The Fordham Ram

From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

Back to Article
Back to Article

From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






21By Casey Chun

We, as “men and women for others,” are taught that New York is our campus and Fordham is our school. As a native New Yorker, I find that there are few experiences that can parallel those found within the five boroughs. I often find that other New Yorkers are almost never silent when injustices plague the community. As a Fordham student, however, I find that these gates separate us from our so-called “campus.” In this microcosm, we are shielded from discussions, dialogues and debates regarding racial issues, thereby providing an ideal environment for culture apathy and silence.

The recent “bias incidents” that occurred on campus ironically spoke volumes of students’ dispositions on campus. Though several student groups hosted events that opened opportunities for discussion, there still remains a culture of apathy among students. Is it because students simply do not care or is it because students believe we live in a post-racial society? Almost 69 percent of students at Fordham identify as Caucasian, which indicates our student population’s relative homogeneity. The university consistently reassures students that diversity comes in many forms. While diversity can be classified into categories such as socioeconomic status or geographic origin, it cannot be used to replace the experiences associated with race.

When it comes to these discussions, the question of race always comes up: “Why do you always have to make it about race?” The polarities of being color-blind and color-conscious are difficult spaces to navigate. The idea of being race or color-blind is, in itself, a paradox. To be color-blind, one must be color-conscious to be able to discern oneself. There are studies on how race impacts experiences of growing up in America. Race determines experiences and when we open these experiences up to discussion, they are often met with criticism. As political and social comic Hari Kondabolu puts it succinctly, “Telling me that I’m obsessed with talking about racism in America is like telling me I’m obsessed with swimming when I’m drowning.”

When students finally talk about race on campus, however, the discussion is often minimalized and reduced to a black-white dichotomy. This dichotomy excludes many students from the discussion. To people who are excluded, this situation often begs the question: Where do I belong in this discussion? It is important to acknowledge and address the forms of marginalization affecting different communities, such as Asian American/Pacific Islanders and Latinos. Likewise, it is just as important to acknowledge and address the forms of privileges reaped by those communities. While these discussions occur, it is important to recognize that certain experiences are unique to a specific community. The point is not to try to figure out which community “has it worse.”

Within these gates, our education does little to prepare students for our multi-faceted society. The course offerings are limited and catered to a Euro- and Ameri-centric view (see Understanding Historical Change). In recent years, the administration has put significant effort in promoting racial awareness on campus, but these attempts should go beyond making tokens of students of color. While New York may be our campus, it is also one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Being in New York should not be seen as an excuse to refrain from discussing issues of race. Within these gates, students’ silence and demand for complacency serve to reinforce the existing issues and power structures. Beyond bromides of the importance of diversity and how it exists in New York, the silence on these issues associated with racial identity serves to be our school’s most pervasive form of obliviousness and indifference.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor”

  1. The Importance of Continuing Racial Dialogue | Diverse World Coaching on September 23rd, 2015 8:27 pm
  2. Brandon Mogrovejo on September 24th, 2015 11:45 pm

    A powerful, much-needed article. Phenomenal work.

    I had the privilege of having a diverse set of course-offerings at Fordham because of my African and African-American Studies Major (and my Theology minor, to an extent). The history and construction of race through slavery/colonialism, its connection to the United States, Caribbean, Latin America, and elsewhere, and the current disparities that exist today were topics I covered extensively.

    But most students at Fordham don’t follow this path of study, unfortunately. That is why I believe departments like African-American Studies and other ethnic studies departments should be empowered and supported at Fordham by the school administration.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    A Century of Excellence at The Ram

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    When Words Fall Short

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    I Found a Home

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    To All The Tuesday Nights

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    Thank You, Fordham Ram

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    A Major Step Forward, But Always Looking Back

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    An Anectodal, Teary-Eyed Goodbye

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    America’s Pastime is Still Great

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    Stop Sacrificing Your Self

  • From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor

    From the Desk

    Rethinking Roadblocks to Happiness

Navigate Right
Fordham University's Journal of Record Since 1918
From the Desk of Casey Chun, Photo Editor