GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA BONEFANT/THE OBSERVER
Columbia University may be famous for its swim requirements, but Fordham doesn’t need a class to teach its students how to swim. With the recent water main break creating dirty rivers in the streets, swimming is not just a leisure activity; it’s a matter of survival for everyday life in the city.
With classes canceled and winter break extended for another day, Fordham students have nothing else to do but throw on a swimsuit and brave the brown water filling nearby streets. To make it better, on the day that the water main broke, the sun was shining down on the city, creating temperatures high enough to warrant a day by the pool (can anyone say global warming?).
Columbia graduates learn in a pool, but here at Fordham, where New York is our campus, the flooding streets are our water source. This became evident when McKeon students lost access to water in their dorms and got the special opportunity to use the street water for showers.
Sure, this water may not be clean, and yes, it did turn into sludge on the sidewalks as it absorbed the dirt and grime of the city, but Fordham students are true New Yorkers. We do not cringe when we see trash bags piled on the street like a barricade against the veering cars speeding down the streets. Instead, when we see rivers filling the road, we push against the tide, bravely peering through the murkiness to navigate the maze of the city on morning commutes to work or internships.
With the water main break, Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) students received access to world-class athletic facilities right outside our door, finally placing us top-ranked for something. Columbia has nothing on us.
Not to mention, FLC students have grown used to finding surprising ways to exercise. With the gym on the second floor of McMahon not fulfilling anyone’s standards, nearby city resources such as Central Park have pitched in to provide students with ample roads to run on. The city itself seems to be concerned about Fordham’s mediocre athletic resources, even creating a convenient pool of water for students to swim laps. Of course, you have to be able to overlook the rats swimming right next to you.
Unlike our Rose Hill peers, students at our campus are not known for amazing athletic ability. What we are known for our creativity, tenacity and unique ability to maneuver through Manhattan with ease.
Columbia students might need a pool to learn how to swim, and Rose Hill students might need advanced athletic facilities to exercise, but here at FLC, we learn to make do with what we have.
Even if all we have is flooding streets.