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Fashion Spotlight: Olivia & Shahadah


It’s the most wonderful time of the year: fall fashion season. With a chill in the air and the holidays around the corner, I sat down with two Goucher students Shahadah ‘24 and Olivia ‘24 to interview them about the state of fashion, the season, and Goucher’s fashion culture. 

Shahadah is an interdisciplinary arts major, we sit across from each other in Mary Fisher and she’s the most colorful person in the room, with her signature dyed hair and glitter eye shadow. Instagram: @shahadah.jpg

Olivia, a sociology major joins us later, with her trademark pearls and vintage jacket. I rope her into talking to me since her social media is full of outfit pictures. Instagram: @oliviaalexxander

Starting off easy; do you have a style inspiration? 

Shahadah: Not really, maybe Rihanna

Olivia: The people I’m around back home…New York…and my mom.

Is your mom the inspiration behind your pearls? You wear them alot. 

Olivia: In my family, everyone has a set of pearls, I used to wear pearls from Walmart and my mom was upset about it so she got me pearls. I broke them my first week here so she gave me her pair. In my family it’s a rite of passage..I’m probably gonna die with pearls on.

What about a favorite designer?

Shahadah: Oh,  Iris Van Hurpan. I think her clothes are cool, there’s also this young black designer who makes bags out of denim (she pulls out her phone) – Rovell Gaither on Instagram 

Olivia: I actually really do like Coach’s new stuff, they make wearable stuff every season, they align with trends but also not.

Do you have a decade that you take inspiration from? 

Olivia: Yes, it’s a cross between four depending on my mood…the 70’s and 80’s like Cher era, then the 90’s and early 2000’s. 

Shahadah: 70’s, flare pants, afro’s, etc. 

What do you think of the state of fashion right now?

Shahadah: Um, I do like it alot. I like the variety, no one person dresses exactly the same. But I also feel like there’s not a lot of individuality, there’s a lot of y2k and bling trending, we’re seeing things like tracksuits or collabs with Baby Phat which is great, but not original.

Olivia: I guess fashion is more flexible because we have so many decades to look through and then we have the current loungewear and people who are hypebeasts and artsy people and people who are very bougie in the way they dress, but then you still see people in like, sweatpants. 

What’s the most expensive thing in your wardrobe? 

Shahadah: My tiffany necklace

Olivia: My skates, my athletic wear, I was an athlete so a lot of my athletic wear is from lululemon. My vintage fur jacket is probably expensive because my mom got it in SoHo.

Tell me about your outfit in this photo

Shahadah: I thrifted my shirt and pants, shirt was five and jeans were seven. My shoes were $21 from Forever 21. 

Olivia: Pants are dickies, the shirt is probably fast fashion – my guess is Zaful. My jacket is my grandpa’s old Levi jacket. 

Do you factor in sustainability and affordability when shopping?

Olivia: Definitely, most of my closet is thrifted and if it’s not thrifted it’s really high quality that my mom got me. I actually don’t go shopping a lot, I just have a lot of basics and make it look like I have new clothes. 

Shahadah: Affordability is important because…I’m broke. With sustainability it’s hard to pick and choose, kinda finding a happy medium between the two. 

Are there any pieces in your wardrobe that are sentimental?

Shahadah: I have this really long black coat from my great grandmother. It’s been a year since her passing so it’s sentimental. She left her tissues and her breath mints in the pockets so it’s a nice reminder of her 

Olivia: Yeah, most of my jackets are very sentimental. One of them is my grandpa’s old Levi jacket (pictured below), the other is my faux fur jacket. I love it because my mom got it for me. My Yankees jacket, too, because I thrifted it but bargained it down. 

Harder question: Does going to a predominately white institutions affect how you dress?

Olivia: I think because I’m around white people more I care less about what I wear. My highschool was mainly black and hispanic, we were more aware, and it was a competition for who was the best dressed. I dress for myself now more than other people.

Shahadah: I definitely felt like it affected me when I cut all my hair off. I felt like I overcompensated for my short hair, I’m hyper aware of how I’m presenting because my peers are white. I felt like I had to have my makeup and hair on point because people love to stare.

Written by Nia Anthony ’24

Olivia (left) and Shahadah (right)

Goucher Students Preserving Black History in AMS 230


AMS 230 Religions of Baltimore is a study of world religions in the context of Baltimore taught by Ann Duncan, Professor of American Studies and Religion. The course falls under both the Religion and American Studies programs. 

Central to this class is a community-based learning project and this year, Ann Duncan began a partnership with two religious communities that have historical ties to Goucher. 

The first religious community is Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Phoenix, MD. This church’s origins date back to the early 19th century and is currently working with several other local churches on a cemetery restoration project. 

Their cemetery is in disrepair and within it contains graves from the early 19th Century to the present and likely over one hundred unmarked graves. Historical records suggest that free and enslaved Black people from the area – including some who worked on Epsom Farm, the plantation that operated where Goucher is currently located, are buried there. 

Above: a toppled grave in Mt. Zion AME’s cemetery, feature image: students working at Mt. Zion AME. Courtesy of Ann Duncan.

Students from AMS 230 have been involved in two parts of this project: first in performing oral histories of some of the oldest congregants and second by cataloging the gravestones in the graveyard to assist in a full mapping of visible gravestones. 

Destry Butler, who is working on Mt. Zion AME Church project said that they learned that they are more spiritual in their thought processes than they initially believed.

“I’ve really enjoyed this class so far, I initially wanted to take this class to learn more about religions since it’s always been a topic that’s been foreign to me,” said Butler, “I’ve never been highly religious nor has anyone in my immediate family been. I mean, I’ve been baptized and went to church till elementary school, but I never really understood the importance or ‘fad’ if you will, of religion.” 

Destry also learned that they like learning about different cultures and learning about things that are important to others. This class helped Destry to solidify their major of Environmental Studies with an Environment and Society concentration.

Students at Mt. Zion AME Church. Courtesy of Ann Duncan.

The second religious community is Sharp Street United Methodist Church in Baltimore city. This street also dates back to the 19th Century and has ties to John Goucher and the early days of what would become Goucher College. 

This predominantly Black church has deep roots in the city as a center for activism and community – it famously counted Frederick Douglass as one of its members. The community there owns a small row house in which it keeps its rich historical artifacts. 

Duncan’s class is working with Bonnie McCubbin, who manages the archives at Lovely Lane Methodist Church, to catalog all of the artifacts as part of a larger effort to properly preserve and display them moving forward.

Both of these projects are new this year but offer long-term possibilities for Goucher students to assist in preserving the history of these two important sites of Black religious history in the Baltimore area. The Religion and American Studies departments are also pursuing the possibilities of internship opportunities for students interested in independent work, according to Duncan.

In addition to the community-based learning element, in this course students learn about religion as a human phenomenon and about five major world religions– Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. They also explore the ways in which immigration history, cultural norms, and other social factors have shaped how these religions manifest in the Baltimore area.

AMS 230 is offered most fall semesters. It fulfills the Race, Power, and Perspective requirement as well as the Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies requirement.

Duncan’s writing, research, and teaching focus on the intersections of religion and public life. She has a new book called Sacred Pregnancy: Motherhood, Birth, and the Quest for Spiritual Community that is coming out in the Spring of 2023. The book discusses the intersections of religion and motherhood.

Stimson: A Glimpse into Goucher’s Once-Beloved Residence Hall


Dorothy Stimson Hall, more commonly known around campus as Stimson or “Stimmy,” sits abandoned on one end of Van Meter Highway under a cover of moss, dead leaves, and layers of pink paint. 

While Stimson is currently a place for students to frequent during the evenings (although I do not endorse that, think of the asbestos!), it was once a hub of activity on campus and hailed as a prime example of natural, modern architecture. 

Stimson Hall was built between the years of 1962 and 1966, with students living in the houses as early as 1962. Stimson’s purpose was to appeal to more prospective students and help grow the number of Goucher students who lived on campus, which it ultimately succeeded in. 

The five houses of Stimson were constructed in the following order: Wagner, Lewis, Connor, Winslow, and Probst. The hall also included an infirmary, faculty apartments, dating parlors, a typing room, lounges, and the dining hall which served as Goucher’s main eatery until the opening of Mary Fisher Dining Hall in the Fall of 2018. 

From a bird’s eye view one can see that the houses were arranged to create a courtyard where students can easily traverse from building to building, providing a communal feeling to the Hall. Some halls are connected through another of Stimson’s unique features: outdoor hallways. 

Aerial image of Stimson in late 2019. Photo by Joel Nadler ‘20.

Peter Christie of the architectural firm Wilson and Christie designed Stimson and led several other architectural projects in the Towson area. Christie’s use of natural materials, the organic organization of the houses, as well as the Hall’s setting in the woods were meant to create a relaxed and woodsy feel. In contrast with the rest of the buildings on campus which have exteriors of Butler stone, a locally quarried material, Stimson is mostly clad in panels of California Redwood. The low-pitched roofs and concrete pillars reflected the modernist, simple aesthetic of its designers. 

While many today might think its architectural style is clunky and outdated, students and community members at the time of the Hall’s opening remarked on how the Hall’s simple, informal architectural style was an exciting addition to campus. 

One common thread throughout the Stimson experience was bonding over living in the Hall itself. Alums of the 1960s through the 1980s felt united by Stimson’s sit-down dinners, checking in at reception, and enjoying features like the courtyard and outdoor hallways. 

A student checks in at Stimson’s reception desk, year unknown. Provided by Goucher College Digital Library. Identifier 4.14.001.

In contrast, students of the 1990s through the 2010s who lived in Stimson found a “sense of community” in things like the “Stimson smell,” beloved traditions like Stimsgiving, living in triples, and feeling differentiated from the rest of the campus because of their unique housing.

A 2016 Goucher Magazine article reported that students whooped with joy as it was declared that the building would be taken down. The change in Stimson’s reputation is unfortunate given its history, but it makes one wonder about what will take Stimson’s place in the future. 

For a more in-depth look at the dorm and to see more photos, please visit the website dedicated to preserving Stimson’s memory. This article would not be possible without the hard work of many Goucher students and alums. 
Last semester I edited and organized the website as well as writing portions of the website as a part of an Independent Study. In several Visual and Material classes from the Fall of 2019 to the Spring of 2022, students researched in Special Collections and photographed Stimson to work towards preserving the memory and legacy of the building that was home to many Goucher community members.

Stimson Dining Hall in late 2019. Photo by Joel Nadler ‘20.

Feature image at top: Group walking outside of Stimson, year unknown. Provided by Goucher College Digital Library. Identifier 3.14.001.

Written by Sophia Tumolo ’23

The Spring House: Forgotten Treasure (Video)


Discover the history of what is believed to be the oldest structure on Goucher’s campus- the Spring House. Built in the 18th century on the Epsom plantation, Amita Chatterjee ’23 and Prachi Ruina ’23 explore and explain the building’s history, as well as why it matters to Goucher’s community today.

The 2022 Midterms and Voter Turnout Among Goucher Students


The United States has one of the lowest rates of youth voter turnout in the world. According to an article by The Conversation, there is very good evidence that if young people turned out to vote at the same rates as older citizens, American democracy would be transformed. Officials would be more likely to pay attention to areas that young people care about, such as climate change and education, and the people elected to office would “look more like the people they represent.” So why don’t more young people vote?  

For many eighteen- to twenty-nine-year-olds who are voting for the first or second time, learning the process of voting, finding a polling place, and researching and learning about candidates can be difficult, especially if they have limited access to voting resources. Beyond this, according to the New York Times, many young adults have “less flexible employment schedules or less financial cushion to take time off to vote or may be in temporary housing situations where they lack deep community ties”. 

Although youth voter turnout is very low nation-wide, Goucher College is known nationally for our high student voter turnout. 

“In 2020, we had 74.3% of our students coming out to vote, which is higher than the state of Maryland, and higher than Baltimore County,” said Professor Nina Kasinunas, Faculty Chair of Goucher’s Political Science Department, “In the last midterm election, in 2018, we had 49.7% of students turnout to vote.” 

Goucher was honored for its student voter engagement at the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony, which recognizes colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates. 

“Every election year we work a system to ensure that students are registered to vote and that they have access to an absentee ballot if they want to vote in their home state,” Kasinunas said. 

Goucher’s voter mobilization team, Goucher Votes, recently developed pledge cards where it asks students to “pledge” that they will vote in the 2022 midterm election. On these pledge cards, they will write their name, state, and check off whether they need a voter registration form or an absentee ballot. 

“As we get the pledge cards back, we email a voter registration form or absentee ballot directly to the students,” Kasinunas said, “soon, we’ll take all these pledge cards, sort them into which dorm the student lives in, what floor, and their Residential Assistants, under the supervision of the housing director, will take these cards and slide them under the student’s door to remind them that they pledged to vote”. 

The voter mobilization team at Goucher has many resources concerning voting and does a lot of voter outreach. The students who completed the pledge cards will typically receive information about, which is a non-partisan website that shows what offices are going to be on the ballot, what questions, along with other valuable information. 

“It’s a place where you can do easy-access research so that when students get their ballot, they have an idea of how they’re going to go about voting,” Kasinunas said. 

Goucher Votes is always at student move-in and has attended Goucher’s First-Year Seminar and First-Year Experience courses. They also organize a “Voter Extravaganza” on National Voter Registration Day in late September every year, where candidates who are on the ballot are invited to come out and give “get out the vote” speeches to students who attend. 

Goucher Votes also works in collaboration with the athletic teams and has maintained pledge card stacks in boxes throughout the Decker Sports and Recreation Center. 

“In 2020, that collaboration with athletics was a fundamental difference as to why we were able to reach such a broad group of students,” Kasinunas said. 

Pledge card box in the main Lobby of the SRC, Photo by Jaida Rhea

Voting is only one way to engage in a democracy. There are several tools at our disposal, such as advocacy and organizing at the grassroots level. However, it is important to use all these tools, and one of them is in the vote. 

“I am absolutely, one hundred percent certain that if young people hadn’t turned out in record numbers in 2020, we would not have seen the Biden administration take action on student loan debt,” Kasinunas said, “I mean, it just never would have happened”. 

“We need to think of what government would look like, what actions government and policy makers would take if more young people voted, and we need to imagine it and make that happen,” Kasinunas said, “This is how we shift power; this how we shift agendas… and this is how we really get government to meet the demands of the younger generation”.

Turnout is often lower in midterm election years, especially amongst young people, despite midterm elections being just as important as presidential elections. A low turnout in midterms can lead to small and non-representative groups of Americans making decisions about certain issues such as education, housing, and minimum wage. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to vote to elect leaders and weigh in on ballot measures that will have an impact on your local community. As a young voter myself, if we don’t show up to the polls, decisions will be made about our future without us. 

The 2022 Midterm Election is on November 8th, 2022, a date that is quickly approaching. Let’s beat Goucher’s 2018 turnout rate of 49.7%– show up to the polls, cast your ballot, and vote for your future.

Relocation of Post Office Draws Mixed Reception


Goucher’s Spring 2022 decision to move the campus’ Post Office from its previous location in Dorsey Center to the Facilities, Management, and Services (FMS) building has drawn both praise and criticism from the faculty and student body. 

Advocates of the decision point to the fact that it has centralized the movement of packages across campus. Meanwhile, opponents argue that the move places an undue burden on the student body, specifically disabled students who have trouble accessing the new location. 

Andrew Voytek, director of FMS, has overseen the Post Office transition. According to Voytek, the Post Office was originally overseen by the Finance Office, but there was an organizational restructuring within Campus Operations earlier this year. This restructuring resulted in facilities, events, campus safety, and the post office falling under Voytek’s supervision. 

Photos of the FMS building by Elaina Rioux for the Quindecim

Voytek said that since the FMS department already oversaw shipping and receiving for many goods and services, it made the most sense to have all of the steps in the process under one roof. Therefore, he made the decision for the Post Office to move to FMS to better align with the place where items come into campus.

However, the move has come at a cost for several students, including Post Office employees. A former employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, worked there for the entirety of the 2021-22 school year, but had trouble getting to work after the post office moved. 

The employee has fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread pain, and this made walking to and from the post office difficult for them. The employee said that they would have left sooner, but couldn’t get a job in the middle of the semester. 

Another student, who also wishes to remain anonymous, currently works at the post office. They said that, since fewer people want to make the trek to FMS, employees have more time to scan packages. 

However, they note that since the post-office is a campus-wide service, it should be located in a spot that is accessible to everyone. When the announcement about the change in location first went out, this student sent an email to FMS explaining why it was a bad idea. 

As a form of compromise, the post office has opened up a satellite location in the Athenaeum. This location opens an hour after the main location closes in order to move items from the FMS building. 

While more convenient for some, the student, who is neurodivergent, said that adding more steps complicates the process for them and other employees. They also said that, before it was announced to the public, Voytek talked to the post office staff about the satellite location, and everyone told him it was a bad idea. 

Nancy Williams-Nettles, acting head of the Office of Accessibility, has been working to resolve this issue. While she hasn’t gotten any personal complaints, she has heard that students have concerns, and is trying to communicate with both parties to come to a solution. 

“It’s going to be a process”, Williams-Nettles said, acknowledging the multifaceted layers of the issue.

Written by Rory Sweeting ’24

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