McMahon Freshmen Oppression Must Lessen

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McMahon Freshmen Oppression Must Lessen

AMINA VARGAS/THE OBSERVER

AMINA VARGAS/THE OBSERVER

AMINA VARGAS/THE OBSERVER

By OLIVIA BONENFANT, Contributing Writer

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Two houses, both alike in dignity, hold the freshmen of Fordham Lincoln Center —  not that you’d know it. Like a great Shakespearean tragedy, the freshmen of McMahon Hall and McKeon Hall are unfairly kept apart, and there is one clear culprit: the university itself.

That’s right, dear readers. It is Fordham University that seeks to divide us, that leaves the plaza an uncrossable sea. Neither side knows the other. Worlds happen separately, untouched. All because of ResLife’s greatest weapon: the guest sign-in policy.

Oh, how we suffer under the weight of a security guard who wants nothing more than to go home for the day, writing out our names as we impatiently flash our IDs. The fact that we both belong to the same university means nothing to the swipe-in scanners, to the unforgiving glass doors blocking the McKeon elevators.

The sign-in policy is a tool designed to rip the freshman class in two.

Sure, they might let us lowly McMahon residents (and commuters) sign ourselves in without a host, but this concession was only a rumor when I first came to Fordham — even to the security guards. They either let me list myself as a host on the sign-in sheet with minimal harassment, or passive-aggressively shamed me away from their desk, sending me back to the dated carpets and popcorn ceilings of McMahon.

Once everything was said and done, we oppressed freshmen of McMahon were allowed to grant ourselves access to the hidden world of McKeon only during normal weekday business hours. And yet the oppression continues. You see, this strange thing happens where college students generally hang out on the weekends. We residents of McMahon Hall have no idea what goes on over there. Even if we did, we’re not rude. We’re not going to interrupt whatever you’re doing to make you come downstairs and sign us in, and we sure aren’t going to make you do the same thing at the end of the night when all you want to do is collapse into bed. We would never do you as dirty as ResLife does.

And as for us in McMahon — in another unpredictable phenomenon, when people are shoved into a room with a fully functioning kitchen and common room with five or more other people, they don’t have much reason to branch out and leave. Especially not with a McKeon sign-in policy that makes things as inconvenient as possible for everyone involved. And who in McKeon wants to trade gorgeous views and modern architecture for the best affordable dorm furniture of 1993?

Fordham University is trying to divide its freshman class. After Orientation and outside of class, there aren’t many ways the members of both houses of Fordham can run into each other; so what do you do during that interim time before you find your real friends — dare I say your Ramily — when signing you in to hang out in their room is a level of formality you just haven’t reached yet?

You suffer. That’s what you do. You binge a lot of Netflix shows. You hang out in your room in McMahon; you hang out on your floor in McKeon. You let our houses stay divided, and everybody knows a house divided cannot stand.

But the worst tragedy of all? In a mere three months, I will no longer care. My anger at my own oppression has already faded to begrudging acceptance. I used to wonder why no one fought to change things.

Now I know. We move on. We all move to McMahon. We forget about the inconvenient lengths we went the year before just to hang out with each other. And the new class of freshmen in McMahon will suffer on, flashing their IDs at the McKeon security desk in the face of an uncaring university.