Class of 2022 Report

Thomas DePaola – 

My first semester as a Fordham USG Senator was likely not the most glamorous of our group. After running unopposed in special elections and going through the USG retreat, I will admit, I was a bit unsure of myself. I questioned if I belonged among this group- I wondered if I could develop the same confident leadership that I saw in the individuals around me. In my 2 years at Fordham, I’d never held a leadership position like this. It was a daunting task, but also one I was eager to tackle. 

With the initial help of VP Bentovim, I collaborated with Senator Keane and Dean’s Council to lay down the frameworks of the Gabelli Major Fair, which we hope to host virtually this coming Spring semester. Within the Communications and Marketing Committee, I helped to create multiple infographics that were later posted on official USG accounts. Holding Transparency Hours in McGinley Second was a fun experience, and it was really nice to connect with my constituents, some of whom I had never spoken with before. Being someone that others look to for information and guidance is pretty nice.

Ultimately, my first semester on USG was a great experience that I hope to build upon this coming semester. After getting comfortable with speaking during meetings and sharing my opinions, I look forward to being a more active member in discussions and overall being a more productive member of USG. I realize what a wonderful group of people we have and I can’t wait to be back in action with them all. 

Flannery Brown – 

Stepping into my first semester as a USG senator at Fordham during a pandemic has presented a unique opportunity to conscientiously fight for students’ overall well being. 2020 was an especially difficult year, which required representatives to anticipate needs and help to lighten potential student burdens in new and thoughtful ways. For that reason, the initiatives I worked on include: a lab proposal intended to aid students on the Pre-Health track by making them more efficient and less time consuming, creating a more manageable path to completing major and core requirements, as well as prerequisites; a proposal to implement mental health days and a mental health week throughout the 2021 Spring Semester in place of our normal Spring Break to account for the emotional – as well as physical – toll the pandemic has taken on students’ mental health; and, finally, I worked on a proposal that was passed in November that called for the formal recognition of Veteran’s Day in order to allow student veterans to participate in the holiday’s events without missing classes. 

While the 2020 Fall Semester mostly entailed brainstorming what my initiatives would be and what they would entail, my objective for the Spring Semester consists of getting them written, voted on, and implemented. I will send out a previously completed survey to the student body, compile the data, and then write a proposal for my lab initiative, as well as work with Senator Ronan to compose a mental health proposal. I am so excited for this next stage and look forward to accomplishing my goals as I continue to serve the student body as a ‘22 senator over the coming months. 

David D’Onofrio – 

This semester, I focused my efforts into my role as chair of C.A.R.E. programming within the Committee of Sexual Misconduct. As both senator and subcommittee chair, I have pursued initiatives to help resident assistants (RAs) complete their C.A.R.E. programming in an easy, efficient manner. C.A.R.E. programs differ from typical RA programming because they are required to meet certain standards of the Office of Residential Life. In particular, my subcommittee and I have compiled a list of past C.A.R.E. programs with attachments to PowerPoints so RAs can understand what meets the requirements. We also offer meetings with RAs to discuss topic ideas, logistics of programming, and offer Title IX resources. In the wake of COVID-19, we also worked to shape our past programs to a digital format so students can virtually attend C.A.R.E. programming. We have plans in the future to present at future RA training programs to ensure all RAs are aware of our presence and the help we offer. My goal for the upcoming semester is to connect with all RAs on campus and increase the attendance of C.A.R.E. programs.  

Griffin LaMarche – 

This year was full of tumultuous challenges and unexpected obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My first challenge was finding an initiative to pursue and finding a place in USG to serve adequately from my apartment while we all tried to stay safe from COVID. My time on USG this semester can be defined by my contributions and efforts to serve with VP Chen on DAC and the progress made on initiatives with Senator Mullins and Senator D’Onofrio.

On DAC, I helped VP Chen and a team of other constituents to complete the Gender Non-Conforming Policy for Residential Life. While it seemed like a small endeavor, I was proud of my work to progress the initiative. Additionally, I assisted in smaller matters on the Communications committee with VP Bentovim. Again, my contributions were small, but I felt that this semester gave me a strong feel for how I can be most useful for the upcoming semester.

I’ve started two initiatives with Senator Mullins and Senator D’Onofrio. One being finding a way to incorporate testing data within the Fordham app or consistent communication and the other being a way to include a Career Exploration IP class offered for GSB students for FCRH students. My progress was shunted by a lack of communication with administration, but I have plans to reach out next semester and finish these initiatives.

Kristen Ronan – 

What a semester fall 2020 has turned out to be! Upon returning to school this past August, joining USG is something that I thought wasn’t in the cards for me. After hearing that there was a seat available in the Class of 2022 Senate, I am so glad I decided to take that opportunity to run in the special election. Throughout the semester, I have felt a great sense of purpose and pride through working alongside other members of USG, as well as Fordham students and staff members, to try and make our community the best it can be. 

When I ran for Senate, my platform was largely focused on mental health and sustainability. The main initiative that I ran on was to update Fordham’s excused absence policy to allow for a “mental health day” as a valid reason to be excused from class. Vice President Sullivan and I have been pursuing this initiative throughout the semester, meeting with Dr. Jeffrey Ng to get his support and feedback on the initiative, as well as meeting with several Rose Hill and Gabelli Deans to garner support on the academic side of things.

This upcoming semester, my main focus will be to get this initiative into a written proposal, and hopefully get the idea implemented. I will also be working alongside Senator Brown, to support her mental health initiative regarding professors giving students a ‘mid-semester break’ from homework and deadlines, in lieu of a designated Spring Break. We hope to combine these ideas into one large proposal centered around mental health. I’m looking forward to a great semester!