Leveling the Field Between Gabelli and FCRH


Gabelli -Kellyn SimpkinsBy Marisa Rametta

Do Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business (GSB) students receive unfair advantages? Some students argue that Gabelli students get a pass on some core Fordham requirements, such as the foreign language requirement.

Students in Gabelli are required to take a condensed version of the liberal arts core, which allows them to take the business courses that help to fulfill their majors. Because it is a business school, the focus is on developing specific skill sets other than what one gets in the core. However, this leaves out many advanced classes that develop your writing skills, including longer essays and Eloquentia Perfecta classes.

On the other hand, Fordham College Rose Hill students have to take a full liberal arts core curriculum in addition to all their major and, in some cases, minor classes. The principle behind taking the core curriculum is well-founded. Fordham states on its website that its “commitment to a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences through its core curriculum is an education without an expiration date. With courses in philosophy, theology, history, literature, foreign languages, math and science, it’s an education that allows you to foster flexibility, curiosity, and well-roundedness.”

However, in addition to the lack of advanced writing and discussion courses known as Eloquentia Perfecta (EP) students in Gabelli are not required to take a language. If the goal is to “foster well-roundedness,” why is it optional for business students to take language and advanced writing classes? Both of these areas of study are just as relevant to business students as they are to liberal arts students.

Referring to the qualities achieved from participating in a core curriculum, Fordham states on its website that, “These are qualities that employers are seeking, but they are also qualities that will make you a better person — better able to see issues from different perspectives, better able to understand global issues, better able to help where help is needed.”

We live in a world in which businesses are becoming increasingly international. Companies are conducting trade with clients around the world on a daily basis.

The usefulness of learning a second language is certainly relevant to those wanting to enter the business world. So why is a visual arts major required to take a modern language, while those in Gabelli are not?

Julia Ferguson, FCRH ’16, a sociology major at Fordham stated, “It is just not fair that they [Gabelli students] get excused from taking a modern language. How is that acceptable that they can choose and we cannot?” Myself, along with other students at Fordham College Rose Hill, agree with Ferguson and question the reasoning behind this system.

Some may argue that the time-limited core curriculum of Gabelli enables them to focus on more business specific classes. However, other students think that liberal arts students should also have more time to focus specifically on their major.

“If you are in the business school, you have to take a core which is all geared toward business regardless of your major or concentration,” Sara Jackson, FCRH ’15, a political science major stated. “I understand a core curriculum with philosophy and writing focused courses etc. because those help me toward my political science major, just like marketing classes indirectly helps finance majors. But why do they make it seem like a modern language is more relevant to me than to a business school student?”

Students like myself become frustrated because these language classes can be some of the most difficult classes taken at Fordham and can have a negative impact on overall GPA. Unfortunately, because your GPA plays such a large role in applying for jobs and graduate schools, it is aggravating when you know other people do not have to take these courses, while you are struggling through them.

This leaves us questioning the reasoning behind the decision of excluding a modern language requirement from the business school’s curriculum. Whether it is to give them more time to develop their business skills, or to put them in a better light for job applications, based on the principles of the core curriculum, the decision appears questionable and simply unfair.

Personally, I think Fordham College needs to get rid of the language requirement and make it optional for the students who desire to take it and enhance their skillset. However, if the university is going to make it optional for one college, it should be optional for the other.

Marisa Rametta, FCRH ’15, is a psychology major from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.