Category Archives: Fordham University Student Voices

Justice for College Roommates: A Lighthearted Approach to a Complex Principle




By: Brendan Dagher

Everyday we struggle to resolve how to treat those who wrong us or cause us pain. How do we punish those who steal from us? Who determines how we are fully compensated for the pain others inflict on us? We demand justice, or a system of fairness that safeguards our dignity as humans. Our personal morals feed into this system of fairness, often making justice a complex ethical issue.

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Unethical Teaching: How Perceptions of the Poor Negatively Shape Outcomes and Why Assumptions of Race and Class Must be Challenged

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Dorothy Day                    Photo via


By: Halina Shatravka

This winter I decided to volunteer at an organization I saw listed in Fordham’s Dorothy Day Center newsletter teaching inner-city, public-high school kids. Great, I thought — I went to a New York City public school, so I know a bit about these kids and the backgrounds they tend to have.

I attended a day-long orientation in a high-rise, Times Square building with carefully-selected minimalist decor. Most of the students in attendance were from other private institutions. Briefly, we went over what they deemed to be”safe” and “accessible” words to use with these students, who, it was implied, might not understand a certain vocabulary.

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‘Generosity is penicillin to our culture of entitlement’: Cardinal Dolan on ethics, social justice and issues facing millennials

Cardinal Dolan (center) with Michael Menconi FCRH '14 (left) and Ken Ochs FCRH '14 (right)

Cardinal Dolan (center) with Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 (left) and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 (right)

Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, and specifically, New York, seemed like an appropriate time to revisit an interview with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. Two recent Fordham University graduates, Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 conducted the interview in June 2014, which focuses on many of the social justice issues currently highlighted by Pope Francis’ trip:

In response to a question on the unique responsibilities of young people today, particularly in relation to social justice, His Eminence explained that “if we properly understand who we are in God’s eyes…and in relation to other creatures and all of creation, we will sense that there are certain duties and obligations that simply flow from who we are.”

“This is not only an ethical, moral, religious, Catholic insight: it’s also a very American insight,” he continued. “It is at the heart of what our founders meant when they speak about the common good.  As a civic society, especially at the very core of an enlightened democracy, who we are as privileged citizens of this republic have certain duties which arise from within, upon which a democracy is to depend if it is to flourish.  I would congratulate Pope Francis for reminding us of this.”

Read a summary of their 90-minute conversation below, or read the full interview transcript. 

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The Poor and Marginalized are not ‘Boxes to be Checked’: Reflections on Matthew 25

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By John Tracey

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. . . Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25: 35-36, 40)

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Putting Justice Back in the Justice System: ‘It is time to defend the basic human rights of the voiceless individuals’

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By Alyssa Dolan

The dialogue on the imprisonment of those with intellectual development disorders (IDDs) has progressively grown silent. Crucial to this nonexistent discourse is the tendency of the justice system to criminalize the traits associated with such disorders – traits including tendencies to tune people out, to repeat actions and words, to have poor eye contact, to fail to follow directions.

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Dignity, By Virtue of Bodily Requirements

Felix Gonzales Torres,

Felix Gonzales Torres, Untitled (1991).


By: Robert Schmaltz

“Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life…”

~ Hans Jonas (1984)

Human dignity refers to a kind of value that is difficult to distinguish without first recognizing something unique to the embodied human, the capacity to not only sustain life but radically proliferate a state of wellbeing and the capacity to absolutely annihilate. Humans can improve upon the excellences of physical conditions almost ceaselessly, tenderly care for the most fragile of conditions, and we can break bodies beyond comprehension. Why has some skepticism emerged from comparing the value of dignity to the function of autonomy? I uphold the view that for autonomy to have any worth, which it does, it must be preceded by the recognizable value of dignity. Ultimately, the objective value of human dignity is held in the practice of living and sustaining embodied lives.

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Book Review: The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer

singer book

Book Review: The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015). ISBN 978-0-300-18027-5.

Reviewed by Michael S. Dauber

Peter Singer’s new book The Most Good You Can Do is the latest installment in a series of works dedicated to advancing altruism as a way of life. The book expands directly on Singer’s work in The Life You Can Save (2010), a best-selling text that argued that our obligation to help the poor overseas is just as strong as the obligation to save a drowning child one comes across in a river: if one can easily help, one is required to, and distance and nationality are not excuses to withhold aid.

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