Flames of the Torch

It’s been a year of transitions, both for the 92nd managing board of the Torch and for St. John’s University.

Shortly after we began our tenure in April, we were informed that the Torch office would be moved to a much smaller location. After many meetings with administration and a tremendous amount of organization on eveeryone’s part, we agreed to move to a larger but more remotely located office in O’Connor Hall. Ultimately, the Torch is very happy with our new space and, it is to be hoped, the transition is finally complete.

The University also saw a transition, with the installation of Dr. Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw as our 17th president. Dr. Gempesaw seems to already be making positive changes on campus, from the creation of the Strategic Priorities Working Group to the tuition freeze for next year and the tuition reduction for Staten Island students. His background in economics and business may have a positive impact on University issues, such as declining enrollment and rising costs.

A more recent transition, as you read on page 3, is the newly elected Student Government, Inc. executive board. The group, which consists of four members of the CORE ticket and two members of the ICE ticket, seems to be ready and willing to compromise on their respective goals.

Soon, we will be transitioning again; many of us will be graduating and pursuing opportunities outside of St. John’s, and others will form the 93rd managing board. It sounds clichee, but it’s true: your time at St. John’s is short, and your college years will fly past. Instead of dreading the inevitable transitions that will happen during your time here, try to make the most of them.

Take advantage of the opportunities St. John’s offers you. While some like to complain about its flaws, others take pride in the programs provided. A few members of the 92nd e-board took advantage of one program in particular, and don’t regret one ounce of it. That program is study abroad. Whether it be a semester in Rome or Discover the World, studying abroad at St. John’s is ideal. The campuses are beautiful, and the experiences you have are once in a lifetime. College is all about bumps in the road, getting lost, and finding yourself…so why not do that across the world?

While you’re ‘at home’ here on the Queens campus, there’re plenty of activities in which to immerse yourself. Go to a meeting of every club that you’re interested in, and then join the few that truly pique your interest, even if they aren’t directly inline with your career goals. Focus on academics, but don’t forget to have a little fun. Take classes that challenge you. Learn to deal with difficult people. Learn to speak up when you should, even when it’s difficult. Try a leadership role; even if it’s not your cup of tea, in the end you’ll probably be glad that you gave it a shot.

Get out and enjoy New York City! We are so fortunate to live within such close proximity to one of the greatest cities in the world. Hold an internship, take a walking tour, visit the museums. Where else in the world can you experience the Tompkins Square Park dog parade, a Halloween event featuring puppies in costumes?

Transitions are inevitable. Don’t be afraid to change: your goals, your major, your dreams.