A voice from a member of Students for Justice in Palestine

Dana Busgang

Contributor

Earlier this semester, I joined with a group of about fifteen of my peers to create a group called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). I remember being nervous walking into the first meeting — I had heard warning tales from professors and friends about SJP’s actions on other campuses, and was concerned I was getting myself in over my head. But after spending a summer in Palestine witnessing the systematic, violent oppression of the Palestinian people, running from Hamas rockets in Tel Aviv, and walking through the squalor of a 64 year old “temporary” refugee camp every day, I couldn’t stay silent anymore.

I had never heard the term Palestine until I came to Goucher College about three and a half years ago. Goucher students inspired me with their seemingly endless passion for social justice issues, their level of knowledge of world issues, and their openness regarding differing opinions. Imagine my surprise when I started to look for a place to explore issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and found only one place to do so — Hillel. Digging a little deeper, I discovered that attempts in the past to show support for Palestine on Goucher’s campus had been met with opposition and hostility. Our very existence is a surprise to alumni who never thought it possible. Our presence at Club Rush was enough to incite fear among Zionist students and faculty. In fact, we have yet to hold a single event or direct action on campus. 4Tell me Goucher, why do we scare you so much?

Goucher Students for Justice in Palestine is a place where we no longer have to whisper in fear of being alienated for expressing our solidarity with the Palestinian people. We strive to be perfectly intersectional, as one group’s struggle against an oppressive power is reflective of all groups’ struggles against oppression. We stand opposed to all prejudicial ideologies, including but not limited to: racism, anti-Semitism (despite claims to the contrary), sexism, Islamophobia and classism. We understand the history of Jewish persecution and the Zionist movement, but we do not agree that this persecution justifies the current occupational, apartheid state in Israel. We do not aim to be the voice of Palestinians on Goucher’s campus, but rather wish to raise awareness and build solidarity with the Palestinian people. For me personally, my journey to SJP came through my Jewish identity. For others in our group, it came from a variety of interests, including politics, the Arabic language, and human rights. Regardless, we are a group of students who will no longer accept the dominant Zionist narrative present on Goucher’s campus. To quote my friend and fellow SJP-er, Ashley Begley, “Status Quo Done.”

The Western world is turning in favor of recognizing the plight of the Palestinians and their right to self-determination as demonstrated by the recent votes by several European countries to recognize a Palestinian state. Goucher, which claims to be a hub of progressivism, liberalism, and acceptance, has remained surprisingly close-minded on this one particular issue. Tell me, Goucher students; will you stand behind an apartheid state that has built itself on the continued systematic oppression of an ethnic group? Or will you stand in solidarity as a woman, as a Latino, as a Jew, as an Asian- American, as an African-American, or as a human being with a group of people struggling for dignity, justice and equality in the face of an overwhelmingly powerful oppressor?

Goucher students work with IMAGE Center of Maryland

Catherine Gepner
Contributor

Hannah Malloy
Contributor

Students at the IMAGE Center of Maryland

Approximately 153,000 people with disabilities reside in Baltimore County, but Baltimore County offers only 90 housing units specifically designed for people with disabilities. This means the majority of people with disabilities in Baltimore are living in housing that is not fully accessible or functional. The IMAGE Center of Maryland provides a solution.

The IMAGE Center, which stands for Independent Marylanders Achieving Growth Through Empowerment, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Marylander’s with disabilities gain independence and live self sufficiently. The organization is dedicated to the creating a learning and thinking environment to challenge popular concepts of what people with disabilities can do. Located in Towson, the center offers free independent living skills programs, including, money management, travel training, and cooking courses, as well as peer mentoring. Besides offering skills training the center also assists individuals with disabilities in understanding and exercising their civil rights regarding government and other service providers. All these opportunities simultaneously help build self esteem and offer a social outlet. Read more of this post

Ungar sabbatical includes research in Italy, teaching, writing

Jaclyn Peiser
Editor-in-Chief

With his final months as Goucher’s tenth president coming to an end, Sanford Ungar has begun lining up plans for his yearlong sabbatical.
“I leave this job on Monday, June 30 and on Wednesday, July 2, I’ll be on an airplane to Italy,” Ungar said. “I’m spending the whole rest of July at The Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation [in their] residency program.”
Ungar applied and was accepted to The Sanford Ungar , which selects scholars, leaders, artists, and policymakers who plan to write and conduct innovative research on global issues. “It’s a chance to go think and write in a beautiful setting, and eat wonderful Italian food,” Ungar said.
Ungar plans to write and conduct research on study abroad and American foreign policy. Read more of this post

Athlete Profile: Midori Fujitani, Men’s Tennis

Christine Cherry
Sports Editor

Freshman tennis player Midori Fujitani is quite a busy young man. When asked to describe a typical day, Fujitani answered, “I usually wake up an hour before my first class and eat breakfast, which I think is the most important meal of all,” he said. “After finishing all my classes of the day, I have a practice for two to two and a half hours. I usually eat dinner with my team and spend most of my night at the Ath to do my homework.”
Anyone can tell that he donates quite a bit of time to his sport, and that is made clear by his success. Currently, he has won six of his last eight matches and four straight singles matches at the No. 3 spot. Fujitani feels that singles are his strong suit, as he has more experience with them.
“In high school, I only played singles. So, when I came to Goucher, I was much better and felt more comfortable playing singles. Now I play doubles in which I need to be able to use different strategies from that of singles and communicate with my partner.”
Tennis has always been something Fujitani loves. “Regardless of which school I would attend,” he said, “I knew that I would play tennis in college.”
One of the main reasons Fujitani chose Goucher was for Coach Brendan Kincaid, who is currently in his second year of coaching the Gophers. “The coaches are fantastic,” Fujitani said. “[Coach Kincaid] also would stay and hit with us individually if we wanted to work [on] things that we did not do in practice.” But Fujitani likes many other things about Goucher outside of the tennis team. One of these things is the small class size, as most people who come here do. Another reason, though, reflects Fujitani’s friendly and caring nature.
“What I liked the most about Goucher was that people here were so welcoming and did care about other people.” And now Fujitani is a part of that group as well.
Fujitani, as an experienced player, seems to have a good idea of his own goals and objectives for the remainder of the season, but not all of those goals are about winning. “Since I am the smallest guy on the team, my goal, in terms of physical, is to gain more weight,” Fujitani said. “To achieve this goal, I probably need to eat more food that is nutritionally balanced.”
Fujitani is also an excellent example of what it means to be a student-athlete, as he said, “While being an athlete, I am also a college student and primarily here to study so I need to be able to balance sports and study. To achieve this goal, I need to be better at time management, which I think is one of my weaknesses.” As for tennis, Fujitani wants to work more on his doubles. “Playing doubles is not easy, and I still need to practice more, but I appreciate Goucher for giving me opportunity to play doubles.”
Come support Fujitani and the rest of the Gophers take on Landmark Conference rival Juniata on Thursday, April 17, at 3:00 p.m.

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Swim team fares well at conferences

Sarah Pardus
Chief Copy Editor

Anyone who has been a competitive swimmer in their lifetime knows it can be one of the most physically and mentally challenging sports out there. The Landmark Conference Championships are where the Goucher College Swim Team shows how hard they worked throughout the last five months. They leave everything behind in the pool. This year was no exception.
There were many notable swims during Conferences. Almost every single member of the team swam at least one personal best time. Over the course of the three-day weekend, there were two Conference Champion swims, one runner-up, a third place finisher, nine school records, and countless lifetime best swims. However, the stats weren’t the most important part to Graduate Assistant Kelly Heyde. When asked her thoughts on the weekend, she said, “What strikes me, more than what the Gophers accomplished in the pool, is what they achieved on the pool deck.”
Read more of this post

Post Punk with Patrick: Braid Balance

Patrick Bransfield
Staff Writer

Balance and Composure have always represented (for me at least,) a bridge between 90s grunge and emo music, and modern post hardcore bands. Therefore, upon seeing on Facebook that Balance would be releasing a split with Braid, an Illinois emo outfit actually from the 90s, I was eager to give it a listen. However, the first song of the split “Lux” by Braid, turned out to be a pretty big let down to my ears. The band is obviously instrumentally tight, having 20 years of experience under their belt.

Braid Balance (Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

Braid Balance (Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

It’s not that “Lux” is poorly written either, the song is an interesting toe-tapper that’s catchy and also rhythmically interesting.  However, the vocals completely kill the track for me. Bob Nanna’s voice is unnecessarily whiney, and doesn’t fit the major/up-beat drive the song has. And that’s saying a lot coming from a listener who spent his middle school years listening to Fall Out Boy. 

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