Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Student Government (USG) came together to provide an outlet for students to voice their concerns. On Thursday, March 26, the Senate met at their usual time of 5:30 p.m. over Zoom.
During the meeting, the Senate approved a COVID-19 concern form, which will be shared on social media. It contains six sections: Academic, Clubs/Organizations, Student Finances, International Student Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Residential Life and Commencement/Senior Week. Executive President Kaylee Wong, GSB ’20, said the form serves to convey messages from students to USG that can then be written into statements of support or proposals in front of the administration.
Senator Luke Morgan, GSB ’22, helped come up with the wording of the student finances section and stressed the importance of documenting each individual concern. One specific question asks about the unexpected expenses students have found themselves with due to the closure of the university.
Senator Simon Rodriguez, GSB ’20, voiced concerns for international students with F1 Visa status who he said need a signature from the Office of International Services (OIS) before leaving or entering the country. OIS’ website now says students do not need any form of endorsement to travel out of the country.
The Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) section is written in an open-ended question format. Vice President of Health and Security Emma Budd, FCRH ’20, said CPS is continuing to conduct virtual sessions and extending its 10 session limit on students who attend counseling. She added that students were able to call to begin the counseling process if they haven’t already done so and would like to.
The Residential Life section contains questions about retrieving belongings from dorms and asks if students were left without a place to live upon the university’s closure.
Senator Domenic Setaro, FCRH ’20, gave an update on the dining situation. He said meal reimbursements were being discussed with Aramark. The Fordham Campus Dish website says Queen’s Court will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. everyday beginning March 26, but that all other campus dining locations are closed.
Vice President of GSB, Reilly Keane, GSB ’21, gave an update on student employment. She said student workers employed through work study are getting paid out for the hours that they would have worked for the rest of the semester.
Budd said that the Committee on Sexual Misconduct (CSM) Week of Action, planned for March 30 to April 3, will still take place virtually. Budd said the Clothesline Project will take place on Instagram, and that the focus of the week will be domestic violence, in light of victims forced to stay indoors with their abusers during the pandemic.
Vice President of Sustainability Maggie Tattersfield, FCRH ’20, talked about the idea of putting Sustainability Week online as well. She said presentations might include documentary recommendations and online shopping store recommendations.
Advisor Stephen Esposito said the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) is still having meetings online, and that Alumni Relations has set up a student emergency fund for those in desperate need of finances.