The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

Category archive

Opinion - page 3

Hey, Let’s Cut A Critical Resource From Our Schools!

by

Currently, our country’s education system is under attack due to a troubling trend: the neglect of art programs in schools. Serious budget cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts are resulting in many public schools struggling to maintain their arts programs (Mahnken). This is causing many schools to lay off teachers and, in extreme cases, cut funding for arts programs entirely (Fang). While many supporters of budget cuts would say that the STEM field should receive more funding because of the potential work applications and use in research, this ignores all the developmental, interdisciplinary, historical, and expressive benefits of art in education.

Currently, our country’s education system is under attack due to a troubling trend: the neglect of art programs in schools. Photo Credit: Google Images

When teachers provide diverse activities for children to choose from, they are not only providing options for children to discover personal interests, they are also opening up children to new experiences, which is, of course, crucial for development. A teacher’s primary goal is not only to educate, but to aid in children’s development, and art can provide a perfect outlet for this. Simply providing access to art materials, such as crayons or paints, can help children develop their fine motor skills, which are a necessity for skills such as writing (Hwang Lynch). Exposure to new and varied experiences can help facilitate a child’s development of language and vocabulary. Thus, exposure to art in the classroom can help children gain a myriad of vocabulary, such as words relating to shape, color, texture, and process of creation (Hwang Lynch).

The inclusion of art in education enriches a student’s ability to express creativity, which, although overlooked, is a critical skill. A strong sense of creativity is applicable in problem solving processes and the ability to adjust to new or unfamiliar tasks. The ability to think creatively may help a student who struggles with abstract concepts, such as algebra. Creativity can also improve social intelligence, since it fosters self-expressive skills (Zimmerman).

Clearly, art can aid mental development, and it has many interdisciplinary applications as well. For example, it has been shown that asking students to illustrate what they want to write about improves their ability to describe the scene or character in writing (Noden & Moss). In a biology course, in order to ensure that students can fully grasp the why parts of the cell look and interact, the teacher could design a project where the student has to create a replica of the cell. Art has the ability to awaken talents in students who think differently than their classmates and make use of their strengths. Simultaneously, it forces students who are not as experienced in the arts to think in more abstract and creative ways. Thus, for teachers, an art-infused curriculum can be a powerful tool in developing the minds of their students. After all, it has been shown in multiple studies that there is a correlation between participation in the arts and academic success (Hwang Lynch).

Art has been a constant force in human history and can show insight into the lives of people in the past (Reiss). Art breathes life into society, and its absence would be catastrophic (Bazalgette). Art can also bring attention to the negativity present in our society: the racism, homophobia, sexism and any number of injustices, injustices that can only be expressed in such a human form. After all, art is uniquely human.

I have been an artist since I was a small child, and one of my earliest memories is being praised by my parents for drawing “fireworks” or, swirly, chaotic scribbles on a page of sketch paper. My parents’ encouragement of my art and my personal love for it is what truly solidified my practice for it. For me, art was an escape. I was able to travel into the world of my drawings. Just imagine my excitement when I started attending school and learned that art would be one of my regular classes. While I am now a good student, I struggled in my younger years, so art class acted as a release. It was the reason I wanted to go to school each day.

As I grew older, art allowed me to better understand myself. My school did not have the best arts program, but my art classes allowed me to express what I kept pent up.

One could make the argument that careers in the sciences make more money, that the sciences are a more revered career, that a person who studies them will gain more respect. One could choose to ignore all the evidence that art enriches development and learning and say that in the STEM fields, students gain more skills than when studying arts. Obviously scientific research is crucial in the development of our society. However, just like the world needs scientists, children need art, and the world needs artists.

Arts provide children with the chance to explore their identity, gain confidence, move around, improve their technical skills, and make beautiful, precious things. No one can deny the spark that art ignites in children. All of educational benefits aside, why deny children the chance to have fun?

Works Cited

Bazalgette, Peter. “We Have to Recognise the Huge Value of Arts and Culture to Society.” The Observer, Guardian News and Media, 26 Apr. 2014,

Fang, Marina. “Public Schools Slash Arts Education And Turn To Private Funding.” ThinkProgress, 5 Aug. 2013,

Hwang Lynch, Grace. “The Importance of Art in Child Development.” PBS, Public  Broadcasting Service, 25 May 2012,

Mahnken, Kevin. “An Arts Education Crisis? How Potential Federal Cuts Could Decimate School Arts Programs.” The 74 , 29 Jan. 2017,

Noden, Harry, and Moss, Barbara. “Nurturing Artistic Images in Student Reading and Writing.”    The Reading Teacher, vol. 48, no. 6, Mar. 1995, pp. 532–534.

Reiss, Mitchell B. “The Value and Importance of the Arts and the Humanities in Education and Life.” by Barbara Ernst Prey. Huffington Post, 9 Nov. 2014,

Zimmerman, Enid. “Reconceptualizing the Role of Creativity in Art Education Theory and Practice.” Studies in Art Education, vol. 50, no. 4, 2009, pp. 382–399.

JILLIAN SMIDA-WOOD

An Alternative Solution

by

It probably had something to do with all the ideological softballs thrown his way during his speaking event at our school a few weeks ago, but by the end of the night, Charles Blow’s comfort with a friendly audience steered him to say something intriguing. Towards the end of the lecture, Mr. Blow fielded a question that led him to declare what he considers to be one of the constitutional crises of our time: the fact that less than a majority of our voting populace can vote for a presidential candidate, and that he or she can still be elected as the leader of the free world. Of course, what Mr. Blow was referring to is the fact that Hillary Clinton received over two million more votes than Donald Trump and was not rewarded the presidency. While I believe Mr. Blow would be singing a different tune had Mrs. Clinton won the electoral college with less than a majority of the popular vote, this is not what piques my interest.

“Towards the end of the lecture, Mr. Blow fielded a question that led him to declare what he considers to be one of the constitutional crises of our time: the fact that less than a majority of our voting populace can vote for a presidential candidate, and that he or she can still be elected as the leader of the free world.” Photo Credit: The New York Times

As Mr. Blow told it, politically and culturally like-minded individuals are increasingly moving into areas together; Democrats and liberals to urban/suburban areas, Republicans and conservatives to rural ones. He went on to suggest that this meant Democrats are getting a raw deal when it comes to electoral politics, because they are concentrating all of their votes in small geographic areas and essentially watering down their vote. He is hardly the first person to subscribe to this “Big Sort” idea, and while I think it is an oversimplification, I agree with the general premise of the argument. His remedy to this, which a sizable chunk of the left—and surely the right if they had been on the losing end of last year’s presidential campaign—believes to be the proper diagnosis, is to change our electoral system. While he did not explicitly say that we should get rid of the electoral college, this seemed to be the insinuation. However, perhaps changing how we elect our officials is not the proper remedy; maybe we should change our relationship with the government and how we view it, instead of fundamentally altering the Constitution.
Like a significant number of Americans, I am very concerned about what a Trump Presidency might still bring. However, when I think about why I have this concern, it has less to do with the man than the immense power that comes with leading the federal government. Anybody who paid attention to Barack Obama’s Presidency and to a lesser extent, his predecessor’s, saw just how much power they wielded. Now, a man who should never be anywhere near this kind of power is in control. The state of hysteria that the media and the left have been in for a year concerning Republican control over the Presidency and Congress is due to the power that the Federal government holds. The right would be in a similar state of hysteria if Mrs. Clinton had been elected, and/or if the Democrats had control over Congress.
Perhaps rather than drive ourselves crazy about who controls the government, maybe we should focus on what the government is allowed to control. One of the easiest ways to alleviate the growing state of tribalism and dysfunction that currently exists in our political system and culture, is to reduce the size of government. This way, every time the presidency, house, or senate flips—as they seem to do with increasing frequency—we are not losing our minds when our tribe isn’t in control. The answer is not to change the Constitution, but to lean on it more heavily, and reduce the arbitrary power in Washington that has consistently grown each decade since the early 1900’s.
While many will consider this argument to be “conservative” in nature, it is actually one that would suit many liberals at this point in time. You don’t like how undemocratic it seems that Mr. Trump got elected? Consider subscribing to the limited government point of view, because the larger government becomes the less democratic and accountable it becomes. Furthermore, if the right is as crazy as the left suggests, they should be extremely interested in reducing the power of government, given the right’s choke-hold on Gubernatorial offices and state legislatures across the country.
This idea should work for people of all ideological backgrounds, aside from socialists. When we remove the government from places that it does not obviously need to be, the market and mediating institutions (voluntary organizations, churches, the media, etc) take over. The beautiful thing about the market is that it provides multiple choices and is unbiased when it picks winners and losers. Furthermore, unlike the government, mediating institutions allow citizens to pick what best suits them. Any market—be it the marketplace for ideas, kept alive by the First Amendment, the market for environmental sustainability, or the traditional market for products—will ultimately find an equilibrium as long as it is not interfered with. While there are places where the government must involve itself, such as with the regulation of the environment, or with business trusts, there are other places that it simply does not belong. Currently, any time there is an inefficiency in a market, many Americans want to turn to the government to solve the problem. However, when there is a government inefficiency, we don’t apply the same scrutiny, and often just double down on the overreach, instead of trying to reverse the trend.
We will all be much more comfortable with members of ideological affiliations unlike ours, in power, if we rely on the rules, laws, and amendments that have successfully governed us for so long, rather than expanding the reach of government to assist our ideological affiliations each time we find ourselves in power.

Reviews of Helen Glazer’s Walking in Antarctica

by

What is the exhibit?
Kyoko Kinoshita
Goucher College is holding an exhibition entitled “Walking in Antarctica” by Helen Glazer in Rosenberg Gallery, from October 18th to December 18th. Helen Glazer makes photographs and photo-based sculptures based on complex natural forms, informed by an understanding of scientific concepts of growth and form in nature.
This is exhibition is of her seven week “walks”: over frozen lakes, into frozen ice caves, up mountains and with the Adélie penguins. The gallery is structured so that you follow her journey as you walk along the wall.  As soon as you enter the main entrance, you will see the audio guide and brochure right in front of you.

“The balance between light and dark subjects creates a simultaneous sensation of restriction and expansion, of being consumed and being freed.” -Miranda Egan Brooks Photo Credit: Helen Glazer

Background on the Artist
Guadalupe Sosa
Helen Glazer comes from a well-established art background. Her art career began during her undergraduate years. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from Yale University. Afterwards, she went on to the Maryland Institute College of Art to obtain her Masters in painting. Not only is Glazer’s work displayed at Goucher College, but two pieces from her Walking in Antarctica exhibit will be displayed at the BWI airport.

Art and Technology
Virginia Turpin
Helen Glazer created this exhibit after spending seven weeks in 2015 in Antarctica on a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. She spent this time photographing the landscape as well as mapping rock formations for sculpture using photogrammetry and 3D printing.
Despite the technology woven through the exhibit, the focus Glazer brings to the wild and natural beauty of Antarctica makes it feel earthy, rather than high tech. Throughout the exhibit she seeks to illustrate the different landscapes and features present in Antarctica beyond the stereotypical imaginings of Antarctica as endless snow desert. She does this by showing the close details of frost and snow, as well as alien underground chambers. She takes the viewer through the more rocky aspects of the coldest continent, including rocks bare of snow and icy mountain-scapes, as well as low lying lakes and muddy patches. Last, but certainly not least, she does not neglect Antarctica’s most photogenic resident: the penguin.

Why You Should Go
Kyoko Kinoshita
This  exhibition was beautiful and  educational. Antarctica is very far away and there is not much opportunity to learn about it in daily life, so it was very nice to see pictures from there and to learn about Antarctica, especially now, when the global warming is a huge issue.

Pondering about the Future
Guadalupe Sosa
I believe the theme of this exhibit would be pondering about the future. These pictures make you look beyond the focal point. Glazer may be making a point to look forward to the other side. This exhibit hit me because, as a senior in college, I am scared to look into the future. I am at crossroads in my career: should I stay at my current job or go elsewhere? I feel connected with the small penguin. The penguin is an equivalent parallel to my pondering in life. Overall, Glazer did an incredible job of fusing Antarctica’s with a deep message of finding oneself.

From a Photographic Point of View
Sara Naughton
Focusing more on the photographs for this exhibit, you can tell she structured her photos differently according to the different subject she chose. I liked that she decided to have a wider camera view of the landscapes, giving the viewer a broader glance into the environment, whereas when she photographed the subject matter of ice formations, she had a very close up view of them, which gives an entirely different perspective. This allows you to see intricate details you would otherwise miss, and look at ice entirely differently. Sometimes things that are photographed up close look like entirely different things.

Artistic Rather than Environmental
Miranda Egan Brooks
Although its aim was to shed light on Antarctica’s need for environmental concern, Glazer’s exhibition does not quite accomplish this and is stronger in other areas. Glazer’s success comes from her artistic talents and ability to depict the richness of the Antarctic landscape. Since each picture was so full of interesting content, I found myself focusing on the visual pleasures and complexities of the work, rather than feeling any concern for Antarctica’s environment. I can say that I genuinely appreciated a great number of Glazer’s photographs and that I left the exhibition appreciative of Glazer’s ability to expand my knowledge of the Antarctic landscape in a creative and impacting way.

Art Analysis: Blue Fractals
Miranda Egan Brooks
Packed with emotions, aesthetically intriguing, and demonstrative of technical skills, Blue Fractals is one of my favorite pieces in Glazer’s collection. I especially enjoy how much this photo has to offer in regards to content and perspective. The balance between light and dark subjects creates a simultaneous sensation of restriction and expansion, of being consumed and being freed. This photograph is also remarkable, as it illustrates the intricacies and beauty of nature in a very graceful way.

 
Intrigued? Check out the exhibit for yourself in the Rosenberg Gallery.

What​ ​They​ ​Should​ ​Teach​ ​Us​ ​in​ ​High​ ​School

by
College students often complain about what they learned in high school because they realize that once they get out into the real world, they do not have many of the skills that they need to survive. Photo credit: pixabay.com

You often find many students in high school and college saying “When are we going to use this stuff in real life?”. The Pythagorean theorem is not going to help with me in life and I cannot name a time in which I needed to memorize it, since I took the SAT or ACT. Many high school. College students often complain about what they learned in high school because they realize that once they get out into the real world, they do not have many of the skills that they need to survive. Before many high school students leave to go to college, they do not know how to take out student loans. Is this not an issue? If it was not for the help and stress of our parents, we would not even be in college. Here are five major of things that not only our parents, but our schools, should be teaching us:
Financial management: Many students are entering college without the experience of a real job,. Because of this, students may not know how to manage their money. Even kids who had a job previously, before coming to college, may not know how to manage money correctly. From paying for textbooks to attending fun events, college students need to learn how to maintain their money and not just go broke. The habits they build will stick with them into their thirties. Building healthy financial habits will enable students to prosper in the future life.
Using “I” in essays: In high school English classes, teachers forbid using first person. Students may have written one paper in which they were allowed to use the letter “I”. Since I came to college, most of my papers have involved me using the first person “I”. Some professors have questioned their students: why are they so afraid to type papers in first person? High school English classes have forbid using it for multiple reasons: the paper is not an opinion paper and it sounds unprofessional. However, high school teachers should stop scaring students into not using first person when writing essays because it is necessary in college writing.
Self-Defense Skills: Every high school should have an option of self-defense class, or at least places where you can find classes. Many college campuses are now starting to offer self-defense classes (Goucher College is one of them!). Assault in college is common, and men and women are both victims of it. Knowing how to protect yourself never hurts.
Studying and Note-Taking Skills: Although high school teachers mention that you should know how to study and take notes, it often is more complicated in college. The way in which a student studies and take notes may need to change, because the old skill set is not working. There are also professors who put so much on the slides that it is hard to take notes. Luckily, we have phones to take pictures nowadays, but many teachers ban phone use in their class. Note taking used to be a class for our parents’ generation; it would not hurt to bring it back.
Time Management: There is so much to do in college. You have your freedom, and many students no longer have the stress of parents pushing them to get good grades. This can cause students to slack on their grades. It can be hard juggling academics, extracurricular activities, and social life. Lack of any  one of these can result in less self-care. Although college campuses have many centers that can help with time management, it would not hurt to have a class that can teach you better time management. It would reduce stress and complications in college.
Although I’ve listed these five skills, there are so many more things (taxes is a major one) that students must learn how to do. Although these are little issues, they can easily be fixed. Adding courses to the curriculum that students actually need will cause better student performance, especially for incoming freshman. Some of these basic issues can be solved in college, but some can’t.

HANNAH CLAGGETT

Birth Control in Puerto Rico: The Pill’s Dark History

by
A lesson at a birth control clinic. 1968, Puerto Rico. Image from: http://pro.magnumphotos.com

Although the pill allows American women to feel more in control of their body, many do not realize the dark history behind this method of birth control. In 1956, a researcher from Massachusetts named Gregory Pincus conducted the first experiment in Puerto Rico (specifically Rio Piedras and Humacao) to test the effectiveness of birth control. Pincus had to perform the experiment in Puerto Rico in order to avoid legal conflicts within the United States, since birth control did not become legal in America until the 1960s.
The experimenters had nearly 1,500 women try the birth control. Many of the women were poor and  illiterate, but they wanted to take the pill because they wanted to plan out their families. None of the women were told about the side effects of taking this pill, and Puerto Rican doctors often were distrustful of the pill.  Although at the time many were unsure about the potential side effects of the pill, Pincus was quite confident in his product and told women that they could not get pregnant as long as they took the pill regularly.
On August 2nd, 1959 Pincus wrote an article in the Washington Post detailing his observations of the experiment. He notes that at least 25 percent of women quit taking the pill because it had not been effective, causing less interest and desirability. Many participants found that the pill made them nauseous and dizzy. After these concerns were raised, in August of 1962, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) was notified that 26 of the women endured blood clots, resulting in three deaths. Other side effects included weight gain, vomiting, headaches, stomach pain, severe cramping, constant mood changes, lack of sexual desires, and depression.
Although these women were participating in an experiment, none of them were informed that this was a trial. Since there was a major language barrier, none of them were warned about the side effects and possible risks. The experimenters only promoted a free pill and a way to prevent pregnancy. The fact that many Puerto Rican women were illiterate and lived in poverty helped the researchers select Puerto Rico as a site for the experiment.
Why was Puerto Rico chosen to be the site of these trials? In the early 1950s, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, became aware of Pincus’s creation of the pill to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Sanger was a promoter of contraception, so it is not surprising that she wanted to test the pill to see if it worked. Sanger and Pincus decided Puerto Rico would be the perfect site to do so. In 2013, Planned Parenthood claimed they went to Puerto Rico for the following reasons: Puerto Ricans accepted contraception, they were geographically close to the United States, and researchers were testing to see if illiterate women could responsibly take the pill.
Basically, what Planned Parenthood is saying is that they tricked vulnerable women into taking something that could have potentially lead to death. How are women suppose to take a pill “responsibly” if they are not even told that they are participating in an experiment, nor that there are dangerous side effects? Pincus clearly did not handle this experiment “responsibly.” Rather, the experiment was a violation of human rights.
The United States has history of racism towards Puerto Ricans and this experiment can be added to the list of human rights violations. The researchers preyed on Puerto Rican women who lived in poverty and were illiterate. They tricked them into taking a pill, not warning them about the dangerous effects. Through the suffering of these women, the researchers found out that the root of the problem was the dosages that the Puerto Ricans were taking. The women were taking very high dosages, causing them to be more prone to the side effects, so the researchers learned to lower the dosage when presenting the pill to Americans.
While Americans have been provided with proper education on the pill as a method of birth control, many of the Puerto Rican women were left suffering and some dead. Pincus and the creator of Planned Parenthood is to blame for these unjust actions. Sanger is a self-proclaimed feminist, yet she did this to other women, especially vulnerable women.  Planned Parenthood is a great organization that has helped many women, but that does not justify its dark history. This organization must acknowledge its wrongdoings and apologize to the women they have hurt.

Information from:

The Dark History of the Birth Control Pill in Puerto Rico

HANNAH CLAGGETT

When Friends are Abroad

by
“It was super easy to feel inadequate and like I wasn’t having the ‘correct’ Goucher experience because I wasn’t going abroad for a semester.”

Studying abroad, on either and ICA or a semester, is a quintessential part of the Goucher experience, but what happens when all your friends are studying abroad for a semester and you’re not? This happened to me this semester, and is going to be even more apparent next semester as well. While it’s been a difficult experience, I’ve definitely learned a lot from it and I wanted to share some of my insight.
My freshman year, one thing that I loved about Goucher was being able to walk down Van Meter and overhear conversations such as, “Professors were just so different in Paris” or “I miss the food from Seville so much!”. There was so much casual name dropping of people’s amazing experiences, I was so impressed and jealous of everyone. When it came time for me to decide where I was going abroad, I so badly wanted to go abroad for an entire semester, however it soon became clear this wasn’t possible. It became obvious that with the schedule of my two majors that I wasn’t going to be able to both go abroad for a semester and graduate in four years. Even though I was disappointed, I was still happy and excited for the different ICA programs that I could possibly go on. However, it turned out that most of my friends were all going abroad my junior year, leading to me to feel nervous about what Goucher would be like without them.
The first thing I struggled with was feeling jealous. It was super easy to feel inadequate and like I wasn’t having the ‘correct’ Goucher experience because I wasn’t going abroad for a semester. This was especially hard when my friends would tell me about how beautiful Scotland was or how great the beer in Brussels is. I genuinely wanted to hear about their experiences, but also struggled with feeling jealous. I’ve found that while it’s important to listen to my friends and hear about their lives, it’s also necessary to take space away from it as well.
My daily routine has also been disrupted. I’m used to getting coffee with the people I usually have class with around midday, but those people aren’t here this semester. I felt lost at the beginning of the semester because I found myself wanting to get lunch, but not knowing who to text; my go-to people were all eating dinner halfway around the world. This took some getting used to, and I definitely had a few weeks of feeling kind of lonely. However, it also pushed me to reach out to some new people who I had wanted to get closer with.
While it did feel lonely at first, I got to make some incredible new friends. I now feel a lot more like Goucher is my home and that I have a stronger connection to this community, after I was pushed to expand outside my little bubble. I also got to change up my normal Goucher routine and see what a change of pace was like. I’ve been seeing more of Baltimore and trying new things that I would never have had the chance to do if I hadn’t expanded who I was hanging out with.
Another very important part of this for me was getting really excited about the ICA’s Goucher has to offer. We have some amazing programs, with incredible and passionate professors running them! An ICA is very different than a semester for sure, but it’s equally as valuable and enriching as one.
Being at Goucher while your friends are abroad is hard. It’s a big adjustment especially if you have settled into a friend group and a pretty consistent routine. But change is good, and shaking our routines and experiences, while difficult at first, is ultimately positive.

Enacting a Change to Taxes on Feminine Products

by
June 2015 “tampon tax” map, used with permission from Washington Post. (Courtesy of Fusion)

In the last couple weeks, I noticed my receipt for tampons from Goucher’s Bookstore included a 6% sales tax. Like most college bookstores, Goucher’s Bookstore is run by Barnes and Noble. This surprised me because I knew that Maryland’s state law now exempts feminine hygiene products from sales tax. I felt urged to do something about this because I feel it is unjust for women to be taxed on these products in general. The Maryland’s government’s website for taxes, Comptroller of Maryland, states that they exempt feminine hygienic products, sanitary napkins and tampons from a sales tax. The law went into effect in July 2017, and was enacted by the Department of Legislative Services. When I brought this up to the cashier, he contacted a representative of Barnes and Noble. The representative replied that they were unaware about this policy change and subsequently updated the system to comply with the new law for all the stores in Maryland. Within a week, the cashier was also able to remove the tax from the products. It was an issue that was easily resolved. He informed me by saying, “Once the register is updated, it takes the tax off and it won’t process the item anymore as a taxable item.”
The pain and effort to maintain personal hygiene caused by women’s menstrual cycles is taxing enough. As a Goucher student, Allie Sklarew explained her opinion on the topic. “I would feel like if I was taxed for these products, it’s a complete insult to women, saying something that is natural to your body is somehow a horrible thing.”  Before I noticed this issue at Goucher, I had already begun research on feminine hygienic tax issues. A Washington Post article titled, “The ‘tampon tax,’ explained” stated, “tampons (and similar products) are tax-exempt in only a handful of states, including Maryland and New Jersey”. The image displays certain states that exempts feminine by sales tax (Fusion, 2015).
When it becomes a woman’s time of the month, it is necessary to purchase products that assist with menstrual hygiene. “Its not a choice to have our menstrual cycle so to be charged is unethical and unjust.” Goucher student Maria Kyriakakos states on the matter, “I think just having that natural occurrence doesn’t mean that we should be priced.” To buy feminine hygienic products are under no choice and menstrual health care is pricey as well as limited in access. Rewire states that, “Feminine products are a $2 billion industry in the United States alone.” Purchasing these various products, including tampons and sanitary napkins, are a monthly necessity, not a luxury.
The amount for these products adds up. As USA Today states, “The average woman spends $150-$300 a year on feminine hygiene disposables.” Over time, the hefty expenses and lack of accessibility can cause significant health issues. Homeless, incarcerated, or low-income women are prone to the most suffering. The price of poor menstrual hygiene can be devastating, even deadly. The New York Times states that, “It is linked to high rates of cervical cancer in India; in developing countries, infections caused by use of filthy, unwashed rags are rampant.” Luckily enough Maryland exempts these products from the sales tax. Most states don’t, and thankfully this issue with Goucher’s bookstore was quickly resolved. Being able to make a change concerning this issue at campus shows that we can all make steps towards change when faced with injustice by utilizing assertiveness, curiosity, and research.

Works Cited
Comptroller of Maryland. (n.d.). Medicine and Medical Equipment. Retrieved October 22, 2017
Larimer, S. (2016, January 08). The ‘tampon tax,’ explained. Retrieved October 22, 2017
Maryland General Assembly, D. (2017). Sales and Use Tax – Hygienic Aids – Exemption. Retrieved October 22, 2017
Meyer, Z., & McDermott, M. (2017, March 27). Tampons are out among younger women. Why feminine hygiene is newest consumer battlefield. Retrieved October 22, 2017
O’hara, M. E. (2015, April 21). ‘Robin Danielson Act’ Would Mandate Independent Testing on Tampon Safety. Retrieved October 22, 2017
Wolf, J. W. (2015, August 11). America’s Very Real Menstrual Crisis. Retrieved October 22, 2017

Pieces of the Peace House, Pieces of Home

by
When I think about being old and reflecting on my college years, “I think I will appreciate this snippet of my life, living in the Peace House. College never felt real until my sophomore year; until I lived here.” Photo Credit: Isabella Favazza

The Peace House has been my home for three semesters; which may not seem like a lot, but it is. Living in the Peace House is the longest I’ve lived anywhere outside of the home I had as a kid. Each year, students move from building to building, but the Peace House has managed to draw me back for another year. In the fall, it is humid and the lack of air conditioning coupled with the four flights of stairs is the worst. But as winter comes and one is able to look out of the frosted windows at the quad, sunshine or overcast, its beauty still shines. Even in the spring, living on the fourth floor holds its magic because the trees come into bloom right in front of your eyes and the squirrels dash from branch to branch, making them audibly rustle.
The Peace House sits on the very top floor of Dulaney, located inside of Mary Fisher. It overlooks the quad on one side and the ongoing construction on the other. There are three singles and three doubles, one of which is really just two singles connected by a door; housing a grand total of nine students. The closets are known for their spacious size. The bathroom is divided into two halves, one half having three toilet stalls, and the other having three sinks, one shower, one tub shower, and a plethora of cubbies for people to store their bathing equipment. There are two stairwells that lead up to the Peace House, one of which has a sort of bedazzled, colorful tapestry hung above the archway. At the end of the hall, room 406, a dorm room has been transformed into a common area, at least in name; the furniture has yet to come. When the furniture does arrive, this room will house a futon, a rug, two inflatable chairs, a coffee table, maybe some cacti or flowers, two desks, two desk chairs, a yoga mat or two, and several posters and pictures. The room will be a common area for weekly Peace House activities, such as art projects, movie nights, or support groups. The room will also work as a study room and even a recreational space that can be used for performance art, such as slam poetry or small musical gatherings.
To be the Head of the Peace House is something I do with pride. While I feel it is a position with no weight because the house works as a collective as opposed to a hierarchical structure, planning out events and seeing students come together as a community is something that touches my heart. The purpose of the Peace House changes every year and is decided by those who live in it. As of this semester, the focus has been on community engagement thus far. Future activities will aim to promote self-love and protection.
The following is our blue-print for the Peace House. Each week, members of the Peace House will meet once or twice in our new recreational space to work on small projects; each month the Peace House will do excursions or large activities that will tie into specific themes or upcoming holidays. The weekly meetings have yet to occur, due to the common area not being finished just yet. However, the monthly excursions are up and running. In September, Peace House members went to a nearby farm to kick off the school year with a fun day aimed at bonding activities. For the month of October, members have expressed interest in showcasing a documentary about Trans rights or meeting with David Heffer for a day to learn basic self-defense moves.
When I think about being old and reflecting on my college years, I think I will appreciate this snippet of my life, living in the Peace House. College never felt real until my sophomore year; until I lived here. Residents will come and go, myself included when I study abroad next semester, but the connections students build in this single hallway are tangible and lasting. My roommate, who I had to talk into living here and who considered this his last option in case he couldn’t live in Welsh, has since solidified his membership when he helped another resident clean up after they got sick in the bathroom. The Peace House is not just a set of dorms, it’s a community, and it will always welcome new members with open arms.

Mobile Dean: What It Is and Why You Should Care

by
Never be afraid to “Ask Your M.D. (Mobile Dean).” Photo Credit: Goucher College

As a stereotypical college student, I am accustomed to leaving everything until the last minute. A typical day will end at around three in the morning, and the next one will start approximately six hours later with a cold shower and a cup of medium iced coffee in a large cup with extra ice, three packets of sugar, and tons of two percent milk. The idea of planning, setting appointments, and being on time to things is akin to the idea of buying a lottery ticket and hoping to win – yes it’s a nice thought, but unless all the stars align at just the right moment, it is a purely unattainable goal. At Goucher College, the students are privileged to have a friendly set of deans to call our own, who have set aside hours multiple times a week solely for talking with students.
Mobile Dean, while certainly not one of Goucher’s most pioneering products, is an efficient and accessible way for students to get to know the deans. Mobile Dean occurs at least two times a week for about an hour, in different areas each time, but usually ones of high student traffic. Bryan Coker, the Vice President and Dean of Students, Andrew Wu, the Associate Dean for Student Development, and Stacy Cooper Patterson, the Associate Dean of Students for Community Life, comprise the elite squad known as the Mobile Dean. They can usually be found somewhere on Van Meter with a Mobile Dean flag and, more often than not, a bowl of candy. Jokingly, Dean Coker says that “earbuds are our worse enemy, candy is our best friend.”
The inspiration for Mobile Dean came from the higher-up administration interested in seeing more students. Dean Coker says, that while he enjoys getting to know the students, “it’s easy for [him] to see twenty percent of students, total.” He states “Often that is the ten percent of students who are involved in everything…and then the other ten percent of students, are in serious crisis.” While he loves his position as Vice President and Dean of Students, the unfortunate factor is that the higher up a person goes in the academic totem pole, they are less available to spend time with students.
First-Year Experience (FYE) instructor, Moe De la Viez-Perez ’19 says that she really likes Mobile Dean: “it’s a cool opportunity… kind of like open hours.” Though she thoroughly enjoys Mobile Dean, she does express concern about whether or not other students know exactly what it is used for. De la Viez-Perez said that it was not a topic talked about in the FYE classes and that it’s likely first-years do not know what to do with this great tool.
When talking to other students, many expressed that they were unsure of the Mobile Dean’s purpose. The majority of students said that it really didn’t seem like it was worth the effort; due to students running to-and-from classes, clubs, and other extracurriculars, it is difficult to actually stop and talk to the various Deans, especially when the Mobile Dean only occurs for an hour at a time. While Dean Coker recognizes that it has been difficult to market Mobile Dean, he encourages students to check out the Goucher College website in order to see updated dates and times for when it is happening, and he prompts student to never be afraid to “Ask Your M.D. (Mobile Dean).”

Hate Graffiti: What can Goucher do about it?

by
“Since I have come to Goucher, hate graffiti has happened on rare occasions,” said Associate Dean of Students, Andrew Wu. Photo Credit: Business Insider

“Hate is alive every single day,” LeBron James said after one of his homes was vandalized with hate graffiti.  “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know being black in America is tough,” James said. “And we got a long way to go, for us as a society and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America.”
The horrific incident that occurred at James’s home has sparked a topic that has many people talking: hate graffiti. The racist events have occurred for years, especially towards African-Americans, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other minorities. Although the incidents have sparked some news, many people do not talk about hate graffiti that has occurred on college campuses, and fortunately Goucher College has been the site of very few hate crimes. Andrew Wu, the Associate Dean of Students of Goucher College, was happy to provide information about past hate crimes that has occurred on the campus.
“Since I have come to Goucher, hate graffiti has happened on rare occasions. In the last couple of years, we’ve had pockets of incidents that have involved racist and transphobic messages. Unfortunately, in my time at Goucher, we have not identified any individuals responsible for hate graffiti,” he said.
The lack of camera surveillance makes it tough for authorities to capture the culprit and when the culprit commits the hateful action, they tend to be isolated.
While Goucher authorities have not been able to capture anyone who has committed hate graffiti on the rare occasions that they have, the school has a low-tolerance for hate crimes. “If someone were found to be engaging in hateful messaging, depending on the person’s affiliation with the college and nature of the incident, a number of individuals/committees (including the Bias Education Response Team) would respond. Generally speaking, the college would have to determine whether or not that person should continue as a member of the community, and if they were, how to ensure that they are provided with educational opportunities to better understand their actions,” Wu said.
Many people have noticed an increase in hate crimes since Donald Trump announced that he was running for president. More crimes have been committed since he has become president.
“Because it’s very likely that these incidents are isolated and individual, it’s hard to attribute them to changes in the political climate,” Wu continues. “However, in my limited experience here, we have certainly experienced a greater number of these incidents since the beginning of last academic year.”
There are multiple ways to try to help prevent these hate crimes from arising on campuses. We could invest in camera surveillances that could be placed in appropriate areas so culprits can be caught easier, place stricter consequences against anyone committing a hateful crime, and promote social equality.
Although racism is alive and everywhere, Goucher students and faculty can still help promote social equality. Goucher is an environment that promotes love, safety, and comfortability among students and faculties. Although, as a collective, we may not agree on everything, we can all conclude that we try to do what is right for the students in the best way possible.

LeBron James quotes from: Chappell, B. (2017, June 01). Hate Is ‘Alive Every Single Day,’ LeBron James Says After Racist Graffiti Incident.

HANNAH CLAGGETT

Go to Top