The Seven Stages of Fordham Construction


If you live on the Rose Hill campus and haven’t yet visited the newly-opened first floor of the new student center, let us at the Ram be the first to tell you that you’re missing out.
It’s striking from the moment you walk in. Sleek, stark, opulent and wildly expensive. The high ceilings and sunlight streaming in from the skylights, the open floor plan, the large windows looking towards Edward’s Parade… complete with the inlaid carvings of saints in the walls of the student center’s first floor hallway, it gives off the unmistakable impression of a Modernist cathedral. What’s more, the constant droning of the sports program on the televisions and clatter of an eternal pool game will help drown out the sound of your future credit score going down the drain.
Remember, this is a construction project that is estimated to cost $85 million.
It’s not the only construction project on campus either. Who on Rose Hill hasn’t seen the mass of scaffolding between Freeman and Duane on their way to the campus Starbucks? Of this number, who recognizes that green-gray shroud as covering Thebaud Hall, a building that has been under construction for so long that we, the Editorial Board, hardly know it ever even existed?
The cost for renovations for Thebaud are unknown to us, but one thing that is certain is that any student on campus right now is unlikely to have ever seen Thebaud outside of construction. We are now one year past the expected reopening of Thebaud, which was supposed to occur in spring 2021. At this rate, we’re not sure if construction will ever end. It’s admirable of Fordham University to present us with a demonstration of the biblical concept of limbo right in front of Duane Hall.
Look, the new student center is beautiful. It’s nice to have a space to study on campus when the weather is cold. It isn’t dark, dusty and claustrophobic for once. It doesn’t have the same painful silence as the library. Everybody welcomes new bathrooms with functional sinks. And having meeting spaces with furniture that is not from the 1970s is a pleasant change. However, looking at the constant tuition increases on top of an already impressive bill … did we as current students really need it?
Each of us, by paying our tuition, contributes in part to the funds used to build the new student center. In many ways, we have taken on the role of the average European peasant. We’ve been paying our tithes to the church in return for a glorious cathedral that survives off of our payments, but serves its own needs more than it does ours.
On average, Fordham’s tuition increases by 3.3% every year. That’s tuition that costs $51,730 per academic year for the 2021 through 2022 academic year, or 87.6% of $59,000, what Fordham claims to be the median yearly salary of the graduating class of 2019 from GSB, FCRH and FCLC. We at the board deign to be generous and assume that students graduate in 4 years, and that they get 60 month term loans for a 6% interest rate that have them paying $1000 a year. For 20 years.
On a completely unrelated note, the average medieval peasant paid 10% of their yearly earnings, which unfortunately were not published on Fordham’s website in a convenient PDF, to the Catholic church as tithes. In return for the chance for eternal salvation, rather than a four-year degree.
Just saying.
It’s a beautiful $85 million building. We hope future generations of Fordham students have many fruitful study sessions and hangouts in it. It’s just hard to swallow that during a pandemic that crippled most of our university experience, our tuition kept increasing, partly to pay for a neverending construction project that we’d get minimal benefit from.
Alternatively, we would be amenable to a tuition bump of 4% every year, so long as that .7% increase goes towards getting stained glass in the new student center.