January 23, 2013
Library Hours Hinder Studying
Giving a Chance to All
Get It Together, Fordham
In a perfect world, everything we encounter would be instantly pleasing to us. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and not everything strikes us immediately as enjoyable. This does not mean we cannot strive to make our reality as utopian as possible, though. Just because something does not make you jump for joy at first, it does not mean it has no chance to change you for the better or alter a component of your life. This concept became very real to me as I began to choose classes for the spring 2013 semester. As a freshman, this was my first time experiencing the immense joy one feels when making a college schedule. Of course, I chose the classes that helped me to fulfill the requirements, those which seemed interesting to me, etc. But, there existed the very high possibility that I would get classes I would not have selected under ideal circumstances. Although in the end I was fortunate enough to be placed in my desired classes, the mentality with which I entered registration helped my morale. I decided I would give every class, even the undesired ones, a chance. How would anyone truly know that he or she dislikes a class before even giving it a chance to manifest its possibilities? Approximately ten years ago, I followed this very same notion of giving things a chance to reach full potential. My long-time nickname was given to me by some old friends of mine. Despite popular belief, I was not named after Henry Winkler’s character on Happy Days, Arthur Fonzarelli — although being associated with a character known for his infinite “coolness” is not a bad thing. After a few weeks of being called “Alfonso,” which was later shortened to “Fonzi,” the name did not meet my fancy.; nevertheless, I gave it a chance. I cannot imagine my life without the nickname. The amount of great friends that have approached me because of the nickname is incredible, and the name was responsible for many great memories. If I asked my friends to scratch the nickname before it had a chance to grow on me, it would not have affected so many aspects of my life. Giving someone or something a chance is immensely important. On paper, a class may seem lame, boring or demanding, but then again, it is exactly that — on paper. Viewing something like that takes away the human element of the class. Also, as many Fordham classes are focused on the liberal arts, chances are that a class will be enlightening and influential. For this reason, it is best to take chances. If one truly despises a class, the solution simply involves using one’s judgment. Giving something a chance is very different from being miserable and passive. One can only know that the class is not a right fit after giving it a fair shot. This principle holds true in politics, relationships, friendships and many other things in addition to academia. It can show us a new way of giving value to something and it is a most valuable lesson to learn.
It’s a new year and, as always, everyone is setting freshly unattainable goals for themselves. If you insist on resolutions, here are some suggestions for slightly more feasible intentions: 1. Make a new friend. After freshman year, it can be tough to venture beyond the clique. Join a new club, or start volunteering (Fordham now offers a “Sandy Saturday” program to help clean up storm damage, which I highly recommend). You never know what you might get out of a little change. 2. Say hello to security guards, cafeteria workers, Fordham employees. This one drives me absolutely nuts. Too many times I have watched someone throw a fit because they did not have the McGinley door held open for him or her, only to then proceed into the Caf without so much as a word to Nancy. And Nancy is wonderful. Truly. Remember that the employees who work here are people too, and they deserve the same courtesy we expect from others. 3. Try not to use social networking as an excuse to be a horrifying human being. My apologies to the dead horse I am about to beat here, but, Ann Coulter, guys. Regardless of the outcome, the undeniable truth is that the Facebook arguments brought out the worst in otherwise reasonable, intelligent people. My personal favorite was a conservative individual who decided to assert in his blazingly witty argument that all liberal females were exceptionally unattractive. Um, no! In the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies ... an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.” Similarly, liberals, not all conservatives are gun-wielding time-travelers from the year 1770. Don’t treat them that way, and don’t say things on the Internet that you would not say in person. 4. By the same token, try to stay informed on relevant issues. It is not okay to remain ignorant of what is going on in the world around you. Read a book. Pick up a newspaper. Even if you’re only in school to marry a Gabelli grad and live out your days in luxury, the least you can do is make sure you’ll be an entertaining date. You know, one who does not have to work back every conversation to Twitter parody accounts. 5. Okay, fine. Exercise. It’s clichéd, but the truth is that we all have access to newly-renovated, state-of-the-art gym equipment; take advantage of it while it’s still free (or at least included in tuition)! When you graduate, and you’re poor and starving, and you have to run on actual pavement for exercise, you will regret not using what Fordham offers. And I am told you’ll feel better, or have more energy ... or something. I don’t really know, but give it a try.
CHRISTINA FERNEINI/THE RAM
The lack of a 24-hour section and the prohibition of coffee in the library presents a burden to Fordham students.
By DAVID OBERMAN CONTRIBUTING WRITER
When I arrived at Fordham this past fall as a transfer student from Southern Methodist University, I expected things to be very different. At orientation, it was made clear to me that Fordham is in an ascendancy stage. A new business school with a prestigious name, a new football coach and a sense among the students convinced me that now is the right time to be at Fordham. I did not, however, expect such antiquarian viewpoints on the way the administration treats the library. The lack of a 24-hour study space at the library and not allowing coffee are detrimental to advancing policies toward advancing Fordham’s rankings. Every single university has a 24hour study section in its library, according to U.S. News and World Report. Many universities do not have libraries that are open all hours. Most universities, at least among the top thirty in the country, have libraries which are open all day Sunday through Friday. On Friday, most universities tend to close their library somewhere between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and on Saturday most Universitiy libraries close around the same time.
The University could easily make the case, however, that it does not want to encourage increasing sleep deprivation among students. According to a study in the “Journal of Adolescent Medicine,” less than 7 percent of college students get the necessary amount of sleep. It seems prudent to say that, unless Fordham requires all students to take 8:30 a.m. classes and still adhere to their stringent attendance policies, Fordham’s administration has little or no effect on the sleeping habits of its students. Additionally, according to U.S. News, 50.8 percent of Fordham students do not live on campus. It would seem prudent to allow these students a study place through the night. If a student is studying until 3 a.m., it would seem ill advised for the University to then kick them out and force them to walk, drive or take some other form of transportation home. In fact, I am myself a student living off-campus; I, myself, have many times been forced out at 2 a.m. to head back to my apartment. At my apartment, I am distracted by either my roommates or by the constant car alarms next to Fordham housing at Terra Nova. This library policy leaves Fordham students with no place to study late into the night. Even if
this quiet study place is not in the library but in another building, it would be immensely helpful to students. “It makes it very inconvenient for students that they need to pack up and leave, it also puts a time limit on when students can work,” Alex Kryvoruka, FCRH ’16, said of the library’s current closing time. While a few students may not be bothered by the fact that the library has limited hours, I have not met a single student who is not annoyed by the fact that the library prohibits drinks, other than water, in the library. I can understand why the administration would not allow food, but coffee is very beneficial to studying. The lounge area in the library is Fordham’s solution to this problem, but it actually does not help students, because the lounge is often loud. If anything, it makes it even harder for students with coffee to study. The goal of a library in any university is to facilitate and encourage a quiet place for students to study. By simply allowing coffee and having a 24 hour section, the University would be making a great step toward helping the Fordham student body. David Oberman, GSB ’15, is a finance major from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
Curriculum Stifles Student Interests CORE, FROM PAGE 8
a major, but some feel that it has no purpose after one chooses a major. “I know that it’s supposed to help us decide what to major in, but it really hinders us once we know what we’re going to major in,” Alexander Gostaian, FCRH ’15, said. Fordham’s core is so excessive that it takes away from other areas of study. “I’m in the business school and I already took a history course and a philosophy course [in] my first semester,” Shawna Ostiguy, GSB’15, said. “I shouldn’t have to take another history course instead of an elective that interests me. How will that help me in my future?” Another student agreed that students should be able to take courses that they find interesting. “I wish instead of taking all these core courses we could take
classes that we are interested in like cooking, drawing, ballet, etc.,” Ostiguy said. While the core curriculum at Fordham is useful, and we all learn
a great deal, it ultimately prevents us from learning the things that interest us most. Lindsay Javitz, FCRH ’15, is from Jericho, NY.
ELIZABETH ZANGHI/THE RAM
More freedom in course selection would increase student interest in classes.