Keeping Solidarity from a Distance

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(Hunter Benegas/The Fordham Ram)

Hunter Benegas, Visual Director

It was a sunny, warm Monday morning in my philosophy class on the second floor of Keating Hall when it all began. You may ask what I’m referring to, and that is Fordham’s “coronacation.” 

Prior to this, we had only seen the coronavirus in other countries, and it seemed worlds away. Even after New York’s first confirmed case, life, for the most part, went about like normal. There had been rumors on Sunday night that Fordham would follow Columbia University’s decision to close, but everyone, myself included, was skeptical of such a decision. 

However, as my philosophy professor broke down free will, my phone began buzzing more than usual, and I noticed mine was not the only one. I finally gave in and checked my phone to see group chats alive and fired up that Fordham was closed for the coronavirus, and soon thereafter an email appeared confirming the news: School’s out. 

Now, the rational next step for students would be to go home or stay in their dorm. But, being the young dumb college kids we all are, everyone I knew made plans to congregate on Edward’s Parade. Soon after our arrival, we realized that seemingly everyone else had the same idea. Hundreds of fellow classmates, free from all scholarly and extracurricular obligations, filled the lawn on that beautiful day. Eddie’s was alive with music, chatter and various lawn games as everyone enjoyed their newfound freedom. Even in the face of danger and the threat of our semester coming to an end, we all still relished the company of our friends and the warm weather, but little did we know what was to come.

Returning to present day, I am sitting in my childhood bedroom writing this and reminiscing on the short but amazing second semester we had. In these trying times, a lot is changing around us, but I realize the only constants we have are the people around us. Your friends and family are always there for you, and it’s important to have this. I am incredibly grateful to have found my home among my friends, The Fordham Ram and Fordham University Emergency Medical Service (FUEMS) here at Fordham. Although we may not be physically present on campus, the sense of community feels just as alive as ever, and that’s what I love about Fordham.

Whether it be an online class, group FaceTimes with your friends or an article for your favorite club, we are still living our lives. To be honest, the caf food and sweaty classrooms aren’t what made my school special, it was always the people. Things might be different and constantly changing, but this, like everything, will pass. I want everyone to use their free time to reach out to friends and family and to be there for them. I know that a lot of our future is unsure right now, but what is definite are the relationships we have made here, and it’s always good to remember that we are all going through this together, one day at a time.