Rose Hill Campus Lifts Two-Week Pause: Too Soon?


On Feb. 28, Fordham University administration announced they were lifting the two-week pause on in-person activities and classroom instruction on the Rose Hill campus. (Courtesy of Twitter)

On Feb. 28, Fordham University administration announced they were lifting the two-week pause on in-person activities and classroom instruction on the Rose Hill campus. This comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new thresholds for COVID-19 cases on college campuses. Universities are now allowed to reopen as long as positivity rates are below 5%, with at least 25% of the on-ground population tested. Currently, Fordham’s positivity rate is 3.66% on the Rose Hill campus. 

Cuomo’s former threshold was 2% of the total on-ground population testing positive or 100 cases. Fordham suspended in-person classes and activities on Sunday, Feb. 14 once the university hit the 100 case limit. When the university reopened, the case numbers were over 230. With the reopening of campus, indoor dining at the marketplace, gym and Ram Van shuttle service between campuses has been reinstated. 

The lift of restrictions has some undeniable mental health benefits. Students are less confined to a dorm room or apartment. They have the ability to use the gym to workout indoors during colder days and feel part of a college campus while eating in the cafeteria. However, just because Cuomo instituted new COVID-19 guidelines does not mean Fordham’s COVID-19 cases started to decrease. With cases still high, I am left wondering if lifting the restrictions was a good idea. 

One issue with reopening campus is creating a false sense of security. Students might feel that the campus reopened because our numbers lowered. Individuals may begin to disregard COVID-19 protocols, whether that be by sneaking into a dorm building they do not live in or socializing with large groups of people. While COVID-19 cases have decreased from over 230 to 190, cases remain high. Why is Rose Hill struggling with COVID-19 cases this semester more than the last? 

Last semester, the university’s numbers remained consistently below twenty until Halloween when there was an uptick of cases likely due to social events. This could be the culprit this semester, as well. If students attend a house party or go to a bar then return to communal living on campus, they are putting their entire hall at risk. 

The two-week pause clearly did not lower COVID-19 cases. This could be because many classes are already entirely virtual. The only real change in this decision was the shut down of indoor dining and the gym, which is the bare minimum of what the university could do. Now, they should implement stricter restrictions. 

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has been long and exhausting, but now is not the time to stop listening to CDC guidelines about safe coronavirus practices. The colder months have been hard, but the approach of spring offers hope, with more opportunities to be outside on warmer days. If you are looking for ways to safely see friends during the upcoming weeks, consider going for a walk in the Botanical Gardens, going to the Bronx Zoo, having a virtual movie night or eating outside. Vaccines are coming soon and until then, the Fordham community needs to come together to keep each other safe.


Jamison Rodgers, FCRH ’24, is an English major from Silver Spring, Md.