Hughes Hall Is Heaven but We Need New Gates

Those sliding doors must go!

By Noah Kotlarek
News Editor

If you think of the coolest buildings on campus, Hughes Hall, the home of the Gabelli School of Business, is likely one of the first to come to mind. Even non-business students feel this way. [Name redacted], a liberal artist, says, “I’ve never been inside it but honestly when I walk by I think, ‘that’s so cool.’” It’s white and well-lit steps, dark stones, aluminum handrails, terrazzo floor, Hilton Garden Inn furniture, wood accents and futuristic trading room are a level above the rest. And let’s not forget those gorgeous sliding doors. Ooooh Aaaaah… they open, they close, they make a sexy swoosh noise…. Oh those sliding doors, they’re so cool, they’re too cool, in fact, they are cold, extremely cold.

If you’ve been inside Hughes Hall this winter you’ll know what I mean. You’re closing the entries in the general journal or networking with a colleague, and one person who has deemed themselves worthy of entering Hughes, decides to open those sliding doors, bringing in with him or her a gust of below freezing air. Your nose immediately begins to run, your ears crack off and your HP 12-C financial calculator freezes over. These sliding doors simply open too widely, for too long, too many times. In my opinion, only the physics department should have a wind tunnel installed on the first floor. In response to the temperature drop dilemma, the university shut down one set of sliding doors in a futile attempt to better regulate temperature and air flow. Alas, they decided to open up the doors back up again because instead of keeping Hughes warmer it just slowed people down from entering the building, prolonging their exposure to the even colder outside temperatures. Moreover, the fact that the doors facing Dealy were closed during the winter discouraged some students from even entering Hughes all together, reducing the amount of much-needed body heat which could have been used to warm the Business School.
Other measures have been taken in an effort to warm students and mitigate the effects of the sliding doors. Recently, the Gabelli School hosted a feast which included seventy thousand sandwiches and countless cannoli to commemorate the school’s 100th anniversary. Or so they claim…. In reality, it was part of Gabelli’s Student Body Insulation Initiative or GSBII. The thought was simple: overfeed students, insulate students in fatty tissue (cheaper than issuing Patagonia fleece banker vests), students are then warmer and can tolerate the cold air brought in by the beautiful sliding doors. This however proved hopeless as the first floor of Hughes is so cold that any extra adipose tissue accumulated in the bodies of the Gabelli boys and gals was quickly burned off as they struggled to maintain homeostasis and a body temperature of 98.6 degrees.

For a school that boasts sustainability and efficiency, these sliding doors are seriously out of step with Gabelli’s mission. The high heating bill is neither sustainable for the school’s budget nor the environment. Sliding doors may allow for more students to enter at once, but are hardly energy efficient.

Fortunately, using the critical thinking skills I’ve developed thanks to the liberal arts infused business curriculum, I’ve come up with a solution: revolving doors! Once installed, the school will immediately start to see drastic performance improvements. Hughes Hall will be warmer, heating bills will go down, students will spend less on jackets so that more of their funds can go to purchasing textbooks, Fordham will be more in line with the value they place on sustainability and the business school will prepare their students even better for life after college. Think about it: When you walk down Wall Street, banks don’t have sliding doors, they have revolving doors! What better way is there to prepare students for a career in finance? Imagine how humiliating it would be to have just graduated from Fordham and secured a job at Goldman, only to find that you don’t know how to get into the office because you’ve only ever used sliding doors. In my opinion, it’s only responsible to remove the sliding doors and replace them with revolving ones. Surely Gabelli can partner with a door company or find a donor to buy us some good old spinny doors. If not, I think we should all rally together and raise some funds ourselves. It wouldn’t be that expensive either and we could use the collaboration skills we learned in the Consulting Challenge to get the engineering students to install them.

Though I’d be happy to see the sliding doors go, when they do go, they must not be forgotten. Just as the iron bells of University Church have a poem dedicated to them, the sliding doors, too, deserve a rendition. “Hear the sliding of the doors, Sliding Doors! What a world of wind their sliding implores.” These beautiful words are to be chiseled into a bronze plaque and displayed in Hughes Hall until the Tribunal of Penance when the good Lord separates the Liberal Arts from the Business students.

Of course, management is generally risk-averse and hesitant to change, but after considering the following SWOT analysis I’ve conducted they’ll see that the benefits are clear. Strengths: lower heating costs and warmer students who can focus on studying instead of thermoregulation. Opportunities: preparation for Wall Street doors. Weaknesses: slower to entrance into building and harder to bring in large objects. Threats: less applicants since doors aren’t as cool. Furthermore, as discussed in management class, Fordham must first fulfill our physiological needs before we can achieve self-actualization and go from good to great and become level 5 executives.

All jokes aside, the university should consider making the switch from sliding doors to revolving doors. Are the revolving doors as pretty as revolving doors? No, but the trade-off between beauty and practicality may be well worth it. Regardless, Hughes will still have a place in the cardia of students across campus.

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