Street: Who are you and what do you do on campus? Matthew Gould: I’m Matthew; I’m a senior in Wharton studying insurance and risk management. As a senior, I’m starting to retire from my previous roles on campus, but my main role now is Captain Quaker. Previous to that I was really involved in Penn Traditions as the co–chair. I’m also in the Alpha Delta Phi Literary Society.
Street: Who is the Captain Quaker? MG: Basically, I’m in charge of making sure that when people want the Quaker, they get the Quaker. I gave myself the title, though.
Street: How did you become the Penn Quaker? MG: I was at a football game, and I saw the Quaker use a T–shirt cannon, and I was like, “Hey cheerleader! Can I borrow the T–shirt gun?” She said, “Only if you become the Quaker!” So I became the Quaker.
Street: If the Quaker costume were burned in a terrible fire, what would be the next best mascot for Penn? MG: It would probably be a zookeeper… because somebody has to tame the Princeton Tiger.
Street: If the Fighting Quaker could fight anyone, who would it be, and who would win? MG: The St. Joe's Hawk and I have had some run–ins. One time, the ref had to break up a fight between us. I would have most definitely won, though. I have hands, he has wings.
Street: What’s your guilty pleasure? MG: This started in middle school: I wasn’t very good at talking to girls, so I started watching chick flicks to learn how to impress them. And now I have a girlfriend, but I still watch them. I can even pretend they’re for her. Date night!
Street: What romantic comedy describes your life the best? MG: "(500) Days of Summer."
Street: That’s really sad. MG: Depends where I am in the movie.
Street: My PennCard looks like… MG: “Little Matt.” Like a little man. I think my cowlick looks out of control. Would you not agree? Out of control.
Street: What can we find you doing outside the Quaker suit? MG: You’d find me trying to convince someone to join the dairy industry. Like, “Hey! Look, you’re so smart. There’s so much opportunity to use your smartness in the dairy industry.”
Street: If you could have anything on your farm, what would it be? MG: Oh, no doubt—manatees! I wanna have a manatee farm in my retirement. And if anyone wants milk, well, they’re technically called “sea–cows.” I’ve never had manatee milk, but I assume it’s fabulous.
Street: What’s your spirit animal? MG: Well, it’s not going to be a manatee. That would be insulting. They just float around all day. They get hit by boat propellers! I would like to be an owl, but owls have gross behaviors. Like, they puke up rats and stuff. Probably a koala. At first glance they look cuddly, they look kind… but deep down inside they have the Wharton in them. A ferociousness.
Street: If you are what you eat, what would you be? MG: Fat.
Street: What’s your secret talent? MG: Well, I really like trying things—wait, no, that’s about dairy again. I make songs. I make very lewd and vulgar songs, which I sing in my home in private.
Street: Can you give us an example of one? MG: I cannot.
Street: There are two kinds of people at Penn… MG: Those who are risk–averse, and those who do things they never thought they would.
Street: What are the secrets to being a great Quaker? MG: First is that you have to be fearless. When you put on the Quaker suit, no one...holds you accountable for your actions. The only restriction is, honestly, how fearless you are. When Clinton was here, I tried getting in as the Quaker. The secret service wasn’t a big fan of that… that was a no–go. Second, you have to be a pretty good dancer. Dancing is a form of expression that doesn’t require talking. Being a good Quaker is really all about trying to find new ways to communicate without words. Third, you have to be very good at charades. Fourth, you should be really good at praising Amy Gutmann. Fifth, you must have said “no” to going to Princeton. Every mascot has been accepted to Princeton and has always said “no.” And lastly, mundanely, you have to be between 5’10” and 6’ tall.