Jesuit Friendliness or Mind-Control Scheme? A look into Fordham’s Omnipresent Door-Holding Culture

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A look into Fordham’s Omnipresent Door-Holding Culture


Here at Fordham University, we live a shared culture. We experience things like the horribly unfunny “Riding the Ram” joke you told that girl. Things like trying SO hard to be friends with Bernard, the South guard, and feeling like you’re getting nowhere. Things like practicing handshakes on the paper cutout of Pope Francis in McGinley. From the green, rolling pastures of Eddie’s to the green, rolling faces of students leaving the Caf, we as FU attendees are all subject to that same, special brand of Chinese water torture. We’re a Ramily, after all. But despite all those things under our little Jesuit umbrella, only one is more inexplicably present to me than any other. I’m talking, of course, about door holding.

Making the trek out here from Southern California wasn’t easy. Leaving behind constantly enchanting skies, flawless weather, and a picturesque landscape isn’t something you do lightly. Not only that, I also left my friends, family, and an assortment of loved ones. If I wasn’t such a detestable, cold-hearted bastard, it might’ve been hard to say goodbye. Alright, alright, I’ll confess. I was a blubbering mess when Mom sent me the first care package. She signed it “Love, Mommy.”  How would you react to that? However, despite my lachrymose beginnings, I knew I had to persevere. I was a Fordham Ram, and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to have fun at the nation’s greatest party school. Although the homesickness was apparent, my most important trial was the cultural shift: everyone here was doin’ it to em’.


It was a veritable sea of white nike socks, white adidas ultra boosts, and white people threatening to swallow me whole. I was searching for a life jacket. During my quest for acclimation, I couldn’t help but notice some stark differences from home. For one, instead of slap-bumping, you guys slap-grope.  I straightened that out pretty quickly after a few awkward encounters. It’s go in with the open hand, slap, hold, pull down, interlock eyes, smile. You got this Nils. Despite my now-sublime handshake game, the contrast remained palpable. I felt it wherever I walked, but couldn’t seem to place it. Desperate for answers, I ran amongst the crowds an alien. And like, as one of those weird, disturbing baby aliens with the “ayy lmao” tagline.

ayy lmao

Something like this feisty little guy. Suddenly, I was struck with the lightning of understanding: it was the doors!


You guys hold open doors for each other. Like, a lot. I’m not saying that we Californians don’t hold open doors. It just has to be… convenient. Like, a dude’s basically gotta be fondling my shadow for me to hold it open, and for girls, it’s about that range plus five feet. Here, it feels like everyone’s constantly scoping for chances. In the wholly unproductive 47 minutes that I’ve been in Cosi today, the double doors have not once come back to touch each other - it’s a bit excessive. And, above all else, it just doesn’t really make sense to me! What I mean is, it doesn’t line up with all the other stereotypes I’ve gathered. On the east coast, people generally seem a bit colder and drawn inward, as opposed to the laid-back style of the west coast. For some reason, the cotillion-esque politeness of Fordhamites contradicts that trend.

This paradox got me thinking. Could it be that East Coasters, because they rigidly follow antiquated laws of societal etiquette, think they don’t actually have to be nice to people? Nah, definitely not. It had to be something deeper. My first theory was that kids just wanted to feel superior. Based on my time here so far, I initially figured this was a no-brainer. I realized the impossibility of that hypothesis when I remembered the horrid East Coast style. Thirty minutes later, after I stopped giggling to myself, I found my second theory: The “D” in “Vincent Lombar-D” stands for “Door”, as in open. It all made sense! With Vincent basically being Fordham’s only impressive alumni, it figured that the university illuminati would want to honor him in some manner. I scratched that one off when I realized the “D” actually stands for “Denzel”, as in Washington, Fordham’s actual most impressive alumni, and a genuinely awesome fun fact for anyone trying to rep Fordham.

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Look at this man. This man once walked among us.

Anyway, after continuing my investigation by doing no research at all for several days, I finally uncovered the sinister truth: Fordham University wants people opening their doors to let out AC, thus increasing the electrical bill to justify the high tuition in a massive money-grabbing scheme. Boomski.

It all made sense, for real this time! When Fordham University was founded, way back in June 24, 1841, AC didn’t actually exist. These were hard times, with an abundance of sticky, sweltering Gabelli boys frolicking amongst the Catholics. Obviously, this was an atrocity that needed quick action. Unfortunately, that sweet nectar of convenience would not come. The paralyzing terror of wet, young men continued its reign for many years until 1902, when a 25-year-old engineer from New York named Willis Carrier invented the first modern air-conditioning system (Oremus, Will “A History of Air Conditioning” slate.com, The Slate Group, July 15th, 2013 https://slate.com/culture/2013/07/a-history-of-air-conditioning.html).

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Gaze reverently upon our savior, fellow rams. You know not what horrors he has felled.

Despite this gorgeous, angelic man’s best intentions, his work was soon bastardized by the insidious taint of greed. Fordham University founder Gerald H. Fordham, now well into his 30s, needed more money to finance his eccentric cockfighting hobby. Through the advent of AC, he had his method: door-holding.


Well, there ya have it folks. The truth behind the curtain, the maiden behind the veil. Fordham University is extorting our money through your politeness. You may be shocked, appalled, perhaps even surprised at this information. What can I do to combat this treachery, you may ask yourself. Well friends, I leave you with this advice. Be a terrible person. Don’t let Fordham get to you. Litter on campus, never say please or thank you, spit on your professors. Talk with your mouth full. Push people in the halls. And never, EVER, hold the door open.


Culture, SatireJonathan Meador