Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weekend Update: Spring is Here!

Sorry all! This weekend's update is a little belated...but only because this weekend was so busy! We have temperatures in the 70s and everyone enjoyed themselves accordingly. Hopefully the warm weather is really here to stay! Check out what some students did below!

Juan Garcia 

What I really like about Fordham is its location. Being in the heart of NY, students can go around Union Square and just relax--or even hit up a few stores here and there.

Shannon McKenna

When in the city enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend, I came across decorative eggs that are part of NY's Big Egg Hunt. There are over 260 eggs displayed across the 5 boros each designed by a different artist. Everyone is invited to participate in the egg hunt for a chance to win prizes! Later this month all of the eggs will be displayed in Rockefeller Center. 

Kirsten Simons

This weekend I went to a French restaurant in SoHo for lunch with some friends.

Jessica Timko

This weekend I took advantage of the beautiful weather we have been having and went for a run in the New York Botanical Gardens.  The gardens are gorgeous this time of year, and general admission is free with a Fordham ID.

And let us not forget, on Sunday we had our Spring Preview for Admitted Students where we welcomed the future class of 2018 and their families! Temperatures were high and so was enthusiasm. Our fabulous tour guides and ambassadors welcomed thousands of people to campus that day. Always, the day is topped off with a moving message from none other than University President Father McShane. It was a complete success. Check out all the awesome photos submitted on our Fordham Admissions Instagram account at @fordhamadmissions or at the hashtag #fordham4me. Until next week!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why Fordham?

Three years ago, I was in the midst of making the big college decision.  I never had my sights set on one dream school or an ideal program.  I had ideas about what I wanted from my college experience, but I had a lot of trouble deciding which school would actually transform those expectations into realities!

Initially in my college search, I had written off Fordham, because my sister had attended, and, being the headstrong youngest sibling, I didn't want to follow the same collegiate path she took .  Once I looked past my silly worries and allowed my mom to convince me to visit Fordham for a tour, I saw that it had all the things I was looking for in a college experience (and more!).  It was right under my nose the whole time once I was ready to see it!
When attending my sister's graduation from Fordham in 2010, I never expected that she'd be doing the same for me in a few years!
City Life AND Campus Life
One of the few things I was sure of in choosing a school was that I wanted to be in (or near) a city, but I still wanted that traditional campus feeling.  Fordham won me over, for I knew that in 20 minutes I could travel on MetroNorth from bustling midtown Manhattan to the shady respite of the Rose Hill campus.  I'm able to easily travel to the city for concerts, Broadway shows, shopping, meals, and simply to embrace The City That Never Sleeps while still knowing that on a nice, sunny day there's plenty of space on the Rose Hill campus to lay out and read or play frisbee.  Plus, there are tons of opportunities to experience some of the city's best offerings for free or for less through Fordham programs!
Recently took the D Train from Fordham Rd to 34th St. to see an Arctic Monkeys concert at Madison Square Garden
Take the 4 train from Fordham Rd to the Upper East Side & the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Or just stay on campus to enjoy the nice weather
Ability to take a wide range of classes
Since I was unsure of what I wanted to major in, I was always a fan of Fordham's core requirements.  I knew this would enable me to take classes in different disciplines without worrying about falling behind in major requirements by entering my studies without a declared major.  The core helped me realize that I wanted to major in Communication and Media Studies, and my enjoyment of my lower level, core English classes led me to pursue a minor in English.

Arthur Avenue
Last but not least: I wouldn't be telling the whole story if I didn't admit that Arthur Avenue played a large role in my decision to come to Fordham.  I would always look forward to a trip to Tino's with my family and knowing that I could have all that delicious Italian food so close all the time definitely pushed Fordham over the edge!

As cheesy as it sounds, you wind up where you're meant to be.  Best of luck to all making their difficult college decisions!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Community Service on Campus

During the Spring Semester, Fordham has many different opportunities to participate in community service activities on campus. Last weekend, I participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event with the Fordham Dance Team. This event is held in order to raise money for the American Cancer Society to fund research and to support those diagnosed with cancer. At Fordham, the event was held on Eddie’s (the big grass area in the middle of campus) from 2pm to 10pm. While at the event, at least one person must be walking around the track at all times. Throughout the night there were different races and performances to keep participants busy. Being able to participate in an event like this right on campus is such a great opportunity that Fordham offers.

Fordham Dance Team at Relay for Life
Some FDT members participating in a sack race!

A second community service event at Fordham during the Spring Semester is Light it Up Blue, presented by Autism Speaks. I attended this even last night, also with the Fordham Dance Team. Entry was only $2 if you wore blue. At the event, there were various performers, raffles, and food. The money raised from the event went towards Autism awareness and funding. These are just two philanthropic events on campus in the spring. Fordham has plenty more to offer!
FDT at Light It Up Blue.
Photo Booth picture!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Father McShane's Fordham Bucket List

A few times a year, the Campus Activities Board American Age Lecture Series invites various speakers to come and speak to the Fordham community. In previous years, they have invited speakers such as Leigh Ann Touhy, who's story was created into the movie The Blind Side, and Jerry Greenfield, the "Jerry" of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. This year, they invited our very own president, Father McShane to speak directly to the students. 

This was an incredible opportunity, and it was a very special moment for our university's president to connect on such a personal level with the students. He wanted to do the speech in the style of The Last Lecture, as if this would be the last time he would be speaking to the students. So, we were lucky enough to hear his Fordham Bucket List: all the things we should try to do before we graduate. (And as a sophomore, I am eager to try to finish it within my next two years). So here it is:

1. Thank your parents.
2. Take your best friend for dinner and pick up the tab. 
3. Tell the faculty member who changed your life what they did for you.
4. Take in a game at Yankee Stadium.
5. Eat food in an epic restaurant that serves food that you've never eaten before. 
6. Hit all five boroughs - "When you ride through the subway, you ride through the world."
7. Ride the Staten Island Ferry both ways, and look at the Statue of Liberty as you come back to Manhattan, the way it was meant to be seen.
8. Walk on the promenade on Roosevelt Island or the esplanade in Battery Park.
9. Take a walk through Wall Street or through Times Square before 11AM. 
10. Volunteer.
11. Go to a Fordham basketball game and cheer as loud as you can.
12. Prepare for your future by:
     a. going on a retreat.
     b. developing a habit of giving.
     c. preparing for the job interview.
     d. seeing the ocean.
     e. visiting and praying at Ground Zero.
     f. visiting St. Patrick's Cathedral.
     g. visiting the Jesuit cemetery. 

I didn't want to explain each one too much in depth because my summarized version would not do his eloquent speech justice. My favorite part of his bucket list, though, was the incorporation of not only the Fordham community, but New York City as well. Part of experiencing Fordham University is experiencing all of the wonderful things that our city has to offer, and Father McShane made it very clear that that was the best way to make the most of your time at Fordham. We are so lucky to have all the incredible things that New York City has to offer right in our backyard. 

Many of the things he spoke of seem implied, like thanking your parents and volunteering, but they were important to be reminded of. On behalf of myself and much of the Fordham community, thanks CAB and Father McShane for such a wonderful opportunity!

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Boogie Down in the Bronx

Living at the Rose Hill campus I, along with many other students, have grown to know and love the Bronx.  In the past year and a half while here, I’ve come up with four of my favorite parts of the Bronx. 

Arthur Ave
Coming from an Italian family who loves to eat great food, my first choice is an easy one: Arthur Ave, the original Little Italy.  Arthur offers its guests great Italian restaurants, bakeries, food markets, festivals, and a discount to Fordham students!!  One of my favorite pastimes on Arthur is to eat at one of the restaurants and then get a cannoli at Palombo’s for 20% off!  If you’re more into the cooking part of food, then Arthur is still your place.  Borgatti’s pasta and Casa della Mozzarella have you covered!  Both shops make their food right in the store and will even give you a life story of their travels from Italy free of charge!

Palombo's Bakery
City Island
This next one is a place that I wish I went to more: City Island. It’s great for a nice fall day where you’re still trying to hold onto the summer, or a warm spring day where you’re just starting to feel the summer!  After an easy bus ride to the island, you’ve teleported away from the busy city into a small fishing oasis.  When I first went there with some friends, we took the bus to the very last stop, in front of Sammy’s Fish Box.  We took one look at the building, saw Santa relaxing on the moon and knew this was the place for us.  The multi-course meal and best vanilla custard ever just confirmed our faith in Sammy! After that huge meal, you should take a stroll, work off all of that food, and see the island.

Sammy's with Santa on the Moon
Yankee Stadium
I don’t care if you’re a Yankee’s, Boston, or another (less fortunate) fan, but everyone should make at least one trip to Yankee Stadium; it is the Cathedral of Baseball after all!  The stadium is the sixth subway stop from Fordham Road, and when you walk out from the subway, you can see all the glory and history that is Yankee Stadium!! Often times throughout the year, residence halls and Campus Activities Board, CAB, even give out free or very discounted tickets.  If there isn’t a sale on campus, you can still buy a $20 ticket and enjoy the game with the legendary Bleacher Creatures.
Sitting with the Bleacher Creatures 
Bronx Zoo/Botanical Garden
This final place is a two parter that every student has probably done many, many times: Go to the Botanical Garden and Bronx Zoo.  Both are literally across the street from campus and very welcoming to Fordham students.  The Botanical Garden is free for Fordham students, and on Wednesdays you can get into the zoo with a donation of your choosing!  These are great places for a relaxing afternoon walk or activity on a beautiful day.  Many students go for runs through the Garden, stroll through the flowers, or simply mingle with the various animals at the zoo.
The Botanical Garden during a Halloween exhibit
Although many view New York City only as Manhattan, Fordham helps everyone to realize that there are so many activities we can do without even leaving our own borough!  So get out and Boggie Down in the Bronx!!

Public Service Announcement: For your own safety, try not to wear non-Yankees apparel around the Bleacher Creatures.

Weekend Update

Hello all! Happy Monday. This weekend was marvelous. We experienced some nice weather, which was much needed. Our students took advantage in a variety of ways! Check it out below!

Erica Restaino

On Friday, I went to the MoMA since there is free admission on Friday evenings. It was a lot of fun to wander around and look at all of the artwork, especially the pieces I recognized from my art classes!

Drew DiPane

This past Tuedsay was my birthday, so Friday night I celebrated it with friends over delicious pizza at Michaelangelo's and then (attempted) to play tennis in the beautiful weather on Saturday. Many students took advantage of the nice weather and spent most of their time outside on Eddie's and other grassy spots.  

Emma Eccleston

I went to a Miley Cyrus concert Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn! I went with five of my friends from school; we all had so much fun. It was definitely a crazy experience! 

Taylor Engdahl

My friend and I got tickets to see a taping of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon! Standby tickets are available daily...another great perk of going to school in NYC!

Studying Abroad: Living What You Learn

Hola from Granada, amigos! Last weekend, my entire Fordham in Granada program united (outside of our class together) for a weekend trip to Portugal, Sevilla, and Cordoba. We visited three separate cities in Portugal, where oddly enough most people prefer to hear you speak English than Spanish, and then the two Spanish cities. Being together as a group is always fun, but my favorite part was experiencing places that, before the weekend, I had only ever seen in textbooks or powerpoint slides.

The most breathtaking real life visits were to the Chapel of Bones at the Church of Carmen in Faro, Portugal and the famous mosque in Cordoba. The chapel was built out of the bones of monks from the associated monastery. It served as a way to create more cemetery space and was also a very much the fashion in southern Portugal in the late 1700s. The Great Mosque dates from the 7th century and has housed both Catholic churches and Islamic mosques. After the Catholic reconquest of Spain in the late Middle Ages, a church was actually built in the center of the mosque and it is still in use today.

You may think that bringing history to life is limited to students who study abroad, but the truth is that Fordham is surrounded by history, and Fordham professors know how to make the best use of it, and I’m not just referring to art professors who go to the Met. We’ve got cloisters, zoos, museums of all types, opera houses, art galleries, national parks, and historical houses to name a few. Fordham actually offers courses on New York City—Fall 2014 offers new views of the city from the points of view of English and Political Science. So New York City is indeed Fordham’s campus (as Father McShane likes to say), but so are Granada, London, Pretoria, Shanghai, and all of the other places you can study abroad during your four years here. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

10 Things To Do For Under $10

Worried that living in a city will be hard on your wallet? Here are a few activities that Fordham students can do for less than $10!

1. Support the Rams and head to a game!

All campus games are free for students to attend- football, basketball, baseball- you name it! Going to games is a fun way to take a break from schoolwork and support your fellow Rams. Very often there are free giveaways at games such as Fordham t-shirts, hats, and signs.

   2. Cappuccinos and cannolis on Arthur Avenue

A dessert date on Arthur Avenue is an inexpensive, fun, and delicious way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Grab a friend and head to Palumbo’s Bakery to receive 20% off your treat with your Fordham ID. Eighty-cent mini cannolis? Count me in!

Open Tuesday through Sunday, the Botanical Gardens offer free entrance to all Fordham Students. Located right across from Fordham’s Rose Hill campus entrance, the Botanical Gardens is a great place to go for a walk with friends or take an afternoon jog.

4. Go to the zoo! (On Wednesdays)

Every Wednesday, the iconic Bronx Zoo is open to the public free of charge (although donations are much appreciated). Take a walk with some friends to see all the animals and be careful to watch out for wandering peacocks.

    5. Experience Central Park

A couple minutes walk from the Lincoln Center campus, Central Park is perfect for playing ball, having a catch, or going for a run or walk with friends. Hop on the Ram Van for only $3 and you are just blocks away from 843 acres of beautiful greens, ponds, and paths.

6. Take an exercise class

The Ram Fit Center offers free exercise classes for all students Monday through Friday- including spin, yoga, strength, conditioning, and dance classes. No signups are necessary and classes are fun, encouraging, and taught by certified instructors. This semester’s class schedule can be found online here.

    7. Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the AmericanMuseum of Natural History (or both!)
Take a $2.50 subway ride to Manhattan and check out two of New York’s most famous museums. Both museums have suggested admission rates, but have a “pay what you want policy”. Toss in a $5 donation and explore centuries of art and American history.

8. Play squash

Rainy day? Make use of Fordham’s Squash facilities by heading to the Lombardi center and request a couple balls and rackets for a game of squash with friends all free of charge. Bring a bathing suit and hop in the pool to cool off after your game.

9. Order tacos!
Estellita's chicken fajitas and guacamole 
Order $2 tacos for delivery from the Fordham student favorite restaurant Estrellita’s on Arthur Avenue. Add in an order of fresh homemade guacamole and chips for an inexpensive break from campus food. Hmmm hmmm hmmm good. 

10. Follow and like Campus Activities Board (CAB)

Stay up to date on campus happenings by following CAB on Twitter and liking them on Facebook. The student run club is always hosting various free or minimal cost events open to all Fordham Students. Movies are played on a weekly basis in Keating’s largest auditorium and Broadway tickets are raffled off each month. CAB also hosts fun events such as Bingo nights, comedy shows, and even trips to the Empire State Building.

The moral of the story is you do not have to bust your wallet to have fun and eat well as a Fordham student in New York City! Both the city and Fordham offer many activities for students of all interests. Tomorrow, for example, I am going to sign up with free Yankee game tickets through CAB!