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Frisbee Golf at Goucher

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Map of Goucher’s Disc Golf Course Photo Credit: Professional Disc Golf Association

Do you know where to find Goucher’s Frisbee Golf course on campus? Did you know that Goucher actually has a Frisbee Golf course? Do you know what Frisbee Golf is?
Frisbee golf (officially called disc golf) is a sport that combines the core premise and scoring system of golf with the use of specialized frisbees and frisbee golf baskets as opposed to golf balls and holes in the ground. The goal of disc golf is to throw the frisbee into the frisbee golf basket, called a hole, in as few throws as possible while navigating the terrain of the course. Following the first hole, players throw from the tee box based on score, with the lowest scorer going first, just like golf. Official disc golf courses range from 200 to 400 ft. long and often include many obstacles such as trees, foliage, and elevation changes. However, the most important thing players must consider for every throw in frisbee golf is the wind current. The strength of the breeze (or lack thereof) is pivotal to the destination of each disc thrown, forcing players to adjust their throws accordingly. To start each “hole” in disc golf, players throw their discs off of concrete slabs known as tee boxes that also provide the hole number, the direction of the disc golf basket, and distance to the target disc golf basket from the tee box.
The disc golf baskets have chains that allow them to catch discs thrown at them and are usually painted bright colors to make them more visible to players. In order to complete a hole, discs have to land either in the basket or on the chains. The disc golf frisbees themselves are smaller than conventional frisbees to allow longer and more accurate throws. Discs come in many different shapes to allow for various types of short to long range shots. Putter discs are meant for slow, accurate, and controlled shots at a close range, usually when attempting to score in the disc golf basket. Mid-range discs have slightly sharper edges at the bottom of the disc compared to putter discs and are meant for faster and longer distance shots at the cost of decreased accuracy. Driver discs have the sharpest angles at their bottoms and are meant for the fastest and longest distance throws at the cost of accuracy. Drivers are often used to tee off at the beginning of each hole. However, owning a wide collection of different type discs isn’t essential to the sport, and you can easily play a course only using a single disc per person.

Frisbee golf basket with disks. Photo credit: https://beanmimo.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/bringing-disc-golf-to-ireland/

Goucher’s disc golf course can be found in the woods behind Van Meter Hall, with the tee box for the first hole located by the tennis courts. Disc golf may sound intimidating to newcomers with so many rules and technicalities, but the reality is that if you can toss a frisbee, you’re ready to play. So grab some discs, a couple friends, and play some frisbee golf right here in the woods of Goucher! To see a map of the 9 hole course here at Goucher and get more specifics on the course, check out https://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=1321&mode=lf.

The Equestrian Team: Something to Be Proud of

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Goucher’s equestrian team is something to be proud of. The team is known for their skill and enthusiasm for the sport. There are even some places on campus where the horses venture with their riders, such as the jumps near a trail in the woods. Unlike most sports, the equestrian season is a nearly all year. Several events take place both on and off campus. Horseback riding is an interesting sport in that it involves more than just a competitor and their teammates; it involves the competitor and another animal that they themselves are responsible for. In a way, the horse is valued much as a teammate and partner.

Senior Cary Hundley claimed High Point Rider award for fifth consecutive show in early November. Photo Credit: Goucher College Athletics

There is a lot of work that goes into the team, beyond the shows and competitions. Goucher is one of the only schools to host horses on its campus, so riders have the liberty to practice and train on their own and with instructors multiple days a week.

Ari Schlossberg, a senior who is going on his fourth year on the team, talks about some of the process behind the horse shows and how they operate.

Surprisingly, home events take up more of the day than away events. The day starts as early as 5:30 AM and lasts until about 5 PM. All riders are expected to groom and tack up the horses. The horses that the riders compete with that day are not necessarily the ones that they have been practicing with. The available horses are not decided by the riders, but the horse will most likely match the skill level of the rider. When the competing school arrives, there will usually be horses being “schooled” in the outside arena. These are horses that have to be worked on for many various reasons, and the people riding the schooling horses are able to display their skills to the opposing school.

Once the horses are all groomed and tacked, they need to be warmed up. Warm-ups are important for both the rider and the horse. Schlossberg says that warming up gets the horse’s temperature, breathing, and muscles prepped for working and being active out in the ring. He also says that when he’s competing, it is very easy for him to “get in the zone.”

There is not as much rivalry between schools in terms of equestrian sporting as one might expect. However, there are still intense situations. If a rider’s score is tied with another rider, they will compete with each other for a dominant score, which can be more personal to the rider than most parts of a competition.

Schlossberg says that competing is “an act of focusing.” There is a checklist of things that a rider needs to be aware of in terms of their strengths and weaknesses, paying special attention to the skills that they have fine-tuned over the course of any given training period. He states that. when thinking about horsemanship, there is no one thing that is more important than any other. “Poise” is the word Schlossberg says most accurately encapsulates it. “The idiom ‘get back in the saddle’ exists for a reason.”

RACHEL HASLETT

Winter Sports Begin, Communications Head Hired

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Winter Sports
Goucher’s winter sports teams (men’s and women’s basketball, swimming and indoor track and field) have been practicing for a while now, but their competition seasons are just getting started.

This semester, the swim team has won two of four meets. Swimmer above is junior Ila Jackson. Photo Credit: Goucher College Athletics

Swimming
The Women’s swim team won two out of four meets, beating Hood College and Stevenson University, while losing by small margins to Frostburg University and Elizabethtown. Against Elizabethtown, the Gophers racked up a lot of high-scoring swims, lacking the depth to secure the points to bring home a win. It’s worth taking note that Goucher took first, second and third places in the 1000 freestyle against Elizabethtown by Alexis Regopoulos, Kathryn Shannon, and Catherine Yost. First-year Alexis Leszewski successfully won the 50 and the 100 freestyle, and fellow first-year Kathryn Shannon won the 100 backstroke. Additionally Co-Captains Alexis Regopoulos and Kyanna Cadwallader won the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke events.
On the Men’s side, Goucher also lost to the Blue Jays but rallied behind some impressive swims. Senior Co-Captain Ian Furst took first place in the 1000 freestyle while junior Eli Gang secured The duo also took first and third in the 500 freestyle. Senior Jerel McCord placed second in the 100 fly, and first-year Troy Thompson placed third in the 50 freestyle. Basketball  
Women’s basketball will open on November 15th in a home game against Shenandoah University. Men’s basketball begins later that same night in a home game vs. Wilson College. Good luck Gophers!

Athletics Reaches Out
Student Athlete Advisory Council
The Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) has had a busy semester so far. SAAC, which acts primarily as a medium for student athletes to communicate with the academic and athletic administration at Goucher, also hosts fundraising events and provides new opportunities for Student-athletes to get involved outside of the realm of sports. This fall, SAAC has hosted the One Family Dodgeball Tournament. The tournament raises money for the scholarship fund dedicated to honoring former men’s lacrosse player Matthew Gabriel, otherwise known as the MG3 fund. SAAC is still accepting donations and selling MG3 t-shirts. Beyond the MG3 Tournament, SAAC has also played a large role in organizing the athletes for Athletes games, which aim to promote inter-sport support and pride and get more Gophers out to cheer on their teammates at home matches. The team to attend the most games will win a trophy, recognition at the Spring Athletic Awards banquet, and of course, free food. Looking toward the future SAAC is hoping to organize more community service opportunities for athletes to attend during the spring semester in an initiative that hopes not only to increase volunteer opportunities for athletes, but also connect them to local communities.

John Gatto, the new director of Athletic Communications. Photo Credit: Goucher College Athletics

New Director of Communications
In other news, Goucher Athletics is excited to announce that John Gatto has been named director of Athletic Communications.
“After a national search that brought us a number of strong and experienced candidates, we are thrilled to announce the hiring of John Gatto,” said Director of Athletics Geoff Miller. “John has close to ten years of experience in the field of athletic communications. He knows the Landmark Conference well, has experience with video and all social media platforms, and he has proven to be nimble and adaptable in a business that is dynamic and changing daily. We can’t wait to get him on board and integrate him into our team here in athletics”.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the Goucher College family,” said Gatto. “I want to thank Director of Athletics Geoff Miller and everyone involved in the search process for this incredible opportunity. Having the chance to publicize the accomplishments of Gopher student-athletes and coaches both on the field and off of it is a thrill and an honor, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Gatto comes to Goucher after previously working at another Landmark Conference School, the University of Scranton where he served as the Athletics Communications Assistant. He has also served as the media contact for men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, and men’s and women’s track & field at Georgia Tech. He earned his degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations in 2008 from Bloomsburg University.

The 25th Annual Renie Amoss Memorial Race

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Renie Amoss Race: Picture: Jerel McCord, Andrew Rowland, Eli Gang, and Ian Furst. Photo Credit: Eli Gang

In 1993, Corene “Renie” Amoss, a recent Goucher graduate, was killed in an automobile accident. She was a three-sport athlete, an honors student who majored in economics and business management, and a friend to all. With her family’s blessing and involvement, the Athletic Department created the Renie Amoss Memorial Race. Each year, since the founding of the event in October 1993, the proceeds made from the 5k go toward the Renie Amoss Fund. The fund grants monetary awards to Goucher College students who have established an extraordinary academic record while partaking in more than one facet of student life on campus, just like Renie did. By 2012, the fund had reached a total of $150,000, thanks to race proceeds, fundraising, and generous donations.
The race takes place during Goucher’s Family Weekend, which allows students, family members, alumni/ae, and friends run the race, along with the general public. Ian Furst, ’18, ran the race this year and placed 2nd in the Men’s 21-25 age group. Furst reflected on the race saying, “The Renie Race is an amazing way to honor the incredible legacy of Renie Amoss. Not only does the run remember an incredible member of the Goucher family, but it helps to bring the whole of Goucher together every year, serving as a bond between all Goucher students, families, and friends of the school.”
Participants are also able to walk the race. Rachel Kieffer, ’18, and her mother walked the distance while her father ran. Kieffer, who is originally from California, enjoys taking part in the walk, while her mother collects leaves. “We don’t experience fall in California, so I like to collect leaves and watch the runners, plus it’s for a good cause and to spread the memory of Renie,” Kieffer’s mom says.
In addition to the students, community, and family members of Renie who come back to take part in the race, the athletic community at Goucher also gets involved. The men’s and women’s swim team have directed the foot traffic around the loop road and helped run the race since its inception in 1993. The volleyball team has in many years helped with registration and tabling. Goucher Basketball, men’s and women’s have also been volunteers. This year, Goucher pride was particularly strong with a large turnout for the race despite cool and rainy weather. At the end of the race, the three recipients of the Renie Amoss Fund are introduced, with this year’s winners being Wonde Pawlose, Jonny Davies, and Maren Hilliard.

Volleyball ‘Sets’ Eyes on a Better Half of Season

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The Goucher women’s volleyball team had big goals for their 2017 season when coming back this school year. Unfortunately, those goals were quickly crushed in the first half of September when the Gophers found themselves losing seven straight matches.
The 2016 season was a rough one for the team. They had a 7-19 overall season. They only beat one team in the Landmark Conference, in which both Juniata and Susquehanna made it to the NCAA Division 3 Volleyball Championships.
However, the returning girls worked hard over the winter, spring, and summer. In the winter, they joined the women’s tennis team and field hockey team in speed and agility training every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You could see the girls in and out of the weight room or the gym working on their skills.
The team now consists of what would be considered a ‘junior varsity’ squad: three sophomores and six freshman.
The Gophers started out the 2017 season with an exciting tournament opportunity in Virginia Beach playing Cabrini, St. Catherine, and Virginia Wesleyan. The team lost all three matches, but did make a run for it against St. Catherine and Virginia Wesleyan, losing only 3-1. The team went on to lose the next four matches.
But all was not lost. The team made a comeback, winning against Gwynedd Mercy, 3-0. That win was followed by another 3-0 win against Bryn Mawr 3 days later. And another win followed against Immaculata, 3-2.
During their first conference match against Susquehanna, the team fell to the River Hawks 3-0. The Gophers fell to Scranton as well, 3-0.
The volleyball team was predicted to finish in seventh place, but is currently tied for fifth place, alongside Catholic and Elizabethtown. They are working to getting back on track and beat their seventh place prediction.
The Gophers aren’t only working to make a dent in the Landmark Conference, they are working to create a sense of community.
The Gophers just recently held a successful volleyball clinic for middle school girls who play at a local recreation league in the area. The team has also volunteered their time at the Ronald McDonald House for the past few years.
The Gophers are currently 3-12. Their next scheduled home match is Wednesday, October 18th at 7:00 PM against Lancaster Bible.

KAYLA YORK

Goucher Gopher Golfers: Say that 5 Times Fast

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Goucher’s new golf team swings into the season. Credit: Goucher College’s Athletics

Fall 2017 marks the inaugural season of the Gophers’ first ever Men and Women’s golf teams. This is the first time Goucher has had a varsity golf team, marking the beginning of a new era in Goucher athletics. News of an upcoming golf team generated many questions amongst the community, most notably with concerns that the Goucher Woods would be torn down to build a new golf course.
Students can now rest assured that a golf course is not a part of the ten-year plan, but excellence from the new team certainly is. The women’s team recently finished third in their first event, the Bay Creek invitational, lead by first-year Emmie Starchvick from Jacksonville Ore. Emily Pochet, Lauren O’Leary, and Whitney Duran, all first years, also performed well. Dropping seven, eight, and three strokes from the first to second days. The Women’s Team’s next event was September 23rd at Susquehanna. Meanwhile, the Men’s team finished fourth overall at the Bay Creek invitational, with first-years Evan Yue and Roberto Mikse leading, both shooting a 79 on Tuesday.
Overall Goucher placed four students in the Top-25. Not too shabby for a start. The Men’s team will play again on September 24th in Rocky Mount, N.C. The majority of both teams are first-years, with only one junior, Kianna Haskin, playing on the women’s side.
Both teams are led by Coach Hunter Brown, a well-qualified head coach of the Men’s and Women’s teams. He played collegiate golf at the University of Texas at Arlington from 2000-2013, winning three-time all-conference honors, two-time All-America Scholar honors, a Southland conference team championship, and the opportunity to compete in multiple NCAA regional championships. As a graduate, he has competed in various levels of professional golf, with his most notable achievement, a Monday qualifier for the 2014 PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open. He now dedicates most of his time to coaching. He is a Baltimore resident, an active member of the Freedom Church and a part-time graduate student at the St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Roland Park. We asked Coach Hunter some questions about the Golf teams and he was more than happy to oblige.

Q: Where does the Golf team practice?
A: Most of the time we practice at Hillendale Country Club – this is our home course and is a great facility that gives us everything we need to improve!

Q: Do you have to have a car to be on the Golf team?
A: You don’t, but it is very helpful! Hillendale is about a 15 minute drive from campus. Some of our players carpool, but it is easier logistically with a car.

Q: What schools do the golf teams (men and women) compete against and how are we ranked?
A: We play against almost any other DIII school from North Carolina to New York. Rankings are done through a third party source (Golfstat) and rankings have yet to be posted for this season but will be available soon.

Q: Do the men and women practice together?
A: Not usually. Most of our practices are separate, but occasionally we overlap with things we are doing together.

The golf team aims to improve the character and work ethic of the players, as well as their golfing abilities. Credit: Goucher College’s Athletics

Q: What are the teams’ hopes for the season?
A: We are really focusing on developing the right culture and qualities in our team this year. If we can improve as golfers and simultaneously develop in character and work ethic then I think we’ll be pleased with our season.

Q: How long is your season?
A: In the fall we play until late October. In the spring we play from March until May.

Q: What is the best thing about the new golf teams (mens/womens or both)?
A: I think we have structured the program in a really incredible way. Everything is designed around caring for our players and giving them everything they need to develop. We’ve got a really great group on both teams and I think we are going to turn this into one of the best programs in all of college golf!

Goucher Athletics: The Only Constant is Change

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“I’ve been [at Goucher] for 23 years and I think for 19 years that I’ve been here, the campus has been under construction,” Director of Athletics Geoffrey Miller said, remarking on his time at Goucher. One of Goucher’s most substantial reconstructions has not been residence halls or academic buildings, but of the Athletic Department.
Recent dramatic changes, like a new logo and the introduction of Rowdy, have become talking points on campus and online. Travis Holland ’02, wrote on the Goucher Athletics Facebook page, “I’ll never love Rowdy as much as I did for Mortimer…,” while current students shared similar discontent on Facebook. Miller understands the criticism and meets change with optimism. In October, he referred to the change as “turning the page on a new chapter” and “I knew it was going to be different… It’s been 20 years… I knew it was time to get a fresh look.” In April 2017, he remarked, “I like change. I don’t want to stay the same.”
In fact, Miller says that he joined Goucher from Washington College, back in 1994, because “that [Washington College] was an institution that was okay with the status quo. It wasn’t receptive to change… This institution [Goucher] wanted to be better. This institution is like a rising star.”
“It’s easy for people to get caught up in the visible, tangible changes – [that can be a new] logo, a new athletic deal, stuff like that – because it’s in front of everybody… It’s easy to react to those things, but [people often] don’t understand a lot of times the little things that go on behind the scenes of those things that are really and truly impacting things. Big changes are easy to see and people always have a reaction to them, but it’s the little things that are the most impactful,” says Assistant Athletic Director and Head men’s soccer coach, Bryan Laut.
One of the small changes within the Athletic Deparment Laut recognizes are the increased impact coaches have on students and student-athletes alike. “I think the best thing we ever did [in my 23-year career at Goucher,] is create the Graduate Assistant (GA) position for teams,” Miller reflects. The GA’s act as assistant coaches for the team and provide an opportunity for the head coach to focus on bigger picture things, like recruiting, game strategy, and player management.
One of the important tasks of being a Division III athletic coach, specifically at Goucher, is acting as a role model. One of the ways Laut demonstrates his compassionate commitment to his players is through frequent meetings with every member of the team to assess how their particular semester is going on and off the field. “You have to create a positive environment, as a coach, in that team and in that game setting so people are feeling… a part of that collected enterprise… [feeling] good… on the same page… respected…  and challenged,” say Miller.

Additionally, the Athletic Department

“The foundation blocks, the principles of [who Goucher is] are not changing. The physical spaces may change. The mascot might change… but we still expect our students to be the best possible people, students, and teammates they can be,” says Director of Athletics Geoffrey Miller. Photo credit: Google Images
has been attempting to reach out to non-athletes on campus. This has involved partnerships by offering food at games, giving away free t-shirts, and even a television at a Men’s Basketball game in December. Student outreach has been challenging for the Department: “It takes time to shift culture and that’s what we’re trying to do… You have to give it some time. It’s a difficult thing to do. It’s challenging,” bemoans Miller.

He concedes that a part of his trouble is understanding how a younger generation functions. To help Miller and his administration, Goucher hired Brandon Harrison to be the Director of Athletic Communications in December. With the help of Nathaniel Cain, class of 2016, and his collaboration with current Goucher students, Harrison created the Goucher Sports Network. Harrison expects the Network to upload a series of highlights from games, promotion of upcoming games, and eventually he wants to do a weekly sports show. “We just want to show that the Athletics program is something that we’re proud of,” summarizes Harrison.
Miller is a perfectionist when it comes to the appearance and behavior of Goucher sports. He knows how easy people make judgements based on first-impressions and often student-athletes need their coaches to enforce good behavior. “I think the coaches have a tremendous responsibility… we [the entire Athletic Department] are held accountable for [the student-athletes’] reputation.”
For better or for worse, student-athletes have a precarious reputation on campus. Because the school provides a connection to the school and an established group of friends from teammates, certain student-athletes experience a separation from the larger Goucher community. “I think we [student-athletes] are our own worst enemy… we glom together as athletes… and are all wearing our gear and… might even be loud, might even be boisterous… that’s intimidating to some people… We act in ways that marginalizes people,” reflects Miller.
He is optimistic for the future reputation of student-athletes. “It requires some effort on the part of students and the Department to break down some of those [issues of student-athlete alienation] … we can hit that sweet spot of what [a better relationship between students and student-athletes] looks like.” In order to have a closer Goucher community – a true gopher whole – student-athletes and the Department must continue to reach out to other members on campus.
“The foundation blocks, the principles of [who Goucher is] are not changing. The physical spaces may change. The mascot might change… but we still expect our students to be the best possible people, students, and teammates they can be,” Miller adds.

Field Hockey Team Aims to Play in Conference Tournament, All While They #LiveFearlessly

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Students show their support for Erin Fields. Photo Credit: Goucher College

The Goucher women’s field hockey team 2016 season ended with heartbreak and determination. But so far loss has only fueled their fire to come out stronger and more competitive than before.
Last year, after losing to Elizabethtown in the Landmark Conference semi-finals in the last few seconds, Head Coach Megan Williams set the standard high in the new season, in order to reach the semi-finals again this year, followed by the championship.
The Gophers kicked off their 2017 season against St. Mary’s of Maryland on Friday, September 1st. The game went into double overtime, followed by shootouts. Junior Maya Belin scored within the first 12 minutes to put the Gophers ahead 1-0. The Gophers held this lead into the second half until the Seahawks scored. At the end of regulation, the teams were still tied 1-1. During both overtimes, the Gophers fought hard to score a goal. But it was sophomore Megan Wells who kept the cage free of any game-winning goals for the Seahawks with a career-high 21 saves. With the teams still tied at the end of two overtimes and with the pressure mounting, the game went into 1 vs 1. Both goalies played a respectable game, blocking shots left and right, but in the end it was St. Mary’s who ended with the win.
Although the first game ended in a loss, there was something greater than field hockey that the team decided to fight for: Erin Field, a teammate during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Erin Field was involved in a life-changing accide

More students support Field Hockey Team. Photo Credit: Goucher College

nt in early July, rendering her unable to return to school. The Gophers dedicated Sunday’s game against Johns Hopkins University to Erin and her battle to recover. As a talented athlete and a dedicated student, her absence has been felt dearly by the student body and the entire athletic community at Goucher.
With the sun shining bright this past Sunday afternoon, the women’s field hockey team played a fierce game against the Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays, donning teal bracelets with the hashtag  #LiveFearlessly. The bracelets and special video messages were available for friends, family, and fans to provide support for Erin. The crowd was dedicated to cheering on the team and Erin in her recovery. Some even painted “Erin #3” on their chests. The Blue Jays outshot the Gophers 34-9 at the end of the 4-0 loss on Sunday. But the Gophers don’t look down on the outcome.
When asked about the game, Coach Williams responded, “Hopkins exposed our weaknesses today and luckily we have the time to make adjustments.” In looking forward to the rest of the season, Coach was excited to say that, “the program is in a place where we can schedule tough out of conference opponents,” because playing harder opponents in the beginning of the season can only lead to a better outcome when the team heads into conference play on September 23rd, against Juniata College.
The team didn’t feel defeated either. Junior Jackie Juarez said, “It was a really special game for us as a team. We wanted to show our teammate and friend how much we love and support her in this difficult time. Even though we didn’t come away with a win, each one of us gave our all for Erin and we got the Goucher community together to show their love for her too and to me that was more important than any win.
“Erin is a tough girl who is attacking rehab just like she’s attacked other challenges–head on. We hope these messages bring a smile on her face,” Coach Williams said.
The Gophers were predicted to finish fourth out of eight teams in the Landmark. The team is determined to finish better than that in their effort to #LiveFearlessly. The field hockey team’s next home game is Sunday, September 30th, at 1:00 for PM vs. Susquehanna.

KAYLA YORK

Goucher Wiffle Ball

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Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Michael Layer, Sports Editor

March 5th, 2017

Usually 60 plus degree weather in February should be cause for concern, but several have been enjoying their time in the sun. Warm afternoons at Goucher College mean classes outside, picnic blankets, and more recently, wiffle ball games on the Great Lawn. Typically found on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, a group of about fourteen students create their own diamond out of the intersection of perpendicular walkways behind Welsh Hall.

“We want to keep it formally informal,” says senior David Sibony, one of the founding players of this new trend. Every couple of days, Sibony and junior Gianni Rodriguez take five rubber baseball plates, two balls, and a yellow wiffle ball bat that they own to set up their diamond in the corner of the Great Lawn. Two relatively even teams are created simply based on who shows up.

Goucher wiffle ball has gone under some recent changes. According to Sibony, he and a group of other students started playing wiffle ball on the residential quad in the spring of last year. Since the residential quad can become crowded, Sibony and the wiffle ball players moved to the lawn behind Pearlstone. Because of construction, players were forced to relocate to the Great Lawn, where they’ve been able to enjoy the games in front of crowds of about fifteen or twenty students. Students enjoy sitting on the hill between the T and the Athenaeum and often spectate relatively competitive wiffle ball games: “We like having the crowd; we hopefully try to play when there is a crowd… it’s fun to have people watch us play and [because of the crowd] people will play more, which we like,” laughs Sibony.

The group is organized through a Facebook group titled ‘Goucher Wiffle Ball,’ and administrated by Sibony. Though the page has plans to be public, it is currently set to private to ensure that nobody is turned away. Turnout is usually around fourteen students, so there is about seven on a team. This seems to be the most appropriate numbers as games can be competitive: “The game last week was very competitive… I don’t think anyone has decided not to play because the game has gotten too competitive; I don’t think it needs to be more competitive.”

Since many of the players are friends, the game flows naturally. Pitches are thrown not to get strikes, but for base hits, and there is also not an official umpire. In controversial plays, disputes are often settled through the good nature of both teams, “if there’s a really close call, we’ll switch off who gets the call, so if one team gets it this time, the other team will get it the next time.”

Sibony has plans for expansion and promotion of the game. He has plans for games on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons at 3:30pm, a bigger game on GIG in early April, and a tournament during senior week, leading up to graduation. “I want more people to join,” says Sibony.

A Letter From President Bowen

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A few weeks ago our Sports editor, Michael Layer, reached out to several people on Goucher’s campus regarding the controversial photo of some Goucher lacrosse players. (You can read Layer’s article on the incident here).

Goucher’s president was among the few that got back to Layer. With President José Bowen’s permission, we wanted to publish the letter he wrote to The Quindecim‘s editors.

Dear Editors,

Thank you for your thoughtful letter regarding the College’s response to the men’s lacrosse incident last fall. I share your serious concern about the incident, especially in light of the current national climate. Here is what I can share.

As you know, Bryan Coker and I issued a joint statement immediately following the picture being posted, expressing our serious concern, and condemning the behavior. The men’s lacrosse team took prompt internal action with the responsible team members as well as the overall team membership. The matter was also referred to the Bias Education Response Team (BERT), which reviewed the matter and recommended educational measures. Since that time, our Title IX Coordinator has conducted educational sessions with the team as has the Assistant Dean of Students. The coach has been a model of responsiveness and the players have taken this very seriously.

While suspension from the team or public shaming might seem to offer a quick and strong response, such a sanction seriously diminishes opportunities for student learning and growth. We are an educational institution.  We invite students on to our campus to learn from their mistakes. Our approach to this incident has been – and will continue to be – learning-oriented. We probably should have provided some follow-up communication regarding these efforts before now, but I also think that what the public needs to know has to be weighed against the potential for real educational gains.

I have also attached my remarks from our Opening Convocation in January as they may also be informative of my position.  We are in a highly polarized moment in American history. When there is not much listening, there is not much learning and little chance for new communal understanding to emerge across thickly drawn lines of opinion. In my remarks in January, I asked student to expand their empathy this semester. I still think that is key. We need to have higher standards for dialogue and disagreement, but we also need to make sure we are having real dialogue–and that means some tolerance for failure. Exile is typically reserved for offences for which there is no chance of reconciliation. If we as a College cannot find some tolerance for failure in each other, then we will not be preparing you to be potential listeners, builders, creators, and healers in the wider world where you will soon find yourselves. There are very few places in the U.S. right now where such a diverse collection of people are living together and trying truly to get along. We are a long way from perfect. I am proud of our ambitious goals and high ideals, and I also know that brings more pain, misunderstanding and hurt along the way. We have chosen to confront the reality of our society. This is not the safe path and if we are to make progress we must both have higher standards for dialogue AND all be brave and willing to support each other in the effort.

BERT will soon be releasing an overview of cases they have considered over the past year, which will show all that is being done to address bias-related behaviors in our community. We are thankful to now have BERT, and hope to expand the opportunities for effective and educationally-based options for responses to bias incidents.

I am committed to learning, growth, and development as the ultimate outcome for this incident.

Sincerely,

José Antonio Bowen

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