Tags Posts tagged with "Fordham"


John Brennan, Director of the CIA, will continue to hold his honorary degree from Fordham University. (PHOTO COURTESY of George Bridges/KRT via TNS)

UPDATED: 09:30 a.m., May 14, 2015

Fordham Faculty Against Torture (FFAT) announced via email on May 12, that the Board of Trustees rejected the petition to revoke Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan’s honorary degree. According to Robert Howe, senior director of communications and special adviser to the president, the Board’s decision was unanimous.

In the email, FFAT stated, “John Brennan’s honorary degree will now permanently stain Fordham’s honor and that of the Society of Jesus.” According to the email, the committee does not have permission to share President Rev. Joseph M. McShane’s, S.J., comments. However, they did say that while the letter announcing the rejection to rescind the degree was “gracious in tone,” it was “disappointing in its message and its reasoning.”

The committee consists of seven professors: Dr. Orlando Rodriguez, professor of sociology and anthropology in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Jeanne Flavin, professor of sociology and anthropology; Dr. Jeannine Hill Fletcher, professor of theology; Dr. Glenn Hendler, associate professor and chair of English; Dr. Bradford Hinze, Rahner Chair and professor of theology; Dr. James Kim, assistant professor of English; and Dr. David Myers, professor of history.

According to Howe, McShane presented the petition to the Board of Trustees earlier this month. The Board opposed any effort to rescind Brennan’s honorary degree. According to Howe, McShane wrote, “While the Board and I condemn torture and extrajudicial imprisonment in the strongest possible terms, as a public servant, Mr. Brennan does not set the policies that have led us to this place, but rather is responsible to the elected officials, including the President, who have.”

Mr. Brennan does not set the policies that have led us to this place, but rather is responsible to the elected officials, including the President, who have.”

Instead, the University’s President stated it is in fact President Obama, his predecessor, and Congress who are legally responsible for the creation of the policies that, “indeed all of us—find so shocking.”

According to Howe, McShane continued, “Do not for a minute believe that honoring John Brennan is the same as honoring the institution for which he works, nor its checkered history.” He cited the 1989 Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) attack in El Salvador where six Jesuits and two women were murdered by the Salvadoran military. Declassified documents in the 1980s and 1990s showed that the CIA and U.S. State Department knew of these plans to kill the six Jesuits.

Kim was not surprised by the Board’s decision but found their reasoning to be problematic. “[Their reasoning] places blind obedience and political expedience over critical thinking and moral rectitude,” Kim said by email.

“[Their reasoning] places blind obedience and political expedience over critical thinking and moral rectitude.”

“It says, in effect, ‘You do not have to fulfill your moral obligations if your boss tells you not to.  You do not have to uphold your basic moral values if they are politically inconvenient.  In any conflict between the demands of your conscience and the demands of your employers, forget your conscience, and just side with your employers.’ That’s hardly the kind of reasoning one would expect from the leaders of a Jesuit university,” Kim said. Kim’s remarks represent his own thoughts, and do not speak on behalf of the FFAT.

Myers also spoke on his own behalf, though believes the entire committee is in agreement.  He said, “Father McShane’s comment may reflect the political climate today in which anything the President says goes.” Myers specifically referenced the political climate articulated the White House in 2002-2003, which claimed that “if the president orders it, it is not illegal.”

Myers continued, “If you simply look at the last 40 years of this country’s history, subordinates or officers in the presidential administration have been held criminally responsible even though the president was directing them, even though they were just following orders.” Myers referenced the Nuremberg trials, in which the Allies executed and sentenced-life imprisonment for “following orders.” He also referenced the Watergate Scandal and stated, “precedents determine that individuals are responsible for their actions regardless of their superiors’ orders.”

“We are really disappointed for the reasoning and rationale. And that, as much as anything, is reason enough for us to continue to speak out and to teach,” Myers said.

Although the first part of the petition was rejected, there are two more calls to action: for a University-wide dialogue “on the University’s responsibilities in living up to its mission on torture and human rights.” Secondly, a call for a public symposium “that talks about the issue of torture in a Jesuit context and the responsibilities of a University as an academic community and a Jesuit inspired community, not only pastoral but academic and public in nature,” according to Myers.

“We hope he will join us in deeper reflection and dialogue,” Myers said. “We are grateful for McShane’s graciousness throughout all this.” According to Howe, the University, “absolutely supports a University wide reflection on the University’s responsibilities in living up to its mission on torture and human rights, and a public symposium on the issues.”

The petition gathered 739 signatures as of the date published and reads: “In May 2012, despite the objections of both faculty and students, Fordham University awarded an honorary degree to John Brennan, then Deputy National Security Adviser, now Director of the CIA. This award was problematic at the time. In light of the released Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA Torture, it is now indefensible. Mr. Brennan is complicit with the war crimes and human rights abuses documented by the Senate.”

The Officers of the Board of Trustees and President are McShane, Robert D. Daleo chair of the board and retired vice chairman of Thomson Reuters, Edward M. Stroz vice chair of the board co-president of Stroz Friedberg LLC, Nora Ahern Grose secretary of the board.

The Board of Trustees are:
Don V. Almeida
Retired Vice Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Sally J. Bellet
President & Trustee, Stein-Bellet Foundation

Stephen E. Bepler
Retired Senior Vice President, Capital Research Global Investors

Rosemary T. Berkery
Chair, UBS Bank USA and Vice Chair, Wealth Management Americas UBS Financial Services

Vincent L. Biagi, SJ
Assistant for Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education, Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus

Darryl Emerson Brown
President, Brownboys3 Inc.

James Brown
Of Counsel, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

James E. Buckman

Vincent Cappucci
Co-Founder, Entwistle & Cappucci, LLP

Donna M. Carroll
President, Dominican University

Michael Cosgrove
President, Carragh Consulting, USA

Gerald C. Crotty
President, Weichert Enterprise LLC

Carolyn Dursi Cunniffe
Senior Vice President, Cablevision Systems Corporation

Carolyn N. Dolan
Managing Principal, Sampson Capital Advisors, LLC

Christopher F. Fitzmaurice
CFF Asset Management

Darlene Luccio Jordan
Executive Director, The Gerald R. Jordan Foundation

John M. Keane
Chairman, Institute for the Study of War

Andrew C. Kerin
Chief Executive Officer, The Brickman Group, Ltd.

Brian W. MacLean
President and COO, The Travelers Companies, Inc.

J. Thomas McClain, SJ
General Treasurer, Curia of the Society of Jesus

Sylvester McClearn
Managing Director – Head of Business Development, Topeka Capital Markets

Stephen J. McGuinness
Senior Managing Director, Executive Officer and Head of Business Development at Strategic Value Partners, LLC*

Patricia M. Nazemetz
Principal, NAZ DEC

Armando Nuñez, Jr.
President and CEO, CBS Global Distribution Group

Joseph P. Parkes, SJ
President, Cristo Rey New York High School

George Quickley, SJ
Pastor, St. Patrick’s Parish

Thomas J. Regan, SJ
Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor of Philosophy,  Loyola University Chicago

Dennis G. Ruppel
Partner, Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns LLP

Peter John Sacripanti
Chairman, McDermott, Will & Emery

Thomas P. Salice
Managing Member, SFW Capital Partners LLC

Luis E. San Miguel
President and Chief Operating Officer, SIGMA³ Integrated Reservoir Solutions LLC*

Thomas Scirghi, S.J.
Associate Professor of Theology and Rector of the Jesuit Community, Fordham University

William J. Toppeta
Senior Advisor, Promontory Financial Group

Vincent Viola
Chairman and CEO, Virtu Financial

Lilian Wu
Program Executive, Global University Programs, IBM University Relations and Innovations

John M. Zizzo
Retired Partner, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

*This information is according to BloombergBusiness data. All other business titles are according to the University.

Over 50 students participated in the vigil to stand in solidarity with sexual violence survivors on April 30.(PHOTO BY ADRIANA GALLINA/ THE OBSERVER)

Published: April 20, 2015

At least 50 members of the Fordham Lincoln Center community gathered for the annual 10 Points of Light candle vigil to honor survivors of sexual violence. Fordham was one of 10 colleges chosen by Take Back the Night to host the event, that occurs every last Thursday in April, which is Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

Among the faculty members who attended the event were Jenifer Campbell, director of the Office Residential Life at LC, Christina Frankovic, assistant director for programming for the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development, Dorothy Wenzel, Ph.D., director of OSLCD and Keith Eldredge, Dean of Students.

Frankovic said to the crowd, “This night…is to show you are not alone. We are all here together to support one another and encourage each other to heal and find ways to put an end to sexual assault.”

According to Take Back the Night, one in three women and one in six men worldwide experience some form of sexual violence. Yet, less than 50 percent of victims report these crimes.

Other schools involved with the organization include Carroll College, Central New Mexico Community College, Claremont Colleges, McHenry County College, Morain Park Technical College, Temple University, Rutgers University, the University of North Texas and the University of Washington.

The event began at 7:30 p.m. and ended around 8:00 p.m.. When the clock struck the top of the hour a student announced, “Someone in America is assaulted every 107 seconds. Our final moment of reflection is in honor of those nationwide, who have been affected by sexual assault.”

Tomorrow, May 1, there will be a drop-in at 1:00 p.m. in McMahon 205 to debrief. Members of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) will be available.

Shery Arce, FCLC ’16, was one of the six students who collaborated in planning this event. (PHOTO BY ADRIANA GALLINA/ THE OBSERVER)
Ian Schaefer, FCLC '17, also particpated in planning the event and performing reflections.
Ian Schaefer, FCLC ’17, also participated in planning the event and performing reflections. (PHOTO BY ADRIANA GALLINA/ THE OBSERVER)

Just a few memories where Tyler has “fallen in love” with Fordham! (PHOTO COLLAGE COURTESY TYLER MARTINS/THE OBSERVER)

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Published: April 29, 2015

There are fewer than 20 days until Commencement. Fifteen, to be exact, but who’s counting? I’m writing this letter to you, fresh-faced beardless freshman Tyler, because I know how anxious you are about college. I’m here to tell you it’s going to be the best four years of your life.

Dear Tyler, 2011 —

Your first year of college is swiftly approaching, and I know how you’re feeling (because I felt those very same feelings). You’re anxious, scared, feeling like the world is closing in on you. You went from the top of the food chain at your high school and now have to start all over again. You’ll be sitting in your room in New Jersey the night before moving into McMahon Hall and wondering why you didn’t take a year off from school to develop some other skill or go to college closer to home.

I’m here to tell you that you’ll be okay.

I’m here to tell you that you’ll be okay. You’ll get sidelined by Hurricane Irene and move in a day late, which doesn’t make you any less anxious. When you’re all moved into McMahon, apartment 4M, you’ll look outside the window onto the the street and watch other freshmen be moved in by overly excited Orientation Leaders, decked out in maroon from head to toe. (Surprise: you’ll be one of those crazy maroon cheerleaders yourself. Don’t believe me? Just wait.)

Will it be easy? No. Will it be challenging? For sure. Can you do it? You have no other choice. Before you know it, four years will have flashed before your eyes and you’ll be sitting in the Ram Café, during the last week of classes in your senior year, writing a letter to your freshman self.

“New York is my campus. Fordham is my school.” You’ll hear that phrase repeatedly for the next four years and read it every time you go up and down the escalators from the Indoor Plaza to the Lowenstein lobby. That phrase, that motto, will be exactly how your college career is divided.

New York is your campus, but you will soon realize how Fordham truly is your school.

For the first two years, you’ll explore New York City. It is one of the reasons why you wanted to come to Fordham. You’ll go to Broadway shows, museums, skip class to go to Central Park and explore, find places off the beaten path. You’ll never be home in McMahon – why sit in an apartment with terrible fluorescent lighting when you could be walking along the Hudson or exploring the Village?

New York is your campus, but you will soon realize how Fordham truly is your school. During your last two years, you’ll fall in love. Not with a person, or with a career or profession, but with Fordham. That love will shake you to your core.

You’ll fall in love with the community at Fordham, especially at Lincoln Center. This community fights hard for the things they believe in, and they work hard to achieve their goals. Whether that be raising awareness for a social justice issue like police brutality or raising money to cure cancer, you’ll be inspired by the passion of your peers. And where else do professors know your name because you’re not just another number in a classroom?

You’ll fall in love with clubs and extracurriculars.Though you’ll spend two years swearing off “getting involved,” you’ll soon eat your words when you join The Observer, do a Global Outreach (GO!) project, participate on committees and the like. You’ll develop a kinship with other student leaders and be changed by your experience. You’ll develop friendships with people that will change you with their goodness and fire. You’ll lose a few friendships, too, but those people still made an impact on you.

You’ll fall in love with Fordham’s Jesuit values. What you once used as a selling point to your religious parents will suddenly become part of your mantra, your ideology, your system of beliefs. Is there nothing more beautiful than reaching self-fulfillment by being men and women for others, by taking on the ethical issues of the world and striving to make a change? It is through these Jesuit and Ignatian values that you will be and continue to be transformed into the best version of yourself. As President of Fordham Fr. Joseph M. McShane, S.J. said, “Cared for, our students are challenged. Challenged, they awaken to their potential. Awakened, they are transformed. Transformed, they are empowered.”

You’ll fall in love with Fordham, and it will come to mean everything to you. There will be so many challenges you will have to face, in leadership roles, in the classroom and with your own peers. You’ll be hurt by friends and other people, and you’ll also hurt other people, not always unintentional. You’ll face crises of faith about what you want to do when you graduate, but it will be okay. You’ll cry both in frustration and happiness, sometimes at the same time.

Most importantly, let yourself fall in love.

My only advice to you is to follow your heart. It brought you here in the first place. Join clubs. Do a GO! Project. Take challenging classes and classes that interest you. Hang out with friends on the Plaza during the Activity Block. Take advantage of professors and administrators as resources. Explore New York City. Take a class at Rose Hill. Venture to the Westchester campus.

Most importantly, let yourself fall in love.

Go Rams!

Tyler, 2015

Fordham's Rose Hill campus, (THE OBSERVER ARCHIVE)

Layout Editor,  Asst. News Editor

Fordham has a long history of movies that have been filmed on the Rose Hill campus, many of which were extremely famous. It has even been named one of the top 10 universities to film at. These next five examples are just some examples of popular movies filmed on our campus.
1. The Exorcist
Most students have heard that “The Exorcist” was filmed on campus. The movie focuses on a possessed young girl that must undergo an exorcism to expel the evil that has overcome her. The basements of Keating Hall and Hughes Hall were both used as set locations. Keating Hall’s basement has since had a renovation.


2. A Beautiful Mind
“A Beautiful Mind” featured some scenes filmed at Fordham, once again using Keating Hall’s basement. This Ron Howard Best Picture winner was based on the true story of John Forbes Nash (Russell Crowe), a math prodigy that was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. In one part of the movie, Nash believes that the Pentagon needs him to help decipher an extremely difficult code. All the scenes that take place in the Pentagon were filmed in Keating.


3. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
In this sequel to “Wall Street”, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) finds himself recently out of prison and trying to repair his relationship with his daughter. This movie has an all star cast of Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan and Josh Brolin. The movie only filmed one scene on campus in Keating’s auditorium. In this scene, Gekko is giving a lecture to students, many of whom were actually Fordham students that got to be extras.


4. The Adjustment Bureau
Based on the short by Philip K. Dick, “The Adjustment Bureau” follows a Congressman David Norris (Matt Damon) who falls in love with a dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). However this love is not allowed due to a plan by the “adjustment bureau.” Despite this, they fight to be together, fleeing from those who are trying to separate them throughout the city of New York. In the beginning of the movie Norris gives a speech on the steps of Keating Hall. Damon wears a Fordham baseball cap, and many of the extras he was addressing were Fordham students as well.


5. True Story
This recently released movie, starring Jonah Hill, James Franco and Felicity Jones, tells the story of journalist Michael Finkel and his relationship with FBI Most Wanted List Murderer Christian Longo. Many students reported seeing Hill and Franco filming on campus during the summer of 2013.

Watch the trailer below:


While Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus has not had as many movies filmed on campus, the few that exist are notable. My favorite piece filmed at Lincoln Center was The Lonely Island’s Ras Trent video. It appeared on “Saturday Night Live” in 2011, and takes place all around campus. Andy Samberg is first shown in a classroom that looks to be on the third floor of Lowenstein. Then, Samberg is joined by Kristen Wiig and Casey Wilson, where they are seen dancing in many places on the plaza. Finally, Samberg is also shown in a McMahon dorm room. As a Fordham student, you know exactly where each segment is filmed which is pretty cool!

Check it out below!

Center: Nisarah Lewis, FCLC'15. (Gerry Goodstein/Fordham Theatre Program)

Asst. Arts & Culture Co-Editor
Published: April 8, 2015

In a generation of temporary trends and ever-changing technology, Greek mythology has managed to remain relevant throughout the world. More so, actors portraying these Ancient Greek roles still find its history very rich and relatable today. From April 8-10, and again from April 16-18, actors will tell the classic Ancient Greek myth, “Agamemnon”  by Aeschylus in Pope Auditorium at Fordham Lincoln Center at 8 p.m.

The story of Agamemnon has become one of the most enduring tales stemming from Ancient Greek mythology. In the play “Agamemnon,” the aforementioned character returns home from the Trojan War. At the same time, his wife, Clytemnestra, is planning to murder Agamemnon; she believes that Agamemnon murdered their daughter, Iphigeneia, as well as had an affair with his cousin, Aegisthus, who is plotting to take Agamemnon’s throne once he dies.

For actors Zachary Hodges, FCLC ’15, and Nisarah Lewis, FCLC ’15, the challenge of playing these intense characters has been fulfilling. Hodges refers to his part in the production as “unique.”  He plays two roles: a watchman on the roof who awaits the sign that Agamemnon and his troops have captured the city of Troy, as well as Aegisthus, Clytemnestra’s long-term lover who wants Agamemnon dead in order to take what he feels is his right to be king.

(Gerry Goodstein/Fordham Theatre Program)
Daniel Duran, FCLC’17. (Gerry Goodstein/Fordham Theatre Program)

Hodges said, “Because of ancient feuds, Thyestes and Aegisthus have been exiled from their rightful place in the throne of the kingdom. Now that Agamemnon has been sent away in war, now is the perfect time for my character to come back and rightfully claim what was ours to begin with.”

“[This play] exists in a completely different realm than something that is contemporary or casual…these plays were originally performed for the Gods, so everything is on an ultra-heightened plan. It was and is an offering for another level of being than just the audience. So, finding ways to approach this story with that kind of sense and that kind of gravitas while also making it applicable and relevant to our modern audiences has been something that we’ve been working with,”  Hodges said.

Lewis, who plays Clytemnestra, credited the cultural, as well as generational differences between the era in which the play took place and now as one of the biggest challenges.

“Tackling the language as far as knowing the world we are in.  In the beginning process of our rehearsals we spent a lot of time going through the script, line by line, and just knowing who are these references.  [For example] Who is Heracles, or, who is Thyestes? We spent a lot of time doing that, and it was great.  It took a lot of time, but it served as a really great foundation for keeping us engaged in the play,” Lewis said.

“Something that I think is really fascinating about the play is that any of the characters can be rightly justified, and it just depends on what side of history you’re looking from.  I guess that’s with any great story of history, but really, every character in their own right is justified in their actions.  There are different teams of thought that exist in this play, which is really cool,” Hodges said.

Fordham Theatre program closes the curtain on “A Season of Imagining Post-War” with this classic Greek masterpiece, “Agamemnon” by Aeschylus.

New Yorkers attend the Brooklyn Flea Market. (Photo Courtesy of Pedro Cambra via Flickr)


Contributing Writer
Published: March 13, 2015

WEEKEND OF MARCH 14-15| 2015 

The moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: spring! Though this weekend is Spring Break, and many may be going to warmer climates, are you wondering what you can do if you’re staying in NY? Fordham Friday Finds is here to help give you a few ideas to embrace this warm weather!


Get Some Spring Shopping Done: Springtime is one of the best times to go to Flea Markets to do some shopping, and The Brooklyn Flea Market is a great place to do that. The Fort Greene Market doesn’t officially open until April, but it will be open this Saturday, March 14, at 10 a.m. With over 150 vendors, there’s something for everyone at the market.

Located on 176 Lafayette Ave., take the A or C train to get there.


See The Influence Behind “Mad Men”: Are you one of the people that’s upset about “Mad Men” airing it’s last season? Starting this Saturday at the Museum of Moving Pictures you can see Don Draper’s office, costumes and more from the show. And free with museum admission, you can also see “‘Mad Men’s’ Film Influences” at the end of the exhibit. The final season won’t be so upsetting with an ending like this one.

$9 with a valid ID, museum located at 36-01 35 Ave. Astoria, NY 11106. Can take the NQR or the B or D.


Celebrate St. Paddy’s A Little Early:Next Tuesday is St. Paddy’s Day, a day for corned beef and whiskey. Go to one of the infamous Irish Pubs in NYC, An Béal Bocht, which in Gaelic means “the poor mouth.” This small pub in the Bronx might be a bit of a trek, but traditional Irish food and beer for cheap prices, it’s worth the subway fare. For more Irish restaurants a little closer to your neighborhood, check out Time Out New York’s article.



Veggies Galore: Ever thought about going vegetarian? Well, experience different vegetarian food from NY vendors at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival this weekend! Saturday passes are all sold out, but for $30 on Sunday you can experience all the fresh vegetables that you can enjoy. Start out spring on a healthy foot!

Located at The Metropolitan Pavilion 125 W. 18th St. From 11 a.m. til 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets: https://2015nycvegfoodfest.chirrpy.com/


Dumplings on Dumplings: Let’s face it: we’re college students, so we’re pretty broke. Cheap options for good, delicious food is always something that we have to be on the lookout for. Look no further than Vanessa’s Dumpling House. With 3 locations throughout the city, you have your choice of different convenient locations. With almost every single item on the menu being below $10, this is about as cheap as it can get.

For locations, go to http://vanessas.com/
The cold that some thought would never end seems to have come to an end. So whether you’re staying in the city for Spring Break or going to some exotic location this break, stay safe and have fun!

Matthew Gelbart, chair of the department of art history & music, looks forward to new music initiative. (Michelle QuinnThe Observer)

Contributing Writer
Published: March 11, 2015

Beginning last fall, the sound coming from a musician’s strings only got richer at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). Thanks to a recently formed partnership between Fordham and the Rockley Family Foundation, Fordham’s music department received a violin, a cello and new pianos. In return for these instruments, Fordham will host an instrument sale to the general public in McMahon Hall from March 19-21.   

Fordham’s partnership with the Rockley Family Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that promotes musical education, began when the foundation got in touch with Daniel Ott, assistant professor of the music department, who is now on leave for a faculty fellowship. 

According to Rev. Robert Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC,  the foundation had to go through the legal office, Provost office and the administrator’s council to receive the green light to sign the agreement. 

“[In the agreement] the Rockley Family Foundation would provide free pianos to the institution; in return we would host a sale of musical instruments for three days at which the instruments they had given us would be sold and replaced with new pianos for next year,” Grimes said. In addition, the foundation “outright gifts” other instruments; this was how Fordham’s music department received the cello and violin for the chamber orchestra.

While the sale will go on to profit the Rockley Family Foundation, Fordham’s music department will also gain some benefits as well. Grimes explained that, depending on how much the sale makes, the foundation will gift additional instruments and possible scholarship money to Fordham’s music students. The sound quality of the instruments would be an improvement for students, which in return equips them with better quality resources to further their musical education.

For the sale, Frank & Camilles, a well-known instrument dealer from the New York metropolitan area, will be stocking the instruments. The instruments, ranging from everything to pianos and guitars, are fairly new and tuned, with most of them being less than a year old. Prices of each of the instruments will vary, depending on the instrument’s brand and size.

Although some students noticed a change in instruments, they also agreed that the quality of instruments could still be improved in the music department. Andrew Abbensett, FCLC ’16, a music major, said the instruments may be better, but the quality still needs to be improved. “The piano in [Lowenstein] 523 is always out of tune; but when it’s tuned, it’s great,” Abbensett said. 

According to Christina Vilar, FCLC ’17,  the quality of instruments still needs more work, but she says there has been improvement. “I think as a department on the whole, we’re really growing. I noticed an improvement,” she said. 

Vilar noted that in Ott’s composition class last semester, she needed a piano in order to compose her work; by this time, a new piano was in place. Although the new piano still had some problems, she found it much easier to compose with its new sound. 

“Before the switch in the new pianos, it was really hard to get the sound that I wanted in the old ones, but now there’s a big improvement in the sound and the quality … People are definitely noticing the music department is picking up speed,” Vilar said. 

According to Matthew Gelbart, associate professor and chair of the department of art history and music, the partnership with the foundation will help the music department move forward. 

Gelbart said,  “This will give us a better idea of what kinds of pianos are reliable … We were offered to get pianos and hope for success to go forward and anticipate how to have them kept up and in tune.” 

Grimes has pondered how to improve the music department in an effective way that is also inexpensive. He believes the Rockley Family Foundation was the right choice, especially since he received positive reports from other colleges that have worked with the foundation and found success. He said, “We are always looking for ways to improve but at the same not to raise your tuition.” 

IT assured College Council that it has systems in place to cope with the increased logins. (Michelle Quinn/The Observer)

Assistant News Co-Editor
Published: February 26, 2015

On Thursday, Feb. 12, Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) College Council met to discuss multiple topics, including the approved motion for simultaneous registration between FCLC and Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH). Registration will tentatively begin for both campuses on March 23, the day classes resume following spring break, according to Rev. Robert Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC.

Robert Moniot, associate dean of FCLC, said “IT has prepared for the possibility of 2400 simultaneous logins … the main issue has been, according to IT, that students are logging in multiple times on different computers and laptops.”

Grimes acknowledged the difficulty of having students comply with being asked to not register early. “We asked students not to register for classes [at Rose Hill] when they weren’t allowed to, but they went and registered anyway.”

Gwenyth Jackaway, associate chair of the communication and media studies program at FCLC, raised a concern among her faculty “that academic advising would be taking place during midterms … this seems like it would be really stressful.” Grimes agreed, and while “midterms have not been officially rescheduled, you can ‘play it by ear’ and use discretion in scheduling exams,” he said. “But grades are necessary for advising purposes.”

For rising seniors, registration dates have been split into two days. Seniors with 83 or more credits will be able to register on March 23, while seniors with 60 or more credits may register the following day. These dates and credits are subject to change.

Other topics included a poor response rate for the electronic Summary of the Students’ Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQs). “For some of the more popular majors, the response rate is hovering around 50 percent, which is nothing to champion,” Grimes said.

“Past SEEQs results are available online for students, however I’m not sure where,” Grimes continued.

Jackaway agreed, she said “I wasn’t even aware they are available online for students to look at.”

Past SEEQs results are available online, through the MyFiles feature of my.fordham.edu. However, there has not been any recent attempt to publicize this, as there has been in the past.

Leighton Magoon, FCLC ’17 and treasurer of United Student Government (USG), asked “Maybe professors or the administration could email us a link to past SEEQs … it probably be a little better than RateMyProfessor if it’s publicized enough.”

The final major order of business was a proposal from Dean Grimes on the future of First Year Experience (FYE) and how it may be restructured completely in the next few years.

“The idea would be that Eloquentia Perfecta I [EP1] would be separated entirely from freshman academic advising … and that freshman advising itself would become a one credit class.”

FYE’s restructuring comes from the introduction of McKeon Residence Hall to FCLC. “McKeon was designed to solve the problems of resident students hiding in the ‘fortress’ of McMahon,” Grimes said. “As a result, the integration of freshman commuters and residents is not a much of a problem anymore, and [FYE] is designed to fix an issue that isn’t really there, because of McKeon.”

IT assured College Council that it has systems in place to cope with the increased logins. (Michelle Quinn/The Observer)

Layout Editor
Published: February 26, 2015

On Thursday, Feb. 12, Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) College Council announced that all Fordham undergraduates will be registering simultaneously for fall 2015, which tentatively begin on March 23. The last time both campuses registered was for Fall 2014, when the My.Fordham site crashed. 

This year, Fordham’s Information Technology (IT) team is more confident that it can handle the increase of student logins. “There are going to be two different places for you to log on to register. Two different places will reduce this bottleneck,” Elizabeth Cornell, IT communications specialist, said. 

Other precautions were taken in order to ensure that the site will not crash this time around. “They have in fact hired an outside firm that does load testing for systems, they simulate the demand on the servers from the sorts of things that would happen during registration,” Robert Moniot, associate dean of FCLC, stated. “They came up with a number for how many simultaneous actions that the server could handle.” This testing will ensure that the servers will be able to handle the increased number of students this year registering at the same time. 

Last year, the number of students was accounted for, but IT did not anticipate that students would be logging in on multiple devices. Students logged onto multiple devices so when one of their devices, “did not give them a quick response they would go to the other one,” according to Moniot. “By doing this, they basically tripled the numbers of requests … IT wasn’t prepared for triple the load.” IT has now accommodated the system to handle this many students, but Moniot urges students not to log in to more than one device. “You have to understand that by doing that you are adding to the load on the system and increasing the odds that it will break down for registration.” 

This procedure will be a great improvement to last year’s spur of the moment decision to have some of the deans register students through their own banner that did not crash along with the students. This was started by Rev. Vincent DeCola, S.J., who was then dean of freshmen but is now the dean of Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC). Other deans were soon to help once the students were lined down the hall. 

To accommodate the increase of students registering at the same time, “there is going to be a breakdown of credits,” Moniot explained. The deans have not yet decided on an official number of the credit separation, but there will be two groups of students for each class grouping of credits that will registering on two different days. 

IT and Moniot are confident that no problems will occur. If any problems do occur, IT “will be watching closely for problems so we can respond quickly if anything goes wrong, however we don’t anticipate any problems,” Cornell assured.

The official procedure for a site crash during registration has still not been agreed upon. If there is a serious system failure, Moniot wants to cancel registration for the day and have registration postponed for that particular class until the next day. Moniot stated, “Then Fordham IT will get on the job and get it fix[ed], so that they will be ready to open up the gates for the next day.”

Simultaneous registration is helping bring the two campuses together, which has been a goal of the University since its restructuring. “We were all told one university, two campuses, one department …” Gwyneth Jackaway, associate chair of the communication and media studies program at FCLC said, “so it seems that our registration policies should reflect that vision.” When people apply to Fordham University, they are told that they will be able to apply to classes at both campuses. Simultaneous registration will allow an equality between the campuses for courses.

There are mixed feelings about this form of registration as students are skeptical of whether or not IT can pull through. “There’s really no point for simultaneous registration considering how it turned out last year,” Brianna Rivera, FCLC ’17. “They should know that it is just going to be another headache for them,” she said. Other students have more confidence in Fordham IT. “I think that if Fordham is prepared to handle simultaneous registration, I have confidence in their ability to handle it,” Jonathan Olmez, FCLC ’17, said. “I just hope what happened last year doesn’t happen again.” Both Olmez and Rivera had to wait in line at the deans office last year, and are wary about Fordham IT pulling through.

“Last time they tried this the computer system crashed so everyone is going to be holding their breath, and see if that doesn’t happen this time,” Jackaway said. 

Moniot urges students to check their email as registration tentatively begins March 23.