It’s Time to Reconnect With Our Christian Roots Through Service

Fordham offers many opportunities for service such as GO! Trips, multiple charitable fundraisers as well as food and gift drives throughout the year.

CONNOR MANNION/THE OBSERVER

Fordham offers many opportunities for service such as GO! Trips, multiple charitable fundraisers as well as food and gift drives throughout the year.

By BRANDON SAPIENZA, Staff Writer

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It is a universal truth among all sects of Christianity that we are called to serve one another in the presence of God and care for each other as we would ourselves. At Fordham, a university built upon the Jesuit values of serving others for the greater glory of God, we have failed as an institution to hold true to our faith and founding principles.

My first clue to this was on my tour. The tour guide led us to the Campus Ministry Office, which was buried underneath the classrooms and offices of Lowenstein. We spent maybe two minutes there, and service at Fordham never came up again.

Just like the actual location of Campus Ministry, service is relegated to the basement of Fordham’s priorities. This really isn’t hard to notice, either. Look around — everyone is focused on themselves or their own conversations, perhaps buried in their phones. And therein lies the problem. Fordham offers many opportunities for service such as GO! Trips, multiple charitable fundraisers as well as food and gift drives throughout the year. But in comparison to the population of the school, not many can participate in these service opportunities. So the solution is to simply just look out for each other, even if they are a stranger.

Service is not about getting on a plane with a group of people and helping build houses or fresh water wells in foreign countries and posting a photo on Instagram later about what a good person you are. Service starts with the person sitting next to you in class, asking them how they’re doing or just sparking up some kind of conversation with them. It’s a daunting task for some to start a conversation with someone new, but by doing this, it is following Jesus’ teaching to love our neighbors. Make no mistake, not going up to a new person and asking about how they’re doing is not a problem exclusive to Fordham.

In every school, in every workplace, we become set with a particular group of people and exclude others, not intentionally, but we forget to live up to Jesus’ teachings of taking care of each other.  Fordham is a community that we sign up for when we first send in our deposits. For a school community that should be centered around God’s love, we should be living and working together under the blanket of the two most important commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and a similar one, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:38-39).

Fordham would not be in existence today if it weren’t for the driving forces of God’s love, and it is our job to maintain and continue passing those driving forces of love to one another and to those in our communities. I strongly urge the Fordham community to try and seek out conversation with a new person and look for ways to help out and volunteer in your community. If that is through taking on tasks for the benefit of others such as supplying those in need with lifesaving care, water or housing, that’s great. But if not, what we can all do is at least look out for each other in our own Fordham community and ask a new person how their day is. Little things like that can make a difference. I urge the Fordham administration to make join me and encourage this type of behavior and attitudes for students to serve their communities and once and for all, and stress that this school is a community that could only thrive on God’s love.

Serving others is serving ourselves, and it’s time we as a community step up to the plate. It only helps us grow closer to God.