USG Attempts to Make the Best Out of Bad Situation

We’ve Arrived at the Worst Possible Scenario

By Christian Decker


Well ladies and gentlemen, and those who do not identify with either gender, we’ve reached the apex of hell. The rest of the semester will be conducted from the privacy and loneliness of our respective homes. I’m not happy about it, you’re probably not happy about it, but nonetheless this is the situation we’ve found ourselves in.  My heart truly goes out to the seniors, both those in high school and those at Fordham who are really getting screwed over by this. We love and appreciate you, and we wish you the best. That being said, we’ve got to get to the meat of the issue.

Fordham handled this incredibly badly. Like it’s kind of ludicrous. Everyone living on campus basically got shafted. Was it the right decision to suspend everything? Probably. But the haphazard manner in which we were informed about all these changes were incredibly confusing and caused unneeded confusion and panic during these rough few weeks. Over the past few weeks people were getting emails out of order, stuff was posted on the mobile version of the university site and not the normal site, the site crashed, it was a hodgepodge of chaos. This is not what we needed from the university during a crisis.

The worst part of the situation is the position that this hastily thrown together solution has put residential students who live on campus in. For me, it was no issue. I live about two and a half hours from campus in a city no one has heard of. My dad was able to pick me up. Not everyone who lives on campus is as fortunate. A lot of people don’t live close to campus and have to take flight’s home. Many had already purchased tickets that they couldn’t refund, and these tickets are not what you would call cheap. Not to mention, now everyone is getting screwed out of the massively expensive housing that we’re paying for. Are we gonna get refunds for some of this semester? After all, we’re not living there now.

Consider students whose livelihood depends on on-campus jobs. Not everyone who goes to Fordham is an over-privileged white Gabelli boy whose dad is paying for their ABC degree. There are people here who need their scholarships in order to even consider going to school here because of how expensive it is. We also don’t know what people’s home life is like. As someone who’s worked in financial aid before, you read about some pretty awful cases. People might be forced to have to go back home to unstable environments. People might have to be shut in with their abusers for a seven month period. It’s simply incomprehensible that we didn’t think about this stuff before the university decided to evict everyone from campus.

With all this in mind, USG has sent out a proposal to the university with some accommodation in mind to help ease the burden of people who are struggling with this issue. One suggestion is that Fordham get their shit together (my words, not theirs), to start sending comprehensive emails that give details on how resident students are going to get their stuff back from campus. They want the university to provide us with specific dates and times so as not to confuse everyone. In addition, they ask that as students vacate O’Hare Hall, that it be opened up for international students, as well as other students who can’t get back home. USG asks that Reslife look into some kind of storage for people to leave their belongings as well.

USG, in their proposal, has asked that Fordham think of some of the situations that I’ve mentioned here. They ask Fordham to think about the financial situations of the students who are just trying to support themselves. They ask Fordham to think about the international students who may be stuck here and not able to return to their homes because of the virus. They ask Fordham to think of the students who can’t return home, or perhaps, do not want to return home because of what they may face when they get there. They ask Fordham to please consider the situation, and act accordingly. Will our university uphold the motto that it impresses upon us: “men and women for others?”

USG has commended the university for its decision to close during this global pandemic. And sure, it was the right decision, as much as it was a hard pill for us to swallow. However, in my opinion, these should not be suggestions for the university, they should be mandates. Fordham has an obligation to provide for its students, and those students deserve to feel protected and safe during this crisis. There is a right thing and a wrong thing to do. Fordham, I hope you know which.

One thought

  1. Thank you Jack for acknowledging the loss but recognizing there will be joy again. This crisis is lives interrupted for so many but not lives ended. You Fordham seniors will eventually have your graduation and there will be much joy and your class will be united in a way like no other. This crisis will forever be part of your makeup. Find ways to embrace the experience and of course in the Jesuit tradition -reach out to others. I welcomed my Fordham senior to our South Carolina home (after putting her in quarantine for a while and detoxing all her belongings). She surprising understood our concern that she was possibly toxic having come from NYC airport to our County where at the time we had no virus cases. It was an extraordinary mix of feelings. The unexpected visit was not like any previous visits. As we begin to settle into a house of two college students and a high school student who have had life as they knew it abruptly changed, we need to enjoy the little things and support each other and those around us.
    All the best to the class of 2020 –
    Francine Norz Tobin, Fordham class of 1986

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