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Spring 2023 Course Registration: Navigating Scheduling Conflicts Between Departments

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Course registration for the spring 2023 semester began on Monday, November 14th for Goucher students. Picking classes, determining major and minor requirements, and creating schedules can be stressful for many, but some students are having more difficulties and frustration with registration than others. 

Brighid Kowal, a senior heading into her final semester as an International Relations and French Transnational Studies double major, ran into some issues with her final registration process this year. 

“I am almost done with both of my majors– I needed one more class in each,” she said, “The problem I had was one of my capstones being offered at the same time as the last 400-level course I needed for my other major.” 

Trying to navigate course scheduling conflicts can be hard for students with a single major, but can prove to be even more difficult to solve for students like Kowal who have double majors, a minor, or multiple areas of interest.

“I had to contact a lot of people to solve the problem, and it was not easy,” Kowal continued, “I talked to both of my advisors and the provost and registrar, who were hard to get a hold of.” 

After talking with staff members and advisors across multiple departments, Kowal was able to replace one of the classes she needed with an independent work-study that will give her the credits to finish her French major. 

“If you are having problems with course registration, push really hard to get your problems solved,” Kowal said as advice to other students that may be struggling with the same issue, “the way I saw it, I was paying a lot to be at this school and had worked hard to make sure I could finish in four years. I was going to make sure that this did not stop me from graduating on time.”


The Quindecim reached out to the Office of the Registrar, but did not receive a response to request for comment.

Feature image by Jaida Rhea for The Quindecim.

The 2022 Midterms: 18 to 29 Year Olds Showed Up in Large Numbers

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This past election day, youth voters turned out to the polls in great numbers; numbers that haven’t been seen many times before. According to Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), it is estimated that 27% of youth (ages 18 – 29) cast a ballot in 2022, which made this the midterm with the “second-highest youth voter turnout in almost three decades.”

It is also estimated that youth voter turnout was even higher in battleground states, such as Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

Nina Kasinunas, Faculty Chair of Goucher’s Political Science Department, said that Goucher-specific data on voter turnout will not be available until next fall.


“The data we receive about Goucher student voter turnout comes from our participation in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, or NSLVE,” Kasinunas said, “the researchers with NSLVE will take out student data and match them to state voting records, which are publicly accessible. Because there are more than 1,100 colleges and universities who participate, it takes time.”

Feature image at top courtesy of pexels.com.

Winter Sports Start Up

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The Goucher Athletics department has officially wrapped up all fall sports, and has started the winter season. Winter sports include mens and womens basketball, swim, and indoor track. 

Indoor track practice started a little over a month ago, and the team’s first meet is scheduled for December 03, at the Armory in New York. The team has several high-level returners, including nationally-ranked Carter Hinton-Ayodele ‘25. 

There are also several new members, as well as an entirely revamped coaching staff. Head coach Erick Camodeca is viewing the upcoming season as a “continuation” of what the track team was able to accomplish last spring.

“We are seeing that process play out early this season in our practice sessions,” he said, “The team’s growth, development, and understanding of the sport and skills has significantly improved.” 

When asked about his goals for the team this year, he said “Our goal is simple: be better than we were last year.”

The Goucher men’s basketball team started the winter season with the MMI Tip-off against Hood on November 11. The team faced early losses, but both the coaching staff and players have confidence in the team to come back as the season proceeds. 

Senior Josh Lichti said, “Obviously our first 2 games didn’t go as we had hoped, but I thought we bounced back well in our third game. The energy within the team is great to start this year. We are all excited about our potential this season and working towards achieving that potential.” 

Head coach Tom Rose agrees that the team atmosphere and energy is strong, and echoes the goals other sport’s coaching staffs have about improvement. 

“I think the energy is good with this team,” he said, “The players and I understand that we are a work in progress, so we can achieve our goal to be the best version of ourselves and become a team that will compete for a conference championship… I’m excited how this team grows after every practice and game right now.”

The women’s basketball team played their first game a few days prior to the men, opening on November 08 against Shanandoah. The women’s basketball team is idle until November 30, and will be hosting Gallaudet. 

Members of the women’s basketball team did not respond to requests for comments.

Above photo of Kyani Quarles, courtesy of Goucher Athletics; feature photo of Octavious Johnson Courtesy of Goucher Athletics.

The Goucher men’s and women’s swim teams started their season in early October, with their first competition taking place at Hood College against Hood and Stevenson on October 15. They had four meets, and closed out the fall portion of their season on November 19, hosting Marymount at home. 

Goucher swim team cheers at a home meet, image courtesy of @goucherswimming on Instagram

Head coach Thomas Till said the swim coaching staff is “looking for our teams this year to work together to help each other achieve their goals and that collectively is our team goal.  Push each other, be a positive influence on each other and hold accountable those standards.” 

The Goucher swim team will next compete again on January 14 in a tri-meet hosted by Moravian.

Members of the women’s basketball team did not respond to requests for comments. 

For more information regarding winter sports and schedules, visit athletics.goucher.edu.

Recap of the 2022 SGA Presidential Ticket Debate

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Jeff Castro ’24 and Hope Kamal ’24 took to the Hyman Forum stage for the SGA presidential ticket debate earlier today. The Quindecim attended the debate, and put together the following summary of where each candidate stands on major issues brought up. SGA elections will be held Friday, November 18.

Issues discussed from questions asked by moderator Elizabeth Bobo ’23, SGA Director of Student Organizations:

Background on each ticket:

Jeff is a junior double majoring in Economics and Political Science. He is the current SGA Treasurer and a goalkeeper on the men’s soccer team. His running mates are Olivia Reichardt ’25, Vice President, and Andrea Casique ’23, treasurer.

Hope is a junior majoring in Neuroscience with a pre-med concentration and double minoring in Creative Writing and Music. They are currently SGA Chief-of-Staff. Her running mate is Siham Mohamed ’24, Vice President.

Main goal during their administration, if elected:

Hope: Making Goucher more inclusive by upgrading accessibility services on campus and making minority groups included. Fix overall negative sentiments with how issues on campus are being handled.

Jeff: End the disconnect between various administrative offices on campus and the student body by assigning SGA officers to be liaisons to certain offices. Decrease response times for various services (i.e. FMS work orders).

Issues they view as most pressing to Goucher students:

Jeff: Equity and inclusion being implemented on campus. Marginalized groups have felt ignored by President Devereaux in his recent emails addressing antisemitism since issues against Black and Brown communities do not get as much attention from him. He said that these issues should be acknowledged.

Hope: The lack of accessibility should be tackled immediately. Mental health is a big issue that there is lots of talk but little action around. They aim to work with the Wellness Center, Counseling Center, and Office of Accessibility to limit burnout and fatigue among students, as well as allow excused absences for mental health reasons.

SGA President responsibilities, in their view:

Hope: Being president is a responsibility, not a power, and representing every member of the Goucher community is important. The president should be a link between students and administration, echoing students thoughts and needs and taking action when needed.

Jeff: The president is the “chief student representative,” acting as the middle person between students and administration. Being president is a privilege, and they need to know how students feel and be able to understand multiple perspectives.

The lack of school spirit and pride:

Hope: Students do not feel represented and that is why they do not feel pride. A culture of inclusivity needs to be cultivated. If elected, Hope would do this by having their door open to every student to voice their opinion and inviting alums for events, specifically people of color.

Jeff: School pride comes from traditions and events happening on campus, such as Soul Food Friday, the Winter Gala, and No Swipe Wednesday in the dining hall for commuters. If elected, Jeff would bring back old traditions such as these, and implement new traditions.

Experience working with current and former administration members:

Hope: They have held various jobs at Goucher, including SGA Chief-of-Staff, an SI, and Goucher Guide. Following controversy on the Gopher App, they hosted a community conversation attended by the college President and Rabbi. As an international student, they have worked with administrators in the international offices.

Jeff: His position as SGA treasurer has connected him with the Office of Student Engagement and various administration members. He has made SGA recognized within those offices.

How they would cultivate a cohesive environment where Goucher students of all backgrounds feel heard:

Jeff: Diversity at Goucher is what makes us Goucher and is one of the reasons he chose the school. In order to do their job, the president needs to know how people feel and provide a platform for every student’s voice to be heard.

Hope: Diversity is important and makes us stronger. Unity can come from normalizing cultural expression, such as showing up to class in one’s cultural dress or speaking non-English first languages in common spaces. Events where people share their cultural traditions with the community can unite people.

Being visible to students as SGA President:

Jeff: He is a commuter, but spends 12-14 hours a day on campus due to various commitments. Despite not having a meal plan and having to go without food at times, he loves being on campus and will be visible to students.

Hope: Cultivated a friendly, opening environment with their mentees as a Goucher Guide, and would aim to do the same as president. She values hearing opinions and having an open-door policy. Hope said they are an open, friendly person which something innate, and they enjoy being approachable.

Continuation of current SGA initiatives (menstrual products in bathrooms, textbook assistance programs, etc.)

Hope: Plans on continuing these initiatives from President Ty’lor Schnella. In her role as Chief-of-Staff, she supervised other officers and stepped into help when they were struggling.

Jeff: Plans to continue these initiatives and admires President Schnella’s work on these. He will make changes to existing services if needed and plans to offer more “wrap-around” services to eliminate financial barriers to student success (i.e. parking passes). He hopes to continue the textbook assistance program but require professors release syllabi prior to course registration to allow students enough time to apply for the program before classes start.

Each candidate was asked one specific question geared toward their previous extracurricular background.

Hope- What specifically was required in your previous role as Chief-of-Staff?

They supervised other positions, gaining knowledge on how various SGA offices function. She did scheduling for President Schnella, completed refills for the Flo (menstrual product) project, filled in for other offices when needed, and kept people on track with their responsibilities.

Jeff- How would you bridge the divide between athletes and non-athletes?

He believes the divide is unnecessary. As a member of the soccer team, he does not think being an athlete makes one student different from another. Having more campus-wide events would bring people together and unite the Goucher community.

Questions from the audience:

How do you plan on increasing communication between SGA and students?

Jeff: Revamping SGA’s social media and using it to raise awareness of events to better connect with students.

Hope: Remembering SGA is part of the student body as well, and being more honest and upfront with students. The president should be open to being approached on campus with questions and/or critiques.

In what specific ways do you plan on making the campus more accessible?

Jeff: Working with FMS to make sure spaces are better accommodating people with physical and/or mental disabilities (i.e. the new post office location).

Hope: Connect with people who need accessibility improvements and using their input to take action. Hold administrative offices accountable for solving issues of accessibility.

What are your plans to help commuters on Goucher’s campus?

Jeff: Fixing the commuter lounge, which is sometimes locked and does not have adequate seating arrangements. He said that being a commuter is very hard on this campus and he wants to offer more “wrap-around” services to help commuters access food while on campus.

Hope: They found commuting their sophomore year very difficult and wants to work with administration to solve this problem. She said that having temporary private rooms for commuters to nap or potentially stay over for one night would be beneficial, as well as offering more accommodating dining hall services for commuters.

There were no microphones at the debate due to technical difficulties, and as a result the Quindecim’s audio recording did not pick up the voices of those speaking. Therefore, we are unable to provide direct quotes, but the following article was put together with notes diligently taken by our Editor-in-Chief as the candidates were speaking. If either ticket feels they are misrepresented by these paraphrased statements, please contact us at quin@mail.goucher.edu.

New Service Provides Goucher Students Access to Free Emergency Contraceptives

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The Baltimore Abortion Fund (BAF), a grassroots non-profit organization servicing Maryland, launched a new Emergency Contraceptive Kit (ECK) drop-off service on Tuesday, November 1. 

Operating in Baltimore County, the program will be accessible to Goucher students who live on campus or in the surrounding area. Baltimore City and Montgomery County are also in the service’s jurisdiction. 

“This service is one we have been hoping to offer for some time, and we are excited to be able to serve our community in this new way,” said Erin Case, BAF’s Practical Support Manager, “Emergency contraceptives, pregnancy tests, and condoms are all expenses that may be out of reach for folks who need them… We want to ensure that people in our community can get what they need, when they need it.”

Widely referred to as the “morning after pill”, emergency contraceptives (EC), are used within five days after sex to prevent a pregnancy before it starts. Most brands, such as Plan B One Step, are available over the counter at drug stores and health centers. 

“Access to emergency contraception is crucial because it allows people another option to prevent pregnancy,” Case said. 

Goucher’s Health Center offers EC for $35, no appointment necessary. However, the Health Center is open 9-5 Monday-Friday– when many students may have class, practice, or other commitments. There is no way to access EC on campus over the weekend with the Health Center closed. 

Towson’s sparse public transportation creates difficulty getting off campus for students without cars. Walking to and from the closest CVS or Walgreens would take approximately an hour and using a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft could cost around $20 round-trip.  

BAF’s service operates seven days a week and both the kits and delivery are free. Each kit comes discreetly packaged and includes one pack of Plan B emergency contraceptive, two pregnancy tests, condoms, and information on how to use these items, according to Case. 

Students can order their kit online through BAF’s website. Case said that once the request is received, BAF will reach out for any additional information they need via text or email within 24 hours if the request comes in during the week or 48 hours if the request comes over the weekend. 

If a student lives off campus or in a place where the kit can be dropped off at the door, such as a house, BAF will drop it off to the provided delivery address. 

For on-campus students, who live in communal residence halls, alternative collection methods are possible. BAF will contact the student for them to coordinate a meeting place for the kit to be handed off or a time for the recipient to pick up the kit from BAF. 

At this time the ECK service is run by BAF staff members only, but Case said they are exploring ways to get volunteers involved. 

“I encourage students to join our newsletter and keep an eye on our website for any volunteer opportunities,” Case said, “Students who have cars can also get involved by joining the Baltimore Abortion Fund as Practical Support Volunteers and helping drive our clients to their appointments.” 

Additional services BAF offers include financial support for people seeking an abortion in Maryland, as well as aiding with transportation, lodging, and translation. These programs are predominantly volunteer and donation-supported. 

“Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we are receiving a higher volume of requests for funding and practical support than we have in the past,” Case said, “We are seeing people travel longer distances to access abortion care, and therefore people with higher support needs. For example, someone who is traveling from out of state may need help booking a hotel, paying for gas costs, purchasing food, etc.” 

Maryland’s wide scope of abortion access and proximity to the Midwest and South make it a haven for people from states where access is limited. The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of abortion bans and restrictions in some states, particularly following the overturning of Roe v. Wade this past summer. 

“Despite the change in need, we will continue offering wraparound support to as many people as we are able to,” said Case.

Goucher Unveils Summer ’23 ICAs

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The Office of Global Education (OGE) announced the three Intensive Courses Abroad (ICAs) that will be running over the summer of 2023. The courses will be held in Ghana, France, and the Balkans. ICAs are three-week-long Goucher faculty-led trips, occurring during the school’s summer and winter breaks, that provide an alternative to a full semester abroad. 

Bill Funk has been OGE’s primary Study Abroad Coordinator since the beginning of this year. He previously helped coordinate last year’s summer ICA, The Scottish Connection: A Cultural and Artistic Experience, led by Amanda Thom-Woodson, Professor of Dance. 

“I think they’re all great,” said Funk of this year’s ICAs, “It’s always encouraging to work with professors who are passionate about [their work].”

Funk said that while the three ICAs offered this summer will be the most that Goucher has run since the start of the pandemic, they are still a far cry from previous years, when they would offer five ICAs over the summer and two over the winter. 

Mustapha Braimah, Professor of West African Dance and African Diaspora Dance, is very excited to lead his ICA, Dance, Arts, and Culture in Ghana, West Africa

“I love researching African dances, African-American dances, dance history”, said Braimah.

A native of Ghana, he has served as a visiting professor at multiple universities, has his own dance company, and runs a community engagement program with other members of the Ghanaian diaspora in Baltimore. 

Before that, he was part of the Ghana Dance Ensemble, a project of the University of Ghana, with whom he took part in a welcoming dance for former President Barack Obama during his visit to the country in 2009.   

Braimah wishes to fully immerse his students in Ghanaian culture and help them understand how the people there “thrive and keep on thriving.” In particular, he wants to introduce his dance students to how African traditional dance is actually performed in Africa, as opposed to a staged performance on the other side of the Atlantic.

“It hits differently if you see it in its original context,” he said.

Much of the trip will be based at and held in partnership with the University of Ghana, Braimah’s alma mater, where he wants to help Goucher and Ghanaian students understand each other cross-culturally. 

Braimah, who speaks nine languages, also wants his students to connect with every region of the country. Destinations on this ICA include Elmina Castle, the Dubois Center, the Kwame Nkrumah Museum, and the village of Aseman, which was the last bath in Africa for many enslaved people.

Alternative Media in the Balkans will be run by Sonja Bozic, Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies, alongside Thom-Woodson. Originally from Serbia, Bozic has many connections in the media industry of the region. 

The trip will take place over three countries, with fifteen days in Belgrade, capital of Serbia, five days in Zagreb, capital of Croatia. There will also be day trips to Croatia’s Plitvice National Park, an inspiration for the world of Avatar, and Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital. 

Bozic describes this ICA as being a “mix of all elements,” with a combination of lectures and independent exploration. Like Braimah, she wants to use her ICA as a means of showcasing the creativity happening in the Balkans. 

She said that the Balkans are not a traditional tourist hotspot, with the exception of Croatia due to Game of Thrones filming locations, so they tend to fall under the radar. Nevertheless, the region is very vibrant, and has a great deal of artistic potential.

Topics will be explored through the digital lens, and include film history, art, culture, and representation of race and gender. Students will have classes with representatives of creative industries such as film production and game design. In addition, they will be given time to create their own digital interactive project. These can come in forms such as stories, documentaries, and photography projects. 

Becky Free, Associate Professor of Theatre, and Mark Ingram, Professor of French Transnational Studies, have been running their ICA, French Theatre in Paris, Marseille, and Avignon,  on and off for over fifteen years. The idea originated from a project Free worked on in the early 2000s, which sought a grant from the Department of Education as part of a program to help students learn a foreign language through another discipline. The project would eventually evolve into a course on French through the lens of theater. 

“The main idea is to put them into immersion kind of settings”, said Ingram of the way that he and Free run the ICA.

Students in this course will arrive in Paris and take a train down to Avignon, where they will stay with an English-speaking host family for over a week. From there, they will spend a week each in Marseille and Paris. When students return to Goucher in the Fall, through the theater program, they will put on a show in French with English supertitles. According to Free and Ingram, the show’s exact nature varies a lot, but is usually a contemporary French play.

Information sessions on the three ICAs will be held during the first two weeks of November. Students can also arrange meetings with the program leaders if they are unable to make it to the information centers. Applications are due on December 2, and students can apply at abroad.goucher.edu. If they are accepted, students must take a pre-course in the second half of the spring semester before their departure.

Goalkeeper Alessandro Sternini ’26 Recounts Men’s Soccer’s Return to Landmark Playoffs

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It was dark out when first-year Alessandro Sternini walked into the dining hall lobby, freshly showered after an evening soccer practice ran late. He hadn’t even had time to grab dinner yet when he met to talk with me about the men’s soccer season.

After looking around the empty lobby he spotted me in a corner booth and smiled as he sat down. We skipped the introductions, having corresponded via email for several days. Wearing a disarming smile and a wholesome, kind, open attitude, Sternini quickly won me over, despite having never met him in person before. 

It was in a similar fashion that he won over his coaches earlier this season. Hailing from Rome, Italy, Sternini grew up on soccer.

“I played goalie on a youth professional team – Lazio,” he said, then quickly began to spell the team name for me, pronouncing “Z” as “zed,” in European fashion.

COVID hit Italy hard, and once the pandemic had died down, Sternini found himself looking for a change.

“Post COVID, I moved to the U.S for my senior year of high school, in Massachusetts, near Springfield,” he said, “I played my senior season there.”

He was connected with Goucher coach Bryan Laut through a friend and now, one year later, he’s enjoying the experience. 

The men’s soccer team has posted a successful season; the Gophers claimed nine wins, the most in a season since 2006.

“The strength of the team is not in the individual, it’s in the group,” Sternini said.

He realized this during the first chunk of the season, during which he did not get playing time.

“In the beginning, I didn’t start, but I was putting 100% effort in practice,” Sternini said.

The coaching staff noticed his hard work, and when the Gophers played at Neumann on September 05, Sternini was put in the game. Goucher ended up winning 5-3, and Sternini became the main goalkeeper for the Gophers. 

From the beginning, the coaches told this team they were a special group.

“They kept saying we could end up doing something good,” said Sternini of the coach’s expectations, “but words aren’t something where then you can just go on the field and play; you need something behind it, and with every win, we got more confidence and the chemistry was…” Here Sternini paused, searching for the right word, before apologizing, as he laughed and shook his head in mild frustration. He continued, “The team was bonding, building confidence that it was an important group and could do something good.”

Something good indeed. The Goucher men’s soccer team finished out October with a return to the playoffs for only the second time in program history, and the first time since 2014. The team came from behind to win 2-1 against Moravian on Saturday, October 29, and successfully clinched its spot to advance to the playoffs.

When I asked him about the energy the team had following that come-from-behind victory at home, Sternini ducked his head, chuckling. He then told me that, with less than ten minutes left in the game, he was subbed out. He had received a hit to the head, and required staples to close the wound.

“Neither me or Coach wanted it, but apparently it was a bad injury, and the trainer said I needed to get staples immediately. So I missed the celebration,” he paused for comedic emphasis, before chuckling as he finished his thought, “But I know the team was celebrating while I was in the hospital.” 

Sternini in action, image courtesy of @gouchermenssoccer on Instagram. Feature image at top courtesy of the Goucher Athletics website.

Energy was high the days before the first playoff game Wednesday, November 02. The school hosted a bus to bring rowdy students out to support their team as they aimed to create history in the postseason. However, for Sternini, Wednesday’s game wasn’t a guarantee.

“I went to Coach three hours before the bus left to try [playing] with a helmet and see how it would feel.” he said.

The trial ended up going well, and together he, the trainers, and the coaching staff decided Sternini would play goalkeeper in Goucher’s first postseason game for nearly a decade, with a helmet on to protect his recent wound.

The Gophers, sitting as the third-seed team, went on to suffer a heartbreaking loss to number-two-seed Elizabethtown that night, in a penalty kick shootout after a 0-0 double-overtime tie.

“Their third place finish is the best all-time and we couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to compete in the Landmark Conference Tournament,” Senior Associate Athletic Director Andrea Ricketts-Preston, “While the result in the semi-finals at Elizabethtown wasn’t what we had hoped for, seeing our students, staff and faculty come out to support the team was impressive.”

Another silver lining is that, despite the loss, the team played well both offensively and defensively. Goucher got a number of solid shots off during the game, but all were blocked by the Blue Jay’s goalkeeper. Likewise, Sternini made six saves, leading to what was his fifth shutout of the season.

“It was an important game,” Sternini said, his face getting serious for the first time in the entire discussion. “It ended up with penalty kicks. I saved the first one, but unfortunately penalty kicks are a coin flip, and we ended up losing it.”

He hesitated, before adding softly “the atmosphere was pretty bad after that.”

Now, less than a week later, hope is renewed for the men’s soccer team. The coaches’ predictions of this group being special have indeed rung true; It was announced on Monday, November 07, just hours before my meeting with Sternini, that Goucher had secured a spot for the ECAC tournament, for the first time in program history.

The school will host games Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13, with Goucher playing in Game One on Saturday afternoon. Their opponent? Neumann, the team Sternini started his collegiate career defending against two months ago. Speaking for the team, Sternini said “We’re excited about being… here at home Saturday, to play Neumann, who we already faced during the season. We hope to feel strong, as we did in every game we faced, and just play.”

For more information regarding the tournament schedule and results, please visit athletics.goucher.edu.

The 2022 Midterms and Voter Turnout Among Goucher Students

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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 vote411.org, 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.

End in Sight for Gopher Hole Construction

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The Gopher Hole, a student space located in the basement of Mary Fisher, is projected to be ready for student use by the end of winter break. It has been closed for approximately seven years and is currently under construction to repair a drainage issue. 

According to Andy Voytek, Director of Facilities Management Services (FMS), the space was taken “offline” in fall of 2018 when a leak in the foundation was discovered following the completion of the Mary Fisher addition. 

“Once the construction was completed, we discovered that we had a leak in the foundation on the exterior wall of the Gopher Hole,” Voytek said, “That leak was rather significant and causing a lot of issues.”

Evidence of leakage behind the bar where new paint and a bar shelf will be added. Photo by Amita Chatterjee

The Gopher Hole initially closed in 2016 due to the renovation of Mary Fisher, but the leak prevented it from being reopened in 2018 with the rest of the building. Voytek, who was not Director of FMS at the time, said they needed a full summer to properly assess the damage and decide further steps. 

During the summer of 2019, FMS identified an issue related to drainage and made the repairs the following school year. 

Voytek said they planned to take a full semester to ensure the repairs were successful, but the pandemic significantly delayed this process. He cites supply chain issues as a major factor in the delay and said that his team was like a “skeleton crew” working on campus during the period of virtual learning.  

“I think when you look at the calendar… you could easily say that the repairs have taken a tremendously long time,” Voytek said, “I think [the pandemic] makes it much more understandable.”

When campus fully reopened last fall, FMS hoped the Gopher Hole could too. But issues with the wall leakage persisted, and the space remains under construction. 

Rumors of there being asbestos in the Gopher Hole have circulated the student body, but Voytek said these rumors are false and that there is no asbestos in that area. 

Voytek is confident that the space will be available for programming by the time students come back from winter break. It will also be revamped with fresh paint, electronic upgrades, and a brand new bar shelf. 

What exactly the Gopher Hole is remains a mystery to Goucher’s current students. It was most recently a student hangout spot that hosted various events and served refreshments including alcohol, according to their Facebook page. Now, it is mostly used as a shortcut on the way to class or the dining hall if the door is not locked. 

Set to reopen seven years after its initial close, Goucher’s current student body has no connection to what the Gopher Hole has been, so the space could potentially take whatever form they desire. Programming for the Gopher Hole, nicknamed the “GoHo” in previous years, falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of Student Engagement (OSE).

The Gopher Hole has been flexible throughout its history. An article in The Baltimore Sun from 1999 hailed the space as a “creative solution” to curb student drinking levels when it operated as a non-alcoholic nightclub. In 2016, however, the Gopher Hole would host “Pub Nights” with $2 beer and $3 wine and cider. 

Given the ongoing pandemic, it would be beneficial to have more student hangout spaces on campus to deter students from going off-campus and potentially contracting Covid.  

The Quindecim reached out to Erica Gardner, Director of OSE, but they did not provide comment on plans for the Gopher Hole at this time.

The seating area of the Gopher Hole, which used to host open mic nights and game nights, now an empty shell. Photo by Amita Chatterjee

World Series Precap: Written October 24

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This weekend wrapped up the National and American League Pennant series, with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros earning the chance to play in the World Series. Games start Friday, October 28. The two teams have had vastly different runs through the regular and postseasons, but are incredibly evenly matched in nearly every stat.

Philadelphia is a perennial underdog; they were in Rocky, the Eagles were in 2017, and that extends to the Phillies this year. Their season was doubted by experts and fans alike from start to postseason, and the team has, indeed, faced numerous bumps on the way through the season. 

However, that clearly didn’t stop them and the Phils managed to snag the final Wild Card spot in the National League postseason. Now, the postseason is heating up, and there’s no doubt that the Phillies are on a roll. Their bullpen is deep, and they have a strong batting lineup all the way through. Every player in the starting rotation has contributed to the team in a significant way during the postseason, and it’s safe to say the Phillies are at their peak performance of this season, if not of several seasons, right now. 

In a particularly Philadelphia style, the team (and fans) are using all the outside doubt to fuel their performance, and are playing with a chip on their shoulder and a “fuck you” attitude. Sunday night, the Phillies beat the San Diego Padres to clinch their spot in the World Series after a 4-1 run through the pennant. After a season that started with him unable to throw, and saw him out for XX weeks with a broken hand, Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer Sunday night to win the game and the series, and was voted National League MVP, fueling their comeback feeling. In this way, it seems only fitting that the last team to get a spot for the postseason was the first team to clinch its spot for the World Series.

Meanwhile, the Astros are going into the series with a confidence similar to that of the New England Patriots during recent years: they’re the established elite, having been top dog for six years now, after their (since redacted) World Series win in 2017. 

Cheating scandal aside, the Astros are a legitimately good team. In the past six years, they’ve been to the World Series four times, and are a perfect 7-0 through the postseason. They have an extraordinary bullpen; the relief pitchers have an averaged .83ERA in the postseason, stacked behind pitchers like Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez. 

However, superstar Jose Altuve has been in a postseason funk, starting the playoffs going 0-for-25. Others on his team have stepped up, but the Astros will need Altuve to be at his best for this series. Make no mistake – the Astros batting averages this postseason are high, with Pena, Gurriel, and Bregman all hitting above .333, and their lineup has brought them into the World Series yet again, so Astros hitting is nothing to underestimate.

Going into the series, it’s anyone’s game. Momentum is on both team’s sides, following two dramatically different, but incredibly impressive postseason runs. The Phillies haven’t been to a World Series since 2009, during which they lost to the Yankees in six games, but several players on the team have significant postseason experience, including Kyle Schwarber, who was on the Chicago Cubs when they won the Series in 2016. The Astros are no newcomers to the World Series, and boast an 11-1 record in the month of October. The only loss they’ve had in that span? The Philadelphia Phillies, who beat them at Houston 3-0 on October 03.

Games one and two will be hosted in Minute Maid Park in Houston on Friday, October 28, and Saturday October 29, both starting at 8:03PM ET. Games three, four and five (if necessary,) will be in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, on Monday, October 31, Tuesday, November 01, and Wednesday November 02, all starting at 8:03PM ET. All games will be streamed on FOX.

By Reese Finnigan ’25

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