USG Holds First Hybrid Meeting of The Fall Semester


(Courtesy of United Student Government)

This past Thursday, Sept. 3, the United Student Government (USG) held its first meeting of the year both in-person and over Zoom, with senators and members of the Fordham community attending over both platforms.

USG held special elections for the positions of vice president of Student Life and president pro tempore, as well as an election for the class of 2022 senator.

The newly elected vice president of student life is Elizabeth Vernon, GSB ’22. She stated that it was her goal to drum up interest for the USG art show and set up a stream of the Keating stairs to unify the distanced community.

The newly elected junior senator is Kristen Ronan, FCRH ’22, who said that her aims are decreasing the amount of plastic used in the dining hall, increasing outreach from Fordham students to the Belmont community, helping raise awareness of mental health and encouraging self-care.

The new president pro tempore, a position in the Senate for a person who acts as a liaison between different class councils and individual senators, helps set up meetings and acts as an advisor to class councils, is Sen. Carsyn Fischer, FCRH ’21. 

Public concerns raised during this meeting included a question by Sen. David D’Onofrio, FCRH ’22, who asked whether all doors on campus could be modified to be opened by foot rather than by hand in order to decrease the spread of bacteria caused by physical contact with door handles. 

This style of handle is already being utilized in bathrooms across the Rose Hill campus, excluding those in Dealy, and Fischer explained that since propping doors in residential halls open is considered a hazard, this style of handle is an option to consider.

There were further concerns about COVID-related guidelines both off and on campus, including one from Sen. Alex Chavez, FCRH ’23, regarding the unclear policies related to visitation between different residence halls for off-campus students.

Executive Vice President Thomas Reuter, FCRH ’22, said he felt that the Wi-Fi on campus has been slower than usual this semester, which was concerning given the fact that most classes at Fordham are held online.

Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Arianna Chen, FCRH ’22, proposed a change to the International Integration Committee (IIC) that would allow international students who are not USG Senate members to be the chair of the committee, turning the chair position into a delegate position. 

She cited the importance of having someone lead the committee who intimately understands the struggles of international students, which would be especially important this year considering the varied circumstances of international students.

Fischer suggested that USG instead focus on outreach so that international students are aware that such a position exists before turning it into a delegate position. Vice President of GSB Reilly Keane, FCRH ’21, proposed that the position be turned into a co-chair position, with the possibility that a freshman international student could be partnered with someone more experienced with the procedures of USG.

During delegate updates, the Residence Halls Association (RHA) Executive President Sandor Erik Lorange, FCRH ’21, and the RHA Communications Director Billy Harrison, FCRH ’22, both spoke. Harrison said that  RHA would be holding elections from Sept. 7 to Sept. 11.

Keane presented a change to the bylaws of the GSB Dean’s Council which would allow the council to add or drop subcommittees without the approval of the senate.

During delegate reports, Dean Arcuri, the delegate for the Office of Student Involvement (OSI), explained that OSI has a supply of disposable face masks and portable hand sanitizer for on-campus events so that clubs will not have to budget for these resources when planning events and programming.

Finally, students are reminded that freshman elections for the USG Senate close on Sept. 18.