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Letter from an Editor-in-Chief, September 2020


Welcome to week three of the most distanced semester of college any of us have ever experienced.

Black lives matter. Black Goucher students’ lives matter. Black trans lives matter. That is the most important message I can share with you right now, as one of two Editors-in-Chief of The Quindecim

This club has existed for the past 104 years. Every issue of our print publication is in the Goucher archives, including documentation of our community’s collective white flight away from Baltimore city to our current location in Towson. I mention this because institutional change involves deconstructing even student-run projects such as ours. As a white person in a position of power within this campus institution, I have a mandate to write about our community’s role in perpetuating white supremacy.

Part of this includes reminding myself that The Quindecim serves as a written record of published articles as much as those unpublished, whether squashed in a weekly pitch meeting or by an editor or a comment from one person to another. We have work to do as a club, as an institution. We will always have work to do.

One thing I’ve learned about from organizing meetings is that a hard ask is important. So here it is: join us in this work. We have been timid as a news organization for much of our history, choosing to focus on campus activities instead of understanding that everything we face as students on this campus is replicated across the United States and throughout much of the world. We have never before had so many opportunities to expand our vision from our campus bubble to the entire world–will you join us?

For the record, any Goucher student, past, present, or future, can submit to The Q. We are taking all types of digital submissions. This is scary; our known strengths center on traditional articles. You can submit to us once in your life or every day for years. We want to know what is happening on our campus, and since our campus covers the world, so too should we.

What do you see outside your window every day? Why do Black lives matter? How are you interacting with antiracist education on Instagram and TikTok? Have dinner conversations changed a lot since you’ve been home? Where is home? Did something happen in class, an interaction or a snatch of a reading, to light a fire in you? What’s that like? We’re curious, and want to use our platform to build community right now. I know I need it. 

We can’t expect anyone to share their stories with us if we won’t do the same. When I say “we,” I mean the current Goucher students who have in the past taken on responsibilities of revising and editing submissions before publication, or working on our social media team. We call this group of people who show up to our weekly pitching meetings our “editorial staff;” what other groups call club members. If you want to join our staff, let us know

My name is Neve, and I’m a senior double majoring in Spanish and American Studies with an emphasis on Religion and Peacebuilding in Latin America. I love taking day trips to the mountains outside my city (Seattle) and learning about cephalopods. You can always email me at with thoughts about something I’ve written, or to help work through an idea you haven’t quite figured out to submit to The Q. Writing something and sending it out into the world is scary, but you aren’t alone. You can also reach out to my fellow Editor-in-Chief Jibril Howard at

Both of us are so excited to be doing this work with you all.


Logo of Mobileye Intel, an Israel safe-driving startup. Courtesy Jonathan Trauner ’16

When the Covid-19 virus first arrived in Jerusalem Israel two weeks ago, my workplace Mobileye Intel, a global safe-driving startup, cancelled work days and shut doors indefinitely. I celebrated the Jewish holiday of Purim again in Jerusalem for the third straight year with my Israeli family members however, for the first time, in all of the years that I have celebrated the holiday of Purim, I could not even listen to the Torah’s Megillah Esther readings of my Jerusalem Israel synagogue community of Kol Haneshama of Baka Jerusalem since global groups from abroad (potential covid-19 carriers) typically attend our holiday services. I also have had to enter quarantine in my home for at a week at minimum even though I did not test positive for the virus and no one else at Mobileye tested positive with Covid-19.

Throughout my experiences hearing of Covid-19, I have remained fully calm and precautious. However, in my Israeli-Aunt Mrs. Mira Zada’s Jerusalem Israel home neighborhood a French and Israeli Jewish religious synagogue community called Or Tziyon was forced to completely shut their doors after a synagogue member contracted Covid-19 from Europe. At home, I followed all the statistics of Israel. Right now, more than four thousand Israelis have reported they tested positive for the coronavirus and at least fifteen Israelis have passed away due to the virus.

 I am happy to announce to Goucher’s Alumnae and Alumni Association and Goucher Hillel’s Alumnae/i Association, both organizations of which I am a member, that the majority of our Covid-19 cases have been fully contained, and that the majority of our Covid-19 patients we will continue treating will make a full recovery. The city of Jerusalem Israel will defeat the coronavirus epidemic outbreak and contain it. As Jerusalem has survived thousands of years of war and adversity, I have endless faith as an Israeli and Jerusalemite that we will defeat and eradicate the Coronavirus and that the world will know love and peace every-where we go. Only through love and togetherness, can our world collectively defeat Covid-19, contain the virus, and return to normal life as seamlessly and as easily as possible.

Alumni Submission from Jonathan Trauner ’16

Common Hour Clash Over Recent Changes


As of publication,  Goucher President Kent Devereaux has attended two large informational sessions related to staff layoffs and Gardaworld. First, he attended the weekly GSG meeting November 12, as previously planned. (My previous article, posted online, incorporated information from that meeting, as well as communications with the entire student body up until that point.) He indicated that he would continue to communicate with the student body as we all learn more about the situation. GSG asked Kent to have one of these public forums during the November 20 Common Hour, which Kent requested to do in the Orange Room of Mary Fisher. The conversation focused primarily on Gardaworld and the Administrative Services Review, with layoffs in the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) dominating the session. There was a brief conversation about the Green Fund and campus sustainability, as well.

There are three main interrelated issues at play within this week of tension and uncertainty on campus: Campus Safety, changes to the Student Code of Conduct, and layoffs from the Administrative Services Review. These issues fall into a wider conversation about shared governance that is taking place across campus.

Yuchen Ding ‘22 remarked that the recent GSG ballot contained a referendum about Gardaworld. Ding quoted: “A ‘yes’ vote means you reject the decision to acquire the services of Gardaworld. A ‘no’ vote means you do not reject the decision to acquire the services of Gardaworld.” With a record-breaking 43% voter turnout, 88% of the student body who voted in this election voted ‘yes’ on the referendum.

When asked about the move to a privatized security force on campus, Kent said: “the decision to move to an outsource model for public safety and move it under the VP of Campus Operations long-term is a decision that we’re not gonna go back on. There are so many issues around the way we are currently doing public safety that, quite frankly, are invisible to you all but quite frankly, are an extreme risk to the school. No, I cannot elaborate on confidential issues that really are. We need to make some changes. Suffice it to say we have some really, really stellar people in Public Safety, and we’re hoping that they’re gonna move over to Gardaworld. We have so many other issues that really have to do with consistency in terms of security and in terms of not being respectful to our community. There are people who we just have across the board, across the board, lack of accountability. We have people doing a good job in Public Safety and then it goes both ways, and we have some of our staff and faculty, who are treating officers, who are our employees, in a really disrespectful manner, so it was problematic across the board.” Kent also noted departure of Director of Public Safety Dave Heffer last month let a leadership gap within GCOPS. Kent stated that “we started to explore the outsourcing model, which has pretty much become predominant in higher education” in response to this leadership gap. A student pointed out that several students have called almost 30 peer institutions across the country, and not a single one of them outsources their Public Safety office. It is important to note that the peer institutions are those identified by Goucher itself.

Kent acknowledged that Gardaworld has acquired “sketchy” companies such as Aegis. “The big picture is: over the long term, they are the right company for us.” After looking at three companies and Maryland, Kent noted that “From everything we’ve read since [learning of the issues with Gardaworld subsidiaries, particularly Aegis and being impressed with Gardaworld’s response]…The larger picture is, over the long term, they are the right company with us to be outsourcing. Of all the companies we looked at, and we did three here in Maryland…they [Whelan] were far and away the best, because, number one, we are talking about our policies, they don’t bring in their policies. It’s our policies, our faculty, our staff, our students, define our policies…They then have to implement our policies.” Kent also highlighted major differences between this situation and that of Johns Hopkins’ private police force.

This policy is our campus’s Student Code of Conduct. Part of an ongoing review of the College’s 111 policies broadly overseen by College General Counsel Barbara Stob, this particular policy is being managed by the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Success, Nicole Johnson. Kent indicated that there are “no formal policy changes yet. Will reach out to GSG…We define what our student code of conduct will be with student input.” Johnson was not at the GSG meeting or the Common Hour. 

Two finalists for the new Director of Campus Safety position were recently on campus. Students were involved in the interview process for both of them. This position will be employed by Gardaworld.

When asked “Should we be doing this at all?” Kent responded: “We don’t have the capabilities. It was the best things for our students going forward.” Kent also indicated that the annual contract may not be practical in the future, speculating that “we may change our mind in two years.”

As The Baltimore Sun recently reported, there have been 13 staff layoffs as part of the Administrative Services Review. As Kent explained in the Common Hour Q&A on November 20 in the orange room of Mary Fisher, rpk Group made their recommendations relating to the Administrative Services Review, and about half of them were implemented at the College by the President’s Cabinet, which consists of the President, Vice Presidents, and General Counsel of Goucher. Kent indicated that two Trustees were involved in the process; the extent of this involvement remains unclear.

The reason for the confidentiality, Kent has explained at both the November 20 meeting and the November 12 packed GSG meeting in Batza, was to reduce the possibility of internal leaks that would lead to rumors of people being on the chopping block. A main concern with this approach, which has been articulated to value efficiency and accuracy, is that it left everyone in the dark about the changes until they happened. While Kent has been explicit that these staff layoffs are a “one and done” occurrence meant to continue the faculty cuts that took place two years ago, there is a looming feeling of uncertainty and fear on campus right now.

The most well-known staff layoffs that took place last week were in the Academic Center for Excellence. Better known as ACE, the office is considered a warm and trusted space on campus where generations of students have received academic coaching and emotional support. A petition created by Emily Belkowitz ‘21 entitled “Save ACE” has over 1,970 signatures as of publication time. In an update to the petition posted on November 17, Belkowitz writes in part:

“The goal of this petition is to stop the restructuring of ACE. We also demand that Kay Beard and Peejo Sehr are reinstated to the old positions or are given new positions of equal or better value. It is unbelievable that the administration has decided that Kay and Peejo’s jobs are not valuable to the school. We, the students, faculty, staff, family members, and alumni who have signed this petition wholeheartedly disagree with Goucher’s decision to terminate their substantial roles. Kay and Peejo are the heart of Goucher. Goucher’s mission is to promote student’s success, and that cannot be done without Kay Beard and Peejo Sehr.”

Kent has made it clear that ACE will be combining with what will be called the Office of Academic Advising and Support, with one current pre-major advisor training to be a coach, two others focusing on other responsibilities, with one director overseeing the office. “I’m not saying that’s all it’s ever going to be,” noted Kent, indicating that the staff may grow in coming fiscal years. It remains uncertain whether Beard or Sehr have interest in returning to Goucher in the new director position. 

The Quindecim will continue to post updates in these stories as they evolve.

Editor’s note: this article has been lightly revised for precision and clarity.

Staffing Cuts Across College Go Into Effect


Tuesday, November 12 was a big day on campus. Two main issues came into the foreground in a startlingly direct way: the Administrative Services Review and the shift from Public Safety to a new Campus Safety privately contracted to Gardaworld, the largest privately owned security company on the globe. 
There are two issues here that have deeply related root causes and outcomes. Goucher is unable to cover all the costs of its day-to-day operations, running what President Kent Devereaux cited as a $5 million annual deficit.* As a result, cost-cutting measures are being undertaken in all sectors of the campus community. This year, the staff is being cut.
While a hiring freeze has been in effect since April 2019, 34 positions were eliminated on Tuesday. It is unknown how many positions were cut in other ways, including pay cuts and weekly work hour reductions. These cuts will not affect current faculty positions. In an email to the student body, Kent noted that there are “no plans for any additional position eliminations.”
The campus also learned today of the future of Goucher Office of Public Safety (GCOPS, better known as PubSafe) since Dave Heffer left his post as its director last month. The new Campus Safety force will be comprised of officers hired by Gardaworld, replacing PubSafe. While all current Public Safety officers will have the opportunity to apply for a job on campus through Gardaworld, there are no guarantees they will be hired.
In a packed GSG meeting on Tuesday night, Kent and Dean Bryan Coker responded to student questions. A full transcript of the event will be posted to The Quindecim’s website later today, with additional coverage in the weeds on these two issues.
*It is worth mentioning that deficits are annual monetary shortfalls, while debts are accrued over multiple years.

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


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.








Inside the Bubble: A Collection of Goucher News



  • 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

  • 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


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.





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


Goucher College President Kent Devereaux. PC: Goucher College Website

President Kent Deveraux began as Goucher’s President on July 1, 2019. Students heard news of the announcement on June 13 through an email sent by Ruth Shapiro Lenrow ’74, who serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Goucher subsequently released a welcome video and several articles announcing some of Kent’s plans over the summer.  As is standard practice for the Editor-in-Chief, I sent an email to Kent asking to schedule an interview with him so we could begin building a solid working relationship. We coordinated a time for the interview, and Quindecim News Editor Jibril Howard ‘22 and I conducted the interview on September 18th, asking a range of questions focused on understanding how Kent is approaching his role as President. 

After introducing ourselves and sharing a bit about what we’re studying, I asked Kent, “If you can describe Goucher College in three words right now, what words would you choose?”

Kent paused, collected his thoughts, and responded: 

“…I hate to use the word ‘innovative,’ but what I’m trying to get at is welcoming and then there’s this other aspect of inquisitive, because people here–I hear that constantly–people are curious about things and the faculty is really interested and eager to sort of do things, so that’s definitely part of it. And [sic] passionate would be the other part of it, and I say that because all of our alumnae and alumni who I’ve met with so far are extremely passionate about Goucher…and so many students I meet here are passionate about what they are doing, and probably connected to the international study abroad component…those are kind of two sides of the same coin: the people who [went] here years ago are very passionate about this place and kind of the passion I feel from a lot of students I talk to about what they want to do.”

I followed up by asking if he sees those things changing or being different in the next five years or so as he spends more time here. Kent replied: 

“I don’t know. I hope we don’t lose those qualities; I think those are incredibly good qualities to have. I think some people describe they say, ‘you know, Goucher is not from the student experience, it is not a competitive experience, but supportive and challenging’ and I want to make it more supportive and more challenging. Competition for competition’s sake, apart from, perhaps, sports and some other things, is not an end all be all, so how do we kind of raise our game across the entire college, and everything we do, thinking more intentionally about the things we do. So I hope we don’t lose those three qualities, but I’m sure as time goes on I’ll have a better sense of the Goucher community and so some other things will come to the fore.”

One of the biggest questions Jibril and I had when we sat down to plan the interview related to Kent’s top three goals as President.

“First and foremost, our number one priority is raising the funds to build the new science center research facility…so we’ve gotta raise our game there…I don’t want to lose focus on academic excellence, because there’s been a lot of focus on building buildings, and buildings are not a college…we’re also launching the search for the new provost, the head, chief academic officer of the institution, so that will be nation-wide, really an international search for the best academic head of the institution. So that all to me is about academic excellence, how we can raise our game now. And the third thing is about increasing enrollment at the college, and that is just about making sure we have the right type of student who wants to come here…So we’re going to be doing a lot more marketing, because we want to make, we want to make Goucher more known nationwide. So I guess those would be the three things: science, academic excellence, and increasing enrollment. Because the campus now, with the First Year Village, we can handle, you know, several hundred more students and still be relatively small.

Kent further mentioned admissions and ways to market Goucher to potential students reminded me of a campus-wide conversation in Fall 2017 that originated from a Peace 220 class. Representatives from the class at the time wrote multiple articles documenting their processes and releasing the results of a survey they conducted with the student body, which are available on The Quindecim’s website, One of the class’s culminating events was an open conversation centered around the question: “Does Goucher have an identity?” As a first year at the time, I participated in this discussion partially because I felt it tapping into something deep that parts of the student body were grappling with. I also felt a certain level of ambiguity towards the question, particularly during my first year on campus. With this in mind, I was really curious about how Kent was conceptualizing a Goucher student identity. His response honed in on two themes he repeated throughout our interview: global education and social justice.

 “We are still only one of three, maybe four schools in America that requires 100% study abroad. That’s not been in the previous marketing–in terms of our website, in terms of email, the literature going out, that was always not front and center. And I think it should be…[T]here is [also] a long history at Goucher for a commitment to social justice…I’m a firm believer that if you speak plainly and put that message out there, it’ll resonate with people and you will get the right kind of student who is happy here and who stays here all four years; they won’t transfer and say, ‘ah, this is not exactly what I thought [it would be].’ So, sometimes, you know, we think we’re being clear but we’re not being clear, and you have to be really clear: this is what we’re about. So people go ‘oh, I wanna go there.’”

When asked about his decision-making process, Kent made it clear that he “never make[s] a decision alone.” He also described his process as “collaborative.” When we asked about how he views sustainability on campus, he responded in part: 

“Well, I am, quite frankly, I was just surprised that we don’t have a sustainability plan. We have a number of sustainability strategies, but they are disconnected and not holistic in the way they need to be. And also realizing that part of this is you can’t do everything at once…Let’s have the conversation about sustainability and let’s come up with a plan. Let’s do it, and once we make a plan, let’s execute it… So that’s something that I see happening next year. Having that sustainability plan that maybe for 2020, where does Goucher want to be in 2030? Set some aggressive targets: could we be a zero-G campus in ten years? I don’t know. Some other colleges are doing some pretty interesting things, so there’s a lot for us to learn there.”

Tying some of these ideas together, we asked about Kent’s commitment or idea or strategy for accessibility on campus. Kent mentioned meeting recently with representatives from Equal Access, talking briefly about how the new dining hall is not completely accessible. He added, 

“…I look at accessibility and it needs to be–we haven’t done a campus plan in a long, long time. And you know, we’re building a science research center, we’ve got a couple buildings we want to build. I am of the opinion we need to pause, get the science research center going [sic], but then we also cue up a long-term campus plan, and that campus plan would really look at the accessibility issues. Because, you know, this building is reaching the age where it is going to have to be renovated; a couple of other buildings are going to need to be renovated, so when we do those renovations, how can we bring them into the 21st century?”

We followed up by asking about shorter-term issues that we know about, such as the frequency that the lift in Mary Fisher is broken or the elevator in P.Selz doesn’t work. Kent pointed to the necessity of hiring “key staff” in this area.

This is Part One of a two-part series. Please look forward to the next Quindecim edition for the second part!

Update: The Provost search was announced in an email from the President’s Office to the student body on September 24. 

President Devereaux Fields Questions in Anti-Vaccination Town Hall


Photo source: TIME Magazine.

In a June 19 article for the Washington Post, Lena H. Sun and Amy Brittain lay out the donation history of couple Lisa and Bernard Selz of, New York City, New York  in relation to growing anti-vaccination, also known as anti-vaxxer, movements growing in New York . While not linking the Selz couple to Goucher College, students quickly linked the names Lisa and Bernard Selz to Pagliaro Selz Hall, the oldest building in the newly-built First-Year Village. One response shared on the Gopher App came from junior Jeremy Bloch ‘21, who created a petition to “Change the Name of Goucher College’s Pagliaro Selz Hall to Florence B. Seibert Hall.”

Over the summer, Bloch began working with new President Kent Devereaux to coordinate a Town Hall to address the matter amongst the Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) community on campus. The Quindecim was copied on an email exchange between Bloch and President Devereaux early in September. In the weeks leading up to the Town Hall, I met up with Bloch and the GSG Co-Presidents Noah Block ‘21 and Sam Anderson ‘21 to discuss some background logistics. The Town Hall was eventually opened up to all members of the Goucher community via posts on Facebook class pages on September 15, the day before the event.

The Town Hall began with an opening backstory provided by the President, who described vaccinations as “settled science.” Beyond indicating that vaccinations are a “Public Health policy issue” that the Board of Trustees supports, religious exemptions are the only reason why faculty, staff, or students may opt-out of being vaccinated on campus. President Devereaux also cited that the class of 2023 is 100% vaccinated, including 15 individuals who had not previously been vaccinated.

From there, he pivoted to talking about Goucher as an institution of “liberal arts and sciences,” stressing his commitment to building the new $35 million science research center that will renovate and greatly expand the current Hoffberger Science building. He also described the issue in relation to the Selz couple as opening up conversations about how the College decides to accept funding and from whom, suggesting an impact investing as one avenue for pursuing values-driven investing policy. 

During the question-and-answer period of the event, President Deveraux made it clear that any public statement regarding the Selzes would be “premature,” and that he plans to meet with them individually in the coming months. 

Also discussed during this time was the importance of crafting a sustainability plan, Environmental and Social Governance, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and the importance of sharing student voices in public forums such as at Goucher Student Government meetings, which take place every Tuesday from 7-8pm on the bottom floor of the Ath across from Alice’s. 


Note: Neve Levinson is fully vaccinated and calls Washington state, the place where the most recent death related to measles has been documented, their home.

Changes to Student Government


I am a Senator elected by the Class of 2021 to serve as a representative in Goucher Student Government (GSG) Senate. I recently sat down with with Sam Anderson ‘21 to talk about his resignation as Co-President of GSG on September 15. The goal of this article is to update the community on structural changes GSG has undergone in the past few weeks, why these changes occurred, and give some clarity as to what Goucher can expect from GSG moving forwards. 

My tenure in GSG began in November of 2018. Before then, I read my email to stay updated on GSG goings-on, but was otherwise uninvolved with the organization. I don’t know if I even voted during elections my first year. I began to know more about GSG when I heard my friends in Senate talk about some of the issues present in the structure of the organization. I was asked to run for Senate by Noah Block in November 2018. I decided to run in the uncontested race, and was elected by my peers. From then on, I have been extremely engaged with Student Government. I have worked alongside my fellow representatives and was just as surprised as others when Sam Anderson resigned as Co-President of GSG.

On September 24 I asked Sam some questions about his time in GSG, as a Senator, President, and Co-President. I started the conversation by asking him to tell me why he wanted to be in GSG and why he wanted to lead. His response was at once enlightening and familiar to me. His early misconceptions of GSG and how that was so different from the reality were extremely similar to what I felt when I ran and began my time in GSG:

“As soon as I got into GSG I had a wake up call as to really what the group was doing or what we were going to be able to accomplish because I really didn’t know what GSG was,” Sam began. “Or what it was about.”

The reality of GSG has changed over my time as a Senator, and this was true for Sam possibly more than anyone else in the Senate. This changed the way Sam experienced his role in Senate and contributed to his departure from GSG. Later in our conversation, Sam told me why he decided to step back from Student Government while maintaining his other advocacy roles within the Goucher community:

 “I’ve dealt with periods of stress and the burden of a ton of work coming at me because of student government in the past but what was different…from what happened in this past semester it… was really exciting work and it was fun and then at this point it has just been the negative stress and negative work and so I decided to not force myself to keep doing that and to instead shift to organizing work and definitely not step back at all from the things I’m passionate about but do it on my own terms.”

Sam recently organized The Exchange, on Wednesday, September 25 during Common Hour (1:15-2:30pm) on Van Meter Highway. It was an opportunity for organizations on campus to exchange ideas and information with the Goucher community.

When I asked him what he wanted other students to know about GSG or other organizing efforts on campus, Sam wanted his peers to know their importance. 

“Students, and my friends and my peers should really recognize the importance of students and being a student on a college campus…we don’t have to just let things happen, if we disagree with something, we really have power to make a change, but it takes collective action and it takes talking to each other and working together to make that change.” 

Sam ended by saying,

“Students know the most about what it means to be a student right now…We can best speak to that notion of what it means to be here right now.” 

I cannot overstate the importance of collaboration and collective action. One way members of the Goucher community have been trying to make change using collective action is through Goucher Student Government.

There have been some recent structural changes in the way GSG functions. With Sam Anderson resigning from his position as Co-President, Noah Block has become the sole occupant of the GSG Presidential Office. As President, Noah has made a shift in the direction of reintroducing an Executive Board to assist the Presidential Office in the management of GSG. This shift aims to create a more horizontal distribution of power, as opposed to a traditional vertical hierarchy of power. Equitable distribution of power through this change to an Executive Board mean some of the responsibilities of the Presidential Office are shared among multiple members of GSG and not everything will be the President’s responsibility. This change will most likely go into effect by the next meeting of GSG, on Tuesday, October 1st 2019. To hear more about this change, come to the meeting at 7 PM in ATH 125, also known as Old OSE, between Alice’s Patio and the Student Store. Another way to keep updated regarding these changes is to read your emails from GSG, follow @goucherstugov on Instagram and Facebook and check out our website:

Note: My experiences and opinions are my own and do not represent Goucher Student Government as a whole. I believe it is important to have a framing of my individuality within the context of a larger organization. I cannot speak to other Senators’ or community members’ personal experiences. I can only speak to my own and what I have gathered in my role as a student and representative. 

By: Em Lassen

GSG Group Photo PC: GSG Website

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