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Goucher Reacts to the 2020 Presidential Election

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By Jibril Howard ’22

Three days on from the 2020 Presidential Election and it’s only just now that the picture becomes clearer on who will be elected President of the United States. At the time of writing, the Democratic nominee, former Vice-President Joe Biden sits on 253 confirmed Electoral College votes. Many news organizations, including MSNBC and Fox News have projected Biden winning other states, although vote counting continues in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Alaska and North Carolina. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump has amassed only 214 votes.

Despite the ongoing vote count, Biden looks set to win Arizona and Pennsylvania (11 and 20 electoral college votes respectively) and remains competitive in Nevada and Georgia. Regardless of the final Electoral College breakdown, Biden has won the popular vote by almost 4 million votes more than Trump and, with an ongoing vote total exceeding 71 million, received more votes than any other US presidential candidate in history. Throughout the election Trump has lambasted efforts to count mail-in votes and stir false claims of voter fraud. Speaking at a press conference the evening of November 6th, Trump accused Democrats of stealing the election and sought to sow doubts about the integrity of the election. The speech was widely derided as authoritarian with many major news networks cutting away mid-broadcast.

Despite the seemingly rosy picture at the top of the ticket, Democrats suffered surprising losses in down-ballot races: failing to make gains in rural and exurban districts, losing six seats in the House of Representatives, and failing to take back control of the Senate, despite massive fundraising hauls on candidates running in South Carolina, Kentucky, Iowa, Kansas, and Maine. However, control of the Senate does remain in play as the candidates in the Georgia regular and special senate races failed to clear 50 percent thresholds, triggering automatic January runoffs. Additionally, vote counts remain ongoing to determine the winner of the Alaska Senate race.

Nevertheless, the House and Senate losses overall will prompt concern and rancor among Democratic lawmakers over the direction and strategy of the party moving forward, especially in messaging and outreach to growing Hispanic/Latinx communities and continuing to speak to and address the needs of Black communities across the country. In-fighting has already begun between moderates such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) against progressives such as Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

Naturally, the Goucher community is not estranged from the political atmosphere. While existing in an online space due to the ongoing mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic by President Trump, the rights of LGBTQIA+ students and the right to abortion for thousands of people with uteruses remain at the whim of a conservative Supreme Court, leaving many Goucher students with liberal political perspectives nervously waiting for a Biden victory. I collected some reactions from a quick convenience sample of Goucher students. Here are their collected thoughts and responses to the 2020 Presidential Election.

Junior and former Quindecim copyeditor Steven Van Riper ’22 in a group message text exchange explained his reaction succinctly “AAAAAAAAAAA!”

Fellow junior Kayla Thomas ’22 provided a lengthier reaction to the election. “I can give [my reaction] to you in one word: anxiety. I’m trying my hardest to remain hopefully cautious. I remember four years ago that all politics were progressive and left-leaning and I was hurt when Trump won. I hope that I can be proven right this time.”

In an exchange via Instagram DMs senior Casey Braun ’21 was also nervous about the result of the election.

“I would say I’m cautiously optimistic [about Joe Biden winning] especially regarding Pennsylvania. I think it has a chance to go blue, but it would very close, so I don’t want to jinx it!” Regarding President Trump’s false claims of election rigging Braun replied: “Also our President doesn’t understand what a democracy is…”

Another junior Alex Riefe ’22 remarked on the endurance of President Trump’s ideas.

“…it’s been eye-opening to look at a physical map of the United States and see how these ideas that Trump has pushed, in denying science and facts and subverting democracy, have taken root. This is the most important election I’ve lived through in that for the first time our democracy and way we choose to govern our country is being challenged.”

First-year Andrea Casique ’24 took an international perspective via Instagram DMs.

“As a Venezuelan, I grew up watching crazy elections and being constantly terrified by the government, so I never really thought an American Presidential election could be this terrifying. I’m enjoying the memes and TikToks [about the election] though – it’s the only thing keeping me from losing it.”

Quindecim staff writer and first-year Mich Rouse ’24 reflected in an email on the unexpectedly competitive races in Republican-stronghold southern states:

“Some people in [majority-blue] states poke fun of the South because they’re not the same as them. What they don’t recognize is that by doing this, they’re erasing the work of southern BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, & People of Color] organizers who have been pushing for transformation since the beginning. As an organizer myself in North Carolina – and we all see how my state is doing right now – I’m just constantly frustrated. The Biden/Harris ticket is not what I personally wanted, but I pushed extensively to make it a reality, and I hope these efforts don’t go under the rug.”

Sophomore Whittaker Miller ’23 gave a scathing indictment of the US political process.

“Waking up and seeing the millions of votes for the man who embodies the white supremacist and oppressive ideals of this nation is a gut-sinking feeling I should have seen coming. 50 million people chanting ‘All Lives Matter’ while simultaneously deciding that the 200,000 that have died [from the Covid-19 pandemic] at the hands of this man and virus don’t matter. As I continue in my career in academia as well as community building in my hometown where I will be for as long as this pandemic persists, I have come to realize that all of this is intentional – the division, the defunding of education, the propaganda, and the eventual fall of America into complete fascism as my friends and I watch weeping at the thought that what little rights and hope we have lies in the hands of the ancient electoral college established 300 years ago. Biden is nowhere near what we need [for this political moment] and we only have so much time left.”

Quindecim Co-Editor-in-Chief Neve Levinson ‘21 argued in a similar vein:

“Our electoral system is rooted in white supremacy. As BIPOC activists have said for generations, we have to fundamentally change our systems in order to truly value life. [Scholar and activist] Ijeoma Oluo condensed this message when she tweeted on Thursday, “This election doesn’t change the work we need to do, it just determines how much harder that work may be.” All the available data show in no uncertain terms that white folks, and especially white women, have decolonizing work to do in the political sphere. We have dinner conversations to have and silences to break. This week has sucked.”

However, they ended with a piece of positive advice for folks as the election rolls on: “Take a nap, drink some water, and invest in community.”

Electoral College Map as of November 6th. PC: ABC7 News San Francisco

Spring Reopening: What to Think?

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By Nicholas Enoch ’23

With less than four weeks left in the semester, speculations on what the Spring 2021 semester will look like and whether we will be coming back to campus is still up in the air, which is leaving students confused and in the dark about what to expect. During the current Fall 2020 semester, only students who fit certain criteria could come onto campus and as a result less than 10 percent of the undergraduate population is currently living on-campus. Due to the ongoing success preventing an outbreak of Covid-19 cases on campus, Goucher has decided to allow at least 700 students to come onto campus in the spring and is promoting the rollout of hy-flex [hybrid online and in-person] courses. However the response to the news has been mixed at best.

Sophomore Anna Williams ‘23, who currently lives on campus, expressed concern that allowing a large amount of students back can create more problems:

“I am concerned that if we do come back, then we will get shut down again and will hurt the students who need campus housing like myself.”

In a recent email by Student Success, students who apply for on-campus housing are subject to a system of prioritization which is ordered as follows: first-year students, student-athletes, sophomore students, non-athlete seniors, non-athlete juniors, and then students currently residing less than 25 miles from campus placed last. This priority list has garnered frustration to juniors and seniors who are in need of campus housing, as they are the least priority and may not receiving housing, even if they apply for it. Following the email, students took to the Gopher app to express outrage and vent over the prioritization of on-campus housing, especially the perception of leaving juniors and seniors out in the cold.

Sophomore Tara Abdullah Nri ’23 said, “I do find it weird that sophomores are being prioritized over seniors as a sophomore myself.”

Junior Sarah Ohana ‘22, a biology major, also noted that some of her classes would require her to be on campus for some of her classes:

“My major and minor are very intense and they require many classes that I’ll need to take one after the other or else I will be behind in my graduating requirements, which is not my goal to be behind in at all. I was told that possibly one of my science classes will have a mandatory lab in person requirement and if that is the case, then I will have to live on campus or close to campus most likely.”

Not only has the priority list have received criticism, the level of safety and enforcement of CDC guidelines such as social distancing and staying 6 feet apart has received mixed reaction. In an email by the Spring Reopening Task Force, it is stated that each resident on campus will be living in single rooms.

First-year Autumn Custis ‘24, who currently resides on campus, believes that Goucher will be able to follow CDC guidelines: “I feel very comfortable with coming back to campus because of the frequent testing and mask regulations they put in place.”

However, students who are currently not on campus, like junior Quinn Tran ‘22, feel otherwise about returning to campus: “I don’t want something like Fall happened when they said to reopen, [sic] yet they moved online. Will they assure us that this won’t happen again?”

Abdullah Nri also spoke about returning to campus:

“I feel like there’s a good chance that there will be a breakout on campus which would be risky for the whole population and in that case I wouldn’t be able to go home because my parents are both in the at-risk category in multiple ways and I wouldn’t want to risk it.

From reading the emails and speaking with students both on and off campus, my opinion on students coming back to campus is up in the air. I do feel that the priority list of students that should come back should be changed or revised to acknowledge students who need housing. Also, there is a reoccurring pattern that what happened last Spring and this Fall will happen again, and I myself fear that too, being a first-year who needs campus housing. My hope, like most if not all of the students, is that Goucher makes a decision and stands by their choice instead of committing and then backing off. With coronavirus cases rising all across the country, my biggest fear is coming on to campus and then in a matter of weeks having to leave. With the Spring 2021 semester still looking up in the air, who knows what kind of semester we will all be walking into when classes start in February.

A lonely Welsh Hall. PC: Nicholas Enoch ’23

Comedy, Tragedy, and “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend”

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By Madeline Tredway ’24

I don’t think there’s anything I could say about the 2020 pandemic that hasn’t been done to death. Loneliness, existential doom, constant fear, Animal Crossing — it’s all been reiterated over and over in so many different ways, to the point where it doesn’t really mean much anymore. However, when you look closer at what is being said, it seems like all the poetry, the articles, and Instagram stories practice what is becoming so common among people: stating what they’re feeling in a clinical manner, but refusing to be truly honest in fear of other people’s reactions. “I’m feeling sad and lonely today, but I’ll just post a picture of my friends and I hanging out from three months ago so I don’t seem too sad and lonely.” “Fear is hard to manage in these times, but let me make a joke so I don’t look like I’m really upset about the situation.” 

Conan O’Brien hosts the TBS talk show Conan. PC: NPR

All of these are completely understandable reactions to the different things we’re all suffering from right now, but as a person who leans into hardship for better or for worse, it’s isolating to feel like you’re going through such awful things alone and to know that the problem might be alleviated if we all weren’t so scared of intimacy. So who do I, a female college student, look to for this gritty, heartbreakingly real depiction of reality I so desire? None other than Conan O’ Brien. 

O’Brien’s podcast “Conan O’ Brien Needs a Friend” started in late 2018 and was met by praise from critics and listeners alike. O’Brien, who is the longest-running current talk show host with 26 years under his belt, is truly one of a kind—he’s generally adored by his cult following, and has a strange sense of humor that comes off as refreshingly different from a lot of talk show hosts. So to hear that Conan O’ Brien was starting a podcast was great news for many, especially since he was allowed to choose his own guests, read his own ads instead of going to a commercial break, and potentially cut through the Hollywoodisms that plague talk shows. Its success seemed inevitable.

Now that the podcast has been active for a few years, it is safe to say it lived up to its prospects. Its gimmick is that Conan’s only friends are his staffers, therefore he is in desperate need of new friends, hence the “needs a friend” part of the title. It’s simple enough to work with the freeform discussions on the show and also meshes well with his self deprecating humor. In fact, his style of comedy works well with the somewhat straightforward structure of the podcast — each episode begins with a little bit of banter with his assistant Sona Movsesian (media personality from O’Brien’s television show) and producer Matt Gourley (a podcast legend in many circles), then the actual interview, and finishes with closing banter with Movsesian and Gourley. Sprinkle a few ads in between, and that’s the entirety of the podcast. But O’Brien’s humor is intelligent and weird, at times even being nonsensical, so the podcast is never boring. Even with guests that aren’t known for comedic prowess, notably J.J. Abrams and Michelle Obama, O’Brien coaxes the humor out of discussions of movie-making and politics. With a perfect host & structure, along with producer Gourley who edits masterfully to make cuts seem unawkward, this podcast is genuinely well-made.

Although “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” is wonderfully funny, this alone is not what makes it unique. Other podcasts like “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!” are among my favorites that make me laugh just as much as O’Brien does, but I keep coming back to “Conan O’Brien” for re-listens more than I do the others. So what is it about the podcast that makes it so special? The short answer is truth.

On Nikki Glaser’s episode, Glaser speaks openly and honestly about her eating disorder and how it affected her self-image throughout high school and college, and still affects her eating habits today. She remarks that she thinks her disorder was her way of wanting to die, and although she isn’t tearing up when saying this, it’s understood that this was a pivotal point in the comedian’s life. It’s a very tense moment, and for the listener, the obvious context of this being a comedy show is more apparent than ever. A lot of podcast hosts express their want for the guests on their podcasts to feel comfortable talking about “anything and everything,” but I’ve noticed that in a lot of these podcasts, as soon as that “anything and everything” comes to something serious, the hosts don’t know how to handle it. They either make a joke and move on, or stay so silent that the guest doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it anymore. It’s immediately obvious that the promise at the beginning of the show isn’t able to be fulfilled, because for a lot of people, that kind of confidentiality about somber topics is uncomfortable. But with O’Brien, he asks questions about her experience and comments on it truthfully, telling her he hates hearing about her being in that kind of pain, not shying away from the emotional implication his honesty carries. 

I mentioned earlier that O’Brien’s humor is refreshing, and since listening to the podcast, I’ve learned his honesty is also refreshing, especially recently. The pandemic has really amplified the tendency of people to hide from veracity when it relates to suffering. It’s too much for a lot of people to be honest about mental health during the pandemic (and honesty does not mean making a joke about your loneliness that’s veiled under five layers of irony). Yes, comedy is healing, but people like O’Brien understand that it is not simply a shield. Talking to people and sharing experiences is one of the only means of connection we have right now, and I’m afraid that connection is becoming severed as people use humor to fortify their own walls. It is absolutely true, however, that comedy and candidness are not completely separate, but burying serious things under humor is not combining the two. It’s only isolating humor and causing others to feel as if confidentiality is not welcome. 

For instance, after Glaser confides in Conan about her eating disorder, Conan makes a comment about how a lot of comedians weren’t the class clowns in high school, and instead the kids people remember as being incredibly serious. He quips that the class clowns often died in motel shootouts. This joke is funny, but saying this doesn’t detract from Glaser’s intimacy, and doesn’t serve just to move past it. He acknowledges Glaser’s suffering and by making this joke, he’s not making light of it—he’s trying to alleviate just a little bit of sorrow. This is truly combining comedy and candidness.

At the beginning of one of the podcast episodes, O’Brien talks briefly about the pandemic. He speaks of his sadness at seeing young people accepting that this is their new reality, and says that he’s confident that science will come in to save the day; we will live to see another unexpected pandemic to seize upon us! That made me laugh, but it also assuaged so much of the stress and fear I had been feeling at the time. It’s the most honest and human response to the pandemic I’ve heard from a comedian, and it’s moments like those that make me realize why I listen to this podcast over and over again: O’Brien truly understands the adjacent relationship between comedy and tragedy.

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. PC: Earwolf.com

Lebron James vs. Michael Jordan: Just Enjoy the Show

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By Alex Dominguez ’24

With the Los Angeles Lakers blowing out the Miami Heat yet again in Game Two of the 2020 NBA Finals, it seems inevitable that Lebron James and company are going to win this year’s championship. With Lebron just adding to his resume season after season, the debate over who is the greatest, King James or his airness Michael Jordan, only gets more intense year after year. I am here to say it does not matter. 

Let me start by saying I love Michael Jordan. My dad was around my age when Jordan won his first of many championships. By then, he, like millions of others, were deeply obsessed with the Chicago Bulls star. My dad passed on this love for Michael Jordan to me. Instead of growing up listening to fairy tales, my dad and I used to watch old Bulls games and I would listen to insane stories from Jordan’s prime. From growing up listening to my dad tell tales of how effortlessly MJ appeared to fly to watching his airness myself in the 2020 documentary series “The Last Dance”, Michael Jordan played a huge role in my early childhood. 

During this same time, Lebron James was still trying to claim his spot as a top player in the NBA. Right around the time I started watching sports religiously, Lebron was propelled to superstar status. I was fortunate enough to understand the cult of personality surrounding Michael Jordan, while also witnessing the transition of Lebron from a young and hungry star to one of the greatest to ever dribble a basketball.

Jordan created the greatest NBA resume to date, and Lebron seems to be chipping away at that every single season. This has created an immense amount of debate and discussion on who is truly the greatest player ever, Jordan, or Lebron. From it being a recurring topic in my podcast, “The Talking Ball,” to my uncle asking me every holiday dinner who is the better player, this question has followed me ever since the 2016 NBA championship. However, only mentioning the two in the same sentence to compare them undervalues the respective accomplishments both have achieved and ignores the main reason they are compared: their greatness. 

Each generation in pop culture has its own heroes. As time passes, certain styles and sounds grow and lose popularity. The world of sports is no different. As the changing of the guard occurs in basketball, different play styles and strategies change. Due to the competitive nature of sports, nothing is static. Athletes across all sports, but basketball in particular should be compared with respect to the era they played in, not the current era. 

By comparing players to the current era, fans misinterpret all that made certain athletes great. It is unfair to compare Jordan’s three-point shot to Stephen Curry’s or Lebron’s shot because that was not an aspect of his game that he was expected to rely heavily on. Furthermore, you cannot argue that Lebron is less than Jordan because he does not get bruised and assaulted every time he tries to score as Jordan did in his early playoff runs. We can only speculate how Lebron would react to Dennis Rodman trying to wrestle mid-game, and whether Jordan would be able to pull up from half-court and sink a shot. However, there is no doubting the heights both were able to reach throughout their respective careers.

This comparison is also not like comparing apples to oranges either. Instead, it is like comparing Ford automobiles with two different goals in mind. A 1966 Ford GT is incomparable to a Ford Focus for several reasons, but most of all because they served vastly different purposes. When engineers designed the GT, their goal was to create the fastest vehicle to ever grace the planet. The Ford Focus on the other hand was designed to focus on vastly different features of an automobile. Milage, safety, speed: these are differentiating factors, but help illustrate the successes behind the cars. 

Another reason why this argument is a distraction from enjoying the game of basketball is that it does not offer anything new. During the 1960s and 70s, similar arguments were made between players like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. As time passed, those names became replaced with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs Moses Malone, then Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson to now Michael Jordan and Lebron James. These name changes over time illustrate how nothing in sports is permanent. If the arguments made during the 1960s or 70s amounted to anything NBA fans would be comparing Bob Cousy to the current best point guard in the league, but they do not. This is because the significance and status of a player is fluid. Just like these stars play basketball, our perception of players is sensational. If a shooting guard plans to pass the ball but sees an opening for a clean shot, his plans change, much like how our opinions change when the situation changes. Since each period of basketball focuses on different aspects of the game, the fans of each period admire those skills highlighted in that period. A lot of Jordan’s contemporaries go on ESPN and constantly bash small ball offenses much like current players hate the rugged fouls of the 80s. As times change and practices shift, so do the values we worship. If the arguments of the past have taught us anything, it is that there is no right answer, just what you enjoy more. 

This conversation of the highest-ranking basketball player ever tends to get the world’s greatest and best thrown around a lot, but the definition of these words has become looser and looser. Jordan had weak points in his game that are only becoming more prominent as time goes on. While he was widely considered the greatest scorer ever, this title is becoming more contested. The greatest to wear a Bulls jersey relied heavily on mid-range jump shots and driving to the hoop, two weapons that are decreasing in popularity among players in his position. With the dominance and efficiency of the three-point shot and small ball movement, Jordan’s game would be hard to manifest his style of play as successfully. This is not as much as a penalty for Jordan’s play as much as it is as a testament on how much sports change across only a couple of generations. While Jordan’s scoring arsenal is among the best in history and his defensive skills rank among the best, with a faster pace of the game and the rise of more efficient offensive strategies, each new generation’s best proves more and more effective than Jordan.

Regardless of who you think is the better player, there is no definitive way to prove it. Even his airness himself is hesitant to say he is the greatest despite being the competitive freak of nature he is. This polarizing conversation is drawn by generational lines, with “old heads” citing Jordan as basketball’s god and the youth claiming Lebron James as king of basketball history. It is only a matter of time until I watch Bronny win his first MVP as my son tells me Lebron would never be able to dominate in this era. So instead of arguing over 0.6 of a percentage, it is time to put down the pitchforks, pick up the remote, and just witness greatness.

Michael Jordan (left) and Lebron James in 2014. PC: The Charlotte Observer via The Guardian

Works Cited:

“LeBron James Stats.” Basketball,  https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01.html.

“LeBron James’ Career Timeline.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2018, www.latimes.com/sports/nba/la-sp-lakers-lebron-timeline-20180701-story.html. “Michael Jordan Stats.” Basketball, www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jordami01.html. 

“Three-Point Progression.” NBA Math, 6 Aug. 2018, nbamath.com/three-point-progression/.

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.

Letter from an Editor-in-Chief, September 2020

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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 nelev001@mail.goucher.edu 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 jihow001@goucher.edu

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

The Alternative to an Antiquated Response

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By Sam Anderson ’21

In the years since 1918, Goucher College and the world have experienced many changes. The two most notable of which for the small, liberal arts college in Maryland were moving from a campus in the heart of Baltimore City to a expansive, wooded campus in Baltimore County, and a shift in the late 1980’s from serving only female students to being a coeducational institution. Looking outwards from Goucher, the world has advanced technologically and medically to the point where a computer, which did not exist as we know them in 1918, fits in the palm of one’s hand and where a vaccine can be developed for a novel virus, not in a number of decades, but instead in less than two years. 

As this progress has been made in the last century, successful institutions have adapted in innovative ways to the many changes, or faced the consequences of not having done so. Our beloved college has time and time again adjusted, including in the two situations noted above, for the same reasons. Financial exigencies and other changing dynamics forced former Presidents of Goucher College, now regarded very favorably, to make numerous risky decisions. Specifically, Otto Kraushaar and Rhoda Dorsey left their mark on the college not by toeing the line, but by remaking the institution for the better, and leaving the college stronger than they found it. The trustees serving the institution in partnership with those Presidents supported those difficult decisions in defense of the institution which many of them had attended and to which all of them had sworn to be fiduciarily responsible.

During the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic, the college responded by temporarily halting instruction on orders from the Health Commissioner of Baltimore and by expanding its infirmary from its location on one floor in a downtown building to occupying that entire building. According to Anna Huebeck Knipp, in her historical account of the college published in 1938, “In view of the extent and severity of the pandemic, it was considered fortunate that the number of deaths did not exceed two” (Knipp & Thomas). Two deaths may have been a “fortunate” outcome for a college in 1918, but nowadays the risk of even one death from a novel virus ought to be too heavy for a college to carry. The quarantine ward or expanded infirmary, a necessary evil of the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic, should be left in the past and not brought to Goucher’s campus this fall. 

So, what is the alternative? This is an opportunity for the college to advance toward its vision statement of becoming, 

{T]he model for accessible transformational education that integrates curricular and co-curricular learning to deliver graduates who can solve complex problems together with people who are not like themselves” (Vision).

The college should provide the same educational options to all of it’s students, especially those already facing barriers to their education because they are international students and/or students who are immunocompromised, and those facing other circumstances that would make the redesigned residential experience more challenging. 

The successful innovations of Kraushaar and Dorsey did not come from imposing limits on the college or its students. They came from expansion. Expansion in physical space by moving from Baltimore to Towson, or expansion in who could attend the college. A temporary pivot online is the most expansive solution to this complex problem. Within the statement of “Who We Are,” found within Goucher’s Community Principles, the importance of our contributions to, and enrichment by, our home communities is noted (Community Principles). Moving online temporarily would allow students to renew this commitment to the communities we live in outside of the Goucher community. There will be ample opportunities to provide service during the coming year in our home communities, whether that be through volunteering or helping family members in this difficult time. The Office of Community Based Learning (CBL) and faculty who teach courses with a CBL focus could encourage and support students in making a positive difference at home. Students have already started this work in the time they have been home since mid-March and have even been featured on national news media for doing so. 

Through careful communication, the college can amplify the work of students while making a compelling case to prospective students as to why choosing such an innovative college is the right decision for them. Differentiation of experience is crucial for small liberal arts colleges given the uncertainty that institutions of higher education face in the near future. We should not restrict ourselves by the physical limitations of returning to campus this fall. Instead, let’s recommit to our community principles, from a distance, and leave Goucher College stronger than it was before.

Sources:

“Community Principles.” Goucher College, www.goucher.edu/explore/who-we-are/community-principles.

Knipp, Anna H. and Thaddeus P. Thomas. The History of Goucher College. Baltimore, Goucher College, 1938, p. 243.

“Vision.” Goucher College, www.goucher.edu/explore/who-we-are/mission.



A Tale of Two Presidents: A Suggestion for the Fall Semester

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By Sam Anderson ’21

Our former President, José Bowen, and current President, Kent Devereaux, have both made their way into the pages of major publications covering higher education’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The differences between their published comments thus far could not be more stark. 

In a recent article published in Inside Higher Ed on May 19 called “Is Higher Ed Asking the Wrong Questions?,” José writes, “sometimes it is better to accept that you will make mistakes and still act with urgency (and honesty that you do not know the future) and then iterate.” He follows with, “In the current circumstances, universities should vastly accelerate their capacity to be nimble.” His argument is that with so much uncertainty and ambiguity, it isn’t smart to replicate the residential learning community we had last fall, this time with new strict social protocols, rebranded as a “new normal.” Instead he says we should, “embrace a greater tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty.” Contrast that notion with this quote that current President Kent Devereaux gave The Chronicle of Higher Education just over a month ago in an article written by Lee Gardner called “How College Leaders Are Planning for the Fall” and you’ll see just how disparate Jose and Kent’s thinking has been. “‘Don’t make any decision until you have to,’ he says. The longer you wait, the better your information will be. But when you make your decision, he adds, ‘be decisive and be clear, and make sure you’ve got your plans.’” Kent calls for decisiveness and clarity; José for ambiguity and uncertainty. In these circumstances, as a leader in higher education, you would want to make sure you get that ideological choice right. Probably, the answer lies somewhere between the two. If I have learned anything at Goucher, it’s that the world is too complex for binary choices like that one.

Kent’s quote leaves open the door to innovation. Later in the Chronicle article he goes on to stress the importance of planning ahead so that you always have, “a plan B in your pocket.” However, I would ask the reader to consider if they have seen anything so far that suggests an innovative response is forthcoming. The crisis management coming out of the Dorsey Center appears to be expressly focused on a “commitment to a residential experience” that seems more and more unrealistic with each passing day despite the best efforts of well-meaning staff and administrators. The associated health risks of returning to campus this fall are not worth the purported benefits of doing so. Goucher College’s decision makers should try their hand at adaptive leadership and consider what unexplored possibilities exist in this pandemic. 

If the college is truly committed to a residential experience, the necessary social distancing measures with strict enforcement will not provide that. Instead, the college ought to focus on making a semester or year spent online feel as “residential” as possible. First and foremost, the college must ensure that all students have a computer and ready access to the internet. Second, the college must ensure that all students have a safe place to stay. A few dorm rooms should be maintained on campus as was the case this semester for some international students who were unable to return to their homes. 

The college can become even more accessible than it ever has been before. Going online eliminates many physical barriers and if ACE and the Office of Accessibility Services are brought in now, the challenges of online learning that students have experienced this semester can be accommodated for. 

Student leaders should be trained on facilitating virtual spaces, as should all student-facing staff, and the Office of Student Engagement should continue their effective virtual outreach through office hours and special events. Zoom common rooms can host dinners and game nights while Zoom study rooms provide a quiet place to work with friends. If and when professional sports return, a virtual P-Selz lobby could host a watch party. RAs can check in with their “residents” online and host virtual versions of the events they would host on campus while First Year Mentors build virtual communities and ensure we retain the future residents of 1021 Dulaney Valley Road long enough for them to get there safely. 

As much as possible, the college should seek ways to transition staff and student employment into this new online campus, even if it means transforming one’s role. Students who rely on work study in order to attend Goucher might be forced into a precarious choice between health and education if campus opens in the fall. Those students might be more inclined to come back not because they feel it best to return but because they need the money offered in on-campus employment to continue their studies. New opportunities for employment will likely emerge in a truly innovative online environment and these roles should be offered to students who qualify for federal work study first. 

Finally, the main hallmarks of the college would not have to be sacrificed in a temporary shift online. Global education could remain a focus for the college over this next semester or year. What provides more global access than the internet? Let’s invite the universities we partner with internationally for study abroad to collaborate on spaces for virtual learning open to students of both institutions.

No solution anyone comes up with for next semester will be perfect. I am absolutely not suggesting we make a shift online permanently. I am asking that before we commit too heavily to physically showing up in late August, we imagine what is possible if our community comes together in the best way we can right now. This fall, let’s live and learn together while remaining apart, and let’s create some more equity in higher ed in the process.

Sources:

Bowen, José A. “Is Higher Ed Asking the Wrong Questions?” Inside Higher Ed. May 19, 2020. www.insidehighered.com/views/2020/05/19/longer-term-questions-colleges-should-be-asking-response-pandemic-opinion

Gardner, Lee. “How College Leaders Are Planning for the Fall.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. April 17, 2020. www.chronicle.com/article/How-College-Leaders-Are/248554

The Place of Student Voices and Data in Decision Making at Goucher

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By Cecile Adrian ’20

Decision making power at Goucher is concentrated in the upper levels of the administration. Decisions which are ultimately made by the board and upper level staff are informed by qualitative information given committees as well as quantitative metrics. Over the past three years Goucher students have widely critiqued our own exclusion from these decisions. If administrators are not listening to us, what information and which data are informing their decisions? The story of ACE shows how student knowledge and wisdom, even when it takes the legitimate shape of quantitative research, is overlooked by decision-makers in Goucher’s administration. 

In November 2019 Peejo Sehr and Kay Beard, ACE’s assistant director, were laid off, along with dozens of other staff members as part of the administrative restructuring (Levinson). Sehr and Beard are both alums. The administration said administrative restructuring was necessary to balance the college’s budget (Levinson). But it was more difficult to defend their closed decision making process. This amputated version of ACE now falls under the leadership of “Director of Academic Advising and Support.” Students widely expressed their disagreement with the administration’s decision. Our sentiments were aptly captured by Emma Kristjanson-Gural in her open letter to the president published in The Quindecim, where she wrote: “There cannot and will not be an Academic Center for Excellence that offers the same level of care and support to students without Peejo Sehr and Kay Beard.” 

Sehr’s holistic coaching model expanded understandings of “students” and “learning.” At ACE, students were not defined by our study habits or their grades and did not need to check their emotions, spirituality, race or mental health at the door. Sehr wanted to create “a valid space for the emotional, spiritual, social components of learning.” Sehr said when a student walked into ACE she wanted them to understand: “You are home, you belong here, you are loved, you matter.” Sehr described her work as “nonlinear” and as “love in action.” The office was grounded in the belief that “every student comes with their own inherent wisdom.” Sehr was one of the few adults and members of the staff, faculty and administration to name the care she had for students as “love.” This radical love makes ACE one of the few spaces at Goucher where students are not faced with adultism, or branded as overly emotional or incompetent. Most radical was Sehr’s acknowledgment of students’ wisdom and her willingness to let it inform her decisions.

When Sehr and Beard were laid off the Goucher community rallied to express the importance of the student support that these two leaders had in student support. Town Halls, online, in The Quindecim and in hundreds of comments on an online petition entitled “Save ACE” which racked up over 2,000 signatures from students, families, alums and faculty. The sentiment that ACE is vital for students at Goucher is also expressed in the data sets at Goucher. 

Data, the recording of information with symbols, is used all over Goucher. In allowing us to organize and synthesize information, data is supposed to lead to knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are also achieved by other means. At Goucher, decision-making power is held by a very narrow segment of the upper administration who rely on various sources of information including data (namely admission and retention rates). In general the role of college administrators is to keep their institution afloat and manage the school’s finances, while students and faculty are more entrenched in education. With different roles and goals different groups at universities conceptualize retention and student differently. Some data sets at Goucher, like the feedback data ACE collected, are given less importance over others by administrators. 

The data about ACE indicates that it is a widely used resource. 62% of Goucher undergraduates used ACE in 2017 (“ACE: Academic Center for Excellence”). In the feedback survey taken by 254 students from fall of 2017 to Spring 2020 indicates that students across all years use ACE services. 83.3% of respondents to the survey rated their session with ACE as “excellent” while the remaining 16.3% rated their session as “very good” or “good”. 95% of the respondents said they would return to ACE and 56% said ACE played an important role in their decision to stay at Goucher. While the data is not perfect because it is a voluntary response sample it still paints quite a strong image of an office that was widely utilized and highly appreciated by students (Moore and Notz 22). Students’ demonstrated their need for ACE to continue in it’s integral form through informal means such as the “Save ACE” survey and social media posts. Even though students demonstrated their need for ACE (as it stood before restructuring) through the official avenue of the feedback survey, this input was ignored when senior staff was evaluating how to restructure offices and staff positions. 

So, which data sets are more valued as the administrators deal with the difficult task of lessening Goucher’s deficit? Admission, retention and graduation rates are used by the administration to help make decisions. However, it is very difficult for students to access precise and up to date information about our retention and graduation rates. The most important metrics are graduation and term to term retention rates, but they serve different purposes. Four, five and six year graduation rates tell us what percentage of the freshman class eventually graduates from Goucher College, indicating “student success”. Term-to-term rates are used by administrations to make projections for the budget. High first year enrollment, coupled with high retention and graduation rates mean a college has a larger operating budget (more money!). The metrics of “student success” are thus an integral part of a university’s bank account, but do not meaningfully display how students are doing as whole human beings, what we’re learning or how useful the skills we’re gaining are. 

Currently Goucher is exploring another use of data, pioneered by Georgia State called predictive analytics, to ameliorate our financial situation. Sara Lipka defines predictive analysis as the ability to track students data points such as “demographic factors, grades, even student-ID swipes” in order to “identify broad patterns and individual needs” (19). Lipka writes, “Developing the capacity to collect, analyze, and apply student data is fundamental to improving student success” (14). Predictive analytics raises many ethical dilemmas in a college setting. Who will write the code for these data scraping softwares and what biases will be introduced in the process? Are demographic factors, grades and student-ID swipes a good way to measure “student success”? It is unethical to ask students to sign away our privacy when using our school’s apps and onecard systems. Not to mention, buying the software to implement predictive analytics would probably cost a fortune. Another way of measuring student success is possible. 

We need to reframe retention and graduation rates solely as financial measurements. If students, staff and faculty were to redefine “student success” we might follow Sehr’s holistic route and examine measures of student emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being, avoiding the compartmentalizing these different parts of ourselves into “Academic advising” and a “Wellness Center.” Perhaps students could design cheap and ethical ways to gather information about our success. We might suggest  implementing self-collection of data so that we could have agency over their data points. Student success might also be measured by how challenged students are academically or how useful our degree is after we graduate. The same way Sehr insisted on addressing academic issues at their root cause, students might seek to identify the root causes of low retention rates. Students could save the college money by creating alternatives to pricey predictive analytic softwares like Navigate. A redefinition of student success and recalibration of which data sets inform decisions, administrators, students, faculty and staff could reach our respective goals of financial stability, quality education and student wellbeing. Perhaps the value of programs like ACE, whose importance is reflected through data and student voices, would be acknowledged by those with decision making power. 

Works Cited

Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Feedback Form. 

“ACE: Academic Center for Excellence” Goucher College. https://www.goucher.edu/learn/academic-support-and-resources/ace/.

Baud, Olivia. “Underlying Issues Identified as Student Organizers Engage With Administration.” The Quindecim. 28 September 2018. https://quinnews.com/underlying-issues-identified-as-student-organizers-engage-with-administration.

Block, Noah. “Re: GSG Election Results+Gardaworld Ballot Referendum.” Received by Cecile Adrian, 2 December 2019. 

Devereaux, Kent. “Re: Administrative Restructuring.” Received by Cecile Adrian, 18 Nov. 2019.

Emma Kristjanson-Gural. “Letter About ACE.” The Quindecim. 18 November 2019. https://quinnews.com/letter-about-ace.

Foucher, Sarah. Interview with Peejo Sehr. “Transcending Boundaries” 

Levinson, Neve. “Staffing Cuts Across College Go Into Effect.” The Quindecim. 13 November 2019. https://quinnews.com/staffing-cuts-across-college.   

Lipka, Sara. “The Truth About Student Success.” The Chronicle for Higher Education. January 2019. 

Moore, David S. and William I. Notz. Statistics Concepts and Controversies. W.H. Freeman and Company, 2017. “Save ACE.” https://www.change.org/p/goucher-board-save-ace.

Why the Current Higher Education System is Flawed

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By Edward Jancuk

Recent generations are facing rising costs of attending college, an increase in job market competition, and more dilemmas facing our society that require new perspectives. The purpose of going to college has been muddled with the need to pay off student loans directly after earning a degree. Therefore, prospective students who choose to attend expensive four-year universities limit their horizons to specializations that they think will give them they most immediate high paying job. This financial burden prevents students from finding their passion and discourages them from pursuing careers that will benefit society.

College has shifted from exploring career options to a place where students study the subject they believe will pay the best. The distribution of majors has shifted from a diverse field of majors to a small pool of degrees related to business, criminal justice, and S.T.E.M. (Yassky). Daniel Yassky’s article in the Princeton student paper speculates this trend and how it hinders both students and society. Pursuing one specific, high-paying major may seem as if it will provide financial stability, but this prevents students from adapting to fluctuations in the job market. A broad liberal arts education will prepare scholars for the everchanging demands of the working world.

Receiving enough financial aid and scholarships have the potential to alleviate the constraints that finances hold over other student’s heads. Personally, this has given me the freedom to open myself to a greater array of responsibilities other than my major, such as being a student-athlete and working on campus within the first semester.

Going to a liberal arts college has allowed me to witness the importance of a diverse field of study as well. The importance of broad study is backed up by the origins of liberal arts education as a method of study. Ancient Nile Valley civilizations and Greek Theorists promoted liberal arts because they were believed to deepen one’s understanding of themselves and the world around them (Cook 684). This origin shows that studying with a more humanistic perspective allows students to discover who they truly are and what they want to do. This deeper connection to one’s studies will ultimately benefit society, rather than focus them on material possessions. Upon the further development of the higher education system, liberal arts are now seen as inferior to more specialized and rigorous studies (Cook 684). The erosion of broader studies was for materialistic and financial purposes, preventing scholars from finding their passion and instead focusing on making money. Individuals seek out the greater good in society when their focus is shifted away from money.

Without any personal experience of how an economic burden would have affected my choices in college so far, I searched for others who have had to face this sort of problem. One graduate from Rutgers, who had studied Marine Biology and minored in Environmental Protection, traveled to Florida and Barbados to work with sick or endangered creatures, and was offered a position training dolphins in Florida when he graduated. He now works as a supervisor for a “big-box retailer” (Nova). To give up years of hard study to go into a field of work with no correlation was a decision based off money. This 27-year-old would not have been able to make as much money as a trainer compared to the supervisor position he’s currently stuck in. Another figure from Nova’s article conveys the idea that 70% of college graduates face debt after they graduate. From this information a point can be made- this Rutgers graduate is not alone. If debt has the effect on students to make them “think their life is over” (Nova) and push graduates away from their field of study, why is the price tag on a degree so expensive? Higher education cannot allow for students to become depressed and lead unproductive lives in society when their major does not allow for an immediate high paying career.

College students did not always have to pay an arm and a leg to further their education. Since the competition and need for college was less prevalent, going to college was generally looked at as a benefit to civilization rather than one’s own life. There is now an increasing demand for a college education due to more jobs requiring specialization and achievement. While more students are attending university, since the 1980s the average price of higher learning has more than doubled (Hoffower). Undeniable growth in financial obligation added additional stressors to aspiring and current students. This increase in price correlates with the shift of major distributions. This all ties back into the fact that students’ choice of major is to pay off their debt and become financially stable. Despite all the effort students put into their education and the financial burden they may bring upon themselves, the degree they earn may not guarantee them a job. According to the Washington Post, only 27% of college graduates have a career that utilizes their field of study (Plumer). A system where students pay to earn a specialization which becomes unused is impractical. Since most students are in line with this outcome, the current higher education system is set up to have graduates be unhappy with their career.

Students would make more academic decisions based on personal and public interest if their credit was not at stake. According to research in the Journal of Public Economics, a prestigious university implemented a “no loan policy” (Rothstein 1). This policy eliminates students’ need to endanger themselves with a large sum of debt because expenses are covered by grants given to them. These grants are funded by donations given to schools. Student debt creates a vicious cycle where the students who assume debt are less likely to make donations to the college. With a smaller amount of donations, there are fewer grants for their successors. Not having to assume debt allows for students to feel less pressured into judgements guided by having a high paying career as the outcome. The results exemplified by Rothstein’s study show that students who do not acquire debt have a higher chance to assume “public interest” jobs (Rothstein 1). Even though these positions may not be high paying, they are what students want to do with their life. These public interest positions also give students the freedom to tackle problems that currently hold firm footing across the planet.

Individual wealth is increasingly important to people in our world while global problems and polarization are at an all-time high. Being so focused on the individual grind and success does not help solve problems we all face. The world needs doctors and lawyers, but it also needs thinkers, creatives, and educators who are willing to help reshape the way the world works for the common good. If higher education did not come with such a high price tag, students would focus more on finding their passion rather than finding a job to pay off their debt as quickly as possible. The common good is lost when individual safety is threatened first. Without the comfort of financial stability, students feel trapped in choosing something to gain a sense of security back. Society will advance when the shaping of young minds is placed before the profits of colleges and universities.

Works Cited

Cook, William S. “A Comparative Analysis Between the Nile Valley’s Liberal Arts Tradition and the Development of Western Education.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 45, no. 8, 2014, pp. 683–707. www.jstor.org/stable/24573589. Accessed 3 Mar. 2020.

Hoffower, Hillary. “9 Ways College Is Different for Millennials than It Was for Previous Generations.” Business Insider, 2018, www.businessinsider.com/how-college-is-different-now-then-millennials-vs-baby-boomers-2018-9.

Jesse Rothstein, Cecilia Elena Rouse. “Constrained after college: Student loans and early-career occupational choices.” Journal of Public Economics, Volume 95, Issues 1–2,2011, Pages 149-163.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2010.09.015.

Nova, Annie. “How Student Loans Are Making Some People Abandon Their Dreams.” CNBC Investing, CNBC, 18 July 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/07/17/how-student-loans-are-making-some-people-abandon-their-dreams.html.

Plumer, Brad. “Only 27 Percent of College Grads Have a Job Related to Their Major.” The Washington Post, 2013, www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/20/only-27-percent-of-college-grads-have-a-job-related-to-their-major/.

Yassky, Daniel. “The Changing Purpose of College.” University Wire, Sep 27 2017, ProQuest. Web. 3 Mar. 2020. https://www.dailyprincetonian.com/article/2017/09/the-changing-purpose-of-college

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