“Two campuses, but one school.” This is a phrase heard often around Fordham University to emphasize that while the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses may be in different boroughs, they are connected. The university stresses that students technically have equal access to events, activities and opportunities at both locations. However, athletic students at Lincoln Center are often left in the dark. Even though students at both campuses pay the same tuition, Lincoln Center students are not granted the same ease of access to high quality sport facilities, and those hoping to participate in varsity sports are barred from joining. Prospective students on tours at Fordham Lincoln Center ask about access to sports or intramurals and are normally put off by the vague response. The truth is that Lincoln Center students do not have the same feasibility of access to the sporting experience as Rose Hill students.
The only alternative available for students who wish to participate in sports is intramural sports at Rose Hill. Those wishing to participate in intramurals are tasked with forming teams, but the real difficulty is scheduling. Some games are scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. and finish close to midnight, meaning that Lincoln Center students will miss the last Ram Van back to their campus and must either find their way home via subway, expensive Taxi, Uber or the like.
Additionally, students are not provided free Ram Van rides in order to make the commute to participate in sporting activities at Rose Hill. The seven dollar round-trip cost can be an obstacle for students who cannot afford the recurring cost for multiple games and practices. While the university offers complimentary Ram Van rides for students taking classes or attending specific events at the other campus, ensuring that students are not limited in their ability to engage in certain opportunities present at the opposite campus, it does not offer such free rides for intramural games and practices. Social activities such as intramural sports should be included in the category of valuable college opportunities and should not be restricted based on convenience of access, or lack thereof.
Lincoln Center students are also at a great disadvantage in terms of access to an all-inclusive, versatile gym space. The gym at Lincoln Center, located in McMahon Hall, is less than ideal. It has five treadmills and five stationary bikes. There is one set of weights for each pound level. Meanwhile, Ram Fit Center, the gym at Rose Hill is expansive, going so far as to include access to several basketball and squash courts. It is equipped with a plethora of ellipticals, stationary bikes, and Stairmasters. It also has group exercise classes. On nice days, groups can be seen doing yoga or other forms of exercise on Edward’s Parade. All these things are not at all convenient for Lincoln Center students.
The gym at Rose Hill began renovations this past summer and will continue to undergo more renovations next summer. While the work will mostly be to replace the hardwood floors and the seats, the gym at Lincoln Center could, too, benefit from some monetary attention.
While Lincoln Center is in the middle of New York City and it is not hard to find a fitness center close to school, the gyms in the area are not within the price range of the average college student.
It is outrageous that students at Lincoln Center are expected to pay the same tuition and be denied certain privileges to which Rose Hill students have access. If the reasoning truly is that scheduling and convenience are difficult to achieve, then perhaps Fordham should designate more funds to sports facilities on the Lincoln Center campus itself. Lincoln Center students should have the same ease of access to gym facilities and ability to participate in sports as Rose Hill students do.