Fordham Five: Rules for Good Ram Van Etiquette

By Amy Snopek

The Ram Van is crucial to any commuting Fordham Student, especially when you have early morning internships in midtown or multiple classes at the opposite campus. But we all know that Ram Van rides come with their challenges.

Bumpy backseats, completely full vans, and rush hour traffic are frankly unavoidable. But there are some Ram Van speed bumps that are totally and completely unnecessary. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The loud, the smelly, and the downright annoying obstacles that come with being in an enclosed space with 14 other college kids for a half hour… or longer.

Ram Van 1

Courtesy of Amy Snopek.

Here are some tips that can improve everyone’s ride. And just remember, when you’re on a full Ram Van, be self-aware. The mantra must always be “We’re all in this together.”

(And yes, you NSO leaders out there, you have full permission to hand these rules out to incoming freshman in the fall.)

Headphones

Courtesy of Amy Snopek.

1. Headphones
The Ram Van drivers almost always play music, and it’s usually fairly generic top 40 hits, so there is absolutely no problem bringing your own music device and headphones aboard. In fact, it’s encouraged if it means you’ll sit still and stay quiet. However, if I am sitting a row behind you and I can hear every word of that Adele love ballad you’re jamming to, there’s an issue. If your headphones are not advertised as noise-cancelling headphones, don’t blast music in a vain attempt to make them noise-cancelling. It ain’t working, Honey. It’ll give you and your neighbors a headache. So if you are still using the headphones that came free with you iPod Mini in 2009, it’s time for an upgrade people.

Tip: Put your headphones in and play “Lady Marmalade.” Ask your roommate if they can hear “Lady Marmalade.” If they sing along with “Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir,” run, don’t walk, to Best Buy and get some new ear buds.

2. Conversations and Name Dropping
This is a big one. I love how friendly Fordham students are, but not on the Ram Van. Remember the “We’re all in this together” mentality.  If you are having a conversation with a friend of yours, everyone can hear you. WE CAN ALL HEAR YOU. Everyone knows your business because, even those people with headphones in probably don’t have noise cancelling headphones… (And they’re trying to block out the sound of your voice, and you’re actually the root of the problem listed above…) Also, Fordham really isn’t that big of a school. Don’t name drop. You never know who knows someone. Overhearing conversations about the guy you hooked up with last weekend really is not fun.

Tip: The second that driver says “Everyone buckle up,” you best buckle your lips up too, people. When the van is in motion, your lips better not be.

3. Food
I don’t remember the last time I had a well-balanced meal because I am always eating on the go. Eating in the Ram Van, however, is only okay with certain foods. Do not sit next to me with a big gyro from the halal cart on the corner. Oh hell no! That thing will smell up the entire van for the entire journey, and if you get a drop of sauce on my new purse, I will throw that gyro out the damn window. One time I saw a lady trying to eat a cup of soup. SOUP. ON THE RAM VAN. Why would you even attempt that? And you best pick up your napkins and wrappers. Let’s be real; Ram Van drivers are brave, brave souls. Respect them. They should not be cleaning up after you. So if it smells, if it’s messy, or if you’re going to leave the leftovers in the van, now is not the time to eat.

Tip: Remember that riding in the Ram Van makes a lot of people car sick, and adding smells to that will only make their car sickness worse. If you want to avoid someone tossing their cookies on your, well, cookies, don’t eat them in the Ram Van.

4. Phone
Oh, you want to talk on the phone in the Ram Van? End of a long day and want to catch up with Mom? Guess what. I don’t care about how your interview at JP Morgan went. I’m glad you have a loving mother who cares, but I don’t know you, and your desire to get a front office job after graduation really does nothing for me. Oh you speak a second language? Hey, more power to you – I truly wish I was bilingual. But just because you no one knows what you’re saying does not make it okay to talk on the phone. Cause the whole time I’m thinking, “This home girl is probably talking about me and I have no idea. Wow, I’m an idiot. Why didn’t I take my 9 years of French classes seriously?” Nah bro, Ram Van is not the time for a phone conversation.

Tip: If it’s really that important, there’s this thing called texting. In the Ram Van, love it and live by it.

5. Seating arrangements
We lead busy lives, and sometimes showing up to the Ram Van at 4:59 happens. I get that. But don’t ask the person who arrived on time and is seated comfortably at the end of the row to slide into the middle seat. If you’re late, you get the middle seat. First come, first served. And a note to professors, you don’t automatically get the front seat. Or the single seat. Or the privilege of putting your briefcase on the seat next to you and forcing a lowly student to squeeze into the backseat. Don’t expect students to move for you.

Tip: On the Ram Van, we’re all in this together.

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