If it's at Fordham, it's in The Observatory.

We’ve Moved to a New Site!

Hey all!

In celebration of the upcoming school year, The Observatory is turning over another leaf. Visit our new location at www.observatorylc.com for all our old posts, plus a dazzling new design and the promise of fresh, fancy posts in the upcoming school year. We’re headed for big things, y’all. The Observatory is about to change. Your. Life.

So, head on over to the new digs and update your bookmarks. Here’s to a bright, shiny school year!



NY Senate Approves Gay Marriage

Sara Azoulay, Asst. News Editor

On Friday, June 24th, the New York Senate passed a bill approving gay marriage, marking a historic moment in U.S legislation. The decision followed the June 15th  state assembly that approved the marriage equality bill.

While overwhelming uncertainty for the marriage bill left citizens unsure of the ultimate outcome,  the vote came down to a win for gay marriage supporters—33 votes to 29. Four Republicans were in favor of the bill, Stephen M. Saland, Roy J. McDonald, James S. Alesi, and Mark J. Grisanti .  Senator Mark J. Grisanti of Buffalo, a Republican among the four said before voting,

 “I apologize for those who feel offended, I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”

 All democrats present in the Senate but one voted yes to the bill. Democrat Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx voted no to the bill stating,

“God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage, a long time ago.”

  The bill was signed at 11:15 p.m. Friday night by Governor Andrew Cuomo and will take effect in thirty days. New York joins the ranks of Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut in allowing same sex marriage and is currently the largest state to do so.While the decision marks a huge victory for the gay community, others feel that it comprises the traditional structure of families. 

The bill was passed just in time for the Gay Pride Parade in New York City. The pridefest, the LGBT street fair, was held on Sunday, June 25, 2011 on Hudson Street. Many supporters came out to celebrate gay pride and the new passing of the marriage equality bill.

Fordham Announces Eight Notables to Receive Honorary Degrees at Graduation Ceremonies

Cristina Romano, Assistant Blog Editor

Images of honorees, left to right as mentioned.

Recently, Fordham announced a list of eight notables who will be receiving honorary degrees at this year’s commencement ceremony on May 21st at the Rose Hill campus. Brian Williams, award-winning anchor of NBC Nightly News, will have the double honor of delivering this year’s commencement address and receiving a doctorate of humane letters (honoris causa). Also set to receive honoris causa  degrees are:

Glorya Kaufman

  • Claim to fame: married to the late Donald Bruce Kaufman, founder of the home-building firm Kaufman and Broad. The couple was known for their philanthropic spirit, donating to forty different charitable organizations – something Gloria continued until after her husband’s death. Gloria also funded a new dance studio at Juilliard.
  • Fordham connection: Kaufman has provided generous funding for the B.F.A program at the Ailey School.

Marian Hall Seldes

  • Claim to fame: 1947, Seldes made her Broadway debut in Medea. In 1967, she won a Tony Award for her performance in A Delicate Balance. She is also in the Guinness Book of World Records for appearing in every single performance of Death Trap in its four year run.
  • Fordham connection: After teaching at Juilliard for twenty years, Seldes joined the faculty at FCLC over a decade ago.

Alex Trebek

  • Claim to fame: Aside from hosting Jeopardy, Trebek generously donates his time to various charities such as The Smile Train, an organization that provides cleft palate surgery for children in developing countries, and World Vision, where he served as a spokesman for its Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
  • Fordham connection: Trebek has a son who attends FCRH.

Steven E. Sanderson

  • Claim to Fame: Since 2001, Sanderson has served as president of the Wildlife Conservation Society. With his efforts, he has helped expand their work into more than sixty nations and has also helped with the revitalization of the Bronx Zoo.  He has taught for eighteen years at the University of Florida serving as the chair of the political science department as well as the co-founder of the university’s Tropical Conservation and Development Program. Sanderson will be receiving a doctorate of science honoris causa.
  • Fordham connection: Sanderson is a former Fordham trustee and specializes in American politics, agricultural development and trade.

Additionally, on Sunday, May 22nd, Fordham will present two honorary degrees at the Law School diploma ceremony. Former Governor George E. Pataki will be speaking as well as receiving a doctorate of laws, honoris causa.  Arts advocate, businessman and former U.S. ambassador Earle I. Mack will also be receiving a doctorate of laws.  On May 24th, Marine Gen. Peter Race (Ret.) who is the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will give an address at the GBA diploma ceremony, where he will be also receiving a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa.

Categories: Uncategorized

We Would Prefer the Buffalo

May 11, 2011 1 comment

Sadia Noor, Blog Editor

Over a week ago, Fordham officials plastered notices all over campus with a simple message: instead of adding bells and whistles, they would be using freaking horns and explosives to facilitate building at the new law school site. To which the Fordham community says, “Really?” As if the constant jackhammer drilling in the library wasn’t distracting enough during finals week, let’s add some dynamite!

One particularly feisty Fordham student  decided to take things even further, and posted flyers of his/her own on campus. I’d like to tell you what’s on the flyer, but it’s better for you to read it on your own. Here are the two construction-related notices. The one on the left is the official notice; the one on the right is the student-posted one (that was, of course, quickly taken down by the administration):

All I can say is: well done, whoever you are.

Categories: Campus, Uncategorized

Bill Clinton Joins the Fight for Gay Marriage Rights in New York

Cristina Romano, Assistant Blog Editor

58 percent. That is the number of New Yorkers who believe that gay and lesbian couples deserve the right to get married. Since the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched the “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality” initiative back in 2010, New Yorkers such as Fran Drescher, Joan Rivers, Russell Simmons and Lucy Liu have contributed thirty-second testimonials to HRC’s YouTube page. These celebrities join in the likes of politicians who also support the cause such as Senator Gillibrand, Mayor Bloomberg and former Mayor Ed Koch.

Now, HRC has another political supporter. Today, they released a new statement by former President Bill Clinton saying that he fully supports marriage equality legislation in Albany. “Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ – deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community” Clinton said, “for more than a century our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free. In the 21st century, I believe New York’s welcome must include marriage equality.”

Brian Ellner, HRC’s Senior Strategist added, “What we’re fighting for is pretty simple…we want to make sure gay and lesbian couples have the freedom to make a lifelong commitment to the person they love. Nothing says family like marriage.”

The current legislative session in Albany ends in June and supporters of marriage equality are pushing for a vote before the session is finished. To learn more about HRC and what they stand for, visit their website.

Categories: Uncategorized

“Herd” at Fordham: The “Hey, That’s The Plot For The Next Michael Bay Movie” Edition

Overheard by Ashley Tedesco

Professor to her class: I said to myself that I would miss this class, but I will also miss Viking Fun Facts about lactose intolerant Native Americans. What will I do without that?”

Astroturf Rolled Out for Groundbreaking Ceremony on the Outdoor Plaza

Cristina Romano, Assistant Blog Editor
In case you were living under a rock on Monday, May 2nd, there was an Undergraduate Residence Hall Groundbreaking Ceremony on the Outdoor Plaza, which marked the official start of construction on the $250 million facility, that will tower 22 stories over 62nd St. between Amsterdam and Columbus by Fall 2014. I mean, I really don’t know how you could have missed it – isn’t it every day Vivaldi and music from the Nutcracker is blasting on flat screen TVs everywhere you turn in Lowenstein? Not to mention there were freshly manicured tulips planted out front next to the dozens of elaborately displayed maroon and white Fordham balloons.

It is worth noting that upon entering the ceremony (that is, if you were on the exclusive attendee list), you received a Fordham hard-hat, a Law School pen and a mini hard-hat keychain (wow, I ALWAYS wanted one of those!) Fordham even rolled out a fancy sheet of astroturf for the occasion to cover a portion of the grass near the seating area. The “tickets only” ceremony was attended by Fordham students, alumni and faculty alike as well as Mayor Bloomberg, who called the building of the residence hall  “a major milestone for Fordham and also for this city.” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was also in attendance and said how proud he was to be a part of such a great event for the city. “The result is not just a great victory for the Law School and the alumni and for the students that will come here… you have a big win for the West Side, for Manhattan, for the city and quite frankly for all that will come here in the next twenty years,” he stated.

 Like always, Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, was also there to deliver his remarks and to express his gratitude for the donations that made the building of the new  residence hall possible. “From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of all the students who have benefitted and will benefit from your generosity, I want to thank you. I thank you for your investment in Fordham, in Jesuit education and in the future that we share,” McShane stated. 

At the end of the ceremony McShane escorted the attendees behind the podium where ground was officially broken and construction officially “begun” – if you’re a commuter like me and want to watch the construction even while you are not at Fordham, there is hope! Head over to the Fordham website and watch the live feed! 

Categories: Uncategorized