The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

Author

Jibril Howard

Jibril Howard has 17 articles published.

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Hello! My name is Jibril Howard and I am the CoEditor-in-Chief for the Q. I am a soccer lover, political junkie, caffeine addict, and a hopeless chess player.

An Interview with Juan Hernandez

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Conducted by Jibril Howard ’22

In an August 28th email to the Goucher Community, Kent announced the appointment of Juan Hernandez as the new Associate Dean of Student of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Title IX. This mouthful of a title, with its acronym “ADOS DEI & TIX” is still irritatingly long. The DEI & TIX position was among several positions created and or subsequently filled over Covid-19 lockdown and summer including that of Vice President, Dean of Students Aarika Camp; Vice President of Campus Operations Erik Thompson; and Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Elaine Meyer-Lee. The Q staff will be interviewing all these new staff members—below is our conversation with Dean Hernandez.

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Tell us a bit about yourself? What are some fun facts you’d like people to know?

“What I can come up with really quick on the spot is I’m a huge sports everything. I love watching basketball, football, baseball, soccer…you can’t get me away from the TV if there’s some sports happening so obviously, I was struggling pretty much since March with Covid-19. It was a struggle. I’m originally from Chicago; so Chicago everything, Chicago Bears Chicago Bulls, [Chicago] Cubs, specifically no White Sox please…another fun fact is I was a former elected official…I ran for office and was elected as a member of the Board of Education here in the capital city of Connecticut so that was always which was a wonderful experience. It was actually a really good time to be able to learn policy.”

New Associate Dean of Students: Diversity, Equity, and Title IX Juan Hernandez PC: Goucher College Official Website

What led and or attracted you to Goucher?

“I was really interested in the Study Abroad [requirement]. Not necessarily because I’m going to be able to study for fun but for me that tells me as students are hopefully going away and coming back coming back with a bit more of a global perspective. The fact that you know a lot of the problems that we’re dealing with here in the United States don’t only the belong to us; there is discrimination and bigotry all over the world and people are dealing with those with those issues in very different ways. I love the fact that students are required to have some sort of global perspective via the RPP [Race, Power, and Perspective GCR] but then also specifically study abroad.

I also really wanted to get back to some big city living. It’s a very different experience being in a bigger city or being near a bigger city where you can see you can see the impacts of systemic racism, in homophobia, transphobia, those phobias and isms you can see it right in front of you in a big city it is very easy for us to avoid them in cities like Towson or Hartford or West Hartford where I lived. In cities like Baltimore you can’t ignore [the systemic racism] its right in front of your face. I’ll also say I’m very happy to be working with and working for people who seem authentic when it comes to their conversations and their commitment to anti-racism, to battling hate, to making sure our campus is as safe as possible and as healthy as possible. I’m also excited about working with [new Dean of Students] Aarika Camp who is amazing and that’s not just because she’s my boss. It’s also because she’s authentic and her leadership style is one that I’ve been craving for a while.”

How does this position compare with previous jobs you’ve held?

“This position certainly comes with more responsibility and visibility than any of my previous positions. But it is similar in the sense that my job is to be present and supportive of all who are not at the tables that I am privileged enough to sit at. I hold that responsibility very close to my heart.”

In terms of this position, what do you see as being your primary objectives? And do you feel like you have the space and freedom at Goucher to accomplish those goals?

“I’m gonna answer that in two ways. The first one is a very typical new employee answer but I’m going to give it anyways because I really mean this. I really do want to sit back a little bit and listen to what you all want.

I’m not going to go around and do a listening tour. I think that listening tours are technically pointless in the sense. What I really want to do is I’ve been trying to schedule time and with students as much as possible now that I’ve had a couple weeks to get acclimated to the campus. I really want to hear what you all have to say because two of my bigger goals are to try to change the culture around CREI and specifically around the Office of Title IX.

What I mean by that is I want the Office of Title IX to be an office where you can go to receive education. It’s not it’s not just an office where you need to receive resources as a survivor or as a victim; it’s also an office where you can come and have conversations with someone like me about areas where you as a student, or you as a faculty member, or you as a staff member need more knowledge and maybe I can provide some of that knowledge and if I can’t provide it myself I will put you in contact with it with the folks that can give you some of that knowledge.

I want CREI to be a center, a space, that people can come to and sit down and do homework and hang out and meet new people and do that without being worried about being judged because you might not look like everybody else in the space or you might not come from the same spaces or places as the folks who are using the space in that moment. I want it to be a center where we offer programming and trainings and workshops and conversations that are very random and impromptu but can be heated. I want that space to be because I think that that’s when we’re craving. We’re craving a space where we can be ourselves and breathe for a moment instead of being out on campus in that moment and having to code switch just to survive. I want CREI to be that space for everybody. And it’s my job to make it that space for everybody.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the new Title IX regulations. I was wondering if you could provide like a little bit of an idea or an update on where Goucher stands on implementing the new policies?

“I’m very glad you asked that question. This is one that I’ve been struggling with and through a little bit. We do have interim policies that are that are in place for right now. It is my job… it is on my plate to organize a working group of folks, faculty, staff, and students 100 percent, so that we can review those policies and so that everybody has a say in where we go permanently right starting moving forward. Where I’ve been struggling with that…we’re in the middle of a presidential election and that election is going to impact we’re trying to accomplish right now. I’m struggling because let’s say for example that we create this working group to examine these interim policies and to offer feedback. [Because of the Presidential Election] we might actually have to change these interim policies within the next six months again. That’s where I’ve been struggling with that a little bit. All I can do is laugh because in my head I want to cry – it is sitting in my to do lists that we’re going to be creating a working group of folks that includes students.

Either [myself] or Aarika Camp will eventually be sending out an interest form for students to fill out if they are interested in joining the working group…I want people to actually be interested in this work and…so students will be able to express some interest in helping us review these interim policies and have some input in the development of the permanent policies moving forward.”

GBSU has been mobilizing recently around specific demands that they like to see about changing the culture and conversations on campus around discrimination and racial justice. I was wondering how you see those demands fitting into the scope of your job. I know you’ve at least at one the GBSU teach-ins so I was wondering if you could speak to that a little bit?

“What a very good question. I see that I almost see that as a personal mandate for myself. I am in a position of what I think you all will consider to be pretty significant influence, right. What I consider my relationship to those demands to be is I am going to be using that as part of my platform as I determine what my long-term and short-term goals are moving forward. Will I be able to tackle everything on GBSU’s demands? Absolutely not. But I think we know that. I can tell you that I am having conversations with Aarika Camp every day; she is going to be taking on some of those things personally on her own plate, I will be taking some of those demands on, the President is taking some of the demands on. I’m using that as guidance, believe it or not, on how to do my job for the first year my first thing to do is to say thank you.”  

Many students favor a restorative justice approach towards dealing with issues of racial bias and TIX issues. Do you plan to incorporate this approach into your work as ADOS DEI & TIX and if so, in what way?

“I am a strong proponent of restorative justice. I have actually, in the past, utilized restorative circles in my work. I also led an initiative during my time on the Board of Education to prioritize the use of restorative circles and peer juries for high schools. While I am confined by the TIX regulations and the Code of Conduct, I will always support restorative approaches.”

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We have included the entire transcript of the interview because we are in a critical position on campus right now. The enormous amount of administrative turnover that has taken place in the past two or three years is finally culminating in the hiring of people to hold key positions of influence. As Goucher’s independent student newspaper, we see ourselves as students tasked with the responsibility of seeking out information from members of our community and re-expressing it to our readers. Mr. Hernandez has named his stances on issues of systemic racism and the process of addressing harm within the community. The transmission of information is crucial to give our peers access to this knowledge so we can shape of student activism moving forward. Please stay tuned for future interviews.

We Need to Rethink GSG Senate

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GSG 2019 Senate Silly Group Photo

If you’re a politically- or activist-minded first-year student arriving at Goucher, there aren’t very many obvious ways to get engaged. You barely know anybody beyond your immediate group of friends, you’re just starting to know a few professors, and the only two clubs that seem remotely political in nature are Model Senate and Model United Nations. After two months of not knowing anybody but with a thirst to create “change,” I was eager to run for the Goucher Student Government (GSG) Senate when flyers advertising GSG senate elections popped up across campus even though I had only a small grasp of the issues that affected the Goucher student community. I wasn’t the only one running: there were seven other first-years running for Senate besides me, including current GSG Co-Presidents Yuchen Ding ’22 and Derrick Burnette ’22 and current senator Alistair Watson ’22.

However, by the time elections came around my sophomore year next year only Watson chose to run for re-election as Burnette and Ding stepped up to run for Co-President. I myself chose not to run for re-election, instead devoting my full-time energy into writing for The Q. This is emblematic of a further trend where upperclassmen increasingly choose not to run, instead pushing their activism and political engagement through alternative channels. As a result, GSG remains overwhelmingly dominated by first-years and new sophomore senators while juniors and seniors are typically underrepresented.

You can chalk up the lack of juniors and seniors down to a couple different plausible answers: they have more work and studying to do, most choose this timeframe to study abroad, and people naturally change their interests as time moves on. These answers are, in whole or in part, correct. However, there is another reason which I’m going to explore: the GSG Senate is simply an ineffective and redundant institution for governance.

While the idea that GSG is broken isn’t new – sometimes it feels like an open secret – the question “why is GSG ineffective?” has a few different, related answers. To explore this, I will break it down into two related but distinct categories: one-part identity and one-part structure.

The first part, concerning identity, was succinctly summarized to me by a professor the first semester of my sophomore year: “GSG has never figured out what it means or what it does.” The GSG Senate Constitution preamble states that it serves as a “…coordinator of student activities and an advocate for student interests, promoting an open and equitable dialogue among the student body, alumnae/i, faculty, staff, administration, and trustees.” Elsewhere on the GSG website a blurb mentions:

Goucher Student Government works to bring students into conversation with administrative decisions, and to build long term relationships with administrators in order to ensure students’ role in the decision-making process.

In other words, the responsibility for a GSG Senator is to advocate for student interests when speaking to faculty, administration, and staff. However, the vagueness of this role is presented as an opportunity – “you can make this role into whatever you want!!” as a senator once told me when I was first elected – but in reality this creates a situation where most senators have little idea of their responsibilities or how to “advocate for student interests” and promote “an open and equitable dialogue.” This is especially problematic for first-year senators who are thrown into GSG who must simultaneously “make” their job as a senator and learn the community they are serving. After one year as a GSG senator the only concrete power I found that GSG has (which it uses repeatedly) is their campus-wide email which Senate can use to “stand in solidarity” with clubs on certain issues such as the #GoucherBlackOut or to ask for students to serve on administration committees.

This brings me to my next point: structure. Many of the issues I faced as a senator revolved around the structure. GSG runs according to a constitution which mandates bi-monthly meetings during which you can pass resolutions by a ¾ majority vote so long as you have a quorum (a minimum attendance). However, throughout my time as a senator we could never pass resolutions because there was never quorum and we could never impeach absentee senators for the same reason. It was a bureaucratic nightmare. The other issue we faced is that resolutions passed by GSG have no method of enforcement. They are simply symbolic. All of this is even before we talk about senate committees, an ongoing fight between senators over whether they’re necessary (they’re not) which is held every year and usually ends with yelling and hurt feelings. True to form, the debate was held again this past Tuesday during the first-of-the-year GSG session and once again there was bickering.

Now if you’ve made it to the end, you might be asking yourself, “Well Jibril, why don’t you run? You know all the issues. You can fix it.” My response is I’m simply not interested nor do I have the mental bandwidth to oversee a wholesale constitutional rewrite. Instead, I’m writing this opinion piece as both a way of providing information to any future students who currently are contemplating a senate run and as a call to action. Senate is dysfunctional but the problems are not unresolvable. In the meantime there are other organizations who are taking action such as Goucher Consent Coalition (GCC), Goucher Black Student Union (GBSU), and Goucher Student Union who have all organized and taken direct action on behalf of students to raise awareness and address issues of campus rape culture, ongoing anti-Black racism and lack of representation, GardaWorld, and cuts to faculty and staff. And of course, every day students do their own self-advocacy on an individual basis, reaching out to faculty, staff, and administration directly – a relationship that would not be possible at other institutions and should not be taken for granted. With this network of successful individuals and advocacy organizations at Goucher finding their role and voices it is only right we begin to question why GSG senate has seemingly never figured out its own role.

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

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PC: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

US News

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

World News

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Inside the Bubble: A Collection of Goucher News

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

    Goucher 1021 Hip Hop Team performs at Umoja Talent. Show PC: Jibril Howard

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

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

    Paige Beverly ’22 performs at Umoja Talent Show. PC: Jibril Howard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Goucher College President Kent Devereaux. PC: Goucher College Website

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Mixed Reaction to Changes in Mary Fisher Breakfast

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Mary Fisher Dining Hall. PC: Jibril Howard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Braun opined: 

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

GSG Senator Burnette agreed:

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

 

Quindecim News Roundup

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

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

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

 

Goucher Women’s Tennis Team Aiming High in the Landmark Conference Playoffs

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Women’s Tennis. Pictured: Anais Gill ’22. Picture Credit: Goucher Athletic Website

By: Jibril Howard

These are exciting times for the Goucher women’s tennis team. For the first time in six years, the team will compete in the Landmark Conference playoffs beginning with a match at Moravian College. The team’s run to the playoffs is neither unprecedented or unexpected in the eyes of the players. In an interview with the Quindecim, team captain and senior Meera Balasubramanian ’19 reflected on how the team has grown throughout her time at Goucher:

“It’s exhilarating! When I first started four years ago, I was the sixth player out of six. Our team mantra [four years ago] was “the little team that could!” Now our team is twice that size and I couldn’t be happier!”

In a separate Quindecim interview, sophomore Sara Healy ’21 was asked to compare the team’s performance to the previous year. She stated:

“I think we have done immensely better…I think we have grown as a team mentally and on [developing] our mental game which is a lot in tennis…and how long [we] can last through physical fitness and skill.”

It was clear in both interviews that both players enjoyed both the spirit of competition that comes from playing for a college sports team. It was also visible that Healy and Balasubramanian have developed deep ties and bonds with their team and teammates. Balasubramanian described the team culture:

“Our team culture is one that is collective rather than individual. We bond as a tennis team and [as a] family, but also have friends outside of our sport. I love being able to see the various roles my teammates take off the court…”

Healy agreed, stating:

“…The team we have has a lot of competitiveness because you have a lot of good players and we have a big team. But we still support each other, and we still work hard against each other to make each other better not just ourselves.”

The upcoming playoffs will be an exciting time for the women’s team. For Balasubramanian, who will soon graduate later this spring, the playoffs are one final send-off to the team. When asked how she felt about the upcoming game, Balasubramanian said:

“I’m super pumped! We were picked second to last in the conference draw so we’ve already defied expectations! I’m super excited for our team to give our all since this will be my last season at Goucher along with our other senior Ali [Tomasevich]. I’m super excited to give Moravian all we got this Wednesday!”

The Goucher Women’s Tennis team begin their playoff journey next Wednesday, May 1 at 4:00 p.m. at Moravian College. The team will move forward in its bright future undaunted by whatever obstacles and challenges await them.

Sports News Roundup

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Men’s Golf Team. Pictured: Evan Yue ’22. PC: Goucher Athletics Website

By: Jibril Howard

  • Construction of new office spaces is underway in the Sports and Recreation Center (SRC). According to Andrew Wu, Director of Athletics, the new offices will accommodate coaches Steve Moyer of Women’s Tennis and Erika Moyer of Strength and Conditioning. The new offices will also provide a space for Head Athletic Trainer Conor Trainor to conduct private, medical conversations. The construction will be primarily funded through revenue from turf field rentals.
  • The golf teams have acquired a new simulator for use in practice. The simulator, located in the former racquetball court on the bottom floor of the SRC, was installed following discussions between Andrew Wu and golf team Coach Hunter Brown who stated:

“…[We] talked about the fact that any time the golfers wanted to train/practice, they had to drive up to our home course, Hillendale. This wasn’t ideal for [several] reasons – it takes a lot of time, is weather dependent, and doesn’t help golf student-athletes feel they have a place on campus.”

The installation of the new golf simulator is envisioned to be first step in a larger process of renovating the racquetball court into a campus space for the golf teams. The purchase of the simulator and the renovation is funded through the golf team fundraising efforts.

  • On Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, the Goucher Dance Program performed the Shape and Sound Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble in the Kraushaar Auditorium. The spring program featured four works, “Lux Aurumque,” “The Last to Forgive,” “Vibrations Witnessed,” and “Symphonie Dramatique.” Senior Meitav Vilensky ‘19 who participated in this year’s performance described the purpose and styles of the ensemble:

“There’s a Goucher Repertory Ensemble Concert each semester, which features four works, two from faculty members and two guest artists. For the artist in residence, we typically bring in one ballet choreographer and one modern choreographer…This past performance, the guest ballet choreographer, Durante Verzola, was quite traditional. The faculty wanted to bring in someone who could challenge the dancers in a technical manner. The guest modern choreographer, Loni Landon, went the more contemporary route, not relying on any codified movement style to dictate her work…Elizabeth Ahearn and Linda Garofalo were the faculty choreographers. Professor Ahearn teaches ballet and set a ballet work that had a nice traditional movement vocabulary as its basis but included nuances and embellishments that were more contemporary. Professor Garofalo teaches the Graham modern technique and her piece was very reflective of this.”

In an email exchange with the Quindecim, Vilensky was wistful about her experiences, as a graduating senior, dancing in the ensemble. She expressed:

This was my last main stage piece performing with Goucher Dance before I graduate and one of my favorites… [The performance] was certainly bittersweet because I knew it was my last time performing as an undergrad. But this was one of my favorite shows that I’ve been a part of at Goucher and the feedback that was received on this show supported that.”

  • In Equestrian News, senior Wren Wakeman ‘19 and junior Cherise Madrid ’20 will be going to Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Nationals on Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5. This comes after the equestrian team placed third at IHSA Zones 3 Finals at the Barracks at University of Virginia. Sophomore Irene Powlick ’21 will be attending the IHSA Metropolitan Equitation Invitational at Longines Masters, New York on Friday, April 26.

This Week in 1980

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Miami Race Riots, Aug. 8, 1968. Picture Credit: Associated Press

Goucher News:

  • On April 28th, 1980, Goucher maintenance workers – which include maids, switchboard operators, groundskeepers, and post office personnel – go on strike for the first time in the institution’s history. Picketing the Goucher front gates, they demand a pay increase of $1.00 per hour or an increase of 87.5 cents and a prescription drug plan. Goucher maintains an offer of 75 cents per hour. A strike representative, Margaret Singleton, described how she needed to support herself and her three children on a $3.73 hourly wage. In May 1st edition of the Quindecim, Singleton stated: “I’ve given Goucher almost 12 years of what I call dedicated service…and they are telling me that I can’t have the 25 cents more that I need.”
  • It was reported in the May 1st edition of the Quindecim, that a new Health Center Advisory Board was created to oversee the operation and effectiveness of the Goucher Student Health Center. In addition, it was reported that a new sick bay was constructed in Bacon Hall for sick students to stay overnight away from others.

 

World News:

  • Siege of Iranian Embassy in UK ends as Special Air Service operatives and police storm the building (May 5th)
  • World Health Organization announces eradication of smallpox (May 8th)
  • Horror film “Friday the 13th ” is released (May 9th)
  • Race riot brakes out in Miami, Florida following the acquittal of four white police officers in the wrongful death of black salesman Arthur McDuffie. The riot ends with 18 dead and 300 injured (May 18th)
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