In an effort to forge ties with the student body, and keep an open dialogue with the Fairfield community, University President Rev. Jeffrey von Arx S.J. took part in a “town forum” presented by FUSA Tuesday night.

The event was broken into two parts: prepared questions by FUSA President Paul Duffy, and, later, questions from the crowd.

The forum gave Father von Arx an opportunity to share his hopes and dreams for his future at Fairfield Univeristy, as well as the future of the Fairfield community as a whole.

Von Arx recognized that each college and university is different and for now his biggest goal is getting to know the many facets of Fairfield.

He also wants to build relationships within the environment both within the University community and the Fairfield Community.

A significant part of the environmental growth that von Arx wants to focus on and achieve is the enrollment of more AHANA students.

Father von Arx hopes to accomplish this by, first, getting more minorities to apply, offering those students attractive financial aid packages, and fostering a sense that minorities are an integral part of the success of Fairfield.

A long-term goal of Von Arx’s is to renew the embodiment of Jesuit ideals in the student body and in the liberal arts curriculum we offer here at Fairfield.

When discussing academic life, Father von Arx encouraged students to pusue something they love.

“Don’t major in something just because your parents want you to,” he said. “Employers won’t care what you major in, as long as you can think, speak, and write.”

Father von Arx loves the beach. He goes to Jennings and Penfield, but clearly respects the right of upperclassman to live at Fairfield Beach.

He said that town-gown relations in Fairfield are improving each year and that the town has been impressed with the proactive stance of both students and administrators to ensure that future generations of Stags can live at the beach.

The forum gave the sizable group of students, in atttendence a glimpse into the personal life of our president as well.

Father von Arx walked through the crowd and conversed candidly with the early arrivers before the forum began.

Over the course of the night, he touched upon such topics as his love of German opera, Cloisters Park in New York, and church architecture.

The heroes of our University President are great educators; more specifically he wants seniors to consider inviting an intellectually and humanitarily accomplished person when they choose a graduation speaker.

Father von Arx revealed what influenced him to enter the priesthood; through his nightly visits to the Princeton Chapel as an undergraduate, he forged a close relationship with God.

Von Arx said that he would have liked to have delayed his ordination into the Society of Jesus had he not had such a low draft number in the Vietnam draft and he advises students to take some free time after graduation and not go to work or graduate school directly from undergraduate school.

Father von Arx was eager to answer questions and gave ample time and attention to all those who asked questions of him.

The event was considered a success with the attendance of more than forty students.

FUSA will be sponsoring their next town forum on October 19 in conjunction with the Ignatian Residential College.

The next forum will focus on voter registration and will feature the two candidates for Connecticut State Senate, Diane Farrell and Chris Hayes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.