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Eldredge

Construction of the Old Law Building will be completed by Fall 2016. (PHOTO BY EMILY TIBERIO/THE OBSERVER)

By ANA FOTA
Staff Writer
Published: March 15, 2015

While the new law school building and McKeon residence hall are almost a full academic year old, construction is underway on the old law building, commonly referred to by faculty as 140, due to its address of 140 West 62nd St. The repurposed 140 building is set to open in Fall 2016 and will mostly serve as a student center, with places of interest for undergraduates.

Due to its location in Manhattan, the Lincoln Center Campus has a prevalent space issue. A master plan has been developed with the purpose of resolving this problem over the span of 30 years, designed by the Space Planning committee. The plan was set in motion in 2015, with the McKeon building being the first establishment to be added to the campus. Vice President Brian Byrne, who is in charge of the committee, said, “We want to build a campus here, not a collection of schools.” The space on campus is shared between the two undergraduate colleges, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) and Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC) and the four graduate schools: the Graduate School of Education (GSE), Graduate School of Social Work (GSS), Graduate School of Business (GSB), and the Fordham Law School.

The repurposed building will serve as a hub for the new undergraduate Gabelli School of Business, as the 11 classrooms can fit up to 65 people each. 35 students is the average Gabelli class size. The new Quinn library will be moved there and will span over three floors, providing space for students to study. It will be open to all students.

The garden level of the building will be a student affairs space, with designated centers for some of the biggest clubs on campus, including the United Student Government (USG), Campus Activities Board (CAB), and The Fordham Observer. Several student affairs offices will also move there, including the Career Planning and Placement Center, Health Center and Counseling Center. Keith Eldredge, dean of students at Lincoln Center, whose office will move into the building, believes having all offices pertaining to student life concentrated into one building will facilitate involvement. “In a sense, it’s going to be a one-stop shop for all the student needs outside of the classroom,” he said.

Eldredge explains the process of redesigning the campus as a “domino effect, with the new law school building being the first domino to fall.” Everything from the 140 building was moved into McKeon, while the old building will primarily be used as an undergraduate student affairs and class space. Because several offices that are currently found in the Leon Lowenstein building will move there, the vacant spaces will be used for FCLC classes. Another goal of redesigning the campus is to bring in all offices located in various spaces across the city, that have been used by the University.

Fordham is still looking for a sponsor for the building. In the mean time,“you can call it old law, people know it better as that,” Byrne said. Recently the university has also acquired was used to be the College Board building, on Columbus Avenue. No further information about the building is known at this point.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that the average Gabelli class size was 65 students. It is in fact, 35.

Faculty members call for “clear statement of the basis for these funding and censorship decisions” from McShane and Fordham administration.

By IAN MCKENNA
Managing Editor
Published: November 15, 2012
Updated: 8:20pm

Tracy Higgins, professor of law at Fordham Law, and Bridgette Dunlap, Human Rights Fellow at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, with support and input from other Fordham Law faculty members, have written an open letter to Fordham President Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J. in response to the funding of Ann Coulter’s Fordham visit, originally scheduled for Nov. 29 but since has been cancelled. The letter, circulated to Fordham Law faculty by professor of law Steve Thel, asks for a clear stance from the administration on its previously inconsistent support, both in promotion and funding policies, of student groups and events. The letter also asks for support from the student body through a petition form at the bottom of their address to McShane.

The group calls for “a clear statement of the basis for these funding and censorship decisions in light of their manifest inconsistency.”

(Kyle Cassidy/Wikimedia Commons)

“Though the College Republicans withdrew the invitation to Ms. Coulter in light of the outcry from their peers, the problem remains that the University was willing to allocate over $10,000 to this event even while denying funding to other student and departmental initiatives featuring speakers or topics with which it disagrees,” the letter reads.

While the writer celebrates McShane’s decision to distance the university from Coulter’s message it continues to say that “we remain deeply troubled, however, by the University’s inconsistency regarding which events it denies funding or otherwise censors on campus,” specifically bringing the examples of the Vagina Monologues, a controversial event by Fordham undergraduates each year to raise awareness of violence against women.

“[I]t was a wonderful statement that Father McShane made and a very robust defense of academic freedom, discourse, and dialogue, and we want to be sure that we are living up to that and it doesn’t seem that we are,” Dunlap said.

The group also mentions administration’s opposition to Fordham’s pro-choice advocacy while anti-abortion clubs recieve school funding and the red tape faced by Prescribe Fordham 2 events, an off-campus birth control clinic night, in attempting to post flyers in Fordham.

“I think that’s pretty problematic and not reflective of the kind of place Fordham is,” Dunlap said of Fordham’s discrimination between forms of student involvement.”Fordham is a place where we have scholarship and debate and respectful discussion of different ideas. So, we shouldn’t be silencing the legitimate conversations that we ought to be having.”

“Why are these forms of student expression and association denied support while the Coulter event was not? Is pro-choice advocacy or the Vagina Monologues more inconsistent with the University’s mission than Coulter’s hate speech you rightly decry? Are they less entitled to respect in the free exchange of ideas in the Academy?”

While they may be disappointed in the administration for its lack of consistent action, Dunlap said it was “fortunate” how the Coulter disagreement was handled by students.

“I have been very impressed by the poise and constructiveness and thoughtfulness of the undergraduate groups that I have seen working on some of these issues. T]he undergraduates worked it out amongst themselves and I think that is a situation where the solution to what was likely to be pretty problematic speech was more speech and that the undergraduates appealed to each other. I think that is wonderful.”

To read the open letter to McShane in its entirety or to voice your support of the response, click here.