The independent student newspaper at Goucher College

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Dom McKinney

Dom McKinney has 6 articles published.

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Dom (they/them) is A&E section editor at The Quindecim. They are a senior majoring in Spanish with a minor in Studio Art. Dom is from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Lewisburg Area High School. They have lived in multiple states, as well as England and Spain for several years. After graduation, Dom aspires to become a tattoo artist. In their free time, Dom enjoys drawing, video games, and hanging out with their dog, Mort.

Hub New Music: a Contemporary Concert Experience

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Hub New Music, a Boston based contemporary quartet of winds and strings, had their Baltimore debut at Goucher College on the brisk evening of November 14. Hub New Music aims to foster togetherness through new art as a touring ensemble, their season beginning this past October. 

The group extends their creativity through commissioned pieces by various artists, the works of this night’s show by composers Dai Wei, Nina C. Young, Aaron Holloway-Nahum, and Christopher Cerrone.

The ensemble performed at Goucher between Philadelphia and North Carolina on their seasonal tour. Musician Gleb Kanasevich (clarinet) opened with a short speech introducing the group and the unorthodox method they used to play their instruments, setting the scene for an intriguing show. 

The performance began with an upbeat tune, a playful flute introduction by Micheal Avitabile, followed by fast paced puffs in the clarinet, creating a sound akin to percussion. This was the first method I observed to be unorthodox in the playing of the instruments. 

The show held more creative outlets introduced in the experience such as a spoken word recording played over a melody and a short film to accompany another piece. 

Another notable manner used to express sharper notes found in the violin by Meg Roher and cello by Jesse Christeson was the use of a wire wrapped bow, bouncing lightly on the strings to create a melodic tapping sound. 

The accumulation of these arts exposed the crowd to an immersive listening experience one would not soon forget. Hub New Music can be found and streamed on Spotify, Youtube, and Bandcamp.

Feature image: Hub New Music’s musicians (pictured left to right): Gleb Kanasevich, Micheal Avitabile, Meg Roher, and Jesse Christeson. Courtesy of https://hubnewmusic.org/

A Personal Spin on Goucher Tours (Comic)

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Comic by Dom McKinney ’23

A Review and Reflection of This Year’s Riveting Rocky Performance

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A production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a fond Halloween tradition at Goucher done year after year. This past October’s production was special, being the first fully live and in-person production of the show at Goucher in two years. 

The show is an adapted theater performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), a musical-comedy-horror film. The movie plays on a screen and on the stage below, cast members passionately lip-synch their lines and songs while energetically reenacting the movie’s scenes. 

After arriving at the show on Halloween night, the last showing, I was astounded to see the line was almost out the door. I was even more surprised after entering Merrick Lecture Hall to see the size of the crowd, leaving almost no empty seats fifteen minutes before the show was scheduled to start. The Goucher community was clearly excited to support Rocky’s return. 

The opening act before the Rocky performance began included members of Goucher’s dance program, who did a fantastic job ramping up the energy in the crowd with a flirtatious and enchanting dance number to Beyoncé’s Dance for You

A disclaimer was given at the beginning of the performance regarding transphobic content in the show as well as instances of sexual assault, in order to provide a safe and informed viewing experience for all. Additionally, during said scenes of sexual assault, a cast member circled the stage holding a sign that read, “This is NOT consent.”

The nature of the show typically invites the audience to be loud and interact with cast members, differing from more traditional notions of theater etiquette. Members of the crowd are encouraged to sing along as well as adlib phrases and cheeky remarks about the actions of the story’s characters, bringing a fun, communal aspect to the viewing experience.

The show’s appearance in Merrick lecture hall allowed for a tightly packed, intimate setting, appropriate for the conversational dynamics between cast and audience. However, Covid safety was not a priority. 

With the school’s current mask optional policy, enforcing masking or social distancing in such a small space is mostly out of the Rocky production team’s hands. However, the flyers advertising the show stated that masks are “recommended,” but there was only a small fraction of audience members masked on closing night. 

It’s important that spaces be accessible for all, including disabled and immunocompromised people. Due to varying comfort levels regarding Covid safety and rising cases, designating a section of the seating as socially distanced or mask-mandatory could have helped Covid cautious people feel more welcome and comfortable in the space. 

Historically, and despite the film’s content, Rocky is known to be a queer space and part of queer culture wherever it is performed. Despite this, there was a notable cisgender-heterosexual male presence in the crowd, which differed from my experience seeing past Goucher productions of Rocky. This presence changed the interactive and queer atmosphere usually expressed in the shows. Cast member Cam Mackay-Smith said that this cis-het presence put his fellow cast members on edge. 

In past productions there has been a ban list in place containing the names of Goucher students who the Rocky cast and crew deem unfit for viewing due to past alleged actions or behavior. These students were barred from viewing the show. In the past, this list has been essential to the comfort of cast members due to the revealing costumes and sex being a core theme of the show’s narrative.  

Sources within the production say this year there was no list in place due to the decisions of outside officials deeming it unfair. 

“We didn’t find out about it [the revocation of the ban list] until a couple days before the show.” said Mackay-Smith. 

According to Mackay-Smith, late news of the list being pulled was no fault of the directors, who notified the cast the day they learned of this change. He praised the cast for how they pulled together to support one another in light of this news. 

Despite the obstacles, the cast performed confidently, boldly and with heart, providing the Goucher community with a lively return to this treasured Halloween tradition.

The Quindecim is currently investigating the removal of the ban list. Please stay tuned for followup information.

Feature image of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” film cast courtesy of AMC Theaters.

Comic by Dom McKinney ’23

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Goucher Unmasked: The Implications of Dropping the Mask Mandate (Opinion)

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Since the pandemic began in 2019, it has been made very clear how selfish people can be when it comes to preserving the health of those around them. It is evident that those who pushed against the health and safety guidelines before the mask mandate was lifted disregard the well-being of immunocompromised people. 

Recently, the decision was made for Goucher to become mask-optional. But is this decision really for the best? Lifting the masking requirement after spring break last semester led to a spike in Covid cases on campus and resulted in the mandate being reinstated. As an immunocompromised student, it doesn’t feel like a very thoughtful decision. 

While it is understandable why many people do not want to keep wearing masks all the time, it does not make it safe. This decision is especially impactful on those who wish to maintain social distancing but cannot in common spaces such as the dining hall and classrooms. Goucher is a private institution and may follow Covid guidelines that are more cautious than state and local decisions. 

While there may be a few student members on the Goucher Covid Task Force, a larger survey of the community could have given a fuller picture of the preferences for guidelines, especially since masking is so politicized. This also could have given a larger window of time for students, faculty and staff to prepare. 

This institution claims to uphold the idea of community as one of their core values, but this decision clearly wasn’t made with this value in mind. America’s decision to act as if the pandemic is over simply because they do not feel like taking the necessary precautions anymore does not lessen the risk. It is still possible to contract long Covid regardless of vaccination status. 

As the weather cools and more people begin to spend time indoors, a new Covid surge is more than likely to hit campus, making masking more important. Just over a month ago, a new highly-contagious Covid variant, BQ.1 was discovered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that BQ.1 has now grown to make up over 10% of new infections across the country. 

With the new variant, weather changes, and community care in mind, please consider masking up. If you choose to not wear a mask, please try to maintain social distance from others. KN95 masks can be found across campus in various locations including, but not limited to, the Office of Student Engagement, Mary Fisher Dining, and the Office of Residential Life.

By Dom McKinney ’23

Photos of Goucher’s forgotten “please don’t forget your mask” signs by Amita Chatterjee for the Quindecim
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