At Goucher College, learning happens everywhere. Goucher students apply their talents and skills in clubs and organizations, in student government, on athletic teams, in internships and community service projects, and in performing-arts productions. Through collaborations with faculty, staff and students, members of the student affairs division provide our students engaging, supportive and challenging experiences that promote student learning and holistic development. Our commitment to Goucher’s community principles of respect, inclusion, communication, community service/social justice, and responsibility is at the core of all our endeavors. By participating in intercultural, international, service opportunities and other co-curricular experiences, students are able to actualize their leadership and citizenship potential both locally and globally.
The living-learning environment is an integral part of the educational experience at Goucher. The residential life program stresses individual and community responsibility, respect, and cooperation. The professional staff members within the Office of Residential Life, with student resident assistants (RAs), educate students and help them adjust to, and become, involved in the community. Four of Goucher’s residence halls are divided into 15 houses and have a traditional residence hall set up (student rooms with common bathrooms on each floor). A fifth residence hall, with a focus on healthy lifestyles, is divided into suites. Our sixth residence hall is a combination of suites and apartments. Our final three residence halls comprise the first-year village, a community with a focus on first-year students. These three halls include communal bathrooms, private bathrooms and large common areas. First-year students are typically assigned to double occupancy rooms. As space permits, a limited number of single rooms are available for upper class students and those with documented accommodation needs. The small size and intimacy of each living unit encourages the involvement of all members in the design of the residential community.
Goucher offers a variety of housing options, including the foreign language house, substance-free housing, student-led special interest houses, themed floors, as well as single-gender, coed, and all-gender floors. A nonsmoking environment is maintained in all residence halls and across campus. Students must maintain full-time academic status to live on campus. If a student drops or withdraws from classes such that the student is actively enrolled in fewer than 12 credits at any point during a semester, the student will be required to move off-campus unless the student is approved to remain on campus by the Office of Residential Life.
Because residential living is fundamental to the mission of the college and the experience of a Goucher student, all full-time undergraduate students are required to live on campus and participate in one of the college meal plans. Exceptions may be made for students who meet any of the following criteria, and provide supporting documentation.
- Students who choose to commute from their permanent home address within 30 miles of Goucher’s campus, and are residing with an immediate family member. The Office of Residential Life defines “immediate family member” as a parent, legal guardian, or sibling. Exceptions will also be considered for students residing with an individual who has stood “in loco parentis” to the student for one year or more, immediately prior to a student’s date of first matriculating at the College. In loco parentis is commonly understood to refer to a relationship in which a person has put themselves in the situation of a parent, by assuming and discharging the obligations of a parent to a child with whom they have no legal or biological connection.
- Students who are at least 23 years old.
- Students who are married.
- Students who are legal guardians of minors who reside with them on a permanent basis. (The college does not provide housing for non-matriculated minor children.)
- Based on projected space availability by the Office of Residential Life, a limited number of junior and senior students may apply to live off-campus each spring. Applications to live off-campus must be submitted to the Office of Residential Life in the spring semester proceeding the academic year in which the student desires to reside off campus. Decisions to approve such requests are made based upon projected space availability, class standing (as determined by earned academic credit hours) and financial need. Submission of an application does not guarantee an exception from the residency requirement.
The Office of Residential Life will review all applications and communicate whether or not an application has been approved; thus, students should not secure off-campus housing until being informed of the decision regarding their application. Failure to receive approval may result in financial obligations to both the college and an off-campus landlord/agency.
Students who reside off-campus without meeting one or more of the aforementioned criteria and receiving the appropriate approval will be held responsible for all room and board costs for the semesters in which they are enrolled without such an approval.
The vice president and dean of students may authorize exceptions to this policy, based upon space availability needs.
For more detailed information concerning residential living, refer to the Campus Handbook, Goucher College Residence Hall Contract, and the Residential Life website.
Center for Race, Equity, and Identity
The Center for Race, Equity, and Identity is dedicated to educational excellence within the Goucher community. The center engages all students in social justice through educational and co-curricular opportunities through social justice, intersectionality and Critical Race Theory (CRT). The Center seeks to foster an environment in which marginalized and oppressed community members feel affirmed and comfortable exploring and expressing their identities.
- We strive to improve the institutional advancement of all marginalized students, specifically students of color (Black, Latinx, Asian, Native, Indigenous, and multiracial); first generation and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged students; LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) students, international students, and students with disabilities.
- We affirm various marginalized communities while promoting equity, cultural pluralism through exploring notions of power, privilege, and oppression.
- We seek to improve understanding within and between all student through dialogue and other intergroup experiences.
Goucher College offers several programs designed to encourage student success. First-year students are assigned a professional academic advisor to assist them with curricular and academic planning, to help them connect to Goucher resources, and to guide them in a process of self-discovery. Each new student will also have a first-year mentor, an upper-level student, who will assist them with the transition to college. Once students declare a major, they are advised by a faculty member in their major.
The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) assists all Goucher students in developing study and learning strategies necessary for college success, including content support. As well, they work with the Office of Accessibility Services in the provision of accommodation support for students with documented disabilities.
The Writing Center offers one-on-one free consultations to Goucher College students on any issue related to writing and at any stage of the writing process; and the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Center provides support and programming for student development of quantitative literacy and applications of mathematics and math-based skills to real-life situations.
Members of the student affairs and academic staff are available to provide professional advice in their own field of expertise. For example, issues regarding residence life are addressed by the staff of Residential Life; career planning by the Career Education staff; religious or spiritual concerns by the chaplain; and so on. Students may seek confidential short-term mental health counseling from licensed psychologists and licensed clinical professional counselors at the Student Counseling Center; the college chaplain is also a confidential source. If you’re not sure which resource is best for you, the staff in the Office of Student Support and Outreach will help you make the right connection.
Student Support and Outreach
The Office of Student Support & Outreach at Goucher College is here to provide the campus community with education, tools, and support around the issues of student success in all areas of the college experience. Our goals are to connect students to resources, educate individuals about support services at Goucher and beyond, and to provide proactive, compassionate, and collaborative support to students as they overcome these barriers.
Most students experience times in their college careers when they could use some additional support. The Office of Student Support & Outreach aims to support students as they develop into resilient, capable, and successful leaders on campus and beyond. Our proactive and collaborative partnerships work to develop a stronger sense of community, self-care, and equity for all students at Goucher College.
Please note that we are NOT counselors, and that it may be appropriate to refer the student to both Student Support & Outreach and the Counseling Center. Also know that part of our process will be to work with the student to identify the resources that can best help them, which will often involve a referral to the Counseling Center on campus.
The Student Health Center is housed on the ground floor of Heubeck Hall and provides comprehensive outpatient medical services with a holistic approach that encourages students to participate fully in their academic experience while maintaining their physical and emotional wellness. Services are provided by nurse practitioners specializing in family medicine, mental health, and/or adult health and include injury and illness visits, preventive medicine, alternative medicine, sexual health care, and health education events. There is a small onsite laboratory for routine procedures and a pharmacy for commonly prescribed medications, which incur nominal charges.
Since emotional growth and personal well-being contribute to a positive, holistic educational experience, the Student Counseling Center at Goucher College offers short-term psychotherapy (typically 1-12 sessions), crisis support, and psychoeducational community outreach at no cost to full-time undergraduate and post-baccalaureate pre-med students. Services are designed for immediate problems and are ideal for issues that have arisen recently or that are expected to resolve quickly. The goal of brief psychotherapy is to increase self-awareness, support clients, resolve problems, and learn adaptive coping skills that foster wellness and maximize the academic experience of college. The office is staffed by licensed psychologists, and licensed clinical professional counselors, and graduate level clinical externs with specialized training in various clinical and identity realms relevant to college students including: adjustment to college, stress management, interpersonal relationships, identity development, anxiety, depression, building self-esteem, assertiveness training, alcohol- and drug-related issues, issues of oppression, identity development, and issues related to any kind of will be referred to appropriate providers in the community.
For more information, please see our website: http://www.goucher.edu/experience/staying-healthy/counseling-services/
The Wellness Resource Center
The Wellness Resource Center is located in Trustees 102 and is open for all students to take a minute to relax or to attend programming designed to enhance your overall well-being, such as sleep hygiene, nutrition, and stress reduction.
Recreation, Intramurals, and Sports Clubs
A variety of non-competitive recreational activities are sponsored throughout the year. Recent activities have included volleyball, flag football, soccer, basketball and ultimate frisbee.
The equipment issue room allows students to check out outdoor equipment for camping and backpacking, as well as various sports equipment including racquets, basketballs, and volleyballs.
All students are encouraged to participate in some form of physical activity, whether through fitness classes, intramurals or as members of sport clubs. Programs are flexible and seek to create opportunities for those in the Goucher community to participate in team, dual, and individual sports or activities for all gender identities. Up to 15 free and drop-in fitness classes appropriate for all fitness and experience levels are offered on a weekly basis, taught and enjoyed by students, faculty, and staff.
Intramural activities are planned and directed by the Campus Recreation Coordinator and may include the following activities: soccer, flag football, volleyball, basketball, badminton, and ultimate frisbee. Club sports, including ultimate frisbee, gymnastics, volleyball, and League of Legends, are administered and operated by students with guidance from the Campus Recreation Coordinator based on current interest in competition in a given activity. The key to the success of sports clubs is student leadership and participation.
Additionally, Campus Recreation offers opportunities for outdoor, off-campus activities as well. These include hiking, camping, canoeing, and kayaking trips. Other activities are available based on student interest.
Religious and Spiritual Life
Religious and spiritual life at Goucher is rich and varied, individually and within communities. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life provides opportunities for Goucher students to:
- Expand their awareness of what others believe and how they practice.
- Deepen their own practice, beliefs, questions, and commitments.
- Connect with others to explore questions of meaning and purpose
- Explore questions of meaning and purpose
- Engage in dialogue within and among different religious, spiritual, and world view.
The Chaplain supports and oversees all aspects of religious and spiritual life at Goucher and is available to help students make connections with one another, students at other colleges, and with religious groups in the community. There are opportunities for interfaith and multifaith conversation as well as on-going ways for students who are Jewish, Christian, , Muslim, Unitarian Universalist or interested in meditation to connect. Cynthia Terry, college chaplain, has her office in the chapel basement. She meets with students individually and in groups, to deal with issues of grief, addiction, illness; to learn how to help a friend; to think through academic or personal decisions; to process family issues; to explore the complexities of an experience abroad and returning home. Goucher is in the process of building an Interfaith Center adjacent to the Chapel, as well as making changes within the Chapel itself.
Sacred Spaces: Haebler Memorial Chapel, the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Jewish Student Center, the Multifaith Prayer and Meditation Space (Wagner 013), and our outdoor labyrinth are the primary locations for spiritual and religious life at Goucher. The chapel is open daily (and often in the evenings or on weekends) for silence, solitude, and prayer. The Multifaith Prayer and Meditation Space is available for all members of the Goucher community; email Cynthia.firstname.lastname@example.org to be granted access.
The Goucher Christian Fellowship (GCF), affiliated with InterVarsity, meets in small and large groups for Bible Study, worship, and fellowship. GCF is a diverse community of real people - messy, vulnerable, full of curiosity, fears, doubts and questions - who explore, investigate, question, seek, and follow Jesus. We actively engage and participate in God’s movement towards real change in our lives, on campus, in our city, and around the world.
Goucher Hillel, the Jewish student organization on campus, provides social, educational, religious, spiritual, and community service programming to Goucher students. The full-time Hillel staff, including a rabbi/director, an Assistant Director and an Israel fellow, helps students plan events and provides for meaningful experiences, as well as for mentorship and counseling. Hillel is located in Heubeck Hall on the second floor. Hillel provides programs open to all students, regardless of faith or background, including weekly Shabbat dinners and services, classes and discussion groups, cultural programs, opportunities to explore spirituality, Israel-related programming, and holiday observances and celebrations. Regular social justice and community service programming are hallmarks of Hillel and Goucher’s Jewish community.
Students in the Muslim Circle create a sense of community around a shared belief in Islam through discussion and support for each other in personal, social, and academic settings.
Unitarian-Universalist Students gather weekly around the chalice for connection and discussion.
The Interfaith Council meets weekly for discussion and engagement, sometimes learning about a particular religion in depth, other times comparing and contrasting, and other times choosing a topic and exploring it in a variety of traditions.
(W)holy Queer is an opportunity for LGBTQ+ students who also identify as spiritual or religious, or want to identify in that way to engage in conversation with one another around the intersections of those identities.
Students are encouraged to explore and seek out local religious congregations in addition to campus offerings. The Office of the Chaplain has information on local institutions recommended by Goucher students.
The Office of Student Engagement (OSE) is the hub for students’ co-curricular life at Goucher. We believe that a major component of the Goucher College experience is building community: the opportunities for connection with friends, classmates, faculty, and staff. Students who engage in co-curricular offerings are more likely to experience academic and personal success. There are a variety of spaces on campus that encourage this type of informal interaction, such as the Athenaeum, the Gopher Hole, the dining halls, and students’ residential spaces, and OSE sponsors and supports a wide range of activities and events that aspire to strengthen the bond among Goucher community members. Working with our programming board, the Student Engagement Team (S.E.T.), OSE sponsors events such as, dances (including the annual Gala semi-formal dance), Winter Carnival, Get into Goucher (GIG), off-campus trips, student performances, and more. OSE also oversees the Gopher Hole coffee house, a student managed space where students can get late night snacks four nights per week. The Gopher Hole is also a popular location for our open mic nights, student band performances, and other activities.
Goucher Student Government
The Goucher Student Government (GSG) serves both as a forum for debate on issues affecting the community and as an organizing body for students to act collectively to achieve positive change at Goucher. GSG facilitates dialogue and communication among the student body, faculty, staff, and administration, and works to foster a sense of inclusion, equity, and fairness on campus. The GSG legislative body (the Senate) consists of elected representatives from various facets of the student body, and serves multiple purposes. The Senate works to represent Goucher students in all school affairs, facilitates communication among campus groups, and strives to create the best possible environment for students. Meetings of the Senate are open to the entire Goucher community. GSG’s Club Council allocates funds collected through the Student Activities fee to clubs and organizations to support a vibrant and involved campus. Club Council also charters new and supports existing campus clubs. Students can get involved in GSG either through elected positions or by informally volunteering their time to any of the branches.
Clubs and Organizations
Clubs and organizations reflect student interests in special areas and offer all students a vehicle for becoming more involved in college life. The information, experiences, and opportunities for leadership associated with club membership are different from those available in the classroom; therefore, students are strongly encouraged to participate in one or more groups.
Goucher has more than 60 student organizations, in the following umbrella categories:
Campus Governance (GSG)
- Creative Alliance (Performing Arts/Publications and Media)
- Social Justice Coalition
- Faith and Identity
- Political and Academic
- Club Sports
- Special Interest
All clubs are organized and run by students, with a member of the staff or faculty serving as adviser to individual clubs as well as each umbrella category of organizations. Office of Student Engagement Staff members will meet with students who want to activate (or reactivate) a club or organization, or who want advice and support in sponsoring a campus-wide event.
Preface, Goucher’s art and literary magazine, is published once a year. Students are invited to submit poems, stories, plays, essays, photography, and art work. The Quindecim, the official college newspaper, is produced by students and offers an outlet for creative talent as well as training and experience for aspiring journalists, photographers, and graphic designers. The Goucher Eye is Goucher’s digital newspaper, and offers another outlet for writers and journalist.
Goucher students are encouraged to engage in the performing arts as both participants and observers. The Dance program presents six to eight annual on-campus formal and informal dance concerts for enthusiastic audiences drawn from the Goucher and Baltimore communities. The Theatre program stages four to six productions a year, as well as public showcases and workshops directed and designed by faculty, guest artists, and advanced students. Students are encouraged to work as actors, designers, and technicians. The student-run Open Circle Theatre and Pizzazz groups offer further production opportunities. The Music program produces 40 to 60 public events each year. Student vocalists are invited to audition for the Goucher Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Opera Workshop or to join the Reverend’s Rebels, or Red Hot Blue, or Brovado, student-directed a capella singing groups that entertain both on and off campus. Instrumentalists are encouraged to audition for the Goucher Chamber Symphony, the Goucher Chamber Music Group, the Goucher Jazz Ensemble, and the Goucher African Drum and Dance Ensemble. Computer enthusiasts are invited to participate in the Music program’s two computer music studios. Numerous artists and companies perform at the college during the academic year. Many events are free, and students may attend others at reduced rates. The Office of Student Engagement plans off-campus trips each year to cultural and performing arts events. While opportunities for performance and exhibition are available to all students at all levels, public performance and exhibition are granted through audition and selection only. Adjudicators for such audition and selection are members of the Arts faculty. Because adjudication is a fundamental aspect of the arts professions, the entire Arts faculty considers the process of evaluation, through audition or portfolio review, to be an important aspect of professional training and education in the arts.
Physical Education and Athletics
Physical Education and Athletics have been key components of the Goucher experience since the founding of the college. Together they complement Goucher’s commitment to developing a student’s intellectual growth and leadership skills. Students learn to test physical limits, develop responsibility, work together as a group, and understand the basis for establishing a balanced lifestyle.
The department encourages the development of vitality and health through the activity courses, where students take one course from a variety of choices offered through physical education. Athletics plays an important role in the student life of the campus. As competitive participants, students learn to draw strength and courage from within. The testing of mental and physical limits is integral to building positive self-esteem and important in the development of leadership skills. In addition to the Welsh Gymnasium and von Borries Swimming Pool, the Virginia and Alonzo Decker Jr. Sports and Recreation Center complex includes a cardio fitness center; a strength and conditioning center, dance studios, athletic training room, locker rooms, and a multipurpose room. Outdoor facilities include two natural grass practice fields; eight tennis courts; an indoor and outdoor riding ring; stables; a synthetic turf field with lights, an eight-lane synthetic surface track and stadium field, and five miles of wooded riding, jogging, and hiking trails that are used by the cross country team and many students on campus.
Varsity Sports Program
The intercollegiate athletics program offers 11 varsity sports for women and 9 varsity sports for men, as well as an equestrian team for both men and women. Goucher is a member of the Landmark Athletic Conference and is an NCAA Division III college. Students may fulfill the activity course of the physical education requirement by successfully completing one season on an intercollegiate team.
Men’s and women’s cross country, riding, soccer, and tennis, and women’s field hockey and volleyball
Men’s and women’s basketball, riding, indoor track and field, swimming
Men’s and women’s lacrosse, riding, tennis, outdoor track and field, golf
The Equestrian Program is part of the comprehensive physical education program and offers small, personalized riding classes for riders at the beginner through advanced levels. The program emphasizes a contemporary approach to hunt seat riding and equitation. Throughout the year, students participate in horse shows and riding clinics both on and off campus. Goucher is a member of Zone IV Region I of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, and competition is available to students on the varsity riding team. Goucher also offers and Equine Studies minor, as an academic component to the program. Goucher’s riding facilities include college-owned horses, 21 box stalls, a 150’ by 180’ sand ring, an indoor riding ring, a hunt course area, and fields and trails with cross-country jumps.
The Department of Physical Education and Athletics is housed in the Decker Sports and Recreation Center, which includes a large gymnasium, a cardio-fitness center, a strength and conditioning center, one racquetball and one squash court, a multipurpose room, a classroom, an athletic training room, locker rooms, and staff offices. A recreation gym and the von Borries pool are located in the adjacent Welsh Gymnasium.
Outdoor facilities include a synthetic turf field with lights, three natural-grass athletic fields, eight tennis courts, an eight-lane synthetic-surface track, a natural-grass stadium field and five miles of wooded trails. Indoor and outdoor riding rings, trails with cross-country jumps, hunt course areas, and stables are part of the equestrian facility. The college owns horses that students may use for classes. Students who wish to board privately owned horses may contact the director of the Equestrian Program for more information.
Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act
Goucher is required to prepare an annual report that includes information on participation in and expenditures for men’s and women’s athletic teams. This report is available for inspection by students, prospective students, and the public. A copy of the report is available in the office of the Physical Education and Athletics Department and can be accessed on the athletics website at http://athletics.goucher.edu/information/EADA_Report
Office of Public Safety
The Goucher College Office of Public Safety (GCOPS) is committed to providing quality, community-oriented public safety services. GCOPS strives to improve and maintain a high quality of residential life; protect the rights and safety of our campus community; and utilize problem solving strategies to address the security concerns of students, staff, faculty, and guests. GCOPS firmly believes in the concept of “Learning Everywhere” and offers crime prevention and safety awareness tips to community members through daily interactions, as well as safety and security related training to individuals, groups, clubs, and classes. The public safety staff is on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. GCOPS responds to campus emergencies, conducts investigations, issues OneCard identification cards, and maintains the vehicle registration and parking enforcement programs. GCOPS also provides safety escorts, manages a Self-Defense program, provides security services for special events and athletic competitions on campus, and administers emergency management functions for the college. All GCOPS officers are trained in CPR/AED and First Aid, and initially respond to medical calls on campus. Any and all on-campus emergencies, criminal activity, suspicious conditions, subjects, or vehicles should be reported immediately. The office is located in the lower level of Heubeck Hall, across from the Office of Residential Life. (See Goucher’s Campus Handbook for information published in compliance with the Clery Act.)