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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.

News Corner With Neve: Official Stimson Shutdown, Earth Week, and the Reemergence of The Preface

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Earth Week flier, courtesy of GESAC.

If you’re looking for ways to reconnect with the earth in time for April 22nd, GESAC has you covered! The group has created ten programs (pictured) to help unleash the inner green thumb that all gophers are known for having.

In a prime manifestation of the rebirth and newness of spring, The Preface has arisen! In an email to people interested in learning more about the publication, the forces behind its regeneration shared how to access the Preface online! https://blogs.goucher.edu/preface/. They are hosting a reading on Thursday, April 18, from 4-6pm in the Publications Office, which is located in Mary Fisher between Hooper and Dulaney. Find them on Instagram @prefacelitmag

Trying to figure out when your finals are? Look no further!

Thinking about next year? In an email interview with The Quindecim, Linda Barone, who is both the Interim Director of Facilities Management Services and Associate Director of Planning, Design, and Construction, said, “We will not be using Stimson next year for student housing. There are really several reasons that factor into this decision. Stimson Hall, because of the type of construction is not conducive to being renovated and in its current condition, is harder and harder to keep up to a standard that we want our residence halls to be in. Parts of the infrastructure and even the built-in furniture is worn out and needs to be replaced.  We are not able to add air conditioning to the building without a major renovation and as we saw this past fall, it can get pretty hot in the building when we have a warm fall or spring. We also have enough beds to support our student population in the other buildings on campus without needing to use the rooms in Stimson. It is also not cost-effective to heat and clean it, when the building is only partially occupied.”

The proposed changes to CPEs passed unanimously at the April 3rd faculty meeting. The changes were formally released to the student body in an email from the Office of the Provost on April 4th. A related email sent by Ann Duncan, Curriculum Coordinator and Emily Perl, Assistant Provost for Integrative Learning, announced several dates when students may come learn about how the changes will affect us and plan our schedules for future semesters. Send all your questions to advisor@goucher.edu.

In recent news, Goucher Hillel’s “Shabbat 100” initiative took place the evening of Friday, April 12th. A whopping 106 people attended, shattering all previously held records for Shabbat dinner.

And finally but arguably most important for local goings on, G.I.T. produced their final piece of performance humor for the year to a packed audience in the common room of P.Selz on Friday, April 12th. The troupe, known widely for their award-winning comedy, produced enough laughs to lift the mood on campus for one shiny moment of joy.

BONUS: In intergalactic news, “The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. [On April 11th], in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal[ed] that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow,according to the EHT website.

To the rest of us, this means that Dr. Katie Bouman “help[ed] develop the algorithm that created the first-ever image of a black hole,” according to the BBC. The image was “captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) – a network of eight linked telescopes – [which] was rendered by Dr. Bouman’s algorithm,” according to the same article. If you haven’t seen it already, check it out.

The first-ever picture of a black hole. Image compiled by Katie Bouman and the rest of the Event Horizon Telescope team.

GIT (Goucher Improv Troupe) Wins BIG at Tournament and More: News Corner with Neve

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Tea bag found in Undercroft. Photo by Neve Levinson

On March 27 at 8:30 p.m., the GIT (Goucher Improv Troupe) took the stage at March Mayhem. Subtitled “The BIG College Improv Competition,” this tournament featured four colleges battling to see who could win over their audience most effectively through laughter and general jolliness. This year’s GIT is comprised of Langston Cotman ‘19, Dylan Margolis ‘20, Sarah Dreyfus ‘21, Olivia Hollender ‘19, and Cameron Stewart ‘19. In a zippy and electric interview with Cotman, and Margolis, the duo described the event: “It was two rounds, and four schools faced off against each other. We did long form improv for eighteen minutes, and then one team goes first, one goes second, and then the audience votes” on who the winner should be, said Cotman. In the championship round, Margolis added, “we chose to do realism, and we portrayed boarding school students preparing to say goodbye to the school to the school they’ve literally never left before graduation.” The accompanying trophy is theirs for the duration of this year, until they “hopefully will be the defending champs so we can keep it in our house,” Cotman added with a laugh. Keep your eyes peeled for where this trophy will appear on campus.

In other news, the majors and minors fair took place in Mary Fisher during Common Hour on March 27. With an energetic turnout, students were able to talk to QR tutors as well as professors in each of the academic programs currently offered at this institution.

Wondering what the fancy green tablecloths were doing on the Forum’s tables this week? It was for the Mary Fisher Tea, held on March 26 from 2-3:30 p.m. According to the program for the event, “Mary Fisher was a beloved figure among students at the Women’s College of Baltimore, and after her death in 1902, alumnae gave the college a triptych of Tiffany windows in her memory. For her 100th birthday in 1950, the Goucher community gathered to honor her with a tea and to dedicate the four houses of Mary Fisher Hall, the first building on the Towson campus. In later years, Goucher alumnae clubs worldwide met each spring to recognize her life.” Want to find out what happened to those Tiffany windows? Yeah, me too. When asked about the experience of performing at this event, Chris Elliott ‘19, noted performing “[f]our songs [at the tea]. The first was ‘Amazing Grace,’ by H. Leslie Adams, which isn’t your typical Amazing Grace, but a version that Adams wrote with African-American and jazz influences in it. The next three songs were all jazz tunes: ‘Fly Me to the Moon,’ ‘Cry Me a River,’ and ‘All of Me.’” Elliott continued, “[t]he event consisted of mainly older Goucher alum who’ve graduated many years ago. President Jose Bowen and Bryan Coker were there, as well as other current workers like Lynn Satterfield and Rob Ferrell.” To those of you wondering, “the ‘pinky up’ rule was not enforced, nor was it talked about during the event unfortunately.”

The Office of Title IX released the “2018 Reports of Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking” data to the student body via email on Thursday, March 28. This data, available through the link embedded in the email as well as the website for the Office of Title IX, is federally required of the college in order to “participat[e] in federal financial aid programs” under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. While the official email announcing the release of the 2017 data noted that, “[s]ince Spring 2015, the Title IX (TIX) Office has shared an annual report of closed cases with the campus community,” data from 2016-2018 is on the Title IX website. According to this year’s data, “55 incidents or suspected incidents were reported to the Title IX Office in 2018,” down from 61 the year prior. Both of these figures are above the “total of 49 incidents or suspected incidents were reported to the Title IX Office in 2016.” In an interview with The Quindecim, Title IX Coordinator Lucia Perfetti Clark said “…the number [of reported cases] tends to be holding steady [year to year]…I’m glad that the numbers stay on the higher side…I always take the higher numbers as a sign that students feel like they can report, which is what we work pretty hard to foster.”

The Office of Communications announced via email on Friday, March 29 that the College will now be partnering with eCampus as our “new online textbook partner.” This partnership will be replacing the current one between Goucher and Barnes & Noble. Members of GSG who were involved in advising the decision noted that this partnership, while establishing the provider of textbooks and resources for courses, does not cover the management of the campus bookstore next to Alice’s.

A final newsy tidbit for this week is that the sun has been making its appearance more frequently this week, and, in quintessential Goucher fashion, we gophers have begun to poke out of the ground from hibernating all winter. The Mary Fisher patio is being frequented more often by seekers of Vitamin D who also intend to do homework. Is it possible the groundhog was correct and spring will really come early this year?

Potential Changes to the CPE Structure

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Image courtesy of Goucher Magazine

Within the current Goucher liberal arts curriculum, there are a series of courses designed to provide an interdisciplinary education and skills to solve complex problems called Center Pair Exploration Courses (CPEs). According the Goucher College website:

“[The CPE model] revolves around eleven academic centers …Between their second semester at Goucher and the end of their junior year, students will take 3 Center Pair Exploration (CPE) courses outside the Center Pair to which their major belongs.”

However, with all the different centers, overlap between majors, and the potential for students to change majors, it has become clear that the CPE structure has proven abstract and confusing to many students.

Noting the concerns of students, the Academic Policy Committee which oversees changes made to the class curriculum, has proposed new changes to the CPE structure which would be potentially be implemented for the Fall 2019 semester. Senior Nancy Rosen ’19, an International Relations and French double major and student representative on the Academic Policy Committee, explained the mooted changes in an email interview:

“The proposed changes for the CPEs are to first change what the acronyms stand for; they will be known as ‘Complex Problem Exploration.’ Secondly, students will only have to complete 2 CPEs instead of 3. Thirdly, the CPEs that students take will meet the MHEC requirements, they could count towards the Environmental Sustainability or Race, Power, and Perspective requirements, and they could meet major and minor requirements.”

Ann Duncan, Associate Professor of Religion, is the Curriculum Coordinator and the Chair of the Academic Policies Committee. As the Curriculum Coordinator, Duncan worked with other faculty members to develop the proposed CPE changes and put it before the Academic Policies Committee, who finalized the proposal and brought it before the faculty for a vote. When asked about the goals of current CPE structure and what issues had arisen, Duncan stated:

“The CPE courses were designed to build on what have always been strengths of the Goucher education…As with any new program, new challenges and possibilities emerged as implementation of the curriculum took place. For the CPEs, we recognized that students need more flexibility in balancing Goucher Commons requirements and their majors and many programs were having trouble offering enough CPE courses in the wake of program prioritization.”

Robin Cresiski, an Associate Professor of Biology who serves on the Academic Policy Committee echoed, the same information:

“The [current] CPEs envisioned two things: to supply the full breadth of a liberal arts education…and to engaged students in studying complex problems…they were also designed to provide the students the skills to work within a team or group framework and provide the skills necessary to be good collaborators…problems arose when students tried to change majors and ending up taking four CPE classes.”

Duncan and Cresiski have both worked to get feedback from faculty, faculty advisors, and students to reflect the needs of the students. Cresiski hopes that the proposed changes “reflect intensive listening” and helps to make advising students and changing one’s major easier. Both Cresiski and Duncan both stated that faculty are always aware of the challenges for students and challenges in staffing as they advise students and plan course offerings. Duncan is hopeful that the proposal will pass and ultimately be implemented: “I think it will make it much easier for students to balance their majors and…give students more flexibility in exploring various disciplines across the college.” Cresiski also expressed her optimism over the changes: “We hope to facilitate high levels of student engagement and encourage students to choose courses they feel are impactful. We want student enthusiasm to increase.”

Goucher Student Government (GSG) Co-President Sam Anderson ’21 described the changes as “exciting” and expressed his hope that the proposed CPE changes will give students more interdisciplinary choice. Anderson also stated that the changes could free students who would potentially be forced into a major by their CPE requirement. Fellow GSG Co-President Noah Block ’21 agreed, stating that in GSG discussions, the consensus towards the CPE changes was supportive but that he could not speak for all student government members. Block also felt that the CPE changes would remedy many of the concerns within the current CPE structure and was personally supportive of the proposal.

The mood among students when told about the changes was cautiously optimistic. First-year Simon Wickwire ’22, currently taking “Alien Planets,” an astronomy-focused CPE, said: “The name change seems unnecessary, but I like the overall concept. I think it will reduce a lot of the stress related to choosing classes and choosing a major.” Sophomore Christina Panousos ’21 was also supportive of the changes, describing the current CPE structure as a good idea as a necessary cross-curriculum component at Goucher but also as burdensome series of classes which are “unfair” for undeclared majors. Panousos said she was happy with the proposed reductions in the number of CPE classes and that the courses could be counted towards the Race, Power, Perspective and Environmental Sustainability requirements.  

The proposed CPE changes are still in the process of being revised by the faculty and the Academic Policy Committee. Nancy Rosen stated that while the goal for rolling out the changes would be for the 2019 Fall Semester, she cannot say with confidence that any CPE revisions will be implemented by then. According to Ann Duncan, the faculty will be voting on the proposal during the upcoming faculty meeting on April 3, during Common Hour in Merrick Lecture Hall.

Club Council and Individual Clubs Are Facing Deficits

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Photo Credit: Olivia Baud

Goucher’s Club Council budget is currently facing an estimated $13,000 deficit with $200 left to allocate to clubs for the Spring semester, and ten or more clubs are facing deficits of their own ranging from $5 to upwards of thousands of dollars, according to Club Council officers.

In an interview, Club Council Treasurer Ridwan Lawal, ‘20, said that clubs known by Club Council to be facing deficits are aware of their situation.

While the college has not published an official statement about these deficits at the time of publication, club leaders have been aware of a substantial decrease in Club Council funds since the end of the Fall 2018 semester when they petitioned for Spring 2019 funds (aka Spring Budgeting) and received only as much as half of the money asked “due to the lack of Funds that the Council has,” as stated in the response emails from the Club Council Administrator John Nobriga, ‘19.

Understanding the Club Council Budget

Club Council receives funding from the yearly Student Activity Fee, which was $188 per student as a part of tuition costs this academic year. Its yearly budget also includes takebacks from the previous academic year. Takebacks is the operation by which any money that was allocated by Club Council to specific clubs and was not used by those clubs is then put back into Club Council’s general account. “Usually around October we know exactly how much Club Council has to distribute,” Aisha Rivers, Director of Student Engagement said in an interview. Club Council usually begins allocating funds to clubs before it gets the precise number of how much it has to spend for the year, going off of an estimate based on the previous year’s takebacks.

Petitioning is the process whereby Club Council allocates funds from its general account to specific clubs. Clubs petition for a certain amount of money, then Club Council votes on whether to approve all, a portion, or none of the amount. The final decision is signed off by the Club Council Administrator.

The Club Council Treasurer brings the approved petitions to their weekly meetings with the Director of Student Engagement and fills out transfer forms to record the amounts that Club Council is transferring into individual club accounts. “I’ll sign off on [them] trusting that Club Council understands what money they have and what money they don’t have,” Rivers said. “If anything goes weird then I’ll follow up on it or we’ll investigate it and figure out if something is not right and get back to the student club.”

Clubs also submit payment forms to Club Council to make their transactions and/or to receive money for transactions. These forms, which may be check requests, contracts, reimbursements, etc. are also signed by a club’s Treasurer, the Club Council Treasurer, and the Director of Student Engagement.

The Club Council treasurer brings all of the signed forms to the Controller’s Office. Credit card statements from the GSG (Goucher Student Government) credit cards, which are often used by clubs to make Club Council approved transactions, are also received by the Controller’s Office independently of Club Council. The Controller then inputs the information from all of the paperwork into its Excel sheets and its online accounting system, keeping track of amounts spent by clubs and the amounts remaining in their accounts.

The Deficits- An Interconnected Problem

“Club Council started this year with a deficit of $13,000,” Goucher’s Controller Alex Antkowiak said in a Feb 19th email interview. “This caused no alarm as the portfolio of all GSG [Goucher Student Government] accounts was larger than the deficit and estimated takebacks again exceeded the deficit.” Club council usually runs into a deficit every academic year which is then balanced out by student organization fund surpluses.

However, in October of 2018 (according to 2018 Club Council Treasurer Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum, ‘20) Club Council and the Controller’s Office became aware of inconsistencies in their accounting.

Club Council was “under the impression that [the starting value given to them by the Controller’s Office] was including the amount that we had already given to clubs,” Rapkin-Citrenbaum said, which was not the case. Consequently, Club Council thought it had more money to spend than was actually in their account.

“The two separate numbers that we have don’t help,” Lawal said in an interview held with him and Rivers. Since the Controller’s Office and Club Council’s financial records varied not only with regards to the Club Council budget but also individual club account budgets, the origins and the extent of the deficit were unknown. “Which is a big reason why we have to go back one or two years now,” Rivers said.

The heart of the discrepancies in financial records lies in twofold miscommunication and mismanagement. To begin, miscommunication and mismanagement occurred between and by the Controller’s Office and Club Council. There are differences in the type of data collected and recorded by Club Council versus the type of data collected and recorded by the Controller’s Office. “We have data that says somebody made a check request, somebody took money out of their club account, but we don’t have data that says a club went negative at this time.” Lawal said in a separate interview. “We just have to look back at when all of these transactions happened and figure out when clubs actually went into their deficit, and it’s been the hardest thing to find.” “Sometimes we scanned [a form] and didn’t upload it, or we just forgot to scan it,” Nobriga said. Rapkin-Citrenbaum said in the Fall that “[s]ome stuff fell through the cracks essentially.”

On their end, the Controller’s Office is responsible for collecting and recording the forms that Club Council sends to them in addition to credit card statements. Rapkin-Citrenbaum said that “[t]here was a lot of miscommunication and confusing information about what transfer forms had been submitted, and there’s a problem with transfer forms being submitted twice. Account numbers between GSG, SET, and Club council are similar so sometimes there’s some confusion.”

Additionally, the systems used to record financial information and the amount of experience using and understanding them differs across Club Council and the Controller’s Office. The Controller’s Office uses a software that aggregates all of the financial information from clubs and Club Council, and it is accustomed to working with complex data and making financial calculations. Club Council, on the other hand, keeps track of club account information by scanning forms and uploading them to Google Drive and has a much more basic understanding of the kinds of calculations made in the Controller’s Office. “We also have this new online platform on Inside Goucher of where we can see the clubs, like, sort of live, like what’s in their accounts,” John said. What’s more, the Controller’s office organizes information according to calendar years while Club Council organizes information according to academic years.

“We’re all in agreement that we need a better system of tracking and communication,” Rivers said.

Miscommunication and mismanagement also occurred between Club Council and clubs themselves. This both contributed to the deficits and the sudden drop of Club Council funding at the end of the Fall 2018 semester. According to Rapkin-Citrenbaum, retroactive payments were made for costs that Club Council had not anticipated: GSG’s credit card was billed for a yearly subscription that Fashion Club had forgotten about and hadn’t petitioned to renew funds for, and reimbursements had to be made to an instructor that Salsa Club had brought in to teach lessons before submitting paperwork. Club Council collectively agreed to match conference fundraising amounts without a cap, so when Model United Nations raised $2,500, much more than expected, Club Council was obliged to meet that amount.

“There’s not a lot of strong treasurers that keep track of their club finances. They may be spending an amount that they believe they have but they don’t,” John Nobriga, ‘19, said in an interview. “We have to look back into past years ‘cause it might have been a situation where the clubs for a while have been in deficit and they just kept that deficit in there and everytime they use club council funds it’s still a deficit that’s never balanced out,” said Lawal.

Until the sources of these clubs’ deficits are identified and their accounts balanced– i.e. until both Club Council and the Controller’s Office are sure of how much money these clubs received and how much they spent– takebacks cannot occur. Club Council is planning to make takebacks a semesterly rather than yearly process, but has had to delay the change this semester. Club Council is therefore left with $200 left to spend from the previous semester.

The Office of Student Engagement saw staff and student leadership changes in the Fall and Spring which has complicated the process of investigating the deficit. “Aisha became the director of Student Engagement, which had been Stacy [Cooper Patterson]’s job. Stacy couldn’t really hold our hand the whole time, and Aisha was adjusting to her new job,” Rapkin-Citrenbaum said. “I’m still trying to learn and understand how decisions are being made,” Rivers said. Lawal also took over as Club Council Treasurer in the Spring and had to adjust to his new role while catching up on the financial developments. “I just want to get to the bottom of [these deficits],” said Lawal. “We’ve finally gotten over the pettiness.” “There’s a lot of new [changes], so we’re excited, but we’re also scared,” Nobriga said.

Club Council Changes Moving Forward

While Club Council and the Controller’s Office are still trying to match up records and some club accounts are still facing deficits, “GSG’s [2019] treasurer[, Ridwan Lawal, ‘20,] and Student Life Staff (Aisha Rivers) are currently investigating the matter,” said Antkowiak.

“The bottom line is we need better and improved communication and tracking,” said Rivers. “We’re trying to create the most specific guidelines for treasurers just to make these things avoidable in the future,” said Lawal. Rivers, Lawal, and Nobriga all hope to use Club Council’s current situation as a learning experience for how to better advise clubs in the future on how to track and budget finances, diversify sources of funding, and, in Rivers’ words, “really [think] purposefully and intentionally about the programs that they’re putting on in the college community. Even though this part is challenging and tedious, I am excited to see good things manifesting out of it,” she said.

In the meantime, Lawal says that “If [clubs] have money in their Club Council [aka general] account, they should use it […] if they don’t [know whether their financial information is accurate or not], the first thing to do is ask how much is in their account […] whether it’s accurate or not it’s what we have, which means, again, just ask. And if there’s a situation where we would prefer them not to [use their Club Council funds] it we’ll let them know.”

Until the deficit is determined, club accounts are balanced, and takebacks occur, Club Council’s budget moving forward is still a big unknown.

Updates forthcoming.

Correction:

March 14th, 2019.

A previous version erroneously reported that Model UN had raised $25,000 for a conference. The number was adjusted to $2,500.

News Corner With Neve

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Picture Credit: @gouchercollege on Twitter 
  • Ground was broken on the Evelyn Dyke Schroedl ’62 Tennis Center on Friday, March 1. The soil used for the groundbreaking is still in the parking lot next to Alcock.
  • As announced in a January 14 email to the campus community, “Dr. Andrew Wu has been appointed as the college’s Associate Dean of Students and Director of Athletics (AD), effective immediately.” Wu served as the Interim Director since Spring 2018.
  • Congratulations to this year’s winners, runner ups and honorable mentions for the Appelstein-Sweren Book Collecting Contest (pictured)!
  • The Middle States team doing Goucher’s reaccreditation will report their findings from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Merrick on March 13.
  • At the faculty meeting on March 6, Interim Provost Scott Sibley said, “I think we’re ready” in relation to the arrival of the Middle States accreditation team the week of March 11.
  • The interview process is underway for three undergraduate advisors who will advise all undeclared students beginning August 2019. The three advisors will serve in lieu of faculty advisors for students who have yet to declare their majors.
  • The dance program is looking to offer two concentrations within the existing major: one in Dance Studies and the other in Dance. The proposal, unanimously endorsed at the March 6 faculty meeting, will cost no additional money, as all courses within each track already exist on campus.
  • Sneaking into the last few minutes of the faculty meeting, a new program proposal was introduced, tentatively entitled Applied Science and Technology. The goal of the program, explained Associate Professor Rodney Yoder, is to support students who begin their college careers in highly structured STEM majors and decide to study a different subject partway through. The proposal includes tentative tracks in Physics, Chemistry, and Environmental Science, and will hopefully add a track in life sciences, said Yoder. The cost of the program will be three additional courses that do not currently exist.
  • Faculty Chair Micah Webster announced that he will be stepping down from this post at the end of the year due to health concerns. Professor Nina Kasniunas will carry out the rest of Dr. Webster’s term.

GSG Had Their Annual Retreat and Here’s What’s Up

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Goucher Student Government, 2018-2019. Photo Credit: Neve Levinson

On February 10 in the Pinkard Room, Goucher Student Government (GSG), held its first retreat of the semester. In its current iteration, GSG is comprised of sixteen Senators, and two Co-Presidents (all listed at the end of this article). Their advisors are Stacy Cooper Patterson, Associate Dean of Students for Community Life, and Aisha Rivers, Director of Student Engagement. (Both of their offices are in the Office of Student Engagement, which is in the left side of the Mary Fisher lobby.)

GSG is in a transitional stage in terms of both structure and in creating institutional memory and continuity. An ongoing conversation throughout the retreat centered around the goals of GSG and how its members go about achieving those goals. Underpinning this conversation was a larger discussion about how GSG has been organized on an interior level in the past, and how to use that knowledge to create an institution that fulfills a need within the Goucher community. A key piece of this is that the GSG constitution now allows for two Co-Presidents to hold office, an amendment made last fall.

GSG Co-President, Samuel Anderson (‘21), explained that the reasoning for having two people hold this position model is to “ease the burden of one individual.” He added that both Co-Presidents are on the same level of the horizontal hierarchy as one another: there is no President or Vice President split. Co-President Noah Block (‘21), added that a key goal of this configuration is “collaboration.” As presented and discussed during the retreat, GSG in its current iteration seeks to model a horizontal leadership structure that shares power and responsibility evenly amongst its eighteen members.

Given this framework, a conversation that members of GSG began and returned to throughout the retreat centered around what the role of a Senator is right now, and to imagine what it can possibly look like. One senator mentioned that as a Senator, they are here “because we are all student leaders.” They discussed how horizontal structures allow individual senators to bring their personal passions to the group and work on them collaboratively, without taking orders or instructions from the top of the hierarchy. Senator Jibril Howard (‘22), spoke of Senators as visible connectors between students and each other or other members of the campus community. Senator Lilith Saylor, (‘20), raised concerns about this allowing GSG to be “too fluid,” and Senator Terrin Calder-Rosen (‘19), added that members of campus administration have questions about how Student Government functions and who to consult when seeking student feedback.

Other discussions that began at this retreat included ways to build on the record-setting 40% voter turnout for GSG elections last semester; ways to learn from previous leaders within GSG and its precursor, Student Government Association (SGA); and personal campaigns each senator was interested in taking on in order to build coalitions across campus with the common goal of improving Goucher, its climate, and how it functions as a whole. Senator Campbell Shepard (‘22), a member of the men’s soccer team, mentioned working with head men’s lacrosse coach Bryan Laut to generate continuing dialogue among athletes relating to toxic masculinity. Senator Em Lassen (‘21), proposed building on their role  as secretary of Equal Access in order to work with student groups to improve accessibility across campus life.

The Quindecim will continue reporting onGSG meetings that are open to the student body as well as potentially reporting future retreats such as this one.

Goucher Student Government members:

  • Samuel Anderson (Co-President), class of 2021
  • Noah Block (Co-President), class of 2021
  • Terrin Rosen, class of 2019
  • Sarah Piohia, class of 2019
  • Lilith Saylor, class of 2020
  • Zac Kassay, class of 2020 (currently abroad)
  • Marie Mokuba, class of 2021
  • Claire Corliss, class of 2021
  • Em Lassen, class of 2021
  • Xavier Rivers, class of 2021
  • Alexandra DiGiovanni, Class of 2022
  • Yuchen Ding, Class of 2022
  • Alistair Watson, Class of 2022
  • Derrick Burnette, Class of 2022
  • Ty’lor Schnella, Class of 2022
  • Derek Borowsky, Class of 2022
  • Campbell Shepard, Class of 2022
  • Jibril Howard, Class of 2022

Esports Joins Campus and Landmark Conference

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The Spring 2019 Goucher College League of Legends team. From left: Tasos Tagtalenidis, (‘22), Matteo Giunta-Fausty,(‘21), Zack Palmer, (‘19) Paul Ryu, (‘19) Tristan Whalen (‘22). Photo Credit: Neve Levinson

League of Legends is a fast-paced game in which two teams each of five players face off in an epic battle. As Kien Lam points out in an article posted to the game’s official  website, “[t]here are only two outcomes to any game of League of Legends. One team wins and one team loses — such is the law of our sport.” This last word is important: sport.

Goucher is a member of the Landmark Conference, which is part of the Division III level of collegiate athletics. The announcement was published on the Conference’s website on November 20, 2018.  “The Landmark Conference will foster Esports competition for its member institutions during the spring semester of 2019…Six of the eight conference members will field teams, with competition occurring via Riot Game’s League of Legends property.” The announcement also notes that, “[w]hile competitive video gaming has existed essentially since the advent of video gaming technology, Esports began to mature into its present state as streaming technology became more widely available. The first collegiate teams started to emerge in the mid-2010s.”

As stipulated by the Landmark Conference, “Each Esports team must be recognized and sanctioned by its institution’s Office of Student Life/Affairs and/or athletic departments. Participants on each team must meet institutional requirements for good academic standing and be eligible to participate in school-sanctioned club or intercollegiate sports, as defined by the respective institution.” At Goucher, Esports is currently housed in our recreation department, which is also its source of funding.

In an interview with The Quindecim, Director of Student Wellness Jean Perez and Jennifer Macko, Campus Recreation Coordinator, talked about how the team came into existence, beginning with conversations with Zach Palmer, the president of the campus League of Legends club, beginning last spring. Perez also noted that her role involves “helping with logistics and the back end of things and getting things up and running” for the team.

Macko added that, “…since we’ve done the promotion recently, there’s been a lot of interest coming in, either for being a sub on the A team or forming a B team or even to help with viewership. There’s a lot of interest in streaming and a lot of people will just participate in Esports simply by watching Twitch streams, they really enjoy that.”

To see Esports in action, their tournament space is located in Ath 321, just behind the QR Center. Stationed outside of it is a friendly white noise machine to help reduce any sounds emanating from the room beyond. While both Perez and Macko expressed interest in eventually moving it closer to the athletic facilities, Perez pointed out that, “it seems like a good space so far.”

To livestream tournaments, check out the official Gopher Twitch stream at https://www.twitch.tv/goucherleagueoflegends.

The official Landmark Esports page is http://www.landmarkconference.org/sports/esports/2018-19/schedule?teamId=9sdj46kr3q1ivy4o.

To learn more about the team, either contact Zach Palmer at zachary.palmer@mail.goucher.edu or Jen Macko at Jennifer.Macko@goucher.edu.

President Position Profile Released

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The introduction to the President Position Profile.

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

The profile will be used to recruit candidates in the next phase of the process, which will remain confidential. As Rebecca Swartz, Partner at Isaacson, Miller, stated in a February 15th email interview with The Quindecim, “[it] provides a picture of Goucher and the current institutional moment; and most importantly, it outlines the challenges and opportunities that the next President must lead Goucher in tackling.”

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

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

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

 

Presidential Search Enters Confidential Phase

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The search for a new president of Goucher College began in October of last year, after an email was sent out to the student body from Ruth Lenrow, chair of the Board of Trustees. Since then, a Presidential Search committee was formed. The committee is comprised of student representatives Marissa de La Viez ‘19 and Josiah Meekins ‘19, faculty members Phong Le ‘03, Jamie Mullaney P ‘22, and Gillian Starkey, two staff members, Jennifer Pawlo-Johnstone, Executive Director of Alumnae/i Engagement, and Andrew Wu, Associate Dean of Students Director of Athletics, and 11 trustees. Lisa Stromberg ‘83 and Miriam Katowitz ‘73 chair the committee. (For more information on the members of the search committee, see https://www.goucher.edu/explore/leadership-and-vision/presidential-search/committee.)

On December 9, de La Viez and Meekins hosted a listening session aimed at receiving student input on who the future president could be, and the values our community expects them to embody.

In a message posted to the Presidential Search page of the Goucher website on December 18, Stromberg and Katowitz noted that “Isaacson, Miller has been engaged to manage the search process. Isaacson, Miller is one of the most highly regarded national executive search firms. Rebecca Swartz and Chloe Kanas will serve as the firm’s co-consultants and will provide the counsel for the PSC’s work throughout the course of the search. The profiles of the firm, the consultants and their support team can be found on the Goucher College Presidential Search website.”

According to the “Schedule of Listening Sessions with Isaacson, Miller,” posted on the Presidential Search page of the Goucher website, a second meeting took place at 3 p.m. on January 22 with “Goucher Student Government officers and representatives.” An hour later, there was an “[o]pen forum for all students, Buchner Hall, Alumnae/I House. A livestream will be available.”

When asked via email why these listening sessions were conducted during winter break, Stromberg and Katowitz noted that, “[a]s you may know, our search consultant is headquartered in Boston and comes to meet with us in Towson at certain times. We were able to schedule a visit to campus at a time that worked for the consultant and the other constituent groups (alumni, faculty, administration, and board members) during January term. We made the decision to add a listening session for those students who were on campus during January term because the consultant would already be on campus. We recognized that not all students would be available on the January 22 date, hence we offered a live-stream opportunity.  We added an additional listening session on January 31, during the first week of the spring semester. Please note that the on-line survey was also available during this time.”
“It is important for us to keep the process moving forward and by holding four listening sessions for students (before break, two sessions on January 22 and again on January 31), versus one listening session for the other constituent groups, we hoped to get as many students involved as possible,” Lenrow added.

When asked a follow-up question of if the livestream was available online, Katowitz and Stromberg stated that, “[t]he listening sessions held on January 22 were one time confidential discussions for those in the room or on-line.  They were not posted on a public site or platform.”The online survey mentioned was open until February 8. In a February 15 email interview with The Quindecim, Rebecca Swartz, Partner at Isaacson, Miller, was asked to describe the survey results and number of responses received, as well as a breakdown between students versus faculty versus staff versus alumni. She was also asked, “[w]hat were variances in the written data from what information you received through the listening sessions?” In response to these questions, Swartz said of the survey results: “[a]bout 250 individuals participated in the community survey. Over 80 students responded, about 55 faculty and staff, and over 100 alumni and broader community constituents. Note that about 15 individuals did not indicate which group they identify with. Given the rich mix of respondents, a variety of perspectives were voiced in both the survey and the listening sessions (the latter of which was held with staff, faculty, students, alumnae/I, the Board of Trustees, and senior leadership). The most profound thread through them all is the shared, fierce dedication of this community to this institution and deep care for its future.”

While the next step of the search process is confidential, Swartz noted that, “[w]e and the search committee have synthesized our learnings into a comprehensive document called a ‘position profile’ which provides a picture of Goucher and the current institutional moment; and most importantly, it outlines the challenges and opportunities that the next President must lead Goucher in tackling. A final version of this document, which is a public document and which we will use in our recruitment of candidates, will be made available in the coming days.”

The Quindecim will post the position profile as soon as it is made available.

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