USG Discusses the Reopening of Rodrigue’s Coffee House

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Sofia Semper, Contributing Writer

On Thursday, Sept. 29, the Fordham University Rose Hill United Student Government (USG) met to discuss recent public concerns and new club proposals.

Senator Keegan Roeder, FCRH ’23, brought up the concern about the recent closure of Rodrigue’s Coffee House (Rod’s). Roeder said that Rod’s has been closed since Tuesday, Sept. 20, for maintenance and that there has been a lack of communication with Rod’s staff regarding when the coffee house will be able to reopen. The Rod’s staff also came to the USG meeting to express their concerns and to learn more about the delay in reopening the coffee house.

Stephen Clarke, assistant director of student involvement, clarified that in April 2022, there was severe flooding in Rod’s basement and Facilities decided that they needed to replace the basement floor. While they were replacing the basement floor, they found evidence of rodents. As a result of this finding, Facilities has done extensive extermination. Clarke said that because of the construction, the rats have cleared out of the area. However, they may return once the construction ends. As a precautionary measure, Facilities will leave rat traps in the basement following the completion of construction.

Furthermore, Clarke explained that there have also been issues with the water and plumbing. With that being said, Clarke said that the biggest concern is still replacing the basement floor and making sure that the issue is resolved so that there is no flooding in the future. Assistant Dean for Student Involvement, Catharine McGlade, Ed.D., assured everyone that progress is being made, albeit a little slower than initially expected. Regarding the issue with lack of communication with the Rod’s staff, McGlade said that she will try to resolve the delay in the communication, however, she says that they themselves do not have all of the information yet. She said that even though the construction project is taking longer, it is better that all of the issues are being addressed at once.

Executive President Santiago Vidal, FCRH ’24, said that if any students have issues with communicating with McGlade or Facilities, he would gladly be of assistance. Clarke added that he is hopeful that Rod’s will be able to open up again soon.
Two groups presented their club proposals to the USG.

The International Students Association (ISA) was the first club was proposed.

Co-presidents Krishnaa Patel, GSB ’25, and Snehsrishti Assie, GSB’ 25, and Secretary Will Pham, GSB ’25, presented the club as an environment where international students can feel at home.

Patel, Assie and Pham said that the club will strengthen relationships between domestic and international students and 123 students have already shown interest in the club. Vice President of International Integration Luisa Rosa, FCRH ’24, said that the ISA would be very beneficial for international students and that the Committee on International Integration (CII) would partner with the club for events.

The second club proposal was for the Rambling House. David Moran, GSB ’25,  presented this idea as a club for students who want a space for creative writing. Moran said that there aren’t many options at Fordham for creative writing and thought that this would be a good way to fix that.

President Pro-tempore candidate Senator Maya Dominguez, FCRH ’23, Senator Andrew Falduto, FCRH ’23, and Senator James Serruto, FCRH ’24, presented their campaigns and ideas for the future of USG. Senator Falduto won the election and is now the President Pro-tempore.

The Jesuit Student Government Alliance sent a notice to all Jesuit universities in the United States communicating their intent to write a letter to Congress regarding student voting rights, and they are seeking the approval of the university’s student government.

The letter stated that the Jesuit Student Government Alliance requests that Congress open voting poll locations in universities and allow university students to use their school IDs to register to vote. Senator Dan Sponseller, FCRH ’25, and Lucas Hjertberg, FCRH ’26, both said that allowing students to use their student IDs to vote would allow more voices to be heard and that any action expanding the right to vote in the U.S is an attempt to expand democracy. However, Senator Serruto raised the question of whether the Fordham USG wants to set a precedent on involving themselves with political issues. The vote for their call to action has been tabled until a further date due to the vacancies in the class of ’23 and ’24 senate and quorum laws.