer, we asked him to characterize his decision-making process. We also asked him to lay out his strategy for implementing changes and big ideas.

“I never make a decision alone, and I come from a big family, and we’re all very close in age… I have a tendency to want to get around the table and discuss things and do that and [sic] kinda hash things out and throw out an idea and bounce ideas off. So, my decision-making is very collaborative, and I’ll do that – the other thing is also I’m very methodical, metrics-driven…I really wanna understand the facts, not the anecdotes, that kind of thing…One thing that I have learned in my lifetime that took me a long time to learn is whenever something does not feel right, if your gut is telling you – trust your gut…I’ve become much more sensitive to that part of the intuitive side, where I go “mm,” you know when they say ‘sleep on it’? Well, there are certain chemical processes in your brain that allow you to make these connections. So I’ve become much more trusting of my process over time in terms of decision making. But it’s always about a lot of input, a lot of input, a lot of conversation, and once I make a decision, it’s like, ‘Okay, great. Make a decision. Let’s move on. Let’s implement. No regrets. Let’s not revisit it. Let’s move, let’s move, let’s move.’ I hate the analysis paralysis that happens in academia…you get a bunch of smart people in the room and really kinda try to unearth the facts and get to the data, [and] you can get to some pretty good decisions pretty quickly. And it may not be perfect, but it’s good. You don’t want perfect to be the enemy of the good.”

 

We then asked Kent, where things stood regarding the construction projects proposed by President Bowen, specifically with the Hoffberger expansion and renovation and a proposed interfaith center. We explained that many students had felt these projects were being talked about less and less recently.

 

“Well, you know there’s four projects in the campaign they’ve talked about: the interfaith center, [the science center], upgrading the equestrian facilities, and upgrading the athletic facilities. So, we’re going back to the drawing board with some of the other ones and [because] things have changed, with each of these areas. So, I don’t know now, but by January, we’ll know how they sequence out, like this one will happen, then this one and this and this. So, they’re all gonna move ahead over the next four years, but I can’t say which one is gonna come first. Other than I gotta keep saying, science, science is our number one priority. Cuz they’ve waited a long time, and that’s gonna impact more students than any of the other ones, quite frankly. I mean, the equestrian [program] is badly in need of upgrade, but it doesn’t affect a big percentage of the population. But the other side is, that project, because it’s the smallest of them, could happen overnight if I go out and meet some equestrian donor who says “great, here’s five million dollars,” and we’re like “great, fantastic, that’s done in no time,” but [currently] who knows, we just don’t know.”

 

We followed up on the question asking whether Kent about plans for Stimson Hall which has been phased out of use and is currently sitting unused at the end of Van Meter.

 

“That will come next. And so that’s why we need a campus plan. We haven’t even decided what we’re gonna put where Stimson is today. Does that become other housing, does that become more academic buildings…there’re some pretty interesting ideas people have started to toss around, some pretty, kinda bold, revolutionary ideas for Goucher, that fit with who we are, but I don’t want to speculate on that stuff now. That’s why we need a process that’s kind of and iterative process, but it’s really about ideation, it’s really idea generation, it’s really about “well, if you can dream big, what would make people feel at Goucher really proud that we took that on? …my vision would be more that ten years we really move toward being much more of a living-learning community, and have much more opportunity for faculty to live on campus, so they’re available much more into the evenings, and we have much more activity, and we have much more performances, and films, and lectures, and other you know things happening on campus throughout the course of the year. And it’s not just limited to the campus alone—we invite in the outside community much more, so we just don’t know the sequencing and the fundraising.”

 

Our final question for Kent concerned his previous post as college president of the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA). A small liberal arts college, Kent had overseen a merging of the NHIA with New England College. Some students, reading about Kent over the summer, had expressed private concern over whether Goucher would be heading in a similar direction under Kent. Kent responded to the question directly.

Goucher College President Kent Devereaux. PC: Goucher College Website

“Yeah, we’re not [merging]. I was not hired to merge this institution with another one, and the board is not considering merging with anyone. So that’s not part of the strategy and for two big reasons, so number one is that what is going on in New England is pretty unique in America. And what is going on is that demographics of New England are changing. So New England is the fastest aging in the US and it’s high school population is, and it’s true for Vermont and Maine…it’s becoming an aging population faster than any other region of the United States, so 22 colleges went out of business in the last two years. So, it’s a very different region. So we saw that when I got there [to NHIA], and we looked at the demographics and we said, “Well, we’ve got two choices: either we go out of business or we start talking to potential partners there and then merging.” So that’s what we started the search, and we realized, “Here’s another college, it’s twenty miles away.” They did not have art and design…they had liberal arts and sciences, and we said, “Oh, this is a perfect thing because they are kind of a rural campus and we were an urban campus.” And they wanted to expand their computer science and their business management and their health and medicine [programs] which makes more sense in an urban environment…[B]y combining our two endowments we would actually get to a point, they were only 1100 students and we were only 400 students, so you combine them and you end up with 1,400 students, and then you’re kinda here at the scale you need to be. The biggest danger of colleges going out of business is if they are fewer than a thousand students. We [Goucher] are today about 2,300 students undergraduate and graduate, so we’ve got about 1,400 undergrad and 800 in the grad programs, so we’re more or less 2,300 [total student]. And we’ll probably add in both: the graduate program is growing, and we’ll probably add at the undergraduate level over the next 10 years from about 1,400 to about 1,800 and we could go as high as about 2,000 with our current facility with computer science and athletics, so that’s kinda where we wanna be.”

 

Overall, I was personally left with a good impression of Kent and his vision for Goucher. Since I joined the Goucher community as a first-year last year, there have been countless upheavals to the campus, student body, and policy which had made me feel a little lost amid the turbulence. The Goucher community felt fractious, suspicious of change, and openly hostile to anything out of former President Bowen’s office. While time is the ultimate judge of actions, Kent seems to understand that stability and measured, incremental change – rather than wholesale structural change – is what is needed on campus. I was most impressed by his response to our question on what makes a Goucher student (see previous Quindecim issue) which homed in on commitments to social justice, activism, and studying abroad. For a campus which has, for the past few years seemed filled with spirit but lacking a clear identity, this specific answer filled me with a greater sense of confidence for my Goucher journey ahead.

 

 

 

 

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

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Goucher College President Kent Devereaux. PC: Goucher College Website

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

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

Kent paused, collected his thoughts, and responded: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Devereaux Fields Questions in Anti-Vaccination Town Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Changes to Student Government

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I am a Senator elected by the Class of 2021 to serve as a representative in Goucher Student Government (GSG) Senate. I recently sat down with with Sam Anderson ‘21 to talk about his resignation as Co-President of GSG on September 15. The goal of this article is to update the community on structural changes GSG has undergone in the past few weeks, why these changes occurred, and give some clarity as to what Goucher can expect from GSG moving forwards. 

My tenure in GSG began in November of 2018. Before then, I read my email to stay updated on GSG goings-on, but was otherwise uninvolved with the organization. I don’t know if I even voted during elections my first year. I began to know more about GSG when I heard my friends in Senate talk about some of the issues present in the structure of the organization. I was asked to run for Senate by Noah Block in November 2018. I decided to run in the uncontested race, and was elected by my peers. From then on, I have been extremely engaged with Student Government. I have worked alongside my fellow representatives and was just as surprised as others when Sam Anderson resigned as Co-President of GSG.

On September 24 I asked Sam some questions about his time in GSG, as a Senator, President, and Co-President. I started the conversation by asking him to tell me why he wanted to be in GSG and why he wanted to lead. His response was at once enlightening and familiar to me. His early misconceptions of GSG and how that was so different from the reality were extremely similar to what I felt when I ran and began my time in GSG:

“As soon as I got into GSG I had a wake up call as to really what the group was doing or what we were going to be able to accomplish because I really didn’t know what GSG was,” Sam began. “Or what it was about.”

The reality of GSG has changed over my time as a Senator, and this was true for Sam possibly more than anyone else in the Senate. This changed the way Sam experienced his role in Senate and contributed to his departure from GSG. Later in our conversation, Sam told me why he decided to step back from Student Government while maintaining his other advocacy roles within the Goucher community:

 “I’ve dealt with periods of stress and the burden of a ton of work coming at me because of student government in the past but what was different…from what happened in this past semester it… was really exciting work and it was fun and then at this point it has just been the negative stress and negative work and so I decided to not force myself to keep doing that and to instead shift to organizing work and definitely not step back at all from the things I’m passionate about but do it on my own terms.”

Sam recently organized The Exchange, on Wednesday, September 25 during Common Hour (1:15-2:30pm) on Van Meter Highway. It was an opportunity for organizations on campus to exchange ideas and information with the Goucher community.

When I asked him what he wanted other students to know about GSG or other organizing efforts on campus, Sam wanted his peers to know their importance. 

“Students, and my friends and my peers should really recognize the importance of students and being a student on a college campus…we don’t have to just let things happen, if we disagree with something, we really have power to make a change, but it takes collective action and it takes talking to each other and working together to make that change.” 

Sam ended by saying,

“Students know the most about what it means to be a student right now…We can best speak to that notion of what it means to be here right now.” 

I cannot overstate the importance of collaboration and collective action. One way members of the Goucher community have been trying to make change using collective action is through Goucher Student Government.

There have been some recent structural changes in the way GSG functions. With Sam Anderson resigning from his position as Co-President, Noah Block has become the sole occupant of the GSG Presidential Office. As President, Noah has made a shift in the direction of reintroducing an Executive Board to assist the Presidential Office in the management of GSG. This shift aims to create a more horizontal distribution of power, as opposed to a traditional vertical hierarchy of power. Equitable distribution of power through this change to an Executive Board mean some of the responsibilities of the Presidential Office are shared among multiple members of GSG and not everything will be the President’s responsibility. This change will most likely go into effect by the next meeting of GSG, on Tuesday, October 1st 2019. To hear more about this change, come to the meeting at 7 PM in ATH 125, also known as Old OSE, between Alice’s Patio and the Student Store. Another way to keep updated regarding these changes is to read your emails from GSG, follow @goucherstugov on Instagram and Facebook and check out our website: https://blogs.goucher.edu/gsg/

Note: My experiences and opinions are my own and do not represent Goucher Student Government as a whole. I believe it is important to have a framing of my individuality within the context of a larger organization. I cannot speak to other Senators’ or community members’ personal experiences. I can only speak to my own and what I have gathered in my role as a student and representative. 

By: Em Lassen

GSG Group Photo PC: GSG Website

Mixed Reaction to Changes in Mary Fisher Breakfast

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Mary Fisher Dining Hall. PC: Jibril Howard

Returning students were met with a surprise on the first day of classes: the weekday breakfast period of last semester in the upstairs Dining Hall of Mary Fisher had been replaced in favor of scaled-back pre-prepared options available through the Student Market. In an email update sent to the student body on August 22, Vice President and Dean of Students Bryan Coker explained:

“An analysis of last year’s dining hall data showed consistently low utilization of breakfast in the upstairs dining hall. With that knowledge, we have amended the morning dining approach for weekdays…”

Citing the utilization data, the updated changes to the dining hall cut the 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM sit-down breakfast period and replaced it with a 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM period during which hot pre-packaged breakfast combination platters would be offered in the Student Market alongside the returning “Pick 3” meal plan from last year. 

In an interview with the Quindecim, Dean Coker clarified the reasoning behind the breakfast changes:

“We’ve been looking at utilization as far as when students are coming through, how much they’re eating, especially in proportion to how much food [the staff] prepare. We across the college have been looking at cost saving efforts due to the realities of American higher education…We knew that utilization of Mary Fisher dining during breakfast, especially upstairs, was low…We asked Bon Appetit to help us identify areas where we can save from a sustainability perspective as well as with cost [so that] we can put more money into other areas of the college and breakfast was one of those [areas].” 

Dean Coker also apologized for any confusion caused to students during the breakfast switch:

“The change could’ve been and should’ve been smoother. We [Bon Appetit and Dean Coker’s office] share responsibility. We collectively could have messaged [the switch] better to the student body and got it out sooner. We fully acknowledge that.”

When asked about the gathering process of the utilization data, Dean Coker stated Bon Appetit gathers their data from the meal swipes. An email follow-up to the interview provided a table of the specific utilization data of the dining hall during breakfast:

 

Table 1. Mary Fisher Dining: August 2018 – March 2019
Average Swipes by hour per open days                
Hour 18-Aug 18-Sep 18-Oct 18-Nov 18-Dec 19-Jan 19-Feb 19-Mar
7:00-8:00 AM (4) (2) (2) (3) (2) (6) (4) (4)
8:00-9:00 AM (112) (89) (82) (73) (60) (68) (58) (59)
9:00-10:00 AM  (46) (39) (44) (46) (39) (35) (36) (34)
10:00-11:00 AM (19) (22) (25) (21) (23) (23) (23) (23)
Total Breakfast (180) (153) (154) (142) (123) (132) (121) (121)

 

The new changes to the breakfast routine in Mary Fisher drew a mixed response from the student body. In a post taken with permission, sophomore Juliet Birch ’22 expressed her frustration on the GopherApp messaging board:

“In my opinion, if there has been a low utilization of breakfast in the upstairs [dining hall], then they should continue allowing that space to be available while better limiting resources… [in addition] we are not able to choose how much food we receive and therefore produce a lot of food waste…those of us who are vegetarian are not given ample options for a healthy meal [and] those of us who are vegan and/or gluten free have almost no options.”

When asked for comment by the Q, Goucher Student Government (GSG) Senator Derrick Burnette ’22 stated: 

“My initial reaction to the changes was that of anger. Being a first-year last-year you’re used to going to the dining hall for a buffet-style breakfast and then [the college] drops this huge bombshell – now you have to get breakfast from the Pick 3… I would say the [main problem] was a lack of communication. They didn’t announce that they were doing [these changes] to anyone and now this is it.” 

While the changes were greeted with hostility by some students on campus. Another student, sophomore Casey Braun ’22 had a different take on the changes:

“I feel like it is a better change for Goucher and will help [the college] spend more money where money needs to be spent. I know firsthand that the dining hall was so under-utilized last year – the three times I went all of last year it was always just me. No one would be there. I think it makes so much more sense for them to have it downstairs in the Student Market so they’re not using all that energy.”

In response to emails and queries from the student body, some slight modifications were made to the updated breakfast. The August 22nd email update from Dean Coker stated that three cereal options and oatmeal would be made available to students in the upstairs dining hall. The email also clarified that weekend brunches would continue to be served at 11:00 AM, in keeping with the dining schedule from previous years. Fielding concerns from students about sustainability in the Student Market, a second email update sent out August 30the to the student body from Dean Coker explained:

“On the first two days of this semester, Bon Appétit used plastic containers to expedite service, but then returned to last year’s packaging. Bon Appétit is now in the process of evaluating more sustainable alternatives for the plastic items which are still in use and [is currently] working with Daniela Beall (Sustainability Coordinator) regarding education about compostable items.” 

In an interview with The Q, Goucher Sustainability Coordinator Daniela Beall responded to student concerns over sustainability in the Student Market:

“I wasn’t involved in the [breakfast] switch so I can’t really speak to what exactly decision or what factors were considered…I’ve had a conversation with David [Friendlich] the new Bon App manager recently to discuss to how things are packaged in the marketplace and what options we can have moving forward…no decisions have been made but I welcome student involvement in exploring the options we do have…if folks are interested then they can come talk to me or send me an email.”

While the new changes to breakfast have proven somewhat divisive, students such as Braun and Senator Burnette have taken a pragmatic view and have simply incorporated the dining hall updates. 

Braun opined: 

“I feel like [the reaction] at first was very negative but now people have settled more into their schedule and now it makes more sense to people…I feel like the positives outweigh the negatives.”

GSG Senator Burnette agreed:

“I found a way to adapt it to my schedule because now I got [sic] a routine in the morning where I go to [Mary Fisher] at 7:30 in the morning, get my breakfast, and go back to my room to do homework. I made it work with my schedule. But I still feel like a lot of students are upset with the changes.”

 

Quindecim News Roundup

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  • Changes have been made to the breakfast at Mary Fisher Dining Hall. The updated changes to the dining hall cut a two-hour sit-down breakfast period and replaced it with a 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM schedule during which hot pre-packaged breakfast combination platters would be offered in the Student Market alongside the returning the “Pick 3” meal-plan from last year. In an email to the student body, Dean Brian Coker cited “consistently low utilization” of the upstairs Mary Fisher Dining Hall. 
  • New changes have also been made to the hours of the Athenaeum and Library. An August 5th email sent to the student body cited “faculty utilization data” and a move towards greater sustainability as the basis for the updated hours. The new and updated Ath and Library hours are as follows:
    • Fall 2019 Library hours:
      • Sunday: Noon to 2:00 AM
        Monday to Thursday: 7:30 AM to 2:00 AM
        Friday: 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM
        Saturday: Noon to 9:00 PM
    • Fall 2019 Alice’s Restaurant hours:
      • Monday to Friday: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM and 7:30 PM to midnight
        Saturday and Sunday: 2 PM to midnight
    • Fall 2019 Athenaeum hours (for building spaces, excluding the Library):
      • Sunday: Noon to 2:00 AM
        Monday to Thursday: 7:30 AM to 2:00 AM
        Friday: 7:30 AM to midnight
        Saturday: Noon to midnight
  • Goucher College Student Government Co-President Sam Anderson (’21) has resigned his post effective August 14th due to personal health reasons. Remaining Co-President Noah Block (’21) will assume Anderson’s role as the sole Goucher College Student Government President. 

    Goucher Students at the Baltimore Climate Strike September 20th, 2019. PC: India Fleming-Klink. 
  • On Monday, September 16th Goucher College President Kent Devereaux held a Town Hall from 11:00 AM to 11:55 AM with concerned students in Kelley Lecture Hall to field questions about the role of the Pagliaro Selz family in the Goucher community. Over the summer, an article by the Washington Post revealed that Goucher Alumni and Trustee Lisa Pagliaro Selz and her husband Bernard Selz – for whom the new first-year dormitory Pagliaro Selz Hall opened in 2016 is named – have made large donations to anti-vaccination organizations.  

    Sophomore Gia Grier (’22) and Senior Zahir Muhammadza (’20) hold a sign at the Baltimore Climate Strike September 20th, 2019. PC: Mikaela McCray
  • As part of the Global Climate Strike between 25 and 50 students from Goucher joined students from high schools, universities, and colleges from across Baltimore in skipping class on Friday, September 20th to attend the Baltimore Climate Protest. Beginning at 12:00 PM, students marched from the Inner Harbor Amphitheater to Baltimore City Hall with the strike concluding at 2:00 PM. Inspired by 16-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, the Baltimore Climate Protest was among hundreds of similar protests across the US and worldwide which demand greater political action on curbing climate change.
  • The pickup/drop-off station for the Collegetown Shuttle has moved! Students can now catch the shuttle into Baltimore from outside Froelicher Hall, Tuttle House and from outside the side entrance of Van Meter Hall. Look for a small light green sign which denotes the shuttle stop. 
  • The College Store has been revamped! Drop by the store on the bottom floor of the Ath to pick up some basic toiletries, snacks, and new, redesigned SWAG! 

 

Check it Out: New Free Store Now Open!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phone Free Day Reflection

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Phone free day founder Reilly Musgrave, ‘20, unknowingly shakes hands with disgraced shirt-winner Cameron Stewart. Photo Credit: Dylan Margolis, ’19.

This year’s celebration of Phone Free Day had the largest turnout in all of Goucher’s history! A documented thirty-nine people wore stickers pledging their support that proclaimed them “phoneless” – a whopping 2.5% of students! While not everyone sported a sticker, it was clear that everyone on campus could feel a certain phoneless aura in the air that day.

No one felt that phoneless aura more so than the select few that vowed not to use their phone for the entire day. Only the bravest and most tactful dared embark on this journey from dawn to dusk without the warm embrace of a phone, and this measure did not go unrewarded; those few were allowed to put their name into a drawing to win a hand-embroidered shirt made by none other than Goucher’s Eliza Owen-Smith, ‘20.

During what seemed like a normal rambunctious Mary Fisher dinner, a hush fell over the crowd of attendees in anticipation of the announcement of the shirt-winner’s name. I had no idea that the next moments would go down in infamy. The hat chose Cameron Stewart, ‘19. The crowd erupted, as they thought they should. It was “the best day of his life,” according to Stewart, but others didn’t feel that same sense of elation, especially Sinaia Campora, ‘21 (also a registered entrant in the contest).

Campora, who herself went completely phone free for the entire day, alleged that Stewart had in fact used his cell phone on April 2nd. These allegations were not denied by Stewart, who insisted that he “used his phone less,” pointing to the sticker.

Phone Free Day staff members do not condone loopholes of any kind, so judicial action must be taken. While the shirt cannot be revoked and the picture cannot be un-taken, the title can be moved. So here, forever in print, Sinaia is named the phone freest of 2019. May next year’s celebration be a more just one.

BY REILLY MUSGRAVE

Correction:

April 22nd, 2019.

Minor grammatical edits were made.

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