Letter to the Fordham Community from USG


Santiago Vidal, FCRH ’24, and Ava Coogan FCRH ’25, will serve as executive president and executive vice president for the 2022-23 academic year. (Courtesy of USG)

Dear members of the Fordham community,

It is with great pleasure that we address you in our last days as Fordham University United Student Government’s (USG) Executive Administration of 2022-23.

When we took office, we knew our job this year was going to require higher levels of dedication and responsibility. We started the year with a new university president, uncertainty on the national political stage, financial uphills at the university level and a lack of trust and transparency with the student body. However, we are glad to report that the state of the university student body is better than ever.

During our administration, we broke records of attendance for both the fall and spring club fairs, we have seen an increase in membership across all clubs and organizations and we have continued to approve and fund even more clubs. Furthermore, we started the process of reviewing the current Student Activities Fee for the first time in 10 years, with the hopes of closing the gap between the requested amount of funding from clubs and organizations and the actual available funds. At the level of student experience, we were able to continue many of the traditions and events that USG had before the pandemic, like Keating Steps and the Beacon Exemplar Award. Additionally, we recognize that it is our responsibility as student representatives to be fair and pragmatic opinionators of the student body’s feelings. Therefore, we passed a record level of statements ranging from university-wide issues to national and international crises.

In regards to policy-making, we broke a record for the number of proposals passed with notable examples like the Proposal for the Reintroduction of Personal Cups at On-Campus Dining Locations, Proposal to Expand Free Speech on Campus, Proposal for the Introduction of Composting at the Rose Hill Campus, the Green Rooftop/Garden Proposal, Proposal to Extend the Operating Hours of the Marketplace, Proposal to Recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the University Calendar, a Proposal to Cancel Classes Annually on Election Days, the Proposal to Expand Opportunities for Middle Eastern and Northern African Students and a Proposal to Include Spanish Speaking Tour Groups to Prospective Student Events

At the beginning of the year, we had a deep understanding that our organization was due for an administrative rehaul, which led to the passing of the reform of the USG Bylaws, Constitution and Election Code, all in the same year. Apart from that, our Operations Committee led a review of the Club Constitution, impacting the 172 clubs present on campus for the better. All of these legislative changes occurred with the hopes of better representing the student body but also learning from the past to become the student government Fordham needs.

During our efforts of looking for better representation of the student body, we implemented the USG Strategic Plan, which outlines all of the events, meetings, policy-making and event progress of all of the organization. Apart from that, we inaugurated the Executive Committee of Facilities and Dining, as well as officially made International Integration an Executive Committee.

To better understand how to conduct outreach to the student body, we organized our communicational priorities by reforming the Communications Committee, raising our follower count on Instagram by 1,500 users, as well as restarting the USG LinkedIn, TikTok and other social media outreach platforms. We are glad to announce that from our original campaign platform, we achieved most of the goals proposed at the beginning of our term and made great strides in the areas we couldn’t complete.

It was a pleasure to have served as USG Administration for the 2022-23 academic year. In the words of a university administrator that works closely with us: “We have been one of the most caring and diligent administrations they have seen in their time at the university.”

We are happy to be carrying that legacy, and we are confident that our positive impact will be felt for years to come!
With High Hopes,

Santiago Vidal and Ava Coogan
55th Executive President and Vice-President of the United Student Government at Rose Hill