The Observer

Sophie Partidge-Hicks

SOPHIE PARTRIDGE-HICKS, Editor-in-Chief

Sophie Partridge-Hicks is the editor-in-chief of The Observer. A senior at Fordham Lincoln Center, she is double majoring in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies and minoring in journalism. Sophie interned for WNBC’s Investigations Unit and is the former news editor. She is originally from London, England.

All content by SOPHIE PARTRIDGE-HICKS
A button vendor in Washington Square Park with the Arch behind her

[Photo] Election Day in Manhattan

November 6, 2020

Buttons and magnets supporting Biden being sold in Washington Square Park just before election day.

maroon mask with fordham F on it next to red condoms - sex in a pandemic

[Photo] PPE in the Bedroom: Is it Safe to Have Sex in a Pandemic?

September 17, 2020

Both the CDC and NYC Health Department discourage sexual activity with people outside your "social bubble" during the pandemic. Asking your partner if they've had COVID symptoms is also recommended.

headshot of tong, student suing for free speech

Tong Sues Fordham Claiming His Right to Free Speech is Under Attack

July 31, 2020
Since declaring that he would fight the university’s disciplinary actions, Austin Tong's story has garnered national attention and received an outpour of support for his right to freedom of speech and to bear arms.
headshot of Austin Tong

Student Pledges Lawsuit Against University Disputing Disciplinary Actions

July 17, 2020
A senior has threatened legal action against Fordham after the university took disciplinary action in response to two Instagram posts that they found to be a violation of the university’s code of conduct.
screenshot of people on a zoom call in gallery view

ICE Ruling Further Complicates International Students’ Return

July 13, 2020
International students raise concerns about the measures Fordham will take to ensure that they can study on campus if they choose.
the phases of the fordham forward reopening plan

What Fordham’s Reopening Plan Means for Fall Semester

July 8, 2020
Fordham Forward, a 35-page document, details procedures and protocols to safely reopen.
calendar with June 19 circled

Fordham to Recognize Juneteenth

June 19, 2020
On June 17, University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., announced that Fordham will celebrate Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday for the first time in the university’s history.
a screenshot of the petition asking the university to make a statement on recent incidents of police brutality

University Community Responds to George Floyd’s Death and the Black Lives Matter Movement

June 2, 2020
In the wake of George Floyd's death and as protests continue, the university sent out an official statement that many students feel was not enough.
Richard Hake sitting in car

WNYC Reporter and Fordham Alum Dies

May 9, 2020
While at Fordham, Richard Hake, FCRH ’91, majored in communications and media studies and was a recipient of the Edward A. Walsh scholarship.
a portrait of Loreen Ruiz

2020-21 United Student Government Announced

April 21, 2020
Loreen Ruiz, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’21, won the contested race for the United Student Government President for the 2020-21 academic school year.
A survey conducted at FCLC asked students understandings and perceptions about the coronavirus pandemic.

Special Report: Survey Reveals Fordham Students’ Knowledge of the Coronavirus

April 15, 2020
The Observer circulated an anonymous survey to 121 Fordham College at Lincoln Center students to gauge the student body’s understanding of COVID-19.
College Students React to Governments’ Stimulus Money Checks

College Students React to Governments’ Stimulus Money Checks

April 14, 2020
Students at Fordham Lincoln Center are known for juggling internships, part-time jobs and other side gigs that help them pay for New York City life. Yet the specific details on who qualifies in the government’s categories have left one demographic confused: college students.
O'Hare speaking at his inauguration

Former President of Fordham Dies at 89

April 6, 2020
On the morning of March 30, University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., emailed the Fordham community to share that the Rev. Joseph A. O'Hare, S.J., the 31st president of the university, had passed away. He was 89. 
A man wearing a mask and carrying a trash can walks along the middle of Columbus Avenue in front of a shuttered Lincoln Center.

Fordham Forced to ‘PAUSE’: NYC Shuts Down

April 1, 2020
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new executive order, “PAUSE,” on March 20 that urges New Yorkers to stay home to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, dramatically impacting the lives of Fordham students who are still in the city. Student journalists capture life in the desolate city.
Shamim reported a near-empty flight back to the U.S. when he had to leave his study abroad program in Germany.

Study Abroad Canceled: Students Recount Their Experiences

April 1, 2020
The global coronavirus pandemic has forced world leaders to implement travel bans or close their countries’ borders to try to contain the spread of the virus. These changes have affected thousands of travelers around the world, including the Fordham students who had chosen to study abroad for the spring 2020 semester. 
With little notice, students moved out of McMahon Hall.

[Photo] Abrupt Ending to the Spring Semester Sparks Move-Out Dilemma

March 30, 2020

With little notice, students moved out of McMahon Hall.

Keating Hall at Rose Hill during Commencement

McShane Delays Commencement Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

March 29, 2020
“It is my sad duty to inform you that we are postponing the 2020 University Commencement and diploma ceremonies because we cannot assume it will be safe to bring together the graduates, their families, and the campus community in May,” wrote University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., in an email to the Fordham community on March 27.
Due to the recent suspension of all on-campus events and face-to-face classes, Fordham will only continue to distribute information about community members who test positive if they have been on campus within two weeks of their diagnosis.

First Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed on Campus

March 19, 2020
On March 19, The Office of the President emailed the Fordham community confirming the first case of coronavirus in an undergraduate Fordham student. The student left campus on March 10 and began exhibiting symptoms of the virus on March 15.
Fordham will suspend all in-person classes for the remainder of the semester.

Fordham Suspends Face-to-Face Classes Through Spring Semester

March 13, 2020
After originally suspending in-person instruction until March 30, the university had extended the suspension to the duration of the semester.
United Student Government (USG), Rainbow Alliance and The Positive pushed for inclusivity of all genders on campus by advocating for gender-neutral bathrooms, use of chosen names on official Fordham documents, and safe housing for gender-netural and transgender students. 

Five Years Later, Gender-Inclusive Housing Options Announced

March 10, 2020
After a five-year debate about the rights and safety of transgender and gender non-conforming students, Fordham College Lincon Center announced that it will offer gender-neutral housing to its residents for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
As graduation approaches, USG president Tina Thermadam shares her biggest takeaways from her time at Fordham.

Reflections from a Graduating President: A Profile on Tina Thermadam

March 10, 2020
As President of the United Student Government, Tina Thermadam has worn multiple hats throughout her undergraduate career at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. Now, with only three months until she graduates, she’s turning to the rest of the student body to share what she has learned from being involved on campus.
The statue of Ramses the Fordham ram in the Outdoor Plaza wearing a surgical mask.

Fordham Suspends All Face-to-Face Classes

March 9, 2020
the Office of the President emailed the Fordham community, notifying them that all Fordham classes are suspended from 1 p.m. March 9 through March 10. Classes starting on March 11 will be instructed online only. 
Coronavirus_map_ny

Fordham Suspends All Campus Events

March 9, 2020
A change.org petition is also circulating within the Fordham community demanding the university cancel all campus activities to ensure student and staff safety and health.
Hand Sanitizer

NY Confirms Six Coronavirus Cases

March 4, 2020
John Carroll has confirmed that Fordham University is taking extra health precautions by deep-cleaning campuses on an accelerated schedule. Hand sanitizer dispensers and posters encouraging people to take extra health measures have also been introduced across the campuses. 
Fordham administration has started to prepare faculty for remote teaching in the event of school closures after the first coronavirus case was reported in New York City on March 1.

University Prepares for Coronavirus Outbreak After First NYC Case

March 3, 2020
“With the imperative of protecting the health and safety of every member of our community, we are developing plans on how Fordham could respond to various potential outbreak scenarios while minimizing disruption of the academic enterprise,” Jacobs wrote in the email. 
Armando Sandoval, a real estate agent, is unsure how the broker's fee will affect the NYC real estate market

Rent Regulations Present New Challenges to Real Estate

February 19, 2020
For the 890 Fordham Lincoln Center students currently living off-campus, navigating the highly competitive and fast-paced New York City real estate market is difficult when finding somewhere to live. In an attempt to protect home hunters, the New York State Department of State (DOS) banned broker fees on Feb. 4, making it illegal for brokers to collect fees from tenants. Less than a week later, the Real Estate Board of New York filed a lawsuit, and a temporary block against the ban went into effect on Feb. 10. City renters and brokers alike are left unsure about what comes next.
President of BSA, Ahmari Alford (left) hopes to see more support for students of color on campus during BHM.

BSA Vies For Greater Campus Presence With Black History Month Events

February 19, 2020
The Black Student Alliance (BSA) is currently working to expand their presence on the Lincoln Center campus, and have planned events for the entire month of February. Each Thursday throughout the month, BSA has been tabling in the Lowenstein plaza to talk about different aspects of black culture and activism, including love, beauty and wellness, and the black community in entertainment and the arts.
Although Brexit has been all-consuming in British politics and life, many Fordham students studying in London are unaware of how it affects them

Years of Negotiations Later: Brexit’s Impact on Fordham

February 5, 2020
The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on Jan. 31, possibly impacting the 336 students studying at the Fordham London Centre (FLC) campus. The Fordham London program has almost tripled in attendance over the past three and half years — making it the largest Fordham study abroad program.
Fordham London Dramatic Academy Class of 2019 outside the Kensington Palace. Students said that their close friendships made the program memorable.

London Dramatic Academy to Close in Summer 2020

February 5, 2020
After nearly two decades under Fordham leadership, the London Dramatic Academy (LDA) will be closing at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Richard P. Salmi, S.J. will also be stepping down as the Head of London Center.
Pat Cipollone, Fordham College at Rose Hill '88, will have an integral role in the outcome of the impeachment trial, and, by extension, contemporary American history.

Fordham Alum Defends President in Impeachment Hearings

January 30, 2020
For only the third time in history, an American president is on trial after a formal impeachment inquiry. Representing Donald Trump on the Senate floor in one of the most scrutinized political trials in contemporary American history is Pat Cipollone, a Fordham University graduate. 
Protesters march on Columbus Circle with homemade signs and posters.

Demonstrators Chant ‘Rise and Roar’ at 2020 Women’s March

January 22, 2020
Hundreds of people gathered on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 18, despite freezing temperatures for the city’s annual Women’s March. Demonstrators gathered at Columbus Circle, minutes away from Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), and downtown at Foley Square in a massive show of support for women’s rights. 
Firefighters and City Employees worked to repair the damage of the ruptured water main on 62nd Street and Broadway avenue.

UPDATED: Water Main Break Forces Closure on First Day of Spring Semester

January 13, 2020
Lincoln Center was shut down when a water main on Broadway ruptured in the early morning, flooding the streets and impacting water systems on campus.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car will continue to lease the building from Fordham University while expansion plans are considered.

University Buys $4.4 Million Bronx Property

December 17, 2019
Fordham University purchased a 5,000-square-foot building on Nov. 25. The building, which currently operates as a warehouse, is located at 619 E. Fordham Rd., just a few steps away from the Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. 
Iron March users have been connected to extremist activity and terrorism around the country and world. At least one known Iron March user attended the

‘I go to Fordham,’ Said Anonymous White Supremacist

December 4, 2019
The white supremacist and neo-nazi online forum Iron March was hacked on Nov. 6, revealing private information of hundreds of former users. Among the extremists exposed by the leak was a user who claimed that they attended Fordham University.
A student stares confused at the Fordham E-Bill Suite

Housing Fees Delayed 3 Months

November 12, 2019

Thirty-three Lincoln Center students living in McMahon Hall were affected by a billing glitch that charged them for fall 2019 housing three months late. Depending on a student’s financial aid or scholarships,...

Melissa Labonte, Interim Dean of Fordham's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, is excited to help with the program's evolution.

Search For New Dean of GSAS Commences

October 30, 2019
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) is at a point of transition: as the school kicks off its search for a new dean, it is also attempting to reimagine its graduate programs.
While students see the value of using bike lanes to get around, many are apprehensive due to the recent spate in cyclist deaths across the city.

UWS Welcomes Safer Bike Lanes

October 30, 2019
After just 10 deaths in 2018, 23 bikers have already died in 2019. In response to what Mayor de Blasio is calling a citywide “crisis,” the Department of Transportation is rolling out its “Green Wave” initiative to try and better protect New Yorkers.

UPDATED: Clearing the Air: Addressing The Misconceptions about “E-Cigs”

October 16, 2019
With nearly 1,200 reports of lung disease and 26 deaths across the country, users are left with questions about what an “e-cig” actually is, and more importantly, what the devices are doing to their health. 
A passionate theatre major while at Fordham, Johnnie Planco, FCLC '72 founded the production company Parseghian Planco, which has represented celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Judi Dench and Ashton Kutcher, to name a few.

Remembering Johnnie Planco

October 16, 2019
Johnnie Planco, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’72 and co-founder of the management and production company Parseghian Planco, passed away on June 2 in New York City from a brain and respiratory infection. He was 68 years old.
The dancers raised their hands for one minute of silence at 8:46 a.m.

Eighteen Years Later, Fordham Has Not Forgotten

September 18, 2019
Fordham students found their own ways to honor the 2,977 victims who were killed on Sept. 11.

Students for Justice In Palestine Interactive Timeline

August 29, 2019
Visit this interactive timeline to learn the history of SJP, from filing for club status in 2015 to winning their lawsuit in 2019.
Students from the Class of 2023 who participated in Urban Plunge had an early start learning about all New York City has to offer, as well as the mission of Fordham University.

New Class, New Dean, New Fordham

August 25, 2019
Plenty of online lifestyle articles, high school counselors and nostalgic relatives can offer advice about adjusting to a new life on a college campus, but only few know what it’s like to be new to FCLC.  
Henry Kaufman, a rising junior and Philosophy major at Lincoln Center,  died on July 30 in New York City.

Fordham Mourns Henry Kaufman

August 25, 2019
Henry Kaufman, a rising junior at Fordham University Lincoln Center (FCLC), died on Tuesday, July 30, in New York City. Kaufman was born on April 23, 1998, and was 21 years old. He was from New York City. 
Esther Harber

Woman Reignites Claims of Sexual Assault by a Fordham Alum

August 15, 2019
Esther Harber claims she was sexually assaulted nine years ago by a priest pursuing his doctoral degree at Fordham University.