The independent student newspaper at Goucher College

Recent hate crime shows Goucher in need of a culture shift as students call for action


On the afternoon of Friday, February 23rd, a group of over 80 Goucher students came together on Van Meter Highway to speak up about the hate crime committed on campus this week and to protest the treatment towards the Black community at Goucher.

This is not a new problem for Goucher. The most recent hate crime is the second one to have happened in the past two consecutive school years. Last school year, multiple Black students’ dorms were vandalized with derogatory terms in the Heubeck-Gamble residential buildings. This is a highly concerning trend for a school like Goucher, which prides itself on its inclusivity. 

How can a school with less than 1000 undergraduate students enrolled have multiple racist incidents? 

Hate crimes anywhere are totally unacceptable and should be punished, but especially at Goucher; this is a small school; everyone sees everyone here, and these incidents mean that we have people feeling this level of hate who live with us, eat with us, and take classes with us.

How can a Black student feel comfortable and included on campus after seeing this?

Many speakers at the protest echoed this message, with a unanimous feeling that the Black community at Goucher is the least protected and included on campus, and they are fully entitled to feel that way. It doesn’t feel like this problem was properly addressed last time, and many are calling for a much stronger administration response. Emails and empty messages didn’t cut it last time, and they won’t this time. The only way to stop this is for those in the most senior administration positions to face this problem head-on and work toward solutions. 

As one person said at the protest,

“We can’t just be non-racist; we have to be actively anti-racist.”

The next step is to address this problem appropriately. One suggestion being that the higher-ups in the administration, especially President Kent Devereaux, work with Black student groups on campus to find the next steps following this incident.

For the longer term, however, Goucher needs a culture shift that pulls everyone in the same direction. This crime is a sobering reflection of the Goucher community’s state because a school with a strong, enforced set of values does not have this problem. All the change starts from above; the administration’s actions have the power to unite or divide this campus; the ball is in their court.

One thing is certain, though: this issue must be stopped right here, and accountability needs to be taken. Change has to start now, and the inclusion of black students at Goucher and their comfort on campus needs to become an absolute priority for the administration and students. In a small school, it is impossible to be productive when these issues continue to plague us. 

Do better.

Disclaimer: This piece was published as a student’s op-ed submission. The Quindecim is a space for all students within the Goucher community to express their views and beliefs. These pieces are released in the name of journalistic integrity and not in an attempt to antagonize or reflect the institution of Goucher as a whole.

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