There’s no question that this past semester was arguably one of the most eventful times for not only the St. John’s community, but for the nation as a whole. There are protests going on, pipelines getting shut down, movements for sustainability, feminists uniting and a brand new president-elect. With everything happening, the Torch feels it is important to recap on some of the things that made this semester one to remember.
Remembering our Loved Ones – September
The whole St. John’s community was shaken by the sudden deaths of Karina Vetrano, Arshell Dennis III and Tiarah Poyau. All were victims of senseless acts of violence. Haraya hosted a peace vigil in mid September to discuss racial discrimination, gun violence, and police brutality, and to honor the lives of SJU’s late students. In the wake of their passing, we learned to appreciate our own lives, as well as our community here at St. John’s, and to never take for granted each living moment.
Clown Craze – October
For the month of October, many students felt like they lived in a true horror movie, with the threat of a clown attack in the back of their minds. There was even a rumor of a clown sighting at gates one and six on campus. While the University found the report of a clown sighting to be inaccurate, students were still uneasy as the clown craze continued. An alleged photo of a clown near campus also surfaced on social media, but most believed it to be a hoax.
Sexual Health – October
Trojan’s Annual Sexual Health Report Card ranked St. John’s second to last in sexual safety. The only college behind is Brigham Young University ranking 140, while SJU is at 139. Last year the University ranked 135. This semester, SGI’s Secretary Frank Obermeyer discussed with us some of the initiatives being discussed to make some changes so that the school is more sexually aware and conscious.
President Trump – November
Donald Trump winning the presidency came as a surprise in November. Many people credited his win to the ‘silent majority.’ Although there were many people proud and happy with the results, there was also some backlash on campus from the result. Students and administration responded by hosting various events to address the election results, and student concerns that came from it.
Campus Comes Together – November
In light of Trump winning the presidency, many organizations on campus came together to protest hate and emphasize love. Students of Consciousness (SOC), Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Spectrum and Feminists Unite (FU) all collaborated on a “Love March.” They started at the D’Angelo Center, walked through the Residence Village and finished all the way by the Great Lawn.
Trump Window – November
St. John’s made national news in November when five students living in Century Hall demonstrated support with three flags for Donald Trump. Fox News and the National Review picked up the story, as did the Torch. Their fellow residents sent them a letter asking them to take it down because it creates a “hostile environment,” however, the students did not take it down, which they received both praise and hate for. Other students of Century Hall on the top floor responded by putting up their own “Love Trumps Hate” poster. Now, similar windows reflecting the “Trump Window” have surfaced in Century Hall.
Jane Elliot Motivates Students to Keep Up the Good Work – November
Anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliot visited campus and spoke to students about the “myth of racism.” She encouraged students to be active, vote in the election and appreciate the people who are working towards a change. Haraya invited her to campus in the wake of recent events over the summer such as the resurgence of police brutality and killing of African Americans.