In Defense of the Ram Van



The Ram Van is a much better form of transportation than students give it credit for.


The Ram Van: It’s one of the first pieces of Fordham lingo that new students learn upon arriving on campus (if not before). The name itself, a dynamic two-syllable locution, is a masterpiece that enraptures eager students champing at the bit to embody the “New York is my Campus” slogan. 

Despite its initial excitement, over time, students learn that one constant attribute of the Ram Van is that you can bring it up in any university setting in a grumbling tone and easily make friends. While I am in support of bonding over mutual struggles, I think we should have more appreciation for the Ram Van. 

For starters, few naps hit as well as those in the Ram Van. Whether I’m taking a noon Ram Van to class at Rose Hill or a 1 a.m. trip home, the soothing rock of the carriage lulls me into a peaceful slumber. Sometimes I wish I could just get on the Ram Van and sleep as they drive back and forth between campuses. 

The Ram Van ride offers an opportunity to decompress during your hectic day.

The Ram Van is the vital link between two very different and important experiences of college life at Fordham. Students who live at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus experience eating, sleeping and learning all in the same adjoined web of buildings. Although nothing beats going to college in the heart of the city, it can be nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and experience a calmer, more traditional college campus at Rose Hill. Rose Hill students are also given relatively quick and cheap access to all New York City has to offer through the Ram Van. 

Sure, going to Rose Hill is about the destination — English class or whatever my plan may be — but the trip between campuses is one of my favorite parts of the week. I enjoy the transition time it gives to my days. I know some people do homework or other checklist activities on the Ram Van, but I try to relax and enjoy the ride. I usually listen to music or a podcast while thinking through my thoughts or staring out the window and romanticizing my life in New York City. 

Whether you use your ride to relax or to finish some last-minute assignments, the Ram Van ride offers an opportunity to decompress during your hectic day.

And not only is the Ram Van generally a nice commute, but it is also a controlled one. Unlike public transportation, you do not need to pay any attention to your surroundings or what stop you’re at. Ram Van etiquette is very well followed. People generally talk quietly and aren’t disruptive. While New York’s public transportation system is impressive, it is much more relaxing to catch a ride on the Ram Van than on the D train. 

Not everything about the van is perfect, I will concede. The university charges students $3.50 for each Ram Van ride (unless they have a class on the other campus), which costs more than the $2.75 for a bus or subway ticket. Additionally, the Ram Van seems to hit a pothole every couple of feet, regardless of traffic conditions or who your driver is, making for a bumpy and sometimes nauseating cross-borough journey. 

Of course, when you’re in a full Ram Van, it can get crowded. Manspreading is a particular problem that I have encountered. On the bright side, the Ram Van can be a great place to meet people. I’ve made new acquaintances, had interesting conversations and made plans all in one trip. My philosophy is that if a Ram Van isn’t relaxing, it’s funny. 

Aside from the other commuting university members, Ram Van drivers themselves are great people, though it’s always a gamble whether they’ll play NPR politics or heavy rock for the ride. 

I think it’s good to take time to appreciate the small things in life, such as the blessed Ram Van. Just keep in mind that while right now, in the middle of winter, it can be quite cold waiting for the Ram Van, your Ram Van experience will only get nicer as spring warms New York City.