A Letter from the 2021-22 USG Executives


Thomas Reuter, FCRH ’22, and Arianna Chen, FCRH ’22, served as the president and vice president of USG. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Dear Fordham community,

In following tradition, we wanted to address our peers in the Class of 2022 one last time as the outgoing Executive President and Vice President of United Student Government (USG) and offer a few brief reflections in this commencement edition of the Ram. Our community has undergone a variety of changes throughout our four years: a new strategic plan, a presidential transition, a global health crisis and a racial justice movement. And we navigated this all as students, researchers, friends, family members, professionals, advocates and committed Fordham community members.

Thank you for continually putting your trust in us as student government representatives, peers and, most importantly, friends. It has been an honor beyond description to be in kinship with you all and we’re so proud of how our community has come together — USG, clubs and organizations, individual students — to support the magis through initiatives such as:

  •   The expansion of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the new Campus Center
  •   Integration of antiracism into the new core curricula
  •   Enhancement of professional experiential learning opportunities
  •   Expanding fiscal allocations to Counseling and Psychological Services

This is all in addition to compiling reports, allocating the Student Activity Fee, approving new clubs, writing statements of solidarity and the various other items which our members have spent late hours on in the past few years.

It is difficult to articulate the extent of appreciation we hold for advisors, administrators, faculty and staff members with whom we have worked closely and come to know sincerely in our advocacy efforts. Beyond the knowledge they’ve imparted, they have more poignantly shown us all how to lead with kindness and grace, as dictated by Aristotle’s 12 virtues. Fordham continues to be a place of compassion and prosperity because of their tireless dedication. We will miss our spirited conversations with them dearly.

As for our classmates, it was a privilege to lead such daring and curious minds. We continue to be inspired by you all, even in these final weeks. From the lighting of your orientation candle to the moment you are handed a diploma, you experience a collective group that cares both deeply and warmly for one another. In the classroom and on the Zoom screen, on Edward’s Parade and at the cafeteria table, in the creation of organizations and the stewardship of long lasting groups, the passion of our peers is felt and lasts long past our four-year tenure at the university.
We ran a campaign and established a record which centered on diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. This commitment to antiracism not only impacted the types of proposals we pursued throughout the year, but also the way that we sought to foster kinship in our Fordham and Belmont community with empathy and active listening. With the strongest imperative, we urge our community to continue engaging in these important conversations about cultural competency. What spaces are we shaping for historically underrepresented students? If leadership is fertile ground for skill development, how are we institutionally creating a culture of support for all students to pursue these opportunities? It is our collective responsibility to cultivate a community of empowerment and love, which requires shared prioritization. We look forward to contributing to this just pursuit in our new role as alumni.

To the Class of 2022 — we extend our most excited congratulations and sincerely hope that you treasure the many, many celebrations to come. Thank you for allowing us to share space with you all these past four years. It is time to put the work in action: “go forth and set the world on fire.”

For and with others,

Thomas Reuter and Arianna Chen

Executive President and Executive Vice President Emeritus