When Travis Moffatt was a high school senior researching his options for college he came across the “Why are Goucher Students So Happy” Flash presentation on Goucher College’s homepage.
He was hooked by the website’s description of Goucher’s high academic standards, the numerous opportunities for international experiences and community service, and the lively social scene on campus.
It was Goucher’s Educational Opportunity Program, however, that helped make it possible for him to attend college here. The program offers financial aid and a summer transitional program to low-income students living in Maryland who are among the first in their family to attend college.
“EOP helped me a lot,” Moffatt said. “In the very beginning, when we first got here, all we knew was each other. It helps you form friendships that I believe last throughout your college career. Academically, it really tries to prepare you for what you’re going to encounter at Goucher.”
During his sophomore year, Moffatt hooked his Wii to the television in the common room of Sondheim House, his residence hall, and began to play. Other students started coming over and asking if they could play, too. The video games brought a lot of residents together, and the evening ended in a boisterous tournament.
“My sense of community grew that day,” Moffatt said. He felt connected to Goucher in a way he hadn’t before, and he wanted to share it with others.
Moffatt contacted the Office of Community Living, and staff there helped him create the Gaming House, a special-interest floor for people who love games. The Gaming House hosts tournaments in a variety of video and other games for the entire campus to enjoy.
“I just want people to join in and to connect through video games and to have fun,” Moffatt said. “It’s tough for new students to balance school and social life; at least it was for me. I want this to be an easy option for people to enjoy.”
Now a junior, Moffatt has also had the opportunity to learn about other cultures on campus. “I’ve been in the Goucher Hillel’s Weinberg Jewish Students Center a few times, and I’ve seen things there that I wouldn’t have gotten at home,” he said. “I’ve made friends with all different types of people. I try to get to know everyone and appreciate them for who they are.”
And he doesn’t mind answering questions about himself. He’s had several people ask about his hair, which falls in long dreadlocks down his back. But he doesn’t mind.
“I feel comfortable here. I really like Goucher,” he said.