Ever Forward


(Tyler Martins/USGLC)


In our duty to remain united, we have a mandate to progress forward. Fordham Lincoln Center is not a stagnant campus, for we do not survive by maintaining the status quo of the past. We are an ever-changing community, evolutionary with the times and progressive in our ways. For this reason, we need a president who is not only a representative of the people, but a catalyst for progress. It is for this reason that I announce my candidacy for president of United Student Government (USG) at Fordham Lincoln Center.

We are in a definitive stage in Fordham’s history, at the edge of a precipice which promises us trials and tribulations. But we are of Fordham: where others see a chasm too dangerous to cross, we see a bridge that is yet to be built. We will not be stalled by questions of possibility, for when our strengths are put together there is little that can stand in our way. For we are of Fordham, and together we are better than either of us alone.

The tasks that lie before us will test our convictions, our fortitude and our resolve. Some will be simple and others more difficult. There may come a time when we have to choose between what is right, and what is easy, and we need a leader not only with the wisdom to know the difference, but with the courage to go down the right path.

The questions that affect our community today are of a wide variety, and each deserve our undivided attention, even if they only affect a certain portion of the population. For we are of Fordham, and the needs of the few are the concerns of the many.

We are tasked with addressing the needs of the LGBTQ community, answering the call for gender-neutral bathrooms, housing, signage and of overall making the school more inclusive of those who do not conform to archaic norms. Advocacy is not enough, and the time has come for us to make a difference. This is the 21st century, and we will not live in 2015 while pretending like it’s 1520.

We are also tasked with promoting positive mental health. It is easy to look past an individual who wears the mask of a smile, but bears the burden of pain. For this reason, we must treat each and every individual with the utmost of care and respect, for you may never know who is fighting the silent fight. We must defeat the stigma surrounding mental illness, for there is no shame in it. The only shame is that of stigma itself, which shames us all.

But that is not all, as our society continues to be rocked by racism, sexism, violence and prejudice. We have a duty to stand up to such horrendous violations toward humanity and pave the way forward toward a society that buries prejudice and hatred deep underground. These are issues we cannot ignore. Through tabling, outreach and programming, we have an obligation to each other to fight these injustices, and to provide support for those who find themselves in need of it. This year we saw the start of the Campus Assault and Relationship Education (CARE) initiative, but that was only the beginning. The road may seem long and endless, but know that it is not. We may face roadblocks ahead, and it can be easy to feel discouraged. But just because we find ourselves in times of darkness and cannot see the road, does not mean that it is not there. In times like these, we need only remember to turn on the light.

Furthermore, USG should not only be tasked with the support of social progress, but also with the simplification and optimization of the college experience for every student that calls Lincoln Center their home. Whether it means reforming course registration such that required classes are not scheduled at identical times, or dealing with Sodexo’s inability to change food items between lunch and dinner, we have a mandate to do everything we can to help the students in the short term, as well as act as a beacon of support for the long term.

In order to help achieve these tasks, I invite The Observer to establish a USG correspondent to come to all of our general meetings, not only to act as the press, but to oversee our promises and efforts to achieve them. Furthermore, in the spirit of transparency, USG must release a semester report, which includes how Student Activities Budget Committee (SABC) funds were distributed to clubs by category, such as Academic, Sports & Recreation, among others. We may be a government, but we should not be secretive like one.

The road ahead will test us, and some will try to stop us with red tape, while others with cries of traditionalism. But it is here, today, that we lay the foundation to cross the chasm toward the future. And for every stone that is demolished, we will place two in its place. We will trudge onward, we will not falter and we will progress – ever forward.

[quote_box_center]“A commuter from Brooklyn, Jacob is a junior at FCLC double majoring in political science and international studies. He is currently serving his second term as the United Student Government Vice President of Operations and was a senator his freshman year. He’s overseen the creation of 16 new clubs on campus, as well as the monthly Club Spotlight. He is also currently an intern at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, working in Accounting Operations since June 2013.”[/quote_box_center]