Limited Classes at FCLC: We Deserve Better


While registering for next semester, students struggled to find enough classes for their major that didn’t conflict with each other or force them to go to Rose Hill twice a week. (Salma Elmehdawi/The Observer)

Published: April 20, 2011

Despite being a student at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), I take the majority of my classes at Rose Hill. I suppose I’m one of those rare LC-ers who prefers the greenery and campus feel of uptown to the concrete and skyscrapers of midtown. That’s why I found it very easy to register for classes a few weeks ago—I hardly bothered looking up classes at Lincoln Center.

Yet as I happily picked out my history electives in the Bronx, I noticed my friends’ Facebook statuses frustratingly declaring, “Why are there no history classes next semester?” I heard my suitemate lament that the only class she needed to complete her major was nowhere to be found. And I listened as my other suitemate stressed over the fact that less than a handful of her major’s classes were being offered.

Curious, I decided to take a look at the LC offerings, and I immediately noticed the disconnect between Rose Hill and Lincoln Center. There were hardly any film electives, which I found especially frustrating since I feel quite a few of us at Lincoln Center are Communication and Media Studies majors with film concentrations. The history classes were extremely limited as well. If we pay to attend this school, shouldn’t Fordham at least try to broaden our horizons with a wide array of class choices?

I understand that Lincoln Center is a small campus and might not be able to offer hundreds of classes since the number of teachers and students available per class isn’t exactly high. Yet classes fill up quickly, as students desperately register for the same lone, interesting class available. There should be a couple more options offered.

If Fordham administrators tried their best to offer as many classes as they can afford, then I’ll cut them a break. But Fordham shouldn’t leave their students in the lurch when it comes to classes required to complete majors or to graduate. My suitemate is smart enough to have AP credits from high school that allow her to graduate a semester early. She also has to complete a language requirement. If both her exit-level language class and required major class conflict, what is she to do?

My other friend is a comparative literature major, which admittedly has a small program here at Fordham, but her story made me more frustrated. The department only offered three classes this semester, and two of them conflicted. If one’s program is that tiny, you’d think professors would take the time to make sure that their classes are all offered at different times so students can take all three of them if necessary. There’s also the fact that my friend’s major requires a senior capstone class which is only offered once a year. That’s hardly accommodating.

When I talked to both my friends about how they ended up resolving these issues, each said she had to turn to Rose Hill. Making the weekly trek up to Rose Hill won’t be an enjoyable thing for them, especially since they consider themselves Lincoln Center students first and foremost.

Students should take classes at either campus because a certain class interests them or they’ve heard good things about a teacher there. The change of scenery shouldn’t be forced upon them because their home campus can’t offer them a substantial number of classes.

Departments should also work more closely with each other to prevent too many conflicting class times from arising. I understand this must be said much more easily than it is done, but teachers owe it to their students to try. I would think teachers would want to prevent conflicts in required courses from arising if it means getting more students to register for their classes in the long run.

There’s also the problem of senior values. Practically everyone and their brother struggles to register for Films of Moral Struggle—it would be nice if at least one other class could be as interesting. Otherwise, you’re just left with a class of disgruntled seniors who have only registered for the class because they had no other choice.

Lincoln Center students deserve a wide selection of classes. If they’re going to be pulling all-nighters and paying for text books, they should at least be in a class whose subject they enjoy. I thought Jesuit ideals were about cultivating the mind and expanding our intellectual abilities. That’s going to be pretty difficult if we’re all stuck in classes we’ve only taken because there weren’t any other options.

Luckily, I’m fine with going to Rose Hill for my history classes, and I’m fortunate enough to have pretty much fulfilled the requirements for my communications major. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about my fellow classmates. They have the right to more classes offered at their home campus. If they’re going to wallow in student loans for the next 10 years, the least Fordham can do is make sure it was worth it.