Flames of the Torch: New Year, New Opportunities

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Torch Photo/Rachel Johnson

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall will house the Diversity Task Force’s new Inclusivity Resource Center.

Torch Staff

The start of a new school year is synonymous with new beginnings, and that is especially true for us at The Torch and St. John’s as a whole. As we all settle into the routine of balancing a busy schedule packed with class, work and extracurriculars, we’d like to recap the newest changes on campus this semester.

We are excited to announce that The Torch has been selected to participate in The Poynter Institute’s second annual College Media Project. We are one of the nine independent student newspapers that were chosen out of 63 applicants from across the country. We want to thank one of our journalism professors, Oksana Siwolop, for sharing the application with us.

We have also recently introduced a new position to our editorial board: Outreach Manager. Morgan Mullings was appointed this position, which was created in order to allow our staff and editors to better communicate, and to help them reach their full potential at the newspaper. We also hope the position will improve our communication with the student body we strive to provide the best news coverage for.  

The Torch staffers aren’t the only ones on campus experiencing milestones and changes this semester.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Haraya and ROTC. Robert A. Mangione announced over the summer that he is stepping down from his position as Provost. Simon Moller, former senior vice provost, now acts as Interim Provost while the University seeks a permanent replacement.

Additionally, with Latin Heritage Month kicking off this week, it’s important to note that the University will not close on Columbus Day as they have in previous years.

At this year’s State of the University, President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw gave a data-heavy speech of his plans for the University. He emphasized a commitment to increasing student enrollment and retention, as well as addressing new key initiatives in diversity and inclusion. As reported by The Torch last spring semester,  a new Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion will open in Sun Yat Sen Hall. At the Address, Chief Diversity Officer Nada Llewellyn said that it will be “a place of belonging for diverse students.”

As you’ll see on our front page story this week, The Torch was able to speak to some students about the five fraternities that are no longer recognized on campus. Over the summer, students were shocked to learn of the news. Greek Life is considered by many an important part of student life here. Jodi Cox, executive director of Student Development and Engagement, told The Torch via email that they will not return to school this year.

The Torch is excited to be back and to be a platform for students and all members of the St. John’s community to voice the many viewpoints and experiences that exist on this campus. We hope you are too.