USG Discuss New Proposals and Elections


On Thursday, Feb. 23 and March 2, the Fordham Rose Hill Student Government heard several student proposals. (Courtesy of Instagram)

On Thursday, Feb. 23 and March 2, the Fordham Rose Hill Student Government (USG) met to discuss new proposals and elections.

An Office of Campus Ministry representative shared the different projects that they are currently working on. She explained that they are a multi-faith ministry and that they are preparing for many upcoming events such as Ramadan, Easter and Passover. She stated that the Office of Campus Ministry also focuses on spirituality and they have multiple retreats throughout the semester such as the women’s retreat, men’s retreat and LGBTQ+ retreat. She also explained that one of Campus Ministry’s bigger projects right now is working on helping people on and off campus with food insecurity. This project is completely dependent on student’s donating their guest meal swipes to Campus Ministry. She said that there are a lot more students struggling to get food on campus than most people are aware of and that they need help from the Fordham Community. She stated that guest meal swipes donations do not happen automatically and that students need to go online and give the Office of Campus Ministry permission to use those meal swipes. Lastly, there is an LGBTQ+ conference at Fordham University from April 21 to April 23. 

Zachary Visconti, GSB ’25, presented his campaign for the election of a senator of the Gabelli School of Business (GSB) for the class of 2025. He stated that he is the treasurer of the Fordham Finance Committee and also on the budget committee. He explained that he is a go-getter and he always makes sure to get his work done and he will bring these qualities to USG. Senator Lucas Hjertberg, FCRH ’26, asked if he had thought of any new proposal ideas that and Visconti stated that he had not thought about anything definitely but that he would like for there to be more water filling stations and to find a way to keep academic buildings on campus open later on the weekends. Visconti won his election and is now a senator for GSB for the class of 2025. 

A group of students presented a proposal to lower the cost of homework and textbooks for STEM majors. They explained that a first-year going into pre-health will pay at least $600 for textbooks, and they sent out a survey that revealed that many STEM students are very concerned about the costs of their textbooks. The first idea that they came up with was an inclusive access program where there would be a contract between Fordham and a textbook company that would be incorporated into tuition costs which would include textbooks into financial aid grants. They also explained that this would give students more transparency on how much they will actually be paying for. The second idea was to create a textbook grant exclusive to STEM majors that students could apply for on a need basis. Lastly, their third idea was to have teachers make a shift toward open source textbooks or to consolidate the platforms used for homework. The STEM homework proposal was approved. 

Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Brianna Al-Omoush, FCRH ’24, presented a proposal to add Indigenous People’s Day to the academic calendar. She explained that a previous proposal was made to get rid of Columbus Day, however, that was not passed so they adjusted it to something more plausible for the school. The proposal was approved.

During the March 2 meeting, each senate class nominated a club for club of the month and the USG board voted to make the Mimes and Mummers club of the month because of their show, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Vice President of Finance and Budgets Eron Maltzman, GSB ’25, announced that he will be implementing budget committee office hours so that clubs can now come in and talk to him directly regarding budget requests rather than the entire process being over email. He explained that he thinks that this will make the budget request process much more efficient. Vice President of Fordham College Rose Hill (FCRH) Emma Balint, FCRH ’24, stated that she is currently consulting with Dean Catherine McGlade about getting excused absences for club events. 

The Residential Hall Association (RHA) is hosting a Bingo Night on March 8 at 7 p.m. Vice President of the Gabelli School of Business Natalia Kimmelshue, GSB ’23, announced that they will be doing a bake sale for Women’s History Month at the end of march. 

Senator Sean Power, FCRH ’24, reported that the sustainability committee is trying to introduce eco-friendly treadmills, ellipticals or stationary bikes that would produce power that Fordham University can give to families in the Bronx. Power is also working on a proposal to begin using kelp straws on campus rather than plastic straws. He clarified that the kelp straws do not add any taste to the drinks. Senator Dan Sponseller, FCRH ’25, stated that the Fordham Flea bins have been placed in five residential halls but they plan on placing them in more residential areas. He also said that the Fordham Flea bin in the O’Hare residential hall was stolen. 

Senator Sponseller met with someone who works from Aramark and that they are working out the specifics about the dining areas being open for longer. He explained that the McShane Center Cafeteria will be under construction and undergoing renovations from September 2023 until May 2024, however, Aramark is working on having alternative dining options. Assistant Director of Student Involvement Stephen Clarke said that these renovations will result in a completely new, better dining area and that they are required by the city to close the cafeteria completely. 

Executive President Santiago Vidal, FCRH ’24, presented the new Election Code revisions to the USG. He explained that some of the major changes include a new election process where Fordham students can submit their concerns about candidates, candidates being limited to only being elected for one seat on the Executive Board out of the “Big 4” and USG members are not allowed to endorse any candidates. Lastly, Vidal stated that there are now four types of sanctions consisting of petty offenses, minor infractions, level one major infractions and level two major infractions.