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It’s Your Fault Fordham is Terrible

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It’s Your Fault Fordham is Terrible

Somebody has to tell the naysayers of Fordham: it's their fault Fordham is terrible.

Somebody has to tell the naysayers of Fordham: it's their fault Fordham is terrible.

GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA BONENFANT

Somebody has to tell the naysayers of Fordham: it's their fault Fordham is terrible.

GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA BONENFANT

GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA BONENFANT

Somebody has to tell the naysayers of Fordham: it's their fault Fordham is terrible.

By OLIVIA BONENFANT, Staff Writer

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Ah, Fordham University: the recycling bin for Ivy rejects and NYU hopefuls clinging to their last chance to make it in the big city. Students moan about the day they’ll finally get their chance to transfer out of a school notorious for its total lack of spirit and ghosts of lost dreams wandering the halls.

Well, guess what? It’s your fault Fordham is terrible.

I went to a high school that everyone hated. The closest thing we had to school spirit was the spirited loathing every single student had for being there. Trashing the football team, complaining about the teachers and laughing about how unlucky we were to be at Ocean Township Public High School were the things that united us. Maybe I’m subconsciously seeking out something familiar, but I think I landed myself at a college that feels the exact same.

Back in the beautiful state of New Jersey, my county had something called the vocational school program — lucky, intelligent people could opt to take a speciality school’s exam, submit a college-esque application and be lifted right into a high school that catered to their specific interests, such as biology, medical science, engineering and communications, all at the IB level. Instead of being stuck in a basic public high school, those lucky few enjoyed a curriculum centered around a specific career path or talent and all the clout that came with it. These were the Ivys of Jersey Shore high schools, if you will.

I wanted to go to the vocational school for writers and artists. I was not accepted. I was drafted into Ocean Township Public High School with the rest of us who weren’t quite good enough, and spent two years of my life debating if I had a chance to transfer and get out of the second-rate garbage can I was getting an “education” from instead. Every other high-achieving honors chaser in my class felt the same way.

We hated being at Ocean. We hated each other. Then, about a month before graduation, we looked around and realized that we’d wasted our high school years wishing we were somewhere better, when we’d all had the ability to create that culture we craved all along. Who cared if we were in the Communications or MAST or Hi-Tech high schools? If we’d all been just that much luckier or smarter or friendlier with the review board, the people we were stuck with in cut-rate Ocean would have been our classmates anyway. We rejects had even more in common with each other than our luckier peers, being the kind of people to put our hobbies before our homework once in a while.

Lesson learned.

Here is the difference between my underfunded high school and our tragically-mismanaged university. Complain all you want, but we’re all paying to be here. Why in the world would you use that time to hate every second of your existence on this campus, instead of making it a place you want to be?

Yes, I know the campus’s attempts at underclassmen parties and dorm events are kind of cringe, bro. Yes, I know that “STRAIGHT OUTTA FORDHAM” hoodie in the window of our bookstore lurked like a dark spectre for a few months until someone thankfully took it down.

Some things we can’t change. But you can stop talking about how badly you wanted to go to NYU. You don’t go to NYU. You don’t go to Columbia. Sorry to say, but nobody cares that you wanted to go and you didn’t get in.

A culture is determined by its people, my friends. We’re all rejects already. The least we can do is try not to reject each other.

4 Comments

4 Responses to “It’s Your Fault Fordham is Terrible”

  1. John Sims on May 1st, 2019 6:38 pm

    This is very real ” our tragically-mismanaged university ”, tragic it is as certain people get paid 350k others 500k to manage it and it is stupidity meets gross laziness. At the end of the day Fordham drowns us in Jesuit nonsense, it is like a sheet held up to hide the mess in a room. Just blowing smoke over everything and no one can say anything, talking over painful negligence and money wasted. It starts with real leadership, something that Fordham avoids at all costs, decent hiring is for other universities, no Fordham has to maintain it’s small minded mentality.

    Our current president needs to step down, he is just in the way of progress. McShane peaked at Scranton University and that is what we are, a bigger Scranton. At every turn we could do better, challenge the mediocre status quo, do not accept that hey it is Fordham so just play along and have a good time and then graduate. Speaking of graduate school, well given the trend we won’t have one, it is overpriced, unheard of academically regarding research and skimmed. The law school is now forced to hock MS degrees to any willing body that will pay, this to offset it’s massive enrolment which was always skimmed.

    One could write a book about Fordham and it’s mismanagement blunders and ineffectiveness. They fool the undergrad until the 3rd year, by then it is too late to transfer out. They appease with massive cafeteria food and high grades for average input. At every turn change needs to occur, it starts with hiring a top president who IS NOT a Jesuit priest, someone who gets the potential of Fordham’s location. The new Lincoln Center hire of a provost with an art history background is staggeringly Fordham, well it is a woman and from a non Jesuit school which is something to applaud. Fordham has missed so many chances, one being tech in NYC. The soon to be University Provost coming from Santa Clara is just more of the same, I am sure he is damaged goods from there.

    In conclusion, key changes should be made, we should feel inspired not wanting to strangle the admin. Maybe the students should run the show, whatever it takes to fix losing. The mens vs the women’s basketball team is our metaphor, right leader and recruiting and confidence and things can happen. Let’s start with the branding and marketing of the university, blood maroon is frankly depressing. Change can happen but will it? We get painted as goody two shoes as opposed to a dynamic academic institution, it is Iona meets Siena with a sprinkling of Manhattan U and they are fine with that. I surely am not, I would not attend those schools. Frankly there are days when I think community college would be better. Fordham likes to intimidate and opposed to accommodate and grow. They are just happy when the academic year closes and they know they made it another year. They use the same shtick, photos of Keating, ever seen a photo of a classroom at Rose Hill in anything Fordham?

  2. Why Bother on May 2nd, 2019 11:13 pm

    Seriously you don’t even get a comment that pretty much sums it up.

  3. Jack Walton FC'72 on May 4th, 2019 9:01 pm

    When I entered Fordham in the fall of 1968 it was considered superior to Notre Dame, Georgetown and Boston College. NYU was on its heels, having just closed the Bronx Campus and close to a financial dead end. Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State would accept anyone with a pulse and room temperature IQ. At that time, however, the Ivy League still admitted relatively few from Jesuit and parochial high schools which, as a result, fed their most promising students to our alma mater.

    The present situation pains many of the alumni/ae but I would recommend that you and your fellow matriculates, in the present and future circumstance, keep up your contacts with the friends made in your years at Fordham. Involve yourselves with alumni activities.

  4. FCRH '18 on May 7th, 2019 8:49 am

    Go to Rose Hill and you’ll find many students proud of their school. LC just has zero school spirit.

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