Flames of the Torch: On the University’s responsibility to allocate funds appropriately


Torch Staff

This week, the new Athletics Director Mike Cragg told the Torch that he has big plans for the university’s staple: Carnesecca Arena.

After 58 years of the Lou Carnesecca-dedicated arena being built, and 11 years since its last renovation, it’s safe to say Cragg’s ambition to renovate the Queens campus arena — which has hosted more Big East Conference games than Madison Square Garden has over the past few seasons — is an understandable one.

Our Sports Editor Brendan Myers’ article details how over the next 10 years, St. John’s Deputy Athletic Director John Diffley will work with the Dallas-based real estate development company, The Beck Group, to foresee “facility improvement, renovation, replacement, and new construction.”

We believe it is of the utmost importance that the university maintains a level of transparency when it comes to the resources that are dedicated to this athletics project.

The cost of a college education is at astronomical levels. Meanwhile, with enrollments dropping nationwide, the cost of doing business for universities is rising, too. Every dollar for everyone involved is at a premium. That’s why the optics are imperative.

At a time when students face issues such as power outages in the Townhouses and or flooding from a water main break on campus, this news serves as a reminder that we hope that the university has its eyes on ways to improve the decades-old infrastructure everywhere.

There’s no doubt about it, St. John’s athletics program is a huge part of the campus culture — but the reason the university thrives is also thanks to the students who come to learn.

Our News Editor Derrell Bouknight looked into the controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as it was brought to our attention that he had previously received an honorary doctorate of laws. Erdoğan has made worldwide news lately, as his citizens refer to him as a “dictator” and “autocrat,” according to BBC News.

When we asked the university for comment about said degree, Spokesperson Brian Browne explained that although the university does review past honorary degrees, they have “not undertaken such a review in regard to Turkish President Erdoğan.”

Should a university that prides itself on social justice and Vincentian morals still honor a leader who is being accused of instilling fear in Turkish people? That’s up to the students, administrators and faculty to decide.

Tying it back to more local news, our Assistant Features Editor, Dayra Santana, wrote a piece about the Queens District Attorney, Richard Brown’s retirement announcement. His announcement comes as his health is reportedly in decline because of a battle with Parkinson’s disease. During his time in office, Brown has been unwavered to his policies has remained uncontested for 28 years. Times have certainly changed since he first took office in the 90’s, and the Queens for DA Accountability coalition demands include a reform of pre-trial practices that contribute to mass incarceration and the protection of immigrant communities. The Torch will follow this story and have more updates as elections commence and a new DA takes office.