USG Discusses Meme Controversy

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(Photo courtesy of USG)

By Sarah Huffman

During the public concerns section of this past Thursday’s United Student Government (USG) meeting, the senate discussed the controversy surrounding the Jesulit Meme Instagram page. Executive Vice President Kaylee Wong, GSB ’20, said that the page had posted a few memes that were offensive to certain students in the Fordham community and to the greater Bronx community.

Multiple senators expressed their concerns about the memes. Vice President of Student Life Ashley Qamar, GSB ’20, said she was concerned about incoming freshmen and their parents seeing things like this and making assumptions about the community. Senator Brian Daaleman, FCRH ‘19, and Senator Carlos Rico, FCRH ’21, both said this issue is a teachable moment for the Fordham community. Vice President of Communications Roderick Perez, GSB ‘20, and Vice President of Finance Elizabeth Bjorklund, FCRH ’21, said that it is the duty of USG representatives as student leaders to speak up when things like this happen.

Griffin LaMarche, GSB ’22, who recently stepped down from helping to run the meme page spoke to the senate about the situation and the controversy. LaMarche said that the page used to be run by himself and another student, but after disagreeing about how to handle the offensive meme, he decided to step down and leave the meme page.

The senate also approved the club Jes Net, a club that is trying to connect Fordham students with the elderly Jesuits that live in Murray Weigel. Representatives from the club said that the club participates in five types of activities: field trips, event planning, group discussion, spiritual reflections and one-on-one visits between students and Jesuits.

The representatives said there is already a volunteer who runs programs between students and the Jesuits, but they said that their club will help streamline the process and help with all the work she does.

Residence Hall Association (RHA) Delegate Sara Chesnos, GSB ’19, presented an opportunity for USG to sponsor Fordham Dance Marathon (FDM). FDM raises money all year long for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation which supports families who have been affected by pediatric cancer.

Chesnos said FDM will host its sixth annual dance marathon this year. She said they have consistently raised more money but have not received more funding. The Senate voted to give $200 to FDM and to raise an additional $300 for a total of $500.