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Years of Negotiations Later: Brexit’s Impact on Fordham By SOPHIE PARTIDGE-HICKS News Editor


See pages for continued coverage

The United Kingdom left the European Union on Jan. 31, possibly impacting the 336 students studying at the Fordham London Centre campus. After four years of negotiations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will now engage in an 11-month transition period to determine important parts of the Brexit deal such as travel, trade and borders. Front row to the political negotiations are study abroad students who, while spending a semester immersed in British culture, are exposed to the turbulent Brexit process. Katharina Kremer, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center ’22, a German student, studied abroad in America for the first time during the 2016 presidential election as well as at the London Centre during Johnson’s election. She compared the similarities of the current environment, saying “The way people in London talk about Brexit is similar to what people said about Trump during the election while I was studying in the U.S.” The majority of study abroad students hold U.S. passports and entered the U.K. with short-term study letters. Only students in the internship program had to obtain working visas. Non-American and EU passport-holding students had to obtain the visas necessary from their home country to enter the U.K. The results of a survey administered to Fordham students studying abroad in London in the spring of 2020 revealed that 40% of respondents did not understand Brexit before going to school in London, and 35% said they continue to not understand the political issue.

February 5, 2020 VOLUME XL, ISSUE 2

Coronavirus Suspends China Study Abroad By JOE KOTTKE Asst. News Editor

All undergraduate study abroad programs in China have been suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus. The outbreak of coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China, was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization on Jan 30. According to Joseph Rienti, director of international and study abroad programs, four Fordham students planned on studying abroad in Shanghai and three started their program in Beijing. There are confirmed cases in 30 countries and nearly 500 people have died from the virus. Three patients are being tested for possible coronavirus in New York City. Students enrolled in the Shanghai study abroad program are currently barred from class registration in New York, but Rienti, said that they are working with deans to resolve the issue. According to Rienti, the decision to suspend all study abroad programs in China was made after consultation with the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. State Department. “I was planning to travel to China in order to continue my Mandarin studies and the Study Abroad Program is treating the situation as though sending me to another country is a viable option,” said Julia Sparago, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21. “My study abroad would be a waste of time and my enrollment is currently barred, so I’m left with limited SOPHIE PARTRIDGE-HICKS/THE OBSERVER

see BREXIT page 10

On March 23, 2019, thousands of protesters gathered in the heart of London to oppose Brexit and support the EU.

TikTok Stars Take Campus By BEN JORDAN Contributing Writer

TikTok is one of the world’s most popular social media apps with over 1.5 billion downloads worldwide and 123 million in the U.S. alone. Yet people tend to hesitate when it comes to admitting they use it. Why this may be isn’t entirely a mystery — the word “cringe” is frequently used to describe the app by its most devoted users and biggest haters. What may be surprising is not the amount of Fordham students are on TikTok, but the level of success amassed by some of these content creators. Jake Kuljis Jake Kuljis, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, is a communications major and self-described “former theatre kid” — though he admitted he was the kid who could neither

see CORONAVIRUS page 4

120 Faculty Members Sign Petition to Support SJP

sing nor dance. Kuljis started making TikToks “for the meme” after seeing one of his friends on the app late last semester, without intending to keep using it for more than a few weeks. He now has 45,700 followers. “The only reason I’m famous on TikTok is this one video I made,” he said. He wasn’t planning to post it, but he accidentally uploaded it from his drafts when trying to show it to a friend. It went viral, started some trends and is currently sitting at more than 7 million views. “I’d love to get a big following on any social media, but of all media … it had to be TikTok,” he said. Kuljis recounted one of the weird offers he’s received from a fan: two chow chow puppies (which is, by coincidence, his

A diverse coalition of 120 Fordham faculty members have expressed their disapproval of Fordham’s continued legal battle with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). On Thursday, Jan. 30, a faculty member emailed a petition to high ranking Fordham administration, urging them to rescind the university’s appeal of the August 2019 New York Supreme Court ruling that required the university to recognize Fordham Lincoln Center’s chapter of SJP.

see TIKTOK page 15

see SJP page 5

By OWEN ROCHE Editor-in-Chief


Newly recognized student club SJP rallies at City Hall for Palestinian rights.


The Rubberneck

Arts & Culture


Sports & Health

Students welcome the Year of the Rat

An anthropological view of your classmates

Author and philanthropist dies at 92 Page 13

Ludovica Martella takes on the climate crisis from NYC

People are fighting the flu by wearing surgical masks

Lunar New Year Page 5

Lecture Hall Handbook Page 9

Mary Higgins Clark

Alumna Spotlight Page 17

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

Do Flu Masks Work? Page 19



February 5, 2020 THE OBSERVER

FUEMS Looks to Lincoln Center

Fordham University Emergency Medical Services (FUEMS) created a Lincoln Center committee on Sept. 29, in order to make the club more accessible to students at the Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) campus. However, as a club founded at Rose Hill, it has yet to be recognized as an official club by the Office of Student Involvement at Lincoln Center. FUEMS started as a club in 1977 under the name “Student Emergency Response Group’’ (SERG). It was founded by Bruce Nedelka, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’79, who had the idea of providing student-run emergency services on the Rose Hill campus. This was before emergency vehicles or paramedics existed. “They would literally just run around with this little bag of medical supplies,” Nate Singh, FCRH ’20 and director of FUEMS, said. It wasn’t until 1988, when Fordham became a certified Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agency operating under the New York State Department of Health regulations, that SERG became FUEMS, according to Singh. “Our main goal is just to provide medical services for our fellow Fordham students,” said Brielle Intorica, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’20 and the Lincoln Center committee chair of FUEMS. Intorica explained that when there is a medical emergency, Public Safety contacts the FUEMS office, and then FUEMS dispatches one of their EMS-certified Fordham students to the scene of injury, who attends to the situation. Some of the medical emergencies FUEMS has seen include intoxication cases and cardiac arrests that have occurred at graduation, according to Intorica. Singh believes that about 40% of FUEMS members are trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). After submitting an application for training, the club provides free EMT training to Fordham students accepted into the course. “EMT classes can be upwards of $200, so to have it right on campus and for free is amazing,” Intorica said. She is currently enrolled in the pre-med program at Fordham and emphasized that FUEMS is incredibly useful as a pre-med student. “I think that FUEMS is

Ne w Fi re m la r e t s in m Sy Mc h o n Ma


By KATRINA LAMBERT Asst. News Editor


By GUS DUPREE News Editor


A group of certified EMT Fordham students hopes to expand FUEMS programming to Lincoln Center.

the perfect way to make that transition from studying medicine to practicing medicine.” Beyond hands-on medical experience, Intorica said that through FUEMS, “you learn how to think on your feet, you learn to adapt to changes in a situation, develop a lot of courage and, it sounds silly, but you learn how to talk to people.” Because of these benefits, the club decided to expand their reach and become accessible to FLC students. Intorica heard about FUEMS her junior year through Alexandra Rebosura, FCLC ’18. Before this, Intorica had never heard of the club around FLC. “I was a bit of a sore thumb sticking out at FUEMS. Not even the pre-med department mentioned it,” she said. Currently, there are approximately 200 total members in FUEMS, and only around 20 to 25 of those are FLC students, Singh said. During the fall 2019 semester, Singh approached Intorica with the idea of making a FUEMS Lincoln Center committee. She said that she loved the idea and was ecstatic when he also asked her to chair the committee. However, Singh clarified that in bringing FUEMS to FLC, the club won’t be adding student-run emergency medical services to the Manhattan campus.

“There’s really not a demand for that at Lincoln Center. Because the student population is a lot less, the way the campus is structured — especially with the amount of hospitals around the campus — logistically there is not much reason to have a fully functioning EMS,” he said. Singh said the plan for the FUEMS Lincoln Center committee is to facilitate more of their club initiatives, such as its CPR services and blood drives, spreading the word about FUEMS around the campus, and facilitating easier involvement for FLC students who want to join. The commitment to be involved with FUEMS as an FLC student is more time-consuming than it would be as a Rose Hill student, Intorica said. This is mainly because the FUEMS office is located at Rose Hill and the club holds bi-weekly training sessions on Sundays in the Bronx as well. However, the FLC committee has already worked to solve some of these inconveniences by acquiring free Ram Van passes for club members and trying to move some of the Sunday training sessions down to Lincoln Center. One of the issues that FUEMS has run into with implementing its programs at Lincoln Center is that it has not gone through the United Student Government’s club recognition process yet, and therefore

it is not formally recognized as a Lincoln Center club. “We can operate at Lincoln Center, but trying to operate based out of Rose Hill can sometimes get a little complicated in terms of room reservations and coordinating things,” Singh said. In order to become a formal club, FUEMS would have to write a new constitution with different policies and procedures from its Rose Hill counterpart. Singh said that is something they are looking into but have run into some trouble logistically. “What we’re doing right now is very much in its infancy stage, so problems that pop up are expected,” he said. He emphasized that no one at FLC has been obstructing them from becoming a club. Both Singh and Intorica said they are optimistic for their future on the FLC committee. “We have seen the highest number of applicants for EMTs at Lincoln Center this year since the committee has been created,” Intorica said. The committee hosted a blood drive on Feb. 4 and has plans for CPR training during the week of Valentine’s Day and mental health first aid training in April. “I don’t care if you are an art major, a business major, it doesn’t really matter; we take people from all fields,” Singh said. “It isn’t just for people who are interested in medicine, it is for everyone.”

140 West Building Evacuated Due to Valve Leak By GILLIAN RUSSO Arts & Culture Editor


When steam started to rise, FDNY trucks and Con Edison arrived on scene.

On Friday, Jan. 31, a damaged safety valve caused a steam release on the roof of the 140 West 62nd Street Building, forcing a building-wide evacuation and all the building’s classes and club events to be canceled for the evening. The fire safety director came onto the building’s P.A. system at 6:30 p.m., alerting occupants that an alarm had been set off which prompted an investigation. A second announcement followed five minutes later, ordering all students and staff to evacuate. Small crowds gathered on the sidewalk in front of the building and across West 62nd Street, watching a plume of steam billow from the roof. Fire crews appeared on the scene but were not called into the building. Con Edison arrived around 7 p.m. to begin repairing the damaged valve. “It resulted from a faulty safety relief valve that activated,”

John Carroll, associate vice president of Fordham Public Safety, wrote in an email. “That particular safety valve was damaged due to the Con Ed shutdown over the last weeks. Our Facilities team isolated that valve and a redundant safety system was put on line providing heat / hot water needed.” The leak occurred hours after Public Safety announced Con Edison had “repaired the damaged steam pipe that provides heat and hot water to the Lowenstein Center, 140 W. 62nd Street and Martino Hall,” according to an email sent out at 2:30 p.m. that day. “There was a definite correlation in that the particular safety valve problem caused by Con Ed didn’t manifest itself as damaged until almost 20 hours after the return of Con Ed service,” Carroll wrote. The building was safely reopened for use Saturday morning, and a new safety valve has been ordered for installation, according to Carroll. No other buildings were evacuated.

McMahon Hall has been operating on a fire alarm system originally installed in 1993, but a new system will soon be put in place, in addition to other upgrades. Total costs so far have exceeded $1 million, a price tag to be expected when implementing new technology, according to Joseph Scaltro, director of engineering services at Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC). “The cost includes programing all the new fire alarm devices; an electrician furnishing and installing all conduits and wires; and patching, painting and cleaning up after the contractors, as we install devices on all floors of the 21-story building,” Scaltro said. Scaltro referred to the fire alarm and sprinkler systems as a “Life Safety System,” which is routinely inspected and maintained. The original system is largely outdated and many of the system’s required parts are no longer sold or produced. New up-to-date technology and wiring will be installed into the Life Safety System. All devices in McMahon will now connect directly to the main fire alarm control panel on McMahon’s ground level. The fire alarm system will also connect to both the sprinkler system and smoke detectors, allowing more communications among systems. The changes will allow the FDNY and FLC Fire Safety Director to communicate more clearly and effectively with residents. To ensure that the installation process would not bother residents, the system was implemented in two-to four-floor increments from Dec. 20 to Jan. 13. “The invasive, noisy work was done from Dec. 20 to Jan. 13, by design,” Scaltro said. Signs of the replacement can be seen throughout the residential hall. A chart has been put up next to the first floor entrance to McMahon Hall, which denotes the status of the Life Safety System on each floor. Bryan Huchesson, FCLC and Alvin Ailey ’22, was confused by the chart. “I don’t even know what it is,” Huchesson said. He was further unnerved by the wires and other exposed electronics. “It just looks ominous. Especially the big red thing,” said Huchesson, referring to the red fire alarm panel located in the room adjacent to the McMahon front desk, which has been seen open and emitting various beeping noises at different times in the day. In the hallways of McMahon, every front door for each apartment has had hole cut into the wall above. Matthew Chen, FCLC ’22, was concerned with the apparent lack of warning by Fordham before beginning work in students’ dorms over break. “They should’ve told us before they started doing anything,” Chen said. The renovations were briefly included in an email by the Office of Residential Life sent on Dec. 9 which reminded students of “maintenance work” that was to be conducted in dorms over break. The Capital Planning and Projects Department, part of the NYC Housing Authority, made the initial decision to update McMahon’s fire alarm system. Fordham’s Office of Residential Life, Campus Operations and Campus Security are also involved in the process. The new Life Safety System is expected to be fully installed by May 2020.


THE OBSERVER February 5, 2020


London Dramatic Academy to Close in Summer 2020

Fordham London Dramatic Academy Class of 2019 outside Kensington Palace. Students said that their close friendships made the program memorable. By ALLIE BEEKMAN and SOPHIE PARTRIDGE-HICKS Staff Writer and News Editor

After nearly two decades under Fordham leadership, the London Dramatic Academy (LDA) will be closing at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Richard P. Salmi, S.J., will also be stepping down as the Head of London Center. Dennis Jacobs, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, announced the news in an email to current London study abroad students on Tuesday, Jan. 28. LDA theatre students, alumni and those hoping to study at LDA in the future have expressed their sadness about the program’s closure. “I was transformed by my experience in LDA. It is, and probably will be for a long time, the best experience of my life, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to go,” Daniel Camou, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’20 and LDA in 2019, said. LDA was founded in 1979 by Marymount College, and Fordham University took over the conservatory in 2001 when the American universities consolidated. Since then, Kathryn Pogson has served as the artistic director and helped grow the program into the compet-

itive dramatic institute it is today. LDA was housed at Fordham London Centre in Clerkenwell, London with exclusive theater facilities, including a modern performance floor. “Theater is demanding and you must be able to look after your unique talents and to nurture the blessed gift of every creative performer,” Pogson said on the LDA website. LDA comprised professional actors and actresses who, while working on their respective productions around London, would take time to also teach LDA students. “Many of my professors worked at Royal Dramatic Academy, a world-renowned acting conservatory, and to have those instructors come with that knowledge and expertise… it was an unparalleled learning experience,” said Zack Clark, FCLC ’21, who participated in the program in 2019. Another student, Charles Buscarino, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’20, said, “The instructors in LDA were absolutely dedicated to what they were teaching. Their passion and commitment to theater in all its forms really helped foster a sense of fellowship between everyone in the class.” Other members of the LDA faculty include Zoë Waites, who

taught classes that focused on Shakespeare. While in London, Camou and other LDA students even attended her play “The Double Dealer” by William Congreve at the Orange Tree Theatre.

We are kind of in shock here, and personally I feel really devastated. Such a blow. Zoë Waites, Faculty member at LDA

Waites expressed her sadness toward the closing of the program to former LDA attendees in an email. “We are kind of in shock here, and personally I feel really devastated. Such a blow,” Waites wrote. “I feel pretty bleak and uncertain about the future. The combined blow of Brexit and LDA closing feels somewhat battering to say the least.” Many theater students said that the LDA program was the reason they chose Fordham, making the news of its closure especially up-

setting to underclassmen who now will never be able to experience LDA. For Lila Holley, FCLC ’23, a major reason that she joined the Fordham theatre program was for the experiences at LDA. “This was going to be the big moment of my education,” she said. “Going abroad to LDA was one of the big things that made me choose Fordham’s theatre program. I want to focus my career on classical theater, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to learn in the environment where Shakespeare was born,” Eliza Pagel, FCLC ’23, said. Joseph Rienti, director of the study abroad office, wrote that the administration is working with the Fordham theatre department to try and locate other potential theater programs for students to study abroad. “We have been working closely with Theatre Department faculty and have identified the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts as a good alternative for Performance students interested in studying abroad in London next year and in the future. Some theater students, in the past, have opted to enroll in our London Internship program and completed internships in theater manage-



ment,” Rienti wrote. Rienti cited additional study abroad options for theater students in Moscow, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Grenada and Milan, all of which have been attended recently by Fordham theatre students. Jacobs added that the current space used for LDA will be converted to expand other London Centre facilities. “Fordham will reconfigure the spaces that had been used exclusively by the LDA to provide additional classroom and student spaces at London Centre, thereby expanding capacity for new and existing academic programs,” Jacobs wrote. “I am confident that London Centre will emerge from this period of transition with a clarity of vision and a renewed ability to capitalize on its many strengths,” Jacobs wrote. However, many students believe that LDA was an integral part of the London Centre experience and do not think that the campus will be the same without it. “There is no other program at Fordham that has challenged its students so passionately or impacted its student so profoundly or inspired them so lastingly than LDA,” Camou said. “It is utterly unthinkable to cut a program that cared so much,” he continued.

Man Saved by Fordham Swim Team: ‘You guys gave me a new life’ By KATRINA LAMBERT Asst. News Editor

A training session in Miami, Florida, on Jan. 10 turned into a full-fledged rescue when three members of Fordham’s men’s swim team noticed a man struggling in the ocean’s riptide. Dilane Wehbe, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, was with his fellow swim teammates on Miami Beach in between morning practices. The student-athletes were in Florida over their winter break for an annual training session trip that Fordham organizes for both the men’s and women’s swim teams. “That day the waves were pretty big,” Wehbe said. He said that the lifeguards on the beach informed the swimmers to be wary of the water because of a strong rip current forming. Wehbe and his friends got out of the water and, not long after, he noticed a man in the ocean beyond the safe swimming area marked

by a buoy. Immediately Wehbe responded to the situation; “it was just a fight or flight reaction and I got out there and swam to him.” Once he reached the man, Wehbe struggled for a while to keep him up without any rescue equipment. Eventually his teammates Connor Wright, FCRH ’22, and Patrick Wilson, FCRH ’21, noticed their teammate struggling and swam out to help. Pulling the man from the water was “unbelievably hard,” Wehbe said. “If Connor and Patrick hadn’t come out there, I think I would’ve drowned out there with him.” It took about 15 minutes for the Fordham swimmers to pull the man to shore. They had all swallowed a lot of water while fighting through the rip current and worried about the man suffocating from secondary drowning once they got him to land, Wehbe said. Secondary drowning happens

when too much water gets into the lungs, irritating its lining. It can sometimes lead to a condition called pulmonary edema, where it becomes hard to breathe.

If Connor and Patrick hadn’t come out there, I think I would’ve drowned out there with him. Dilane Wehbe, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’22

Knowing the complications of secondary drowning, the young men didn’t want to chance leaving the man alone. Once ashore, Wright stayed with him while the other two swimmers brought

the beach lifeguards over to confirm that there would be no further medical complications. Wehbe, Wright and Wilson are each lifeguards for Sachuest Beach in Rhode Island, Monmouth Beach in New Jersey and Jones Beach in New York, respectively. This wasn’t any of their first time saving someone from the water. “Doing that as a summer job, you expect stuff like that to happen, but when you’re on the beach with your teammates and you see that, it’s so much harder,” Wehbe said. After the rescue was over, the man expressed his gratitude to the Fordham swimmers and even followed them on Facebook, according to Wehbe. Wehbe said the young men received a message from him a few days after saying, “You guys gave me a new life.” “It was really cool to know that I could do that for someone,” Wehbe said.


On a swim trip to Miami, Connor Wright, FCRH ’22, saved a man from drowning.



February 5, 2020 THE OBSERVER


Alumnus Defends President in Impeachment Hearings


Pat Cipollone, FCRH ’88, defended President Trump on the Senate floor in the impeachment trial. By SOPHIE PARTRIDGE-HICKS News Editor

For the third time in history, an American president stands trial after a formal impeachment inquiry. Representing Donald Trump on the Senate floor in one of the most scrutinized political trials in contemporary American history is Pat Cipollone, a Fordham University graduate. Cipollone, whose first name is Pasquale but goes by “Pat,” graduated from Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) in 1988 with a degree in economics. During his time at the university, he was part of the debating team, where he became close with the team’s adviser, Rev. Thomas Massaro, S.J., a professor of moral theology.

“I was looking for talented people who could make arguments, and he was certainly at the top of the group,” Massaro said about Cipollone. On the team, Cipollone’s debate partner was Adam Smith, FCRH ’87, and together they traveled to competitions across the country and even abroad to Montreal and Ireland to compete in the National Parliamentary Debate Association. “They were close friends,” Massaro said. “We all went to baseball games together.” Cipollone graduated as valedictorian and went on to the University of Chicago Law School, where he earned a Juris Doctor law degree in 1991. He worked as an assistant for Attorney General William Barr in 1992-93 and became a partner

at Kirkland & Ellis, the largest law firm in the United States. In October 2018, Cipollone left the Washington D.C. law firm Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner to join the White House Counsel. However, sources close to the president told CNN that Cipollone had already been working as an outside adviser to Trump for months. “He’s developed a relationship with the President. He knows how to talk to (Trump) and ... that’s important,” the source said 2018. Since his appointment, Cipollone has been sternly critical about accusations made against Trump and spent many weeks preparing to defend the president in the trials. Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal

lawyer whom Cipollone worked with on the defense case, told The New York Times that “Pat’s taking a leading role in this proceeding because of the institutional interests that are at stake. “He’s the right man for the task. He has the right temperament and disposition,” he continued. On Wednesday, Jan. 22, the trial began with opening statements from the seven house members serving as prosecutors. They had 24 hours to present their argument, which was distributed over three days. Trump’s defense lawyers took the stage on Jan. 25 to offer their own arguments. Cipollone used his opening statement to remind the chief justice of the United States and senators that the impeachment will also affect Trump’s ability to partake in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. “They’re asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country on your own initiative. Take that decision away from the American people,” he said, adding that no other senate had ever done that.

the opening statements from both sides, senators will have a total of 16 hours to question both the House impeachment managers and the defense team. Also involved in the impeachment hearings is Smith, Cipollone’s debate team partner, who now serves as Congressman for the 9th District of Washington. A Democrat, Smith is in support of the impeachment, writing in a formal statement, “It is now the job of Congress to act as swiftly as possible to uncover the full extent of the President’s corruption and degradation of democracy.” Massaro wondered if Cipollone and Smith, who he remembers as close friends but are now political opponents, “are still friendly and pal around together.” Massaro said that he always knew that Cipollone was a conservative, but when Cipollone’s name began to appear in newspapers in 2018, he was shocked. “I was a little bit surprised that he would leave private-sector law to work full-time in a Republican administration,” Massaro said. “I would ask him (Cipollone) some

It is certain that a Fordham alumnus will have an integral role in the outcome of the trial, and, by extension, contemporary American history. Three days later, on Jan. 28, after presenting evidence and developing their argument, the defense lawyers delivered their final statements. “It’s time for this to end, here and now. We urge the Senate to reject these articles of impeachment for all of the reasons we have given you,” Cipollone said in his closing statement. In the upcoming days, after

hard questions about why he took this job,” he continued. The future of the impeachment trials remains unknown, with key decisions like whether or not to allow witnesses still undetermined. However, it is certain that a Fordham alumnus will have an integral role in the outcome of the trial, and, by extension, contemporary American history.

Global Health Crisis Bars Students From Studying in China CORONAVIRUS from page 1

options, none of which are optimistic.” In an email sent to students enrolled in the program, Rienti said that placement in London, Granada and Pretoria programs is unavailable at this time, and with classes that began weeks ago in New York, they are unable to enroll them in classes on campus. “The way I see it, accommodating three or four students because of something that is uncontrollable is not beyond the capabilities of Fordham,” Sparago said. “To send an email that refuses to make exceptions and essentially deserted us in a strenuous situation shows a deep lack of care and commitment to students.”

My study abroad would be a waste of time and my enrollment is currently barred, so I’m left with limited options, none of which are optimistic Julia Sparago, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’21

“We have contacted partners worldwide to identify programs in other countries which might still be able to accommodate students,” Rienti said. “Given the timing of this situation, there are visa restrictions in most countries

for study abroad; it has been quite difficult.” Ben Guo, Gabelli School of Business Lincoln Center ’21, returned from studying abroad at the Beijing Center at the University of International Business and Economics on Jan. 29. This was before the implementation of a travel ban restricting entry into the U.S. from China and airlines began suspending routes to the country. “In the early stages of the coronavirus, when there were about 300 reported cases, there wasn’t a sense of urgency,” Guo said. “When cases started doubling, major cities started locking down their entrances and prohibiting mass gatherings, like celebration of the Chinese New Year.” According to Guo, it wasn’t until General Secretary Xi Jinping officially announced the coronavirus to the public that he felt tension. Guo said when he went to the grocery store, citizens were starting to stockpile food. As students like Guo return from China, college campuses are filled with anxiety about how to stay healthy while living in dormitories. Effects of such worries have led to reports of xenophobia around the country. In New York, safety precautions, like masks, are in shortage. According to Brian Dunn, assistant dean for honors opportunities and dual degree programs, the Global Business Honors Program’s spring break trip to Beijing has also been postponed due to concerns about putting students’ health at risk. The trip did count for credit, but Dunn promised a third international trip for the honors program “if the threat posed by the virus is nullified quickly we may

entertain a trip this May. If not, we will postpone it until senior year.” University Health Services emailed the Fordham community confirming there are no known or suspected cases of coronavirus at Fordham. To stay healthy, Bernard Camins, M.D., with a specialty in infectious diseases at Mount Sinai, recommended getting vaccinated against the flu if not already and checking NYC’s Department of Health website for tips. According to Director of Health Services Maureen Keown, the

symptoms of coronavirus may include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, headache and sore throat. In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia. Keown said that increased sensitivity about the virus should not stop people from going about their daily life. “It’s normal for people to be concerned especially when there is a health situation and we do not know a lot about it,” she said. “Being concerned is good because people will take extra precautions to prevent illness. The important thing is to not panic.”


Students studying abroad in Beijing wore face masks to avoid getting sick while visiting the National Stadium.


THE OBSERVER February 5, 2020


Fordham Celebrates Year of the Rat for Lunar New Year


By TRACY LEE Staff Writer

The kickoff for the 2020 Lunar New Year fell on Jan. 25, heralding the start of the Year of the Rat. At Fordham at Lincoln Center (FLC), the Asian American Pacific Islander committee (AAPI) collaborated with the Asian-Pacific American Club (APAC) to ring in Lunar New Year with a week full of activities inspired by Asian festivities during the holidays. “The Lunar New Year is a very widely celebrated holiday amongst Asian households and is a time for family and bonding,” said Stefanie Uy, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, one of APAC’s leaders. “We, as a club, wanted to organize a Lunar New Year event to educate and engage others in Lunar New Year history, festivities, and food.” Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in Asian countries and is widely celebrated in other parts of the world. The date of Lunar New Year changes every year as the Chinese follow the Lunar calendar, but it always falls in either January or February. “Chinese New Year isn’t so much a cultural tradition as it is a familial one,” said Harry Sun, FCLC ’23. “We don’t celebrate the passing of the old year or the coming of a new year, but rather, we come together to understand each other as a family and appreciate the love we have for each other on this special day.” One of the twelve different zodiac animals is featured every year, with people born in that year said to exhibit personality traits of the animals whose year they were born in. For example, the Rat is known for having an outgoing and sociable personality. During the week leading up to Lunar New Year, members of AAPI and APAC came together to celebrate by hosting various events including zodiac trivia,

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, students were invited to practice their calligraphy by writing traditional celebratory phrases.

calligraphy and paper lanterns crafts. Students who participated in the trivia games had the chance to win red envelopes and fortune cookies. During the calligraphy event, the clubs printed a myriad of celebratory New Year phrases from Vietnam, South Korea and China for students to write on red and yellow papers. “I think it’s important for people to realize that Lunar New Year

is not only celebrated in China,” said Kathleen Kye, FCLC ’22 and the cultural programming coordinator of the AAPI committee. “The holiday is also celebrated in other countries, such as South Korea and Vietnam. Furthermore, our events offer a cultural experience within Fordham. By having tabling events, we allow students and faculty to have a taste of diversity that exists in Fordham

and to help them be curious about something unfamiliar,” she said. APAC also hosted their own Lunar New Year event on Friday, Jan. 31, complete with a red and gold photo booth, and bingo with snacks and skincare prizes. For dinner, they had an assortment of Chinese food including dumplings, wontons, pork buns, lo mein, sesame chicken, beef, shrimp, fish and mochi.


“I think it’s important to celebrate Chinese New Year at Fordham because it gives people a little taste of home,” Uy said. “At college, you’re separated from your family, and since Fordham doesn’t give holiday off for Lunar New Year, chances are, you are away from family. Celebrating Lunar New Year bonds people together and gives them a sense of a home away from home.”

Faculty Oppose Fordham’s Decision to Appeal SJP Decision SJP from page 1

The petition has two requests: first, that “the university drop its appeal of the New York Supreme Court decision;” second, that “The FCLC Office of Student Life should continue to treat Students for Justice in Palestine as the recognized student club” in accordance with the August 2019 New York Supreme Court decision and the November 2016 approval of the Lincoln Center United Student Government executive board and senate. Among the 120 signatories of the petition are faculty from six undergraduate and graduate schools and 26 academic departments across Fordham’s Lincoln Center, Rose Hill and Westchester campuses. “There is a large group of faculty that are dismayed by the situation,” said Glenn Hendler, professor of English and American studies, and former faculty adviser to SJP. Faculty from Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Fordham College at Rose Hill, Fordham Law school, and the graduate schools of both Social Service and Education are represented among the 120 names. Aseel Sawalha, associate professor of anthropology, co-director of Women, Gender and Sexuality studies, and current faculty adviser to SJP, is the second signatory on the list and sent the email containing the petition to administrators. “We teach critical thinking, open-mindedness and then the university does not

tolerate a student organization advocating for social justice,” she said. “It’s almost a joke.” For many signatories, principle came before explicit support for the cause. “The faculty who signed the petition did not sign it because they are for SJP; they signed it because they disagree with the silencing of students on campus,” Sawalha said.

portrays the appeal as contradictory to Fordham’s Jesuit mission. The university “is a privileged space for exercising human freedom … to search and find the paths of social transformation,” Sosa said. “The students of SJP fully believe they are on one such path of social transformation,” the petition read. “The university should

“This is the big free speech issue of our time,” Hendler said. “Fordham had the chance to let that speech happen, or to take the other side.” The petition is addressed to university President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., and copied to, among others, Interim General Counsel Margaret Ball, Esq. Assistant Vice President for Communications Bob Howe spoke on behalf of the university: “Fordham acknowledges the issues raised in the petition, which the University has addressed in its procedures and in court filings. The University will await the outcome of its appeal before deciding upon any course of action. “We view the University’s appeal of the NY Supreme Court decision as problematic for several reasons,” the petition reads. Quoting Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, in his 2018 address to the International Association of Jesuit Universities, the petition

support their search for their path, not block it.” A representative of SJP spoke to both the petition itself and Fordham’s official response. The petition “is significant because it shows what Fordham has done is a clear misdeed and neither the faculty nor the students are standing for it,” they said. “Fordham’s response is both significant and insignificant,” the representative said. “It is insignificant because it does not address any of the issues raised in the petition. It is significant because of the Fordham administration’s overt censorship of what SJP stands for, and because SJP is the first club on campus to be explicitly anti-colonialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist, where does that leave Fordham?” Dean of Students Keith Eldredge, Senior Vice President

for Student Affairs Jeffery Gray and Faculty Senate President Eve Keller were also recipients indicated on the document. “The Faculty Senate Executive Committee realizes that the debate surrounding Fordham’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine involves many difficult questions, as does the University’s decision to appeal last summer’s New York Supreme Court ruling,” Keller said, speaking for the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. “As is true of the student body, the faculty at large, and the full Faculty Senate, members of the Executive Committee bring a range of different perspectives to these issues and are not of one mind about them.” Copied to the email were Chief Diversity Officer Rafael Zapata, FCLC Dean Laura Auricchio and FCRH Dean Maura Mast. Auricchio and Mast did not add further comment to the university’s official statement, and Zapata did not respond to a request for comment. The petition further criticizes the legal appeal for its “chilling effect -- both on how Fordham students experience a university that takes its students to court for starting a club that addresses issues of social justice; and also on the credibility of our university as a place that supports free speech and intellectual exchange.” “This is the big free speech issue of our time,” Hendler said. “Fordham had the chance to let

that speech happen, or to take the other side.” As of Feb. 4, Fordham administration has not responded directly to Sawalha’s email. “One of the things that really annoyed some of us on the (petition) committee was that we did not receive a response. They didn’t even acknowledge that we sent the email,” she said. “Faculty lose faith in the upper administration’s judgment when they make decisions like this,” Hendler said. A final criticism of frugality argues that “money that will be swallowed in legal fees could be spent on more fruitful academic purposes.” The university’s appeal is still in litigation and the future at Fordham of “the promotion of justice, the exercise of free speech, and the fostering of critical intellectual exchange,” as outlined by the petition, is yet to be determined. For the signatories of the petition, the appeal sends a clear message, but not a permanent one. “It’s not a good message for free speech on campus. It will prevent students from doing something similar in the future,” Sawalha said. “We need to bridge the gap between the generations; between students and the administration.” “I wish they will talk to the students instead of taking them to court.” Read the full text of the petition online at fordhamobserver.com.

Opinions Editors Grace Getman - ggetman@fordham.edu Evan Vollbrecht - evollbrecht@fordham.edu



DRAMA OVER LDA CLOSURE IS MORE THAN AN ACT fered to minors at FCLC. Some students even explicitly joined the theatre program at Lincoln Center with the expectation of attending the LDA; now, that opportunity is lost.

Students and their futures should always be a priority for universities that hope to nurture the next generation of young leaders. The esteemed program will be sorely missed, and those left bereft by this change will struggle in its absence — but ultimately, the necessity of the LDA’s closure is not ours to criticize. Without being privy to the same information as the administrators responsible, we cannot pass judgment on that choice. However, it is clear that regardless of the wisdom of that decision, the execution was fatally flawed. Seemingly made without consulting students, or considering the chaos into which this would throw so many theatre students’ plans and hopes for their time at Fordham, this decision will no doubt have ramifications far beyond just opening up extra classroom space. Without the LDA, many students are left with nothing but significantly limited course options, uncertain alternatives and a loss of purpose. Fordham’s follow-through for the

Observer the


ith Fordham’s recent announcement that the London Dramatic Academy (LDA) will be closing after the Spring 2020 semester, Fordham students who counted on attending the beloved program have been left out in the cold. While the university has announced that it is working toward finding alternate options for theatre majors, many students feel disheartened by what they consider to be a massive educational loss — and Fordham’s failure to reckon with it in full. The decision to close the LDA program has heavily impacted study abroad decisions and created difficulties for Fordham students, especially theatre majors. The rotation of theatre classes at both the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses puts some students in the difficult position of struggling to fulfill requirements. Samantha Rizzo, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, remarked, “I didn’t take theatre history this semester and now I have to wait a year and a half because it operates on a rotating schedule. A bunch of kids are held back in that aspect. Now I’m getting screwed over that I might not be able to finish all my classes in time.” Also as a result of the closure of the LDA, many theatre minors and students interested in pursuing theatre are denied the experience of exclusive, higher-level classes, such as conservatory training, not of-

February 5, 2020 THE OBSERVER

students affected was almost nonexistent, leading many to feel overlooked and ignored, with no consideration for how they would have to scramble to adjust without the chance to attend the LDA. It is one thing to eliminate a program, but to almost completely disregard how students would have to adapt is easy to see as callous. Instead of letting otherwise necessary changes destabilize students’ already precarious plans, Fordham should ensure that these disruptions don’t become insurmountable obstacles. Instead of leaving students with surprise announcements and vague assurances, they should have a concrete, dependable path forward before any bridges are burned. Instead of relying on us to pick up the pieces in the wake of unexpected administrative decisions, they should guarantee a smooth transition to the new system by committing to help students adapt. Students and their futures should always be a priority for universities that hope to nurture the next generation of young leaders. It is not hard to imagine a system that puts students’ needs first — a system that, at minimum, follows every big decision like this with reassurance that those affected will be given a chance to adjust, with Fordham’s full support. Offering unlucky students a leg up will always pay better dividends than leaving them to break a leg on their own.

You Heard It Here First: Read The Observer

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In a photo from Aug. 15, 2001, a woman reads the first news of the fall semester in the Ram Café Atrium.


• Letters to the Editor should be typed and sent to The Observer, Fordham University, 140 West 62nd Street, Room G32, New York, NY 10023, or emailed to fordhamobserver@gmail.com. Length should not exceed 200 words. All letters must be signed and include contact information, official titles and year of graduation (if applicable) for verification. • If submitters fail to include this information, the editorial board will do so at its own discretion. • The Observer has the right to withhold any submissions from publication and will not consider more than two letters from the same individual on one topic. The Observer reserves the right to edit all letters and submissions for content, clarity and length. • Opinions articles and commentaries represent the view of their authors. These articles are in no way the views held by the editorial board of The Observer or Fordham University. • The Editorial is the opinion held by a majority of The Observer’s editorial board. The Editorial does not reflect the views held by Fordham University.


THE OBSERVER February 5, 2020


Food for Thought: Stop Complaining About the Dining Hall HALEY SMULLEN Asst. Opinions Editor

As I walk into the Fordham Lincoln Center Community Dining Room, I pull my ID card from my wallet and offer it to the woman managing this evening’s swipes. As she processes my card, I stand on my tiptoes, eagerly sneaking a peek at the food options from which I will be creating a tasty, ketogenic dinner. Fordham students are notorious for the disdain we hold for the food at the Community Dining Room. Each day, I am privy to conversations disparaging the menus and their options. Students, many of whom do not have dietary restrictions, complain about the taste of the wraps or the texture of the ice cream or the flakiness of the pastries. Refraining from offering my commentary in these situations, I hold my tongue and a different perspective. The origin of the ketogenic diet, which can be traced back to the early 20th century, was initially formulated by doctors seeking a cure for epilepsy. The diet works by inhibiting consumption of carbohydrates, both simple and complex, to 20 grams or less every 24 hours. This privation causes the body to secrete ketones, which in turn cause the body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates broken down into sugars. Once this process begins, one enters the state of ketosis. The keto diet is simply the training of one’s body to use an alternative energy source. While controversial due to the heavy restrictions on both simple and complex carbohydrates, this diet is a common nutritional path for athletes who require small amounts of adipose tissue (fat) and seek to maintain acquired lean muscle as well as people with epilepsy who seek alternative methods of reducing seizures and those with PCOS who desire management


While there can be many things to criticize about Fordham, the dining hall shouldn’t be one of them.

of weight fluctuations, hormonal imbalances and menstrual cycle irregularity. Following a keto diet requires me to severely restrict my carbohydrate intake. While this typically means transcending the confines of American food staples and getting creative with ingredient combinations, I don’t mind; I actually take pleasure in the culinary adventures I embark upon each day. I eschew traditional pasta, pizza, pastries and potatoes, instead incorporating non-starchy vegetables, fruits and certain meats as the main base of each of my meals. Each day, I dive into the diverse array of foods prepared by the Dining Room to concoct both a satiating and savory supper. Grabbing a paper plate from beneath the yogurt bar, I begin to circle around the Dining Room’s center island before seizing four pieces of broccoli, some cucumber slices and several sliced tomatoes. After constructing a base, I feather the green

and red foundation with crisp romaine lettuce and spinach. Deciding the tertiary level will consist of protein-rich toppings, I decorate the top of my plate with grilled chicken slices and hastily dice a boiled egg from the fruit section, dispersing the little white and yellow cubes around my plate. I walk back to the veggie section and drizzle apple cider vinegar over my greens with the panache of a confident Food Network contestant before settling at a window-side table to enjoy my (keto) dinner. Although it can be difficult to parse together a palatable plate when the majority of food in the Dining Room is carbohydrate-laden, I always feel satiated and content with my nutritional choices at the end of my meal. On a given day, more than two thirds of the food offered may be off-limits for me, but I still manage to satisfy both my dietary restrictions and my taste buds. Despite the fact that I follow

a significantly restricted nutritional regimen and am relegated to getting creative at the salad bar most nights, I neglect to complain about the food offered in the Dining Room. It would be lovely to have access to keto-friendly bread, higher fat yogurt and a diverse array of lean meats each night, but I conclude each day with all of my nutritional needs met. Compared to the lack of not only choice but also availability of food many people experience due to the global famine epidemic, my fulfilling experience is an anomaly that I am extremely fortunate to experience. The complaints concerning the Community Dining Room are mostly shallow reflections coming from students who are likely used to consuming their favorite recipes and brands on particular schedules. These inaccurate criticisms, which students bandy back and forth with alarming nonchalance, indicate a serious misappreciation of


the food options at Fordham. In other words, because the Dining Room fails to replicate your ideal version of macaroni and cheese or the tomato bisque neglects to complement the more substantive foods from Under The Hood or Foodology does not mean the Dining Room is lacking or inadequate in any way. The purpose of the Dining Room is to provide all students with an abundance of well-prepared, healthy food options each day, and despite my considerable dietary restrictions I have never been less than impressed with my meal curations. While this disrespectful trend may be more of a social habit than failure to check one’s eating privileges, Fordham students should recognize how lucky we are to possess daily access to such a high quantity of high quality food. Transition from complaining about dining options to advocating for ones that align with your food palette, if the menu selections disrupt your appetite so profoundly. Better yet, choose to appreciate the foods we have in the Dining Room and harness your creativity to prepare a plate of your own creation. Unless you follow certain dietary regimens, be they for medical or ethical reasons, then you likely have access to a cornucopia of foods each day that you can consume without compromising your health or moral compass. Some food for thought: We are extraordinarily lucky to have access to the open pantry that is the Community Dining Room, even those of us who can only afford to visit once a day. Stop denigrating the abundant, diverse and nutritious culinary buffet you have the privilege of sifting through. We are mere outliers on the graph of human history, our inordinate access to food falling in line with the kings and queens of centuries past. Let’s develop appurtenant perspective and demonstrate gratitude for the Community Dining Room.

It’s Time to Take a Break From Instagram EVELYN SIMS Contributing Writer

Aimlessly scrolling through Instagram might be causing you more harm than you think. Take it from someone who downloaded the app at age 11 without parental permission. For many of us, the act of checking our Instagram feed is almost an impulse, but have you ever thought about how it impacts your mood and choices? Once 2020 hit and I was saturated with an overwhelming number of New Year party pictures, I realized I needed to take a break from Instagram. Every picture I viewed seemed to be so inauthentic that it made me sick. I quit all social media for a week and started limiting my time afterward. It soon made me realize how toxic Instagram is. Most of us will agree that when we post on Instagram, we are trying to brag about our lives. We want people to acknowledge that we are having fun and enjoying life, but are also inherently building a false image of ourselves for our followers by picking and choosing what we post. Whether you run a fan page for your favorite celebrity, try to go viral as an influencer or use Instagram as an average college

kid, you are getting some kind of validation from other users’ interactions with your posts. The more this validation cycle continues, the more it can harm your mental health. Instagram was even ranked the worst app for young people’s mental health. The attention your posts get may make you feel noticed and good about yourself, but don’t let this become your basis of self-worth. Although Instagram has begun experimenting with the removal of the number of likes, the culture around posts getting attention is a crucial part of social media use for many users. For years, I have listened to friends debate about the best time to post to get the most likes, or how someone “posted and deleted” when their picture flopped. The concept of keeping up with an aesthetic and moving to other apps such as VSCO to post pictures that aren’t worthy for an Instagram feed has left me baffled. Instagram personas are dictating the self-expression of young people. To make up for the lack of self-expression on their regular Instagram page, people create “finstas,” secondary Instagram accounts meant for sharing more private life details. After jumping on this bandwagon during my first semester of college, I enjoyed the idea of posting weird pictures and stories about my


What’s the point of likes if they don’t make us feel any better?

life until I realized — who cares? What was my underlying intent behind all of this, when I could just communicate to the people I cared about? Sure, sharing quirky things is fun, but after being immersed in finsta culture, I could not help but think about how everyone I was following was compensating

for their loneliness to a few followers instead of actually talking to their friends. The constant assortment of ads and celebrity endorsements has also contributed to my disdain for Instagram. We are so overwhelmed with ads usually that seeing the gimmicks found on Instagram is disheartening.

Companies like Flat Tummy Tea use celebrity endorsements that cause controversy due to the problematic messages they are sending to their audiences. Not only are these ads promoting unhealthy and ineffective methods of weight loss, but consumers of the tea reported having severe cramps, irregular menstruation and digestive issues. It’s painstakingly obvious that when influencers tell me to drink tea to lose weight or to take a special gummy bear pill to make my hair grow it’s unhealthy. Yet this is content many of us are exposed to on a daily basis. These ads only contribute to the endless stream of falsehoods that dominate Instagram. Next time you check your Instagram, consider assessing how it makes you feel. Think about what you are viewing and evaluate what would happen if you took a break from it all. Although it will cause you to miss posts from your friends and family, logging off for a bit can help you reexamine your priorities in life — whose opinions really matter to you? Call your family and friends from home, try something creative such as drawing, journaling or painting, or get ahead on planning your future. You are able to get more out of life when you are choosing what to do and explore with people you care about.



February 5, 2020 THE OBSERVER


New York on Hot Seat Over Gun Rules

By June, the U.S. Supreme Court will be issuing a monumental ruling on its first case dealing with the Second Amendment in over a decade, pitting the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association against the City of New York. For years, New York’s gun laws have not only violated the Second Amendment, but also common sense and basic principles of firearm safety. Since 2001, New York has had a bizarre regulation that prohibits New York City residents from transporting their licensed firearms out of the city, even where they would otherwise be allowed to have them. This ban is being challenged, and the decision of the case could lead to very significant changes in the manner in which states and localities have the ability to control firearms. In 2010, the Supreme Court issued its last major ruling on the Second Amendment, protecting an individual’s right to own a handgun in their own home and incorporating that right among the states. However, the Court left the issue of whether this right extends to outside of the home for another day. With no clear federal guidelines, state laws on this topic vary widely. At the far end of the spectrum, jurisdictions like New York City place some of the most burdensome regulations on handgun use and carry in the country. Here, even if one was to be given a permit to keep a handgun in his or her home, the city did not allow these permit holders to take their handguns out of the five boroughs for any reason. Own a lake house


upstate? Too bad. Have a weekend home in Pennsylvania? Tough luck. Buy another gun licensed at your second address, was New York’s answer. Does this not sound insane? How on earth does someone owning two guns make the public any safer than owning only one? (Even the lawyer for New York City struggled with this question in front of the Supreme Court.) That’s exactly what the petitioners in this case are asking. The answer is that it doesn’t, and New York realized their entire slew of unconstitution-

al firearm restrictions beyond this one was on a death march to the Supreme Court chamber unless they mooted the argument. And that’s exactly what they did, or at least attempted to do. On paper the NYPD, New York State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the petitioners all that they wanted: the ability to transport their firearms outside of New York City to a second residence anywhere in the United States where they are legally entitled to have their firearm(s). To a Government 101 student, this would seem

to be the end of the case. New York claimed it was no longer necessary to argue, but the Supreme Court was wise enough to realize that this isn’t even remotely the end of this case. Our High Court has long established, “A case might become moot if subsequent events made it absolutely clear that the allegedly wrongful behavior could not reasonably be expected to recur.” There is no such clarity in this case. Were the Supreme Court to drop the case, nothing would have prevented New York from

reversing course the next day and reinstating its total travel ban outside of the city. Additionally, under the current rules one must still travel uninterrupted; that would preclude bathroom breaks or a stop for coffee. New York City’s attorney “pinky-promised” in his Supreme Court argument that these stops wouldn’t be prosecuted, but that shouldn’t give any anyone solace, much less the petitioners in this case. Besides, honesty and New York politicians haven’t seemed to mix well in the past. Just last year, the State Legislature and Cuomo repealed a state ban on gravity knives. This came after a federal judge ruled the ban unconstitutional. With the law repealed in the midst of the associated case working its way to the Supreme Court, New York filed an almost identical brief, claiming that the case was now moot. However, the NYPD stated the day after Cuomo signed the bill into law that they would continue enforcing the gravity knife ban through an obscure, rarely cited MTA regulation prohibiting their possession on the City’s public transportation. The NYPD is saying the quiet part out loud: “We’ll argue that cases we don’t like are no longer arguable but continue to enforce those laws in other ways.” If that doesn’t crush a mootness argument, I don’t know what does. As the saying goes, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. The same thing is happening now, and the Supreme Court must recognize that. It has been over a decade since the Supreme Court has granted certiorari to a major gun case. As Clarence Thomas wrote two years ago in a dissent to a denial of certiorari for one such case, “The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court’s constitutional orphan.” It is high time to change this orthodoxy.

Rubberneck The


THE OBSERVER February 5, 2020


A Guide to the Human Beings in Your Lowenstein Classroom POLINA UZORNIKOVA Staff Writer



E A: The Mysterious Dropout B: Hermione Granger: Resurrected C: Knock-Off Descartes D: Fordham’s Sweetheart E: Little Woman F: Your Professor Calls Me Daddy G: The Backrow Boys


As a writer for The Observer, I observe. And what better place for objective observation than a lecture hall? Here, I present my notes on the fine Fordham specimens whom you will meet in almost every class. Exhibit A: The Mysterious Dropout I sat next to one of these once. He entranced me with his overly relaxed look and deep brown eyes. But what intrigued me even more was how he managed to watch TikTok videos on silent for the duration of our 70 minute class. He disappeared on the last day of the add/drop period, and I never saw him again. I wonder if he’s in a better place now. If you’re reading this, please come back. I miss you. Exhibit B: Hermione Granger, Resurrected I came to class 20 minutes early because my club meeting ended early. She was already there, standing at the door, waiting for the gates of hell to open. Her thirst for knowledge is to be envied. She’s an Honors kid with three majors on a 3-2 track. The dark circles under her eyes are a testament to that. Her passion for answering the professor’s questions is rivaled only by Rev. McShane’s passion for Jesuit values. During peer review, she commented on my misuse of semicolons. It was amazing.




Exhibit C: Knock-Off Descartes Although he claims that his existence is backed up by the fact that he’s a thinking being, he only read the first chapter of Meditations. Nevertheless, he considers himself entitled to pronounce every opinion wrong. His T-shirt says “We Live in a Society,” but what it really means is, “I like to play the devil’s advocate.” He claims to love Dostoyevsky, but couldn’t tell his style apart from Chekhov’s. Sure that his opinions need to be heard by everyone, he is in a perpetual hand-raising contest with Exhibit B. For the same reason, he is also the worst person to stand next to in a crammed Lowenstein elevator. Exhibit D: Fordham’s Sweetheart They are the prettiest people in the multiverse. Everyone admires them from a distance, stalks them on social media and wishes to have a chance to stroke their marvelous hair. Their smiles

are amazing, and their eyes are even better. If they ever asked for a pen in class, they immediately acquired six or seven new ones (of different brands, too). Being in a group project with them is both a dream and a nightmare because you finally can hear their voice address you, but also feel like a certain character that goes by the name of Joe Goldberg. If you ever stand next to them in a crammed Lowenstein elevator, your day automatically gets 200% better. Exhibit E: Little Woman She looks like a beautiful garden flower, but do not be deceived. This girl exudes power and the energy that shall not be named in a Jesuit publication. She is about to graduate summa cum laude. She is exhibit C’s number one nemesis, yet he is too scared of her to ever commence open warfare. Always kind and patient, she is the most graceful creature I have ever seen and makes me feel like an elephant in a pink tutu.

She definitely has a fan page — or a cult — dedicated to her. Exhibit F: Your Professor Calls Me Daddy He should be at work right now, or having brunch with his spouse, or teaching his three kids how to play soccer. He can’t do that, however, since he is a freshman, who just happens to have magnificent facial hair and always show up to class in at least a suit and tie. He almost has as big a fanbase as Exhibit E, but not quiet. He is a certified Ignatian Yoga instructor and earns enough money to live off campus, but prefers to stay in McMahon “to stay closer to his people.” Recently, he organized a charity event in support of starving Fordham rats. This will obviously become a major part in his campaign for United Student Government president next year. Exhibit G: The Backrow Boys Ever heard someone snort very loudly in the middle of class, and

had no idea why? Was your train of thought ever interrupted by a very loud incoming text message alert? Have you ever felt someone’s stare penetrate the back of your head? The Backrow Boys are to blame. The lengths they go to do anything but listen to the lecture, some even resorting to doing homework for their other classes, are quite impressive. And I have to confess, sometimes, I am one of them. There are a few ways to use this article. You can use it as a (somewhat incomplete) guide to Fordham’s fauna. You can play a “fun” game of “tag yourself,” alone or with friends — just know that if you do this in class, I am not responsible for the consequences. You can use it as a tissue if you accidentally spill tea on your desk. You can also print it out, frame it and hang it up on your wall. Just know that every action you take defines you, and who knows, maybe you will find yourself as a new category in my lengthy catalogue.

Fordham Financial Aid: The Sound and the Fury ANNA MONEYMAKER Staff Writer

In front of Lincoln Center stands a statue of St. Ignatius in a quaint park. He benevolently watches over all those who love and love to create art. Just one block away, Fordham students are often engaged in quests similar to his devout journey. Halfway through my time here at Fordham, I found myself needing to change my permanent address because my parents moved. I had a feeling I could take care of it online but wanted to call Fordham’s Financial Aid office to make sure that it would be effective and my parents could receive their billing statements and pay their indulgences. “No, no,” the woman on the phone assured me. “You’ve got to come in and physically hand in the form.” Just like that, I had arrived in limbo. Financial Aid staff on the phone, unclear of what was true or not, uninformed and ignorant yet somehow blameless — like the virtuous pagans who never knew Christ. Are they wrong in their actions? Maybe. But worthy of eternal hellfire? Maybe not. Skeptical, I moved onward with my journey. The Financial Aid office,

located on the polished, sterile, newly renovated second floor of Lowenstein. An inscription above the office read “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” I clutched my bag and swallowed nervously. I had entered into the bowels of Fordham Bureaucracy. I approached the woman behind the counter, a poor sinner covered in chains with an enormous boulder that she is damned to carry around eternally. “Here!” she hissed as she handed me the proper forms. “Fill this out, wench!” I did, quickly, and handed it back. She peered over it, looked at me and stamped it. “It is done!” she spat. I thanked her and left as fast as I could, avoiding eye contact with the god of the underworld, Pluto. Except, two weeks after I changed my address, no mail was coming to my parents’ home. My mother was calling me, confused and worried — “Where are the billing statements? I’m not getting any mail.” I sighed heavily before I assured her I would see what went wrong. Typical. I begrudgingly went back into the Financial Aid office again to ask if everything had gone through. The poor woman behind the desk looked more confused than me. She, after all, was the one who took my form and inputted all my information. I waited 15 minutes before

slipping into the office of Academic Records. Darkness shrouded several lost souls, sitting behind computers, wailing to be released from their torment. I politely explained the situation to the staff member with sunken eyes and dull expression. They took my student ID number down and then commanded me to sit and wait. I waited for about four minutes among the lost souls before the staff member came back to the front desk. She looked at me and let out a maniacal laugh. Lightning cracked as her eyes rolled into the back of her head, and demons danced around her in circles. I felt like I was sinking into the ground. She looked at me, eyes completely black now and spoke to me in what sounded like a thousand voices. They simply said: “Fool! You have to do it online!” This account of my experience with the Financial Aid office is not even the most frustrating one. There was a time when, while I was on the phone with them trying to ask a question, they gave me false information about my account. Once, they charged my friend $75 for no reason and when confronted simply said, “Oh, my bad, that’s just a mistake.” What would’ve happened if she didn’t ask? She would have been fined


for no reason at all. No, this wasn’t the worst. But it was exceptionally emblematic. This scenario captures a larger picture of what it is like trying to accomplish a normally quick and easy task at Fordham. It reveals that we Rams are simply sliding through the Jesuit digestive tract of bureaucracy, our spirits slowly being corroded by the pungent, acidic bile of miscommunication and incom-

petence, only to be discharged into a cesspool of hopeless (and in my case, mail-less) students, too tired to fight back. I know each and every one of you has experienced this to a varying degree. I am here to say that I’m sorry and that you’re not alone. I am also here to say that Fordham costs $54,000 a year to attend; maybe they should start acting like it.

sto Hi

June 23, 2016 U.K. votes to leave the European Un

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July 13, 2016

Theresa May becomes Prim

March 29, 2017

Article 50 is triggered, s countdown to Brexit

March 14, 2019

The House of Commo Article 50 and get a la

Results from a survey of 20 students currently studying abroad at the London Fordham campus:


of responders said they didn’t know anything about Brexit until they studied abroad in London


of responders said they think Brexit might affect the rest of their semester abroad


of responders said they weren’t planning on doing anything to commemorate Brexit... the other 5% said they’ll probably be at a pub anyway

Brexit's toll on fordham BREXIT from page 1

A vast majority of students, more than 75%, believe that Brexit might have an effect on the rest of their semester in London. Matthew Holland, assistant head and director of student affairs at the London Centre, said that the campus operates legally as an “overseas organization” from the U.S. “The nature of the centre as a study abroad program and as an extension of Fordham in New York means we’ll probably see extremely minimal impact from Brexit in the way the program works,” Holland said. During the 11-month transition period, he believes that nothing will change how the London campus operates. The earliest term that will be affected by Brexit, if at all, will be spring 2021. Holland said that Fordham students may be impacted financially as the value of the pound fluctuates. When Holland first started at the London Centre more than three years ago, he said students doubled the price of things in pounds to mentally convert to the dollar amount. However, each year, Holland said that he

sees American students converting the dollar and the pound as 1:1 when it comes to budgeting for trips and spending habits. Currently, the pound is worth $1.30. According to the BBC, Brexit could affect housing prices, importation of goods from the EU and travel. A majority of the products on grocery store shelves are imported, and the rise of grocery costs would directly affect students when it came to budgeting. The Fordham University London Centre Pre-Departure Handbook for spring 2020 states that London Centre participants spend 1.5-2 times their home budget while abroad, approximately 1,000 pounds per month. Since the program fees and tuition are dealt in dollars and processed in New York, this may even be beneficial for American students if the value of the pound decreases. Holland said that Brexit will have little impact on the program trips for students since most students have U.S. passports. Every semester, the Gabelli program travels to Rome and the liberal arts program to another European city

along with Student Affairs staff and professorial chaperones. This year, the liberal arts program trip is to Lisbon, Portugal. Since the U.K. was already not operating within the Schengen Area (an international travel jurisdiction of European countries that don’t require passports between borders) Students Affairs already had to obtain single-entry visas for some international students to attend the program trips, regardless of Brexit. Although 70% of students expressed a lack of interest in the Brexit negotiations, the four-yearslong debate has shaped many students’ experiences. The British population first voted to leave the EU in a divisive referendum on June 23, 2016, causing Prime Minister David Cameron to step down from his position the next day. On July 13, 2016, Theresa May became the Prime Minister of the country and began a yearlong period of negotiations to determine the Brexit deal. Dan Nasta, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’19, studied abroad in London in the fall of 2019. “It was over



me Minister

starting a 2-year

ons votes to extend ater Brexit date


a year after the referendum, so everyone I met had already had time to grieve over it ... but it still stuck over everything like a fog, and that was kind of a bummer,” Nasta said. Nasta had European friends at the University of Westminster, whose European perspectives, he claimed, dramatically improved his educational experience. “We weren’t really sure if their residency and their lives were at stake because of Brexit,” Nasta continued. “The anxiety Brexit was causing did not improve the quality of life,” he said. In March 2017, Prime Minister May officially triggered Article 50, which started the two-yearlong countdown until the U.K. would have to officially leave the EU. May continued to meet with different EU officials, but in March 2019, with no viable deals as options, the House of Commons voted to extend Article 50. Finley Peay, FCLC ’20, studied abroad in London in spring 2019 and watched as the U.K. Parliament tried and failed to craft a realistic Brexit deal. Peay was able to attend parliamentary debates with her political science class. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I didn’t know what was going on, no one really knew. Even May was trying to figure out what was going on,” Peay said about watching the negotiations. Also studying in London at the same time was Michael Finnan, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center ’21, who said that he was paying attention to Brexit politics in order to monitor the value of the pound. “I knew that if Brexit actually went through the pound would definitely drop,” he said. “Even though I was conflicted about the politics, there was a part of me that wanted to see the impact on the economy, as life as an American in London would have gotten a lot cheaper,” Finnan continued. After failing to pass another Brexit deal, May stepped down as Prime Minister on March 27. The U.K. and the EU agreed to extend Article 50 on April 10, 2019, until Oct.

March 27, 2019

31, 2019, giving the House of Commons another five months to reach an agreement. As fall 2019 study abroad students arrived in London, Boris Johnson took the helm of British politics and worked to try to pass another deal. Then, in October 2019, Johnson’s Brexit deal failed to pass in Parliament, and he wrote to the EU asking for a third extension. “I felt like Fordham students started avoiding the topic with Londoners that we met because they were both so heated about it and also just exhausted from talking about it for so long,” said Sydney Costales, FCLC ’21, who studied in London in fall 2019. In December 2019, Prime Minister Johnson promised the British public that he would “Get Brexit Done,” and voted to make it illegal to extend Article 50 in 2020. On Jan. 31, 2020, the U.K., even without having secured a deal or finalizing a plan for the future, left the EU and officially “Brexited.” Zahir Wuader, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’21, attended Brexit demonstrations in front of Westminster Abbey on Jan. 31 at 11 p.m. “We just went for fun to see what was going on since we had no stake,” he said. Wuader stated that it was mostly Pro-Brexit celebrations from people wearing Union Jack paraphernalia. “It was much calmer and relaxed; we expected it to be like a Trump rally.” Many students did not take part or even see any Brexit demonstrations. Kyle Eber, an Emerson College student studying in the London Liberal Arts program, said he saw protesters dressed in Star Wars costumes holding “We’ll Be Back” signs the next day, but chose not to participate in any demonstrations, saying, “It’s not my rally to attend. I’m not a citizen of the U.K. or from Europe. As an American, it’s not my place to protest or support.” While the country has officially Brexited, political negotiations that will determine the future of the U.K. are far from finished, and will continue to shape the experiences of Fordham London study abroad students.

Theresa May steps down, leaving Boris Johnson as the next leader of the country

April 10, 2019

The U.K. and the EU agreed to extend Article 50 until Oct. 31, 2019

October 19, 2019

Johnson’s new Brexit deal fails, and he writes to ask for another extension

October 28, 2019

The EU and the Prime Minister agree to leave by Jan. 31, 2020, without a deal

January 31, 2020 The U.K. formally leaves the EU


Arts & Culture Editors Ethan Coughlin - ecoughlin7@fordham.edu Gillian Russo - grusso12@fordham.edu

Arts & Culture

Alumni Spotlight: Lori Majewski

February 5, 2020


Once a young music fan, Majewski’s passion is now the basis for her career in the male-dominated field of radio By ALYANA VERA Staff Writer

“You know what’s funny, just this morning a listener tweeted me to say that one of the reasons she likes listening to me on the radio is because I’m just like her. I’m a fangirl,” Lori Majewski, co-host of the radio show “Feedback,” told me at the start of our interview. While a sweet sentiment, it’s not entirely true. Few fans get to interview their favorite artists or get paid to talk about the music that they love, and even fewer get to work in SiriusXM’s Rockefeller Center studios. However I got the spirit of what she is saying, especially as I watched her launch into a rendition of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” for a karaoke session with her co-host Nik Carter. Her bubbly, slightly New Jersey-accented voice dropped several pitches, as she took on a deep Southern drawl. There was no self-consciousness behind the broad smile permanently fixed to her face, and despite the fact that it was before 10 a.m., she was spirited as she traded jokes with Carter. One might think that she’d been doing radio forever, given the ease she demonstrates behind the microphone, but in reality, she has only been co-hosting “Feedback” for three years. Prior to that, she admitted radio “wasn’t something that was really on my radar.” Having first gotten her start in music journalism running the popular Duran Duran fanzine “Too Much Information,” Majewski continued writing in college, contributing and eventually becoming Arts & Culture editor at The Fordham Observer. Even as a college student, Majewski was an enterprising fan. She would wait outside hotels in order to question artists, cheekily telling them that she was from “The Observer” so that they “might think it’s the New York Observer.” After graduating in 1993 with a Journalism Award, Majewski went on to co-found and become executive editor at Teen People

magazine. She worked as a senior editor at a number of other publications, including Us Weekly and Entertainment Weekly. According to her, “print, specifically magazines, is where I made my name.” Then, slowly, print began to die. Teen People suddenly stopped publication in 2006, and long-running magazines like NME soon followed. As publications began to shed their print editions and struggled to monetize digital editions, journalists became embroiled in a debate on how best to report the times we live in. What did it mean to be a journalist in the modern age? It was a question that challenged Majewski’s faith in her profession, as she said, “If you would have interviewed me five years ago, I would have said, ‘Do not do this. Do not do this.’ There’s no money anymore unless you’re already established.” Disillusioned with journalism but still fueled by a love for music, Majewski went on to co-author the book “Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs that Defined the 1980s” in 2014. Distinguished by the Huffington Post as one of the few books about artists from that era, Majewski said that after her book was published, she got the call to audition for SiriusXM. Majewski started her new position as a radio host in October 2016 with the launch of “Feedback,” but her new role came with a learning curve. Majewski’s career in print had trained her to be a “silent observer,” the antithesis to the boisterous and sometimes provocative image of a radio host. “I never used the word ‘I’ in a piece,” Majewski said. “I wasn’t there. You were just seeing the celebrity through my eyes.” At SiriusXM, Majewski had to learn to be opinionated, which she described as difficult at first. But just as the journalism industry evolved, so did Majewski, and she grew more comfortable inserting herself into the conversation. Majewski was, in part, motivated by the end of the 2016 presidential election and Presi-


Majewski uses her platform as a SiriusXM radio host to elevate other women in the music industry.

dent Trump’s first years in office. She spoke about attending the Women’s March in Washington D.C. and how the political moment inspired her to talk more about her opinions. “When we started our show in October of 2016, I was shocked at the lack of political discourse in music, and I talked about it a lot,” Majewski said. Majewski began to realize that her job as one of the few female radio hosts on a male-dominated channel extended beyond just talking about music. She would start talking about gender inequality more, becoming “a voice

for young women.” While she admitted she has grown into that role, she was quick to refute the notion that it had been her plan all along. “I didn’t get into this thinking that I had to be a voice for women,” Majewski said. “I got into this because I was a voice of the fan.” Despite her intentions, Majewski has brought a gendered perspective to the music industry, repeatedly calling out the lack of diversity in Grammy nominations and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees on both her radio show and Twitter. Majewski said, “There’s more to music than 12

inches of plastic,” highlighting the fact that for her, the social role of music matters just as much as the music itself. Talking about women and inequality has become such a regular part of her work on “Feedback” that Carter once accused her of having a “vagina agenda.” Majewski let out a frustrated sigh before explaining, “It’s not something that I used to have to talk about all the time. But I find since 2016 that I’m constantly having to remind people that there isn’t equality in music and there isn’t equality in the way we treat women in country music, that we don’t give them equal opportunity to be heard on the radio. “What I’ve learned in the past three years that I’ve now been on the air for SiriusXM, especially in the Trump era, is that I’ve had to step up,” she added. “That this job is about a lot more than just music.” Majewski’s platform continued to expand as SiriusXM added two more shows to her roster, “Lust for Lists” and “Fierce Women.” The busy workload has left her with less free time than she had imagined when she took the job, and being a radio host “has become more of a full-time job than I thought it would be.” While Majewski would like to write another book — this time on the late ’90s teen pop explosion — it has to be put on hold for now. Although she wishes she had more free time, she made it clear that hosting three shows is “a great problem to have” because she’s still excited about the work she does. Before starting at SiriusXM, Majewski was “really down on this business.” Now, she’s reignited that childlike wonder, still that young adult waiting outside hotels hoping to sneak in a few questions with her favorite artist. “You know how Taylor Swift writes 13 on her hand to remind herself what it’s like to be 13?” Majewski asked. “I still have a 16-year-old girl that comes to work with me every day and she’s inside me, no matter what happens.”

Student Director on Cloud Nine With ‘Cloud Tectonics’ By GRACE GETMAN Opinions Editor


Lili Gutierrez, FCLC ’23, and Pedro González, FCLC ’22, rehearse the opening scene of the play as Celestina del Sol and Aníbal de la Luna.

Sofia Ubilla, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’21, hopes her audience will “learn something from seeing a story that is seldom told” after seeing her show on Feb. 10. Ubilla, who is on the directing track within the Fordham Theatre Program, will direct a production of José Rivera’s “Cloud Tectonics,” a 1995 dreamlike play set in Los Angeles, as a part of this semester’s studio show season. The play tells the story of two tragic lovers brought together by circumstance when a man, Aníbal de la Luna, gives shelter to a pregnant hitchhiker, Celestina del Sol, who is searching for the father of her child. Ubilla said what drew her to the play was how Latinx the story is without specifically being about Latinx people. She was deeply affected by the “beauty of the writing and the story it was telling.”

“It was exactly the kind of art I wanted to be exploring and making, and I felt that it was a story that needed to be told,” Ubilla said. Rivera is a playwright who has won two Obie Awards and was the first Puerto Rican to receive an Academy Award nomination in screenwriting for the Che Guevara biopic “The Motorcycle Diaries” in 2005. To prepare for the directing process, Ubilla said she started by “reading the play a million times to make sure I understood every last detail in it. The writing is so poetic and there are so many symbols in everything the characters said that it was extremely important for me to know the play backwards and forwards.” After doing research on Los Angeles in the 1990s and finding images that matched her vision of the play, Ubilla “brought all of that into the room” with the student designers and actors in the play, and they “let the story grow

and evolve” together. Of the student designers and actors that she worked with, she gratefully explained “Everyone’s openness to discovering the world of the play created a wonderful environment for exploration in the room.” When asked about her experience managing an entirely student-produced play, she said that it was an incredible learning experience, both wonderful and challenging. She said that in her dual role as director and producer, it was all about “time management and balancing between the two hats you have on,” as she was also responsible for tickets, posters and programs for the show. When audiences enter the theater on Feb. 10, what Ubilla most wants them to carry away with them is “a beautiful Latines story that can hopefully demonstrate the power of love.” “Cloud Tectonics” will run from Feb. 10-12 in the Veronica Lally Kehoe Studio Theatre.


THE OBSERVER February 5, 2020

Arts & Culture

‘Queen of Suspense’ Mary Higgins Clark Passes Away at 92

By JILL RICE Copy Editor

Prolific author Mary Higgins Clark, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’79, passed away on Jan. 31 in Naples, Florida, at the age of 92. She authored dozens of bestselling suspense novels over a 45-year career with the publisher Simon & Schuster. Her publisher announced the news via the author’s website, stating that the “Queen of Suspense” died from “complications due to old age.” Clark wrote 46 and co-wrote another 10 best-selling novels, a number of which were adapted for television or film, including “Where Are the Children?” and “A Stranger Is Watching.” Many of her works centered around strong women who succeeded against the odds, a parallel to her own life. She was not published until after she was a widow with five children at age 48, after which all of her books became top sellers. Her career at Fordham began around the same time. While a student at Lincoln Center, she acquired her first book deal, a million-dollar contract, and also reached the New York Times bestseller list. Always wanting to connect with her readers and fellow authors, Clark went on tour for her books “until very recently ... even though she long ago could have pulled back from that part of being an author,” according to Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, who wrote the

announcement on the website. “She was, too, a generous member of the literary community, especially toward new authors, and was well known beyond the publishing world for her support of innumerable philanthropic and civic causes.”

“ She was a great writer, who entertained and terrified millions of readers around the world. And she was truly a good friend to Fordham.”

Mary Bly, English Department Chair

One such philanthropic cause was Fordham’s English department, as she endowed the Mary Higgins Clark Chair in 2016 to provide opportunities for students to meet authors and donate to Fordham. The Mary Higgins Clark Chair provides for one genre author each year to visit the school, read from one of their works, give an address, teach writing workshops and advise students one-on-one. Clark’s generosity allowed Fordham’s English and creative writing students to hear about the craft of writing from multiple bestselling authors worldwide. Clark attended each of the talks held in her namesake, signing books and giv-

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Clark established a series of author talks at Fordham in her name, which she attended to advise students on writing.

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ing advice to students on writing. Mary Bly, chair of the English department, wrote, “She was a great writer, who entertained and terrified millions of readers around the world. And she was truly a good friend to Fordham.” Clark also spoke to Bly’s Publishing: Theory and Practice course in 2014. Her experience as a long-standing name in the world of suspense novels was vital to students hoping to be published. “In the end of Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White says that it ‘is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both,’” Bly wrote. “And so was Mary Higgins Clark.” Clark was on the university’s Board of Trustees from 1990 to 1996 and earned an honorary doctorate from Fordham in 1998. Creative writing concentrator Daejah Woolery, FCLC ’22, recognized Clark’s importance to English and creative writing students. “Her influence is so ever-present in the school and in creative writing that I feel completely shocked by this,” she said, referencing Clark’s passing. Her presence will be greatly missed by the Fordham community, since she was still active at Fordham even in recent years. Bly remarked, “The bequests she gave us, allowing innovative programming as well as need-based scholarships for creative writers, will continue to make a world of difference to Fordham’s undergraduates for years and years to come.”


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Arts & Culture

February 5, 2020 THE OBSERVER


Theater Professor Awarded Prestigious Fellowship Clint Ramos, among many recipients of color, plans to use the fellowship to promote inclusivity in theater By VICKY CARMENATE Staff Writer

Clint Ramos, head of design and production within the Fordham Theatre Program, has broken barriers for people of color in the theater industry. He was the first person of color to win a Tony Award for Best Costume Design in 2016, as well as a two-time Obie award recipient in 2013 and 2019. Now, in 2020, Ramos has been recognized for his artistic achievements by the USA Fellowship award, which comes with a $50,000 grant to expand his creative work. The USA Fellowship award honors artists’ accomplishments within their fields. Fellowship awards are given to the following concentrations: Architecture and Design, Craft, Dance, Film, Media, Music, Theater and Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Arts, and Writing. Ramos won the Theater and Performance award, supported by The Doris Duke Foundation. The foundation gives out 50 awards each year, and Ramos was especially happy that this year’s were predominantly given to people of color. “It really means that they made an effort to look at that and say yes, we have to look at this and maybe pave this path for other people of color,” he said. Ramos’ goal is to use the money for the grant to explore art in a new way. “I think that what the grant allows me to do for this year is to really look at my craft. I get to take a breath and not feel the pressure to take all of the jobs that come my way,” he said. Ramos still makes an active effort to push inclusivity in his work. “It is a white-dominated


The Tony Award-winning theater designer sees education as an essential part of his creative development.

field, like most of the fields in the arts,” he said. “What’s great about it is that I can use it and branch off and really look at my practice and see how I can diversify.” Ramos attributed his absence in the spring semester of 2020 to the opportunity to costume design for the new movie “Respect,” a musical biopic about the life of Aretha Franklin. Working on “Respect” is a different experience for Ramos than his stage work. Going from theater productions to a full-scale

movie meant dressing 1,000 extras and being in charge of a full team of other creatives. Ramos also had the opportunity to set design “Slave Play,” which recently wrapped its Broadway run. Audiences of the theater are typically filled with the upper white class of New York, as ticket prices are a luxury, but audiences at this show proved more diverse. “Slave Play” showcased three interracial couples that look at history through the lens of race, love, sex and sexuality in the 21st

century. Ramos’s opinion on “Slave Play” was that it “opened up a Broadway play to a broader audience. We managed to fill those seats up with young people and women and people of color because we were able to sell the tickets at such a low price.” Though Ramos is doing noteworthy work in his field, he still feels connected to Fordham and his students. “I always say I need to teach because it naturally makes me a better artist and

practicing my art also makes me a better teacher,” he said. “I find it to be a necessity rather than something I just do.” Ramos finds that complete transparency of his work is what enables students to grow and learn within themselves. He told his students that “as an artist of color, this is how I do my work and what I put up with within the industry. Complete transparency is the only way to teach my students — I’m not going to sugarcoat my life because it wasn’t easy.” Being able to teach in New York City aids his own artistic growth and that of his students. “What’s really special about Fordham is that we are in New York City, my home, but it is also the artistic center of the Western world, and to be able to teach in that city is special,” he said. Working in New York gives Ramos the opportunity to show his students what he is doing in his field actively, which includes bringing his students on set of different projects he has participated in. Theater set design student Katie Heaton, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’23, said that working with Ramos has been a great experience. She expressed her gratitude for the opportunities and guidance he has given her. “He’s provided amazing connections for us. Getting invited to the dress rehearsal of ‘Slave Play’ was a really awesome opportunity.” Ramos gave an ode to his students, “I am missing my students this semester, but I will be back in New York in two weeks from now. I can’t wait to get back in the streets of New York to be shooting this movie.”

Patterns Converge at Butler Gallery’s ‘Fanfare’ By POLINA UZORNIKOVA Staff Writer

On Jan. 23, the daily Fordham landscape went through a rather eye-catching and colorful change. Positioned across from the escalators that lead to the indoor plaza, Ildiko Butler Gallery now proudly hosts “Fanfare,” a group exhibition curated by Amie Cunat, which will go on through March 13. “Fanfare” focuses on patterns and their relation to art as a means of content manifestation and self-expression. The first piece you notice when you walk in is Elizabeth Corkery’s. Her work doesn’t just hang on the gallery’s walls — it is the gallery’s walls. Her linear reconstruction of a decadent Victorian interior is firmly attached at the top, but hangs loosely at the bottom. The extra material on the floor calls attention to the space’s artificial quality, perhaps commenting on art’s power to create new realities by immersing its audiences, yet at the same time staying outside the borders of the real world. Then, your attention is called to Joiri Minaya’s “Proposal for artistic intervention on the Columbus Statue at Columbus circle, New York, US.” Her art piece has a special ring to Fordham students who pass by the statue almost daily. Minaya refocuses attention on the statue as a controversial piece of art, and she challenges the contemporary depiction of Western colonizers as heroes by wrapping it in tropical-patterned spandex. Students and other visitors are encouraged to respond


Eight different artists’ styles come together in a new exhibit which explores patterns’ ability to make both a social and aesthetic statement.

to Minaya’s artwork on postcards presented on a large stand next to the piece, the responses themselves a branch of her installation. From Minaya, we go on to Mary Lum’s “Monoprix 1.” Lum deconstructed the French chain store’s logo and repainted it in both horizontal and vertical layers. The vertical layers are the less obvious ones, since they are created not by visible lines, but rather by the accents of cadmium red on the Os. The painting is highly dynamic, with the letters being in a peculiar dance with each other, never quite aligning in the way that our eyes are used

to. If you like Jasper Jones’s work, you’ll probably enjoy this one. Next is Rebecca Shore’s “Untitled (17-14).” The painting draws on Medieval visual structure and creates tension through symmetry and the repetition of visual elements. A bright red ribbon twists through white hoops on top of a vaselike structure. The black almondlike shapes are reminiscent of human eyes, and create an almost ominous atmosphere, reemphasized by the ribbon which makes the structure look trapped. In “espacio vertical, tres veces, tres horas,” Beverly Acha plays with rhythm through line and

color gradients. It captivates you with the many juxtapositions it contains: straight diagonals and wave-like separators, the pink’s smooth transition into dark purple and its sharp border with ultramarine. From traditional paint-oncanvas works, you transition to Justine Hill’s abstract composition. It challenges the rectangular convention of the canvas and almost reads like a peculiar still life. Three irregularly painted shapes are positioned in conversation with each other. Two of them share a commonality of colorful geometric shape, and the other

one serves both as a bridge and a point of contrast with its blackand-white scribble-like surface. Gail Fitzgerald’s ovoidal pieces leave a particularly memorable impression. Somewhat reminiscent of Yayoi Kusama’s dotted creations, they are made from an underlying mesh structure and plaster sheets. The dots are imperfect; you can see the places where the paint has leaked. They add to the irregularity and the organic quality of the pieces, almost turning them into an extraterrestrial kind of flora. Last but not least are Karen Tepaz’s sculptures. Installed on thin steel armatures, they look like fragile flowers. Despite their obviously hard exterior, they have a perceived lightness to them, calling to mind fluffy clouds or butterflies mid-flight. Tepaz’s fairytale creations are a satisfying completion to the exhibition, leaving a trace of soft and weightless happiness, and setting you up for the day or evening ahead. Not only are the pieces full of patterns, they themselves create a larger pattern that is the whole exhibition. They demonstrate the endless possibilities that come with using patterns in your art, from making an astute social commentary to creating an atmospheric, out-of-this-world object. More importantly, they serve as an inspiration for us, the artists of Fordham, to find our own ways of incorporating patterns into our works, as well as provide a fresh view of looking at life for anyone who enters the small exhibition space.


THE OBSERVER February 5, 2020

Arts & Culture

The TikTok-Savvy Students of FLC



production. His ideas come from a variety of sources; for example, he got the idea for a recent video by hearing a clip of a Phil Collins song he liked. “I was so proud of that one,” he said, though he claimed it’s one of his “worst TikToks, performance-wise.” Kuljis has been recognized a few times around campus, and he once overheard some students watching one of his videos in

class, but he doesn’t think there’s much of a TikTok community at Fordham. There’s “no Fordham TikTok group chat,” he stated, though he finds the idea hilarious. He thinks it’s the cringe factor that’s holding such a thing back. His success has kept him active on the app, but he doesn’t feel obliged to post regularly, saying, “The last thing I want in my life is to have a sense of responsibility to my TikTok.”

Jake Kuljis did not expect to go viral on TikTok , but a video he uploaded on a whim now has 7 million views. TIKTOK from page 1

favorite breed of dog). “I honestly feel like I’m getting way too much attention,” he said while joking that his whole situation, especially being interviewed, is “awful for (his) ego.” Kuljis doesn’t exactly have a formula for his content and usually works on TikToks by himself, jury-rigging his dorm room for


In addition to gaining TikTok fame individually, Shilling and Balsamides now make videos together.

Izabella Schilling Izabella Schilling, FCLC ’23, is studying new media and digital design as well as visual arts. She started making videos with friends out of boredom and is trying to transition to vlog and outfit style videos. She thinks a main draw for her 16,200 followers is that she’s an 18-year-old in NYC, which is “everybody’s dream — that’s appealing to the majority of my audience.” A lot of her videos depict her out on the town, with the theme of one recent video being going through a whole roll of film in one night. Schilling said a lot of the comments she receives are along the lines of “I wish I had friends to go out with,” and she thinks her videos promote the idea of “teenagers living the dream” and having a “super perfect, super cool life.” She tries to balance these out with videos more focused on her just relaxing in her dorm, though those get less attention. She’s been recognized by fellow students, but she wishes there was a bit more of a TikTok community at Fordham. Schilling said that “TikTok started out as a joke” for most people, but she now believes that everyone finds it “really addicting.” She admits that she recently checked her usage for the app and averages “four to five hours” a day, though said she hopes the numbers are incorrect. “I kind of just make what I want to make, and when I’m in the mood to post, I’ll post,” Schilling said. Schilling also appreciates the way in which TikTok has allowed



Despite living on the same campus, Vienna Balsamides and Izabella Schilling ultimately met on TikTok.

her to continue dancing, albeit in a much more casual way that’s helping her transition back into more serious dance. A former competitive dancer who stopped after an injury, Schilling likes the idea that people without formal training can become a part of something bigger, even if some of the dances that become trends are pretty easy. Schilling even met her friend Vienna Balsamides, FCLC ’20, when the latter saw a video shot in the McKeon dorms featuring Schilling and left a comment. “In a way, I met one of my best Fordham friends through TikTok,” Schilling said. She thinks “it’s really bizarre” to find other acquaintances on the app because not many people are keen on talking about using it. But she also thinks that “secretly, it’s everyone’s dream to get famous on TikTok.” Vienna Balsamides Vienna Balsamides is also studying new media and digital design. Known as Vienna Skye on social media, she got her start when a friend suggested that she make a dancing video. She filmed one in Times Square, and it wound up with more than 100,000 views. Balsamides is now the biggest TikTok star on the Lincoln Center campus with

YouTube star David Dobrik personally surprised Balsamides’s dad in response to a TikTok she made about her dad’s love for Dobrik’s vlogs. 240,000 followers. “I’m a trained dancer, but when I do TikTok dances it looks like I’ve never danced before,” Balsamides said, which she attributes to the fact that dances are essentially choreographed for anyone to be able to learn. Much like Schilling, she appreci-

ates how the app has encouraged her to revisit her roots after not having not danced consistently for a while. While she still makes plenty of dance videos, Balsamides is trying to shift toward focusing more on higher-effort content like day-in-the-life vlogs — and unlike YouTubers, she has the challenge of editing them to under 60 seconds. Balsamides especially enjoys the idea of vlogging on platforms like TikTok as “a little diary that I can look back on and share with my family.” She attributes some of the success of her vlogs to the fact that a lot of people don’t really understand how to use the TikTok platform for that style of video. Balsamides thinks her major has played a role in her success of using platforms like TikTok because she enjoys getting into the “behind-the-scenes” of how the app works. She has fun applying the concepts she’s learned from her courses to her content and brand management. As far as recognition goes, she said that in her comments, “People will be like, ‘Is that Fordham?’ Or incoming students will be like, ‘How do you like the school? Lincoln Center or Rose Hill?’” Recently, YouTube star David Dobrik personally surprised Balsamides’ dad in response to a TikTok she made about her dad’s love for Dobrik’s vlogs. Her original video now has more than 10 million views — with obviously at least one being from Dobrik himself. She said, “He’s literally the most genuine person ever,” and she firmly believes the meeting couldn’t have happened through any other platform but TikTok. In spite of the reluctance of (seemingly) everybody to admit to TikTok usage, there are students who have put themselves out there. Perhaps you could band together with your friends to grow Fordham’s TikTok community, revel in the glorious cringe and use the platform to promote Fordham Lincoln Center as the TikTok-savviest school in the city.

Fun & Games Editor Esmé Bleecker-Adams - ebleeckeradams@fordham.edu

un & ames

Crossword: Dramatic Irony 1































43 47


23 25










24 26









52 57











21. Net; private Dept. of Defense network 23. site of a now-diminished Union 24. pinnacle 25. homes of birds or wasps 26. coordinate filming in a new way? 32. intangible distinctive quality 33. iconic local diner, with “the” 34. unit of weight measurement: Abbr.

1. puzzler’s directive 7. try out 11. scientific workspace 14. receptacle for a sword 15. move slightly, as when waking up 16. Tokyo, formerly 17. off ; out of whack 18. movie performance by a deity? 20. Bond, James Bond, for example

How much news could a woodchuck read if a woodchuck could read news?

37. slide, on a banana peel perhaps 38. describe comprehensively: 2 Wds. 39. unit of organization, digitally perhaps 40. the first double digit 41. having gotten up 42. privy to (a secret, maybe): 2 Wds. 43. oversee an item? 46. misbehave: 2 Wds. 49. small case, archaically 50. involuntary quivering motion 52. Thor’s dad 53. 4.0, ideally: Abbr. 56. production about a cleanser? 58. gave approval for 60. sounds of disgust 61. run away 62. scorched 63. the final quarter of a mile 64. accounted for 65. mistakes

Down 1. questions 2. son of Mrs. Potts 3. depend (on) 4. type of milk substitute 5. bad smell 6. cocktail ingredient 7. Ivan the Terrible, for example 8. “and more”: Abbr. 9. web location

Fun Facts

The February Holiday Quiz

1. What is the most commonly misspelled month?

By JILL RICE, Copy Editor

10. defeat 11. toy bricks 12. take up 13. foretells 19. liberate 22. permeate 24. at earliest convenience: Abbr. 26. speedy 27. law 28. Ellie Kemper’s character on “The Office” 29. early Mesoamerican civilization known for giant head sculptures 30. intimidated 31. baseball referee, for short 34. actor’s responsibility 35. alliance or coalition 36. put in the mail 38. knight’s title 39. archipelago whose capital is Suva 41. bad deals 43. garbage disposal area 44. practically useless 45. underground shelter 46. in a ship: 2 Wds. 47. monarch’s headpiece 48. make fun of 51. irritate 52. sign 53. type of Greek sandwich 54. type of pressure 55. combines 57. director Spike 59. river in Switzerland

•Groundhog Day this year, Feb. 2, 2020, was the first global palindrome date since 11/11/1111, and the next will be in 101 years, on 12/12/2121. •These dates are readable forward and backward in all date writing formats, MM/DD/ YYYY and DD/MM/YYYY. •Other palindromes include “race car,” “deified” and “able was I ere I saw Elba.”

3. When is Lincoln’s birthday, now celebrated with Washington’s birthday? 4. Does Feb. 17 celebrate multiple presidents (no apostrophe), or does it belong to presidents (with an apostrophe)? 5. What is the fifth Saturday of this upcoming month called? This month has five Saturdays only 13/400 years. By JILL RICE, Copy Editor

By PRISKA MOHUNSINGH, Staff Writer Though 2020 is the year of the Rat, take things one at a time. The Rat may be found overachieving and overworking in order to reach goals. Goal-oriented Rats may tend to rush the process to achievement when things are going too slow.

Ox (born in 1985, 1997, 2009)

Ox, you may get lonely at times, but you don’t mind. This month, you will find comfort as you surround yourself with a person or passion that awakens you. Your calm routine remains, but you will discover new interests as you continue to learn more about yourself.

Tiger (born in 1986, 1998, 2010)

Tiger, you can get a bit aggressive with what you want because you feel the need to have power over your situations and the people in your life. This month, you will have to choose between your passion for control and your passion for freedom as situations arise.


What’s your campus hangout spot? Do you like nature?

no yes

Rabbit (born in 1987, 1999, 2011)


yes Are you a fan of road trips?


Rose Hill




Rabbit, your overall sensitivity to situations will keep you overthinking if you do not learn to let go of trivial matters. Though you keep out of a fight, you let stress eat away at your time and your mind. This month, it is better to be aware of negative emotions than to let them slide.

Would you consider yourself a patron of the arts?

Did you know that LC has an art gallery?

Do you REALLY like nature?

Picnic on the Plaza

Dragon (born in 1988, 2000, 2012)

Do you like tea?

Are you a couch potato?

no Ram Café Atrium

yes Visit the Art Gallery

Dorm Movie Night

Assertive yet impulsive, a Dragon is perhaps the most adventurous of the signs. You keep your cool, responsible personality for professional situations, but you have an adventurous and impulsive side when you are with your friends or family. This month is all about self-awareness.


no yes Fordham Theatre Production

Argo Tea

no Student Lounge

Help the groundhog find a carrot.

Horoscopes Happy Lunar New Year! Rat (born in 1984, 1996, 2008)

2. Which day celebrates Punxsutawney Phil?

February 5, 2020 THE OBSERVER

Snake (born in 1989, 2001, 2013)

Slow and steady wins the race; that’s the mantra for the Snake today. Snake, this month you will be venturing into something fresh and new. Feel free to set boundaries when it comes to socializing. Make sure you allocate time for yourself in the midst of a chaotic month.

Horse (born in 1990, 2002, 2014)

The old saying “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” explains the nature of a Horse. Horses will only do what they set their mind to and not what others expect of them. You can challenge yourself this month and fight for what you desire and deserve.

Sheep/Goat (born in1991, 2003, 2015)

Oh, Sheep. The most important quality of the Sheep (or goat) has been missing for the past few days, or perhaps weeks. Although your life may be going unplanned at times, allow yourself to get a little emotional rather than practical when approaching your heart this month.

Monkey (born in 1992, 2004, 2016) Though you may find yourself going bananas as you search for an emotional niche, allow yourself to open up to new people this month and leap from one branch to another. See what’s out there before settling for a goal or group of friends.

Rooster (born in 1993, 2005, 2017)

This month, you, the outgoing, flamboyant Rooster, will find yourself stealing attention with your achievements or meaningful conversations with others. You know exactly how to communicate, but find the line between being a people-pleaser and having a good time.

Dog (born in 1994, 2006, 2018)

Dogs will see their alertness and passion for justice come to use this month as their worrisome nature doesn’t allow them to take a break. Be aware of your actions and temper this month as it may break relationships if you are not careful and calm when discussing.

Pig (born in 1995, 2007, 2019)

Pigs are honest and kind by nature. This month is all about enjoying what you do and making sure that you retain your integrity throughout every obstacle you face. Your generosity will show directly in your actions this month. GRAPHICS BY ESMÉ BLEECKER-ADAMS AND GRACE GETMAN

Features Editors Samantha Matthews - smatthews16@fordham.edu Nicole Perkins - nperkins2@fordham.edu


February 5, 2020 THE OBSERVER

Fighting the Climate Crisis: One Alumna on the Front Lines By MARY ALTER Contributing Writer

On Dec. 6, 2019, hundreds of young people gathered outside of City Hall for the Fridays for Future Youth Climate Strike. The crowd huddled close to the makeshift stage on the Triumph of the Human Spirit Statue at Foley Square as representatives from different climate activism organizations gave speeches demanding immediate change. Volunteering for the organization Zero Hour, a youth-run climate movement that played a pivotal role in organizing the youth climate strike, was Ludovica Martella, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’15. The energy of the crowd was fiery as Martella began to speak about the fossil fuel industry and the problems it creates for the environment. In addition, she brought light to humanitarian links such as domestic violence and the suffering of indigenous peoples, communities of color and immigrant populations. However, on top of demanding change in the fossil fuel industry, Martella also demanded hope. Hope for a brighter future, that this problem can be solved and that the generation of youth just reaching voting age will use their voice to implement the change. One part of the problem that Martella stressed was the impact that the climate crisis has on indigenous communities. “Remember the term ‘green grabbing.’ Major corporations are using the term ‘green’ but are actually taking land from local people in order to produce clean energy for the 1% worldwide,” Martella said. To Martella, this is one of the most important and underrepresented facets of the climate crisis.

As part of her graduate education at The New School, completing a Master of Arts in International Affairs in 2018, Martella’s research focused on climate governance and minority rights, connecting the dots between issues of socioeconomic disparity and climate. Now, as a part of LensCrafters consumer insights team that works towards sustainability, she is working toward a post-graduate certificate in sustainable strategies focusing on indigenous ecologies. Before her work with Zero Hour and her time as an undergraduate at Fordham, Martella grew up in a suburb of Rome until she moved to Manhattan when she was 13. It was here that she first became concerned with the natural world. “I appreciated being connected to nature, especially living in a city that was more like a town,” she said. After a year at Manhattanville College as a recipient of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship as an environmental science major, she transferred to FCLC for journalism, where she started to understand the fundamental connection between the climate problem and things like poverty, hunger, and racial and gender injustice. At Fordham, Martella was an Arts & Culture Editor at The Fordham Observer, where she focused her stories on art that talked about social issues, including the climate whenever possible. After graduating, Martella got an internship at the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) producing a documentary for PBS called “Great Decisions.” This was a series of nine short episodic documentaries, one of which was on the topic of climate change. Martella found direction through research for this project and getting the opportunity to talk to climate change professionals.

By interviewing experts such as Ernest Moniz, former U.S. secretary of energy; and James Hansen, the first scientist who brought the issue of climate change to the U.S. Congress, her awareness and need to participate in the climate issue heightened severely. Martella worked at the U.N. Development Program as an academic consultant on a project called Smart Cities, researching reinventing cities in a way that’s more sustainable. There, Martella developed a case study for indigenous housing structures. Before her involvement in the project, “The U.N. was focusing their discussions on big tech companies as pioneers of ‘smart cities.’” In fact, she convinced the U.N. that the clear path to mitigating the climate crisis was looking to indigenous peoples; they are now implementing her advice. “We live in a capitalist system, and we profit from the destruction of the environment,” Martella said. “It’s an ugly truth that we should all be aware of.” Martella doesn’t feel as though it is hopeless, however, and stresses that in the past few years she’s seen grassroots organizations and indigenous ecologies begin to take this more seriously. What does she suggest is the first step to take to make it work? Give indigenous people their rights and their land, and learn from their knowledge and resources to combat the issue at hand. She volunteers with organizations such as 350.org as well as an adult mentor at Zero Hour NYC, the organization that partnered with Greta Thunberg for the U.N. Youth Summit in September 2019. The major takeaway from her speech is that there is no place in this crisis for us to lose hope. “The Global Climate Strike and joining Zero Hour really helped


Martella constantly fights for an eco-friendly future as a climate activist.

me to have hope over finding a solution to climate change and finding a community to work with,” she said. Standing there on that windy day in early December, Martella inspired a large number of young people to help the climate crisis in any way possible, and brought awareness to indigenous issues surrounding the crisis that are too often forgotten. She continues to lead at the forefront of the issue, but this is only the beginning. Martella emphasized how important it is to familiarize oneself with environmental injustice hap-

pening locally. She declared, “You can be an artist and help out an organization to create banners for their climate march, you can be a poet and make spoken word events about the climate issue. Everyone has a part.” If you are interested in finding your part and continuing that hope that Martella continuously calls for throughout her activism, there is another Climate Strike scheduled for Earth Day in New York City. Dozens of organizations will be focusing on all aspects of community within the climate crisis.

Jumping Into the Jesuit Tradition at Fordham

By SAM ELBEDEIWY Contributing Writer

From orientation to graduation, “being men and women for others” and “cura personalis” are two Jesuit phrases that are drilled into every Fordham student’s head from the moment they enter the school’s gates. Whether you strive to embody these values or not, they form the foundation

of Jesuit philosophy upon which Fordham was founded. Aside from emphasizing “care for the entire person,” what do these Jesuit values really mean in the greater context of Fordham University ... and how exactly are Jesuit values enforced beyond just cura personalis? Is every Fordham student a Jesuit? The Society of Jesus, also known as “God’s Marines” or

more colloquially as the Jesuits, was founded in 1534 by the ex-military priest St. Ignatius of Loyola. Under his vision, the Jesuits became a Roman Catholic order of priests driven by spirituality and reflection to ultimately “find God in all things.” A philosophy was ultimately spread to three different continents by means of founding 74 colleges built on ethics, leadership and


These values are not just far-off embodiments of the Jesuit mission, but concepts that constantly impact Fordham.

community service. Fast forward approximately 300 years, and Fordham University (initially called St. John’s College) was constructed and opened in 1841 by Bishop John Hughes. A lot has changed — like the impressive growth from the six students in 1841 to the 16,000 that wander Fordham’s halls today and the construction of the Lincoln Center campus — in the place that we now call our home. That being said, being a Fordham Ram doesn’t make you a Jesuit. Rather, the Jesuit Order is a group of over 16,000 priests, brothers and scholastics who are dedicated to the “greater glory of God.” By dedicating themselves to poverty, chastity and obedience — both to God and to the worldwide mission — the Jesuit title is a highly impressive designation within the Catholic domain. The United States is home to only 3,000 Jesuits, and Fordham itself has around 30 Jesuits among its campuses. As one of 27 Jesuit universities in the United States, Fordham is a frontrunner in Jesuit education. Fordham plays an important role in integrating Jesuit ideals into a collegiate environment. Built upon the foundation of the Society of Jesus, it starts to become clear as to how Fordham embodies Jesuit ideals every day. In addition to Fordham’s logo sporting the “IHS” symbol — the Greek abbreviation of the name Jesus — the Jesuits are responsi-

ble for creating a safe space for expressing curiosity that urges a push beyond the “self” through service, contemplation and experiencing New York City. Mia Colanero, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’22, grew up attending various Catholic schools. Colanero said that many of her “super Catholic” teachers thought that the Jesuits “were not real Catholics” because of their more accepting outlook on certain points of controversy within the church. When she found Fordham, she was relieved to be at a place that was not so “high and mighty, and more about serving people.” To Colanero, “the Jesuit order is the most Catholic; I think this is how it should be.” “I think the values of the Jesuits are super honorable. Service is insanely important no matter what your religious beliefs are. To me, the Jesuits are based around loving and serving others and that’s something that I also try to base myself on.” In that sense, Jesuit values like “being men and women for others” and “cura personalis” don’t necessarily define Fordham, but they underpin the incredibly diverse, self-explorative, boundary-pushing experience that describes every Fordham student’s journey from orientation to graduation. Classes like Eloquentia Perfecta are more than a dull English lesson but an immersion in the graceful art of rhetoric.



February 5, 2020 THE OBSERVER

From LC to Law School By SAMANTHA MATTHEWS Features Editor

Melissa Aziz, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’17, is now in her third and final year at Fordham University School of Law. In May, she will depart Fordham, the place she has called her second home for the past seven years. Now, she hopes to help students looking to follow in her footsteps. When Aziz attended FCLC three years ago, she was a political science major on a pre-law track. Although she admitted the pre-law track was not as extensive as it is currently, she tried to take advantage of law-related classes in the political science department. The first year of law school is notoriously difficult. Aziz even took a prep class to prepare for what was to come. Despite her proactive approach, “Nothing can prepare you for that year,” she said. Most, if not all, of the first-year curriculum is mandatory, meaning there are foundational classes such as legal writing and research and constitutional law that you cannot defer from. Deciding to further her education at Fordham, Aziz entered law school in familiar territory; she even had a work study position in the law alumni office building as an undergraduate. However, being introduced to new faces after being surrounded by friends for four years was one of the biggest changes for Aziz. She was also enrolled in classes of 100 instead of 30 where cold-calling was introduced. She got through her first year and went into a summer internship that she kept in her second year of law school. With the new freedom to choose her own classes, Aziz began exploring different areas of law, taking classes in fashion law, refugee law and policy, which was similar to a class in immigration law she took as an undergraduate.

Once you go to law school, your life is going to change regardless of what you think is going to happen.

Melissa Aziz, Fordham School of Law ‘20

Throughout her junior year she took classes in intellectual property and worked in the Fordham Law Clinic — which Aziz credited as her most rewarding experience in her time at law school. Fordham has 18 different clinics where practicing supervising attorneys work with law students who have applied to do pro-bono work to solve real problems for individuals. Aziz said, “I got to have real clients. So that was awesome, being trusted to interact with them and because usually in a law firm, you’ll never interact with the clients until you’re many years into working there.” She also said that it’s much more expedited than any internship because you get whole caseloads with heightened responsibility in which you are in charge of the fate of the clients’ problems. When asked what advice Aziz would give to her younger self, she said, “Enjoy every possible moment, because sometimes I just wanted to grow up faster because I knew I wanted to practice law. Once you go to law school, your life is going to change regardless of what you think is going to happen — it’s going to take over your life and then that’s going to be your life as a lawyer.”


New Business Club Enters the Market

By KATRINA MANANSALA Contributing Writer

Akshath Umesh, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC) ’23, and Sandy Cheng, GSBLC ’22, are hoping to start a new club at Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) this semester: Private Equity Venture Capital Club (PEVCC). The goal of this club, according to Umesh, the club’s venture capital (VC) president and co-founder, will be to “help more undergrads network with and learn more about the people who work in the private equity (PE) and VC industry.” He had noticed the lack of a club at FLC that focused specifically on PE and VC for undergrads and wanted to open the opportunity to the undergraduate school. The club also hopes to increase student understanding of business and investing outside of the classroom experience. For those who may be unfamiliar with VC projects, Umesh described it as “the process of investing in new ideas and companies to allow them to grow in scale. (It’s) a kind of fund that invests in start-up or early-stage businesses.” The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), which is the voice of U.S. venture capital and advocates for supportive public policy for American entrepreneurship, wrote that “venture capital supports new ideas that could not be financed with traditional bank financing, threaten established

products and services in a corporation or industry, and typically require five to eight years to reach maturity.” On the other hand, “private equity is about investing in private companies,” said club co-president Xipu Li, GSBLC ’22. “Public companies are traded on the stock exchange like Apple, Amazon — companies anyone can invest in by buying shares. Private companies are not available for public investors (i.e. you and me).” The American Investment Council explains private equity as an industry that “grows businesses, supports local jobs and improves communities” by investing in “companies that are perceived to have growth potential.” Private equity may sound like venture capital, and in a way it is. One way to think of it is private equity focuses more on already established businesses that are trying to expand into something bigger, while venture capital is more about getting the idea and its thinkers off the ground. PEVCC is currently pending approval, but club leaders look forward to creating an environment where students can expect to learn more about PE and VC concepts through events such as panels, case competitions, workshops. They also plan to host events with professionals of private equity and venture capital, as well as with Fordham’s Graduate School, PE/ VC club to help students develop a network of peers and profession-


The PEVCC leaders hope to create a club that offers students opportunities in private business investment.

als involved in the industry, and they hope that all undergraduates, “from the PE/VC pros, to the student who has no clue what they want to do in the future,” will feel welcome. Li said, “Currently at (FLC), finance-related clubs are too focused on investment banking and public equities. We think that educating undergraduates about PE and VC will help them understand the job market better so that they won’t be just applying for jobs because of the prestige.” While

PE and VC may not be important to the typical person going about their day, funds from these firms can help starting businesses develop into corporations that not only create and support more jobs for working-class Americans, but that also boost the nation’s economy. Although the terms can seem abstract, clubs like PEVCC can help students pursue their interests out of the classroom setting and educate the Fordham community as a whole on the private investment side of business.

Reaping the Rewards of Studying Abroad at Home By EMMA SEIWELL Asst. Features Editor

Regardless of its impermanence, it can be hard coming to terms with a semester abroad ending. Returning home can feel like an abrupt disconnect from the people you met, your host country’s cultural idiosyncrasies and the general lifestyle you adopted while abroad. However, the conclusion to your experience doesn’t have to be as definite as it might initially seem. There are many ways to integrate the positive aspects of your life abroad alongside those at home, especially in New York. As someone who just returned from a semester in Rome, I talk regularly with my Italian roommate. While in Italy, I had the chance to meet her family, including her nephew. He is learning English and I’m learning Italian, so we’ve made plans to send each other postcards. Celia Patterson, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’21,

who studied at Sogang University in Korea this past fall, said, “I’m trying to stay connected to Korea and my experience there by staying in touch with friends that I made there and finding my favorite Korean foods in New York.” With thousands of restaurants in NYC, there are surely some serving the traditional fare of your host country. Or consider cooking a favorite recipe you found while abroad to share a piece of your experience with friends or family. If you’re interested in maintaining your language skills, there are plenty of older establishments in NYC where owners and staff speak foreign languages. Visiting some of these places is a great chance to continue speaking in your language of study with others. There are also dozens of arthouse theaters throughout the city that show foreign films. Bessie Rubinstein, FCLC ’20, studied at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the spring of

2019. She said, “Prague fit my sensibilities so well, almost too well. I miss it all the time — I pine for the strangeness of their cinema, the cold, grey rivers and the massive, sculpted babies patiently climbing up the Žižkov Television Tower. Watching my favorite Czech films curbs the pining.” Rin Kuemerle, FCLC ’21, studied at the University of Pretoria through Fordham’s Ubuntu Program. She maintains a connection to South Africa by staying up to date on their politics online. She said, “When I was there in the spring of 2019, I witnessed the reelection of Cyril Ramaphosa, so I’ve been curious to see how that plays out for the country as it continues to strengthen economically.” She added that she regularly sees the group of Fordham students with whom she went abroad. They continue having conversations about social justice in South Africa at home. A continued connection with one’s host country can also manifest itself in more abstract ways.

Often referred to as reverse culture shock, the inclination to reconsider one’s values, priorities and overall perceptions of the United States is natural when returning home. Lareina Sun, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center ’21, studied at Paris College of Art this past semester. “I really appreciated the Parisian lifestyle where people would just take an entire afternoon to sip on coffee or have a picnic along the river and just have hours long conversations with their friends,” she said. “I never really got to do that in New York since everything moves so fast and people schedule their days by minutes. After Paris, I realized that life cannot be planned or rushed, and I’ve therefore learned to just go with the flow and let things happen to me.” Your experience doesn’t have to end the moment you get on the plane home. Embracing favored aspects of your life abroad at home allows a continued connection that furthers the personal growth you gain overall.

Finding your favorite food products from your host country is a great way to stay connected from thousands of miles away.


Sports & Health

Sports & Health Editors Patrick Moquin - pmoquin@fordham.edu Lena Weidenbruch - lweidenbruch@fordham.edu February 5, 2020


Should You Be Wearing a Face Mask This Flu Season? UHS director warns against student panic in wake of the coronavirus

By LUKE OSBORN Sports and Health Editor Emeritus

During flu season, and especially after the increased media attention of the coronavirus in China, it’s common to see individuals wearing surgical masks in public settings. It may seem that doing so will prevent the spread of these illnesses, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t recommend that individuals without symptoms should wear a face mask. Nevertheless, you may see individuals at Fordham and in the city wearing face masks. An email to Fordham students from Public Safety and University Health Services (UHS) Director Maureen Keown that addressed the coronavirus stated, “Please be aware that the wearing surgical or face masks in public spaces does not indicate the person in question is ill or infected with the coronavirus (or any other illness). Many people, including those of Asian backgrounds, wear these masks as a precaution against themselves getting ill.” In response to new anxieties affecting certain groups, the CDC stated, “Do not show prejudice to people of Asian descent, because of fear of this new virus. Do not assume that someone of Asian descent is more likely to have 2019-nCoV.” Keown upholds the CDC’s recommendation on face masks. “No,” Keown said, “facemasks are not recommended for asymptomatic people to prevent

the flu.” The World Health Organization (WHO) further emphasized, “Wearing a medical mask can help limit the spread of some respiratory disease. However, using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections and should be combined with other prevention measures including hand and respiratory hygiene and avoiding close contact.” Respiratory infections, like the seasonal flu virus, can infect individuals via exposure to germs from coughs or sneezes of infected people. For this reason, the CDC recommends that infected patients wear face masks to reduce the number of saliva or mucus droplets they expel when they are around healthy individuals. Much of the essential information needed to stop the spread of the coronavirus is still unknown. The lack of information can fuel anxiety and misinformation about the novel virus. There is currently no specific antiviral treatment for the coronavirus and there is no vaccine to prevent infection. Researchers are still working on these measures, but the good news is that they are also able to grow the coronavirus in the lab, which will expedite these processes. “I think being concerned about your health and potential illnesses such as flu or coronavirus is normal, but it is not good to panic,” Keown said on Jan. 29. “We are working closely with the Department of Health and are following their recommendations closely. There are no un-


Face masks have become commonplace in a community fearful of the spread of the coronavirus.

confirmed, or confirmed, cases of coronavirus here at Fordham.” Other precautions students can take to protect themselves from the flu and the coronavirus if more cases arise in the United States, is to “avoid touching your face, nose, mouth and eyes,” according to Keown. Containing your sneezes and coughs by using tissues or paper

towels is another way to prevent spreading infectious particles. Even cleaning surfaces in common spaces with disinfectant wipes will prevent infection. Most importantly, keeping up a consistent hand washing regimen with soap and water will also help. The most up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus

will come from the CDC, United States Department of Health and WHO. These are the organizations with the necessary infrastructure to monitor the spread of the virus. While researchers work on characterizing how the virus spreads and possible treatment options, these sources will provide this information as it becomes available.

Inside the Mind of a Fordham Food Blogger


Have you ever been mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, past the ads and the travel posts and the birthday shoutouts, only to stop suddenly when you see a picture of a meal that looks so mouth-wateringly delicious that you feel your stomach growl? In recent years, you may have noticed your feed flooded with picturesque eats: rainbow bagels, runny egg yolks, colorful pizzas and, of course, avocado toast.

Food accounts on social media have been rising in popularity for good reason: Nothing beats a beautifully laid-out meal, even if you can only feast with your eyes. I recently sat down with Tessa Burns, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’23, who runs the health-food Instagram account @therawalmond, to ask a few questions about what it takes to maintain a food blog. Q: How long have you had your account? Why did you decide to make it? A: I made my food account the


Tessa Burns, FCLC ’23, uses her Instagram account, @therawalmond, to show that it’s not hard to be healthy.

Pictured are some examples of tasty treats from Burns’ Instagram page.

summer before my sophomore year of high school. I realized that I was just putting a lot of bad stuff into my body, so the account was a way to make myself healthier. Q: Do you have a food philosophy? A: I believe in everything in moderation. Also, I believe it’s unhealthy to restrict your diet. Q: What goes into making a post for your account? A: If I’m going grocery shopping or trying out a new restaurant or recipe, I know that I’ll post about it later, but that’s about as planned as it gets. Some days, I know I want to make at least one pretty meal so I can post it. I never really write out my captions or anything, so a lot is spur of the moment. Q: What are your goals for your account? Is it just a hobby or would you like to take it further in the future? A: My account is mostly for fun and to show people our age that it’s not hard to be healthy, and

that healthy food can be delicious too. I wanted to be a nutritionist for a while, and that’s definitely still on the table. Q: What type of content do you post? Is it strictly limited to food or other things too? A: It’s mostly food, but I also post about workouts, fitness and other general health-related topics. If I come across a quote that’s meaningful to me, I’ll post that, too. Q: How has going to college and living in McKeon Hall impacted how you run your account? A: I really struggled adjusting at first without a kitchen, but I bought my own pots and pans and started utilizing the upstairs community kitchen to meal prep. It’s also super fun to be in the city where there are so many health restaurants. Q: Do you have any favorite food bloggers who inspire your account? A: Yes! @shutthekaleup,

@rachlmansfield and @rachaelsgoodeats are some of my favorites. Q: Do you have any favorite foods to eat/photograph? A: Nut butter! I love baking, so anything like that. Also, Hu chocolate, hummus and Lesser Evil popcorn. Q: Favorite spots around the city? A: So many! Juice Press, Butcher’s Daughter, Hu Kitchen, Two Hands Cafe, Butler Bakeshop, Honeybrains, by CHLOE and, of course, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Q: Lastly, what’s your favorite part about running your account? A: The community. I love meeting people who are also passionate about living healthy. It’s great to connect with other like-minded people who share the same values as you. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.



February 5, 2020



Fordham Fights in Vain in Loss to No. 7 Dayton, 70-56 By PATRICK MOQUIN Sports and Health Editor

Men’s Basketball Feb. 1, 2020





What did the 1-7 Fordham Rams, winless on the road and missing three starting players, want to achieve against Dayton University, ranked seventh in the country with an 18-2 overall record? The goal was certainly not to win, but to survive, to play the full 40 minutes without suffering further injuries to the team’s players or pride. In this regard, they succeeded, losing 70-56 in routine fashion to a vastly superior opponent. They weren’t embarrassed. Going into the game, the Rams more closely resembled sacrificial lambs. In addition to two straight losses against Saint Louis and Saint Bonaventure, they were also missing three key players. Chuba Ohams, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21; Erten Gazi, FCRH ’20; and Onyi Eyisi, FCRH ’22, have seen significant playing time all season, but none of them were available for the matchup against the Flyers. Considering all of this, predicting the margin of defeat became

more important than choosing the victor. In a game where they had no chance, Fordham gave an honest effort. Throughout the 40-minute game, the Rams led for 18 seconds, a small feat many didn’t anticipate. A two-point jumper from Joel Soriano, FCRH ’23, was the first score of the game and put Fordham ahead, 2-0. Dayton responded on the next play with an assertive dunk from forward Obi Toppin, Dayton ’21. It was the last time the score was tied. By the end of the first half, Dayton had taken a commanding lead, 36-17. The Rams went back to the locker room down 19 points to one of the top 10 teams in the country in front of more than 13,000 fans. The game had effectively already ended. The first five minutes of the second half went by uneventfully, with the two teams trading scores and Dayton pulling further ahead, 47-25. Then, with 15 minutes left to play, a surprising, perhaps even touching, turn of events transpired — Fordham showed some life. It began with a three-pointer from Ty Perry, FCRH ’22. On Dayton’s next possession, they missed, and a miscommunication in transition led to a Fordham fast break. Jalen Cobb, FCRH ’22, pulled up from beyond the arc and sank another three-pointer. Dayton’s attempt at a response ended in another missed shot and the ball went the other way, end-

ing up in Perry’s hands. He scored again, his second three-pointer within a 90-second time frame. The nine unanswered points were little more than a wake-up call for Dayton, who still led by 13 and scored on their next three possessions. Still, it was finally a response from Fordham, some small sign they wouldn’t go quietly. For the first time that day, the packed Dayton gym seemed a little emptier, if only for two minutes. The Rams continued to fight throughout the half, and actually outscored the Flyers in those final 20 minutes, 39-34. Still, they only managed to get as close to 12 points away from Dayton in what would eventually result in a 14-point defeat, 70-56. Cobb led the offense with an impressive performance, playing 35 minutes and scoring 22 points. The team’s offense as a whole played a stellar second half, shooting 54% from the field and 64% from beyond the three-point line. A dismal first half doomed the Rams from the start, but they managed to contend with a very impressive opponent to the final buzzer. Even if it was expected, a 14-point loss can only mean so much. This is little more than a glimmer of hope for Fordham, now 1-8 in the Atlantic 10 Conference as Dayton improves to 9-0. But in a season well past the point of collapse, a brief glimmer is a welcome change.

Figure Skating: For More Than Just the Pros By JILL RICE Copy Editor

If you’ve lived in a relatively cold place or seen the Winter Olympics on TV, you probably know at least a little bit about ice skating. Skating, even if you’re just propelling yourself around the ice and trying not to fall down, is a highly athletic sport that requires participants to keep their balance, use their core strength while walking on skates, exercise different leg muscles, and more. Figure skating is a form of both entertainment and exercise for many people. One of the most popular sports to watch during the Winter Olympics is figure skating because of its elegance and athleticism. Skating requires the athletic ability of hockey and a dancer’s grace. Although many of the moves seem impossible and defy physics, the beginnings of them can be accomplished with practice and hard work. Of course, in order to perform at the level of world champions, skaters must also practice like world champions. I’m not saying that I practice like a world champion, and I don’t suggest you should either, unless you want to spend twice as much time per week skating as you would at an internship or parttime job. For most skaters, the sport is a fun way to exercise and maybe compete to win regional medals. I personally have been skating for 10 years and competed regionally for five. It was a great way to make friends and participate in athletics. I was on a synchronized skating team, which is similar to synchronized swimming, or like ice dance, but with eight times the people. You likely haven’t heard of it because it is not yet in the Olympics, mostly for reasons pertaining to finances and equity. Synchronized skating can look easy, since skaters don’t do many of the impressive spins or jumps

Josh Colon, FCRH ’21, runs the offense at guard in front of more than 13,000 Dayton fans.


Joel Soriano, FCRH ’23, looks to score against an elite Dayton defense.

Upcoming Sports Events Feb. 5

Women’s Basketball vs. Rhode Island, Bronx, N.Y., 11 a.m.

Feb. 7

Men’s Swim at NYU Winter Invite New York, N.Y., 10 a.m. Women’s Swim at NYU Winter Invite New York, N.Y., 10 a.m. Softball vs. UMass Lowell at Houston Invitational Houston, Texas, 2 p.m. Women’s Tennis vs. Stony Brook University West Point, N.Y., 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 8


Jill Rice, FCLC ’22, practices a backspin at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers.

seen in singles or pairs competitions, but the skaters are required to perfectly match 15 other people while also paying attention to their location on the ice and their timing with the music. In addition to on-ice practice with the team at least once a week, skaters will practice alone multiple days a week, and many take fitness classes or dance classes to supplement their skating. Although I do not skate on a team while I’m at Fordham, I do skate a few times a week to practice and exercise. I’ve found a place at Chelsea Piers, and I also go to Bryant Park in the wintertime. It may seem like Christmas is over, but it’s still cold out, and you can skate at Bryant Park for free if you bring your own skates, or for $18 for all-day skate rental. You can also skate at Central Park or Rockefeller Center, but Bryant Park is by far the friendliest for a student’s budget. The Rink at Bryant Park is open during the day through March 1, and it opens again in November. My advice to new skaters is always to bend your knees, especially if you feel like you’re go-

ing to fall. The first thing I ever learned how to do was to fall down and get up, a necessary skill when that’s all beginner skaters seem to do. The next steps, quite literally, are to march and glide, working on being comfortable on skates and keeping your balance. Swizzles are usually the next move to learn, and you perform them by putting your heels together and then making a circle to bring your toes together, then repeat the process — my first skating coach told me to make a swizzle around a pizza under my feet. Both feet stay on the ice the whole time. Swizzles use inner thigh muscles that aren’t used in walking, and even the highest-level skaters warm up with them because they can (eventually) create a lot of power. Next time you’re contemplating another freezing cold jog through Central Park, think about taking the D train to 42nd Street-Bryant Park and exercising by learning a new sport. Skating has given me a unique way to work out at one of the “coolest places on earth.”

Men’s Swim at NYU Winter Invite New York, N.Y., 10 a.m. Women’s Swim at NYU Winter Invite New York, N.Y., 10 a.m. Men’s Track at Millrose Games New York, N.Y., 11:30 a.m. Women’s Track at Millrose Games New York, N.Y., 11:30 a.m. Women’s Basketball at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mass., 1 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. University of Richmond Bronx, N.Y., 2 p.m. Softball vs. Valparaiso Houston Invitational Houston, Texas, 3 p.m. Softball at Houston Invitational, Houston, Texas, 8 p.m.

Feb. 9

Women’s Tennis at Army West Point, N.Y., 9 a.m. Softball vs. Northwestern State Houston Invitational Houston, Texas, 12:30 p.m. Men’s Tennis at University of Connecticut Storrs, Conn., 1 p.m.

Feb. 11

Men’s Basketball at Davidson College Davidson, N.C., 7 p.m.

Feb. 12

Women’s Tennis at Temple University Philadelphia, Pa., 11:15 a.m.

Feb. 13

Women’s Basketball vs. Davidson Bronx, N.Y., 7 p.m.

Feb. 14

Men’s Track at FasTrack Invitational Staten Island, N.Y., 2 p.m. Women’s Track at FasTrack Invitational Staten Island, N.Y., 2 p.m. Men’s Track at David Hemery Valentine Invitational Boston, Mass., 2 p.m. Women’s Track at David Hemery Valentine Invitational Boston, Mass., 2 p.m. Softball vs. California Fresno State Kick-Off Classic Fresno, Calif., 5:30 p.m. Baseball at Florida International Miami, Fla., 7 p.m. Softball at Fresno State KickOff Classic Fresno, Calif., 10:30 p.m.

Feb. 15

Men’s Track at David Hemery Valentine Invitational Boston, Mass., 2 p.m. Women’s Track at David Hemery Valentine Invitational Boston, Mass., 2 p.m. Softball vs Cal Poly Fresno State Kick-Off Classic Fresno, Calif., 2:30 p.m. Baseball at Florida International Miami, Fla., 6 p.m. Softball at Fresno State Fresno State Kick-Off Classic Fresno, Calif., 8 p.m.

Feb. 16

Women’s Tennis vs. Marshall University Bronx, N.Y., 10 p.m. Softball vs. Saint Mary’s Fresno State Kick-Off Classic Fresno, Calif., 12 p.m. Miami at Florida International Miami, Fla., 12 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. Duquesne University Bronx, N.Y., 2 p.m. Women’s Basketball at Richmond, Richmond, Va., 2 p.m.

Profile for Fordham Observer

Issue 2 Spring 2020  

Issue 2 Spring 2020