On the week of November 10-14, the Student Empowerment Association (SEA) led the Goucher community through the tumultuous waves of attempting to identify who we are. The Student Empowerment Association presented “Whiteboard Week” as a publicity campaign for the new organization and primarily to help get students thinking about how they define the Goucher community.
SEA is a brand new organization this semester and they are a part of the also newly realized Goucher Student Government. “Our branch is supposed to be fostering school spirit, school culture and raising money for the classes,” said Erin Snyder, Captain of the Community Building Division. “But before building something up, we wanted to reach out to ask the student body what are the strengths and weaknesses of Goucher.”
During each day of Whiteboard Week, students were asked to describe Goucher in a different medium. The different days were one word, doodle, haiku, dance move (or video of it), and a song that reminds you of Goucher. Students wrote their ideas on post-it notes on a whiteboard and were displayed for other students to see in the Athenaeum. At the end of the week, the a cappella groups Red Hot Blues and Reverend’s Rebels sang some of the songs that reminded students of Goucher. A Goucher songs playlist was also created on Spotify and was played in line at “Stimsgiving.”
“Through different mediums, we could see what Goucher’s community was defined by and it was interesting because there were positive and negative aspects of the community and we can’t neglect those,” recalled Snyder about the week. She mentioned how some students wrote that Goucher is defined by words that may be perceived as negative like “expensive,” “cigarettes,” and “alcohol.” The purpose of this for SEA was to get people thinking and talking about their community. SEA also was trying to get an accurate assessment of opinions of Goucher’s culture and then figure out what can be deduced from Whiteboard Week to influence our goals for next semester.
Snyder explains that next semester, SEA will most likely focus on two to three large goals such as student retention, a community calendar, housing, or bridging the gap between athletes and non-athletes. Snyder says that students should be their own catalyst for change. The SEA wants to encourage what clubs and organizations are already doing on campus and give them a larger platform and a bigger voice. Snyder reflects, “Maybe the SEA hasn’t done too many tangible things yet but I’m really excited for things going into next semester.”