St. Patrick’s Day at Fordham


All of Fordham’s St. Patrick Day events must follow COVID-19 guidelines. (Courtesy of CTV News)

St. Patrick’s Day at Fordham looked a lot different this year than it has in the past. There were not quite as many “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts, at least. 

On Wednesday, March 17, Fordham students celebrated their first St. Patrick’s Day on campus since March of 2019. Most events were held virtually.

The Gaelic Society at Fordham, founded this academic year, is dedicated to celebrating Irish history and culture. According to Event Coordinator Grace McLaughlin, FCRH ’23, there are roughly 50 members who planned an extensive itinerary for the week of St. Patrick’s Day. The club was founded by Reilly Keane, GSB ’21, and a few other girls she contacted from her Irish dance group, Sláinte, another club at Fordham. The club posted a series of event invitations on their Instagram account @gaelicsocietyfordham for Fordham students to celebrate the holiday and Irish culture. 

There was an Irish movie watch party featuring the movie “Brooklyn,” which stars the Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan and centers on the experiences of Irish immigrants in New York City in the 1950s. On Tuesday, the group hosted a Zoom dance class with Sláinte led by McLaughlin. 

On St. Patrick’s Day, Sláinte performed for students outside of the campus Starbucks. Their performance was also posted on the club’s Instagram page. The Gaelic Society also hosted a program with the New York Historical Society titled “Celtic Magic.” The event, held via Zoom, provided a deep dive into Irish literature and history that, according to the New York Historical Society’s page, “combine[d] spellbinding magic, storytelling, comedy and the beauty of Irish culture.” 

On Thursday, President Keane held a brief cooking class on Zoom where she taught viewers how to make Irish soda bread. To round off the week, the club hosted a “Gaelic Football Practice” on Edward’s Parade on Friday. Attendance and contact information was taken from each player in the football game to remain COVID-19-safe. University restrictions placed a limit of roughly 50 people socially distanced on the field, and masks had to be worn at all times. 

The Gaelic Society partnered with the Campus Activities Board (CAB) for the holiday as well. On Wednesday, the two groups hosted a “pop-up” event on the Starbucks patio, which featured “green treats, a photo booth and lawn games,” and also a raffle. To keep the fun going after the official holiday, CAB’s Weekend Activities Committee also sponsored a food truck with authentic Irish-themed food near the Finlay Gates on Saturday.

However, the week’s festivities were tempered by a warning from Fordham’s Public Safety department for students to remain cautious due to the ongoing pandemic. The department sent out an email to the Fordham community urging students not to attend parties or participate in unsafe activities just because it was a holiday. 

We know it has been a long year, and that St. Patrick’s Day may seem like a long-overdue opportunity to socialize with classmates and friends in the many establishments near campus and in the city in general,” wrote John Carroll, associate vice president of Public Safety. “Please don’t.”