Flames of the Torch

It’s the end of an era at St. John’s.

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of the University, accomplished a great deal for St. John’s, but past successes, no matter how significant, cannot erase indiscretions that can tarnish the reputation of the University.

We at the Torch want to look toward the future of the University. Of course we want answers concerning the investigation of Harrington and his soon-to-be former chief of staff, Robert Wile, but at this point, we have to keep faith that the truth will eventually come to light.

As the University prepares to enter a new era of leadership, we thought it fitting to highlight what we, as students, believe our new President should stand for – both in terms of academics and community.

Father Harrington had a vision for St. John’s – he wanted to guarantee that the University stayed on an upward track of progress into the new millennium.

Now that the University is thriving in terms of maintaining a high-standing reputation among the community of institutions of higher education, it’s time that the administrative leaders of the University begin to steer their focus to making certain that the University community holds the same view of St. John’s as the public does.

We want a president to instill a culture into St. John’s where professors aren’t afraid to lose their jobs for speaking their opinions on matters that affect their profession, where a student government isn’t afraid to comment in fear of going against the views of administrators and where students don’t have to question the actions and morals of the individuals who oversee the University.

But none of the latter can truly be accomplished unless our new president embodies an ethos that is concerned with the intellectual and social growth of faculty and students alike in the modern times.

We want a leader who has the ability to think outside the box. We want someone who is not only willing, but desires to become a regular face to the eyes of the University community. But even more than wanting these things, we need them.