What Social Distancing Will Look Like at Lincoln Center

ResLife De-Densifies Dorm Buildings



The residence halls will look and feel very different this semester with the reduced density measures set in place, such as no longer offering converted triples and not permitting non-Fordham guests in the halls.


As students prepare for the fall semester, they are now faced with the decision between living on campus or taking classes remotely. As of July 21, Fordham plans to house 1,250 students on campus at Lincoln Center. Students who choose to take classes remotely for the fall semester will maintain guaranteed housing for the spring semester.

After New York City moved into Phase Four on July 20, Fordham released an email with updates to their Fordham Forward plan for the fall. Fordham stated in the email that they are de-densifying campus, including residential buildings.

In a follow-up email sent on July 24, the Office of Residential Life explained their plans for an extended move-in process to de-densify move-in. Resident students who live close to campus will be able to drop off their belongings between August 7 and 15. Students will then return to campus for official move-in on August 23 for first-year students or August 25 for returning students.

Those who are unable to participate in the early belonging drop-off will be able to move in slightly earlier than others. New residents, including international and transfer students, will be able to move in on August 22 and 23. Returning students who cannot participate in the belonging drop-off can move in on August 24 and 25.

Fordham also plans to de-densify the dorm buildings by no longer offering converted triples in the apartments. According to Jenifer Campbell, senior director of Residential Life, the full capacity for McMahon and McKeon Halls combined is 1,297 students. In previous years, overcrowding has led to forced triples for freshmen in both McKeon and McMahon Halls. Additionally, they are considering using outside vendors for more apartments in case the demand for housing becomes too great, according to the Fordham website.

“A portion of the faculty and students will teach and learn remotely, and all employees who can work effectively from home will continue to do so. There will be fewer students in residence halls and in common spaces,” University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., wrote in the email.

Traditionally, Fordham has a guaranteed housing policy for all four years or until a student withdraws from housing. Campbell stated that this policy will remain, except for students who choose to take online classes this fall but wish to return to on-campus housing in the spring. 

According to Dean of Students and Student Life Keith Eldredge, Enrollment Services is currently developing a program which will allow for students to declare their classes fully online, fully in-person or hybrid, and then choose their housing accordingly.

It’s already going to be difficult enough to be a freshman in the middle of a pandemic.

— Kamila Vahidi, FCLC ’23

“Typically, a student who withdraws from housing forfeits their housing guarantee unless they are participating in a Fordham approved Study Abroad program or they take a Medical Leave of Absence,” Eldredge said. “This year, if a student opts to take classes remotely and withdraws from housing for that reason, they will also be guaranteed (spring) housing.”

Fordham will also limit outside guests into residential halls, as non-Fordham guests will not be permitted to visit McKeon or McMahon, and visitation between residence halls will be limited. Usually residential students can sign two non-Fordham guests into the building at a time.

“I think that it will be harder for the incoming freshmen as it’ll be harder for them to hangout with friends who dorm,” commuter student Halima Kahramonova, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, said. “Even if I didn’t live there, McKeon became almost like a second home to me during my freshman year.”

Kamila Vahidi, FCLC ’23, lived in McMahon her freshman year and explained the importance of being able to be part of the freshman community in McKeon.

“It’s already going to be difficult enough to be a freshman in the middle of a pandemic, trying to navigate what the etiquette is for making friends or attempting to have a college experience while still being COVID-safe, and I just don’t think it would be fair or good for McMahon freshmen to be less able to forge connections with the majority of their class/see friends,” Vahidi said.

Campbell explained that if a student becomes sick with the coronavirus, there will be quarantine spaces available in both McKeon and McMahon. She also stated that there will be spaces available off-campus if necessary. The Fordham website states that students who are able to return home and quarantine will be expected to do so.