New SAGES Website Preserves Fordham’s Past


SAGES members Margaret Cohen, FCLC ’20 (left), and Connor Sick, FCLC ’18 and GSS ’19 (right), discuss the collective nature of the website which ensures transparency in the Fordham community. (ZOEY LIU/THE OBSERVER)


A student-run website is set to become the newest archive of Fordham’s history. Through commemorating past students’ initiatives for change on campus, members of the Students for Sex and Gender Equity and Safety Coalition (SAGES) aim to inform the Fordham community about the university’s history and policies, including hate crimes, gender inclusive housing and more.

The website, titled Fordham Receipts, serves as an encyclopedia of campus-related debacles, such as student protests, with the purposes of solidifying a sense of community for alumni. After graduating, many lose touch with the occurrences at the university.

“It’s a project aimed at dignifying our short time here with the aim that we as students can claim control of the terms of our education and student experience,” Sam Norman, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’18, explained. Norman was a senior member of SAGES before officially graduating in February.

The current community at Fordham is “temporary,” Norman said. “The separation that graduation warrants hinders the potential growth of student movements.” Tightening the relationship between the university and its graduates is one of the main objectives of the new website.

“The importance of institutional memory for effective student organizing is under-emphasized” Margaret Cohen, FCLC ’20, said. “We saw a need for some sort of student-run and researched documentation of the administration and campus community and thought a website would be a good solution.”

Cohen joined SAGES as a freshman because the group is formed by “people who will most often show up in solidarity with other groups working for change in our community and actively hold the administration accountable for the things they say and do.”

The mission of SAGES as an unofficial student organization is to spread knowledge about gender and sex issues, as well as topics not often discussed, such as racism on campus. In the 2018 fall semester, they hosted two “Disorientation” events, to foster open conversations about resources not addressed during freshman orientation, including affordable off-campus sexual and mental health facilities.

On its new website, SAGES wrote that “we cannot rely on the institution to be transparent with students, faculty or staff, so we as students must take it upon ourselves to make Fordham a safer and more informed place for everyone.”

Initially, the members of SAGES considered drafting a pamphlet, but the decision to have an active website, in the form of a blog, was solidified about a year and a half ago.

“The project aims to ‘keep receipts,’ or keep administration in check through public documentation of infractions against students, staff, faculty and the Fordham community at large by conservative decision makers,” Norman added.

The website will have different sections for readers to browse. The history section will offer a timeline of previous struggles, while the “Op-Eds & News” section will display articles about campus organizing at Fordham. The website will also provide students with resources about healthcare and consent-based sex education. In addition, the “Office of the President” section will display emails written by the Fordham administration.

Hopefully the website will be a popular source for information about anything that Fordham admin don’t advertise to students,” Cohen said. “Ultimately I hope that it can move organizing and student power forward and build on the work of previous students.”

Norman stated that the website will also be a tribute to the professors, staff and peers “who make our Fordham experience richer.”