On August 19th the Interim Associate Provost for International Studies, Eric Singer, sent out an email to all staff members regarding a change to the voucher system for study abroad programs. The changes will begin with this year’s freshmen, who, rather than receiving the standard $1200 voucher will need to apply for the Goucher Global Grant. This new grant will allow financially disadvantaged students to apply for up to $2500, which will be used to cover travel expenses.
The grant is the creation of Singer, Provost Marc Roy and President José Bowen. Roy said, “The vouchers had a built-in unfairness. The system should be a more fair system.” He explained that the original voucher system was designed to cover the price of travel, regardless of where a student was going or their economic status. The new system, in his words, is “a more equitable arrangement.”
Singer emphasized that Goucher was neither cutting the study abroad requirement, nor was it cutting any programs. He also said there were talks about changing the program last year, but “no specific policy” was actually discussed. When asked whether the changes had anything to do with current economic issues, Singer said, “Everything has to do with economic issues… It would be irresponsible not to notice. The college as a whole requires us to pay attention to the bottom line.”
Roy also bought up economic issues as one of the contributing factors to the change. He also said, “The college is always looking to make study abroad costs as low as possible.” However, there would not be huge difference between the amount of money Goucher currently spends on study abroad and the amount it will spend.He added that it would be hard to tell how the new system will work out until this year’s current freshmen go abroad in their junior or senior year. “We can always change it,” he added, “We’ll figure out what went wrong and what needs to be adjusted.”
“Our hope is that it won’t have a negative effect,” Singer said. “There will be less of a hardship for families that have financial need issues.
The application process will not be difficult. A student will need to simply check off a box when filling out their study abroad forms and the Financial Aid Office will help determine if they qualify and if so, how much. Students who choose to study abroad in non-traditional countries will have a better chance of receiving grant money. Non-traditional countries are any countries outside of Europe. Students in the U.S. and at Goucher tend to gravitate towards programs in countries like England, Spain and France.
Singer said, “These countries are closest to America, culturally and academically. We are trying to highlight other countries.” Students who choose to study in Europe, however, will not be penalized.
Goucher remains the only school the United States that requires all students to study abroad. The school offers over sixty programs in thirty-two countries and six continents. Some of the countries are: England, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Argentina, China, Serbia, Ghana and Russia. Besides semester-long programs, Goucher also offers Intensive Courses Abroad, (ICA) which last around three weeks, and which change from year to year depending on the cost and the number of students interested. This year, Goucher added two new ICAs: one in Amsterdam and another that goes to Japan and Taiwan.
It’s hard to overlook President José Bowen’s presence around campus. Students may see him playing on the “Gouchester United” intramural team, walking his dogs, attending sports events, participating in Goucher Pilates, or commuting from the President’s House to the President’s Office. While many Goucher students have questions for Dr. Bowen, he has responded with just as many questions for the community. “A college is a very complicated organism,” he stated in an interview earlier this week. “The details are more complicated than what appears to happen. The same is true for public safety or for the people who clean the bathrooms. What are their interests? What matters most? Sometimes the answer is easy and sometimes it’s not – but my job is to hear as much as possible and to listen carefully and try to figure out where we can find common ground and make easy changes.”
As students see changes in admissions, orientation, study abroad, financial aid, and technology—questions of Goucher’s identity and purpose come to mind. Bowen notes that many of these differences don’t call for easy changes and will need committees to look at the larger issues at hand.
One of these easier changes was the Internet. Bowen wrote in an email regarding the Internet that the upgrade was the number one request from students so they invested in a new upgrade this summer. The Internet outage that affected students on September 7 was not an issue with Goucher’s Internet or equipment but the outside internet service provider. Students have seen the wireless units being installed in their dorms but it hasn’t been clear what the benefits of that upgrade have been yet. Bowen says that the major Wi-Fi upgrade will be ready for a few weeks and that it will significantly increase the speed and reliability of the Internet. Concerning the changes in the library’s information commons and computers, the President wrote “The priority was put on Wi-Fi for everyone and a strategy to move to a more connected and more mobile campus. We clearly have much to do in upgrading spaces and technology.”
On the path of upgrading the campus, Goucher has launched a task force led by Dean of Students, Bryan Coker, along with an architectural firm, to look into replacing the Stimson dining and residential halls. Bowen said “I do know that housing and Stimson are a priority. That didn’t take very long [to figure out].” At this point, the college is asking many questions again about what Goucher requires of a new dorm: What would the building look like? Should there be singles, doubles or suite style living? What kind of communal spaces should be on each floor and should they include recreational facilities, ping pong tables, a lap pool, or separate study rooms? How many students should live there and should it be a freshman only dorm or open to all students? “I think we have to do it fairly quickly because the building needs work and I don’t want to have to do work and tear it down. The not knowing is always the hardest thing.”
One of the most pressing issues is low enrollment. Bowen admits that the college needs to return its enrollment levels where it was a few years ago, which would fulfill Goucher’s master plan. The plan calls for 1,600 undergraduate students because the college has the room to house, feed, and teach that number of students. Goucher is not alone in seeing a slight decrease in enrollment. There is a demographic shift in the nation: there are fewer 18-year-olds and consequently fewer students applying to college. Additionally, Bowen cites that Baltimore, and the East Coast in general, is being depopulated largely because of residents relocating to the South and to the West.
Bowen sees that we can correct Goucher’s unsustainable track by increasing enrollment. “We wanted to do something innovative in higher education and if you don’t do something innovative, you don’t get attention in the media,” says Bowen of the new Goucher Video Application. Bowen further explains the positives and negatives of such an original plan, “the minute you get attention in the media, everybody who doesn’t read past the headline has 30 opinions. The good news is we got a lot of great coverage coast to coast and every high school counselor and admissions dean has heard of Goucher.” The President also explains some of the personal positive feedback that he has received since the rollout of the application. He gives examples like high school teachers, or those who teach students with learning disabilities, or someone who just went through a divorce and their child had a rough semester at high school, have all been relieved that a college offered this alternative. Goucher’s Video Application (GVA) has received widespread media coverage and presidents from colleges around the country have been writing to Bowen to say that they have been asking the same questions of the college admissions process.
“We wanted to make it easier to apply, not easier to get in,” remarked Bowen. He said that although much of the feedback, both on the positive and negative side, has been extremely personal, the idea for GVA was based in data. Goucher wanted to get in a conversation with students who don’t apply to liberal arts colleges or have never really heard of them. “Lots of high schools send nobody to college. Nobody. But you probably don’t know any of them because you went to college. But it can’t mean that nobody at that school is capable [of attending college].” By maximizing Goucher’s publicity and offering an appealing alternative, Goucher admissions wanted to encourage a different group of students to apply. Bowen cites a study that reports that, “There are tens of thousands of students a year who have the grades and have the SAT scores to go to any great school; they could go to Princeton or Harvard.” These students end up applying to zero selective liberal arts colleges because they have never heard of these schools, or the options weren’t shown to them, or they thought their family couldn’t afford it.
Bowen often tells students a personal story about his college application process that begins with the high school counselor handing him two applications. At his high school of 650 students (where AP courses were not offered), the two options presented to students were: an open enrollment two-year city college or an open enrollment four-year state college. “The assumption was that nobody from this high school is going to go anywhere else,” recalled Bowen. Finally Bowen’s mother got frustrated with this system and went to talk to the counselor. “My mother didn’t speak much English and she’s about four-feet tall.” Bowen’s mother yelled at the high school counselor in Spanish and decided to take one of the many college forms the counselor had on his desk. She brought it home, put Bowen’s name on the top of it, made him fill out the rest of it and stood over him while he completed the application. “I’d never heard of the school, I’d never seen it, and I only sent in the application because she told me to…And I went to Stanford, I got in.”
Bowen views the GVA as he does many other parts of Goucher. It is essential to ask the right questions and determine how these factors apply to the whole picture of the well being of the institution. There will be an open forum to discuss the GVA with Bowen in the upcoming weeks. “We’ll see how it goes and make changes as needed but we introduced a new idea into higher education,” concludes Bowen. “I think it fits with Goucher’s mission of inclusion and social justice.”
While Goucher can expect many more changes to come in the near future, Bowen is embarking on a “Listening Tour” of campus to learn first-hand about all the faculty and staff departments and try to visit many of student organizations as well. Students are quickly learning about Bowen and Goucher’s new changes, but Bowen admits that he is still the new guy on campus. “I am only nine, ten weeks in so we’re still learning.”
During this year’s annual Alumnae/i Weekend, which took place from April 25-27,
over 1,000 guests were welcomed for 65 events, both on and off campus. There were special events for the reunion classes, which were for alumnae/i who graduated in years ending in 4 and 9. Cori Tyner ’82, director of alumnae/i affairs said there was a “great turnout.”
A major part of the weekend is the Alumnae and Alumni of Goucher College (AAGC) Annual Meeting. The AAGC is the governing body of the alumnae/i association. The annual meeting brings classes together, recognizes donors, and presents awards. The Jenifer Mitchell Reed ’86 Young Alumnae/i Award went to Kate Howell Bullard ’04 and John Olszewski ’04. This award always goes to an alumna or alumnus who is five to ten years out of college, recognizing him or her for volunteer service. The Ethel Cockey ’23 Award went to Judith Brigstocke Hundertmark ’54. This award is also for volunteer service, but goes to a senior alumna or alumnus. Hundertmark’s mother was also a Goucher alumna and received the same award many years ago. The Dorothy Lamberton Clapp ’39 Award, for those who have donated generously to the college, went to Jean Daniels Hawley ’59 and Mary Cole Dickerman ’59. The most prestigious award the college can give to an alumnae/i, the Award for Excellence in Public Service, went to Sherry Bebitch Jeffe ’64, a political analyst, journalist, and scholar, for the service she has done for her community. Continue reading →
The end of the school year is quickly approaching and with it comes the deadline for the new Constitution proposal. According to sophomore and SGA member Billy Daly, only around 100 more student signatures are needed for the bill to pass. The proposal for Goucher’s new student government requires signatures from 750 students, which is half of Goucher’s undergraduate population, in order to pass. The proposal has been already been signed by around 652 students as of press time. Continue reading →
The Division of Student Life announced it has begun an extensive evaluation of its vision, productivity, unity, and principals. The initiative, called Shared Vision, focuses on creating a cohesive understanding and development of how the division will function in the future.
“We’re in the process of really putting together a shared vision where, as a division, we will really come together and talk about how the future of higher education is such that we will have to do a lot more with less. It’s just a reality,” Vice President and Dean of Students Bryan Coker said. “When you are having to do more with less you really have to focus…. It’s really our way of saying: ‘How do we focus for the future and on what do we focus?’” Continue reading →
It was my third week at Goucher when I decided to get involved with The Q. At my first meeting, I pitched two features articles, a news article, and a freshman column. They gave me one of the feature stories and the column. Thus began the beginning of a transformative, essential, and defining experience to my time at Goucher.
I have learned so much from this newspaper: How to work with difficult people, how to take and respond to criticism, how to be an effective leader, how to stay organized and productive, and how to put out a newspaper every two weeks. But most importantly, I have learned that being a journalist is something I am meant to do when I graduate. I look forward to attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism this August, honing and developing the skills I have learned through The Q.
Although the job of Editor-in-Chief can be stressful, tough, and unappreciated, it has been overwhelmingly rewarding. I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing and supportive editorial staff and that our faculty advisor, David Zurawik, has been an invaluable source of guidance and support. But, I am even more thankful to the previous Quindecim editors, who saw my potential and allowed me to move up the ranks.
When I try to remember the person I was when I moved into Goucher College my freshman year, I can’t really. Change happens so slowly, I couldn’t tell you the moment I became a confident writer, a passionate learner, a determined tennis player. The accomplishments we’ve all made are important, and the goals we’ve yet to reach are not there to taunt us. They are there to drive us forward. Seniors, we may be unsure of ourselves, but there are things we take for granted everyday. When things become stressful, remember those things we are so fortunate to have. Lastly, a quote, because we are never too old to believe: “And above all, watch with glittering eyes all around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Christine Cherry Sports Editor
I have really enjoyed my time working on The Q! I was really fortunate to be taken in with open arms despite being new this year. I always looked forward to the meetings, laughs, and spelling errors. It was a great run!
I remember my first Q meeting in the first few weeks of freshman year – sitting in the back of the office on the big couch, I was so excited to get a chance to write for the student paper. Though I’ve had various degrees of involvement with The Quindecim over the past four years, I have the same passion for it now as I did during that first meeting. I hope that the upcoming years will bring it the recognition that it deserves and that The Q will continue to be a respected outlet for students to voice their opinions and hone their talents as journalists.
The past couple of months I have been trying to practice the art of leaving college with a certain sprezzatura. I find that this is damn near impossible. My time at Goucher has been… well… formative. Who I am as a person today has been the result of the forming, shaping, and reshaping of my character by friends, classes, professors, and of course, extra-curricular influences like writing and editing for The Q. I started writing for The Q last year when the Ecce Homo wall fresco crisis in Spain happened. I thought the whole Jesus mural debauchery was hysterical and needed to write something in response. Since that first article, The Q has become a constant labor of love, and an every-two-weeks reminder to reflect on Arts and a source of stress when chasing after writers to get their articles in – I mean you Patrick. The Q has been a source of laughter, support, and brought me together with some of my favorite people. Allison Panetta ‘13 thought up the title of my column, Smart Art, last year on the office couch. In the office itself, there have been a lot of new friends, laughs, tears, stress, and perspectives changed, but like college, it is now time to leave The Q and to pass it on to the next generation of students who will make their own memories.
Chief Copy Editor
Four years ago, I walked into The Q office terrified. I enjoyed writing, but I didn’t want people to judge me. I was intimidated by the editors and afraid to speak up or write any articles. I wrote less than five newspaper articles during my first two years at Goucher, instead copyediting hundreds of others.
It wasn’t until I became the chief copy editor that it clicked for me. I was more confident in my writing after reading everyone else’s. I loved sports and began writing athlete profiles, a beat that became mine.
Senior year, I stuck with my role as chief copy editor, but I stepped further out of my comfort zone. I actually opened my mouth at the meetings, I wasn’t afraid to walk into The Q office, and I wrote articles outside of the sports section that I knew and loved. I connected with people I otherwise would have never known. I found a place for myself at Goucher outside of being an athlete.
From the first education class I took freshman year to field work this semester, it’s hard to believe what I thought would happen in college versus what actually happened. Coming off yearbook and the newsletter in high school, I vowed to take these four years off from journalism, being a leader, and doing all of the crazy things I used to do in high school. Do I regret it? Of course not. Would I do it again the same way? Maybe. Do I think I’m a more well-rounded person for pushing through it all? Yes.
I can’t begin to tell you how much the friends I’ve made here mean to me and can’t begin to tell you how many feelings I have coming to the realization that there will be some people I won’t ever see again. It actually makes me a little sad. I hope that those people feel somewhat the same feelings. Graduation is 18 days away, there’s nothing I can do about that, and while I can’t wait for it to get here, I know it’ll be one of the hardest days I ever face.
All I can do now is what do every day… Try to take over the world!
My time with The Q started my freshman year with an interview with Billie Weiss, then editor-in-chief of The Quindecim. Imagine an interview about writing a column with a senior who wore wingtip shoes – intimidating, to say the least. But somehow, four years later, I’m still writing a food column, albeit one that has morphed into something that encompasses more than just food. “Goucher Eats” reflects my growth concerning culture, food science, and more. I have been given a space to express my thoughts, experiences, and recipes. And through this editing experience, I have come to form friendships with fellow wordsmiths and Gophers that have made this fourth and final year at Goucher year such a memorable one. Merci beaucoup!
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. Continue reading →