Flames of the Torch: End of the Year

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With the end of the year quickly approaching, we, as the St. John’s community, must reflect on the changes and improvements made over the course of the 2018-2019 school year. Each new year comes with its own struggles, losses, sources of inspiration and innovations — this last year has been especially memorable for University, as it has seen a tremendous amount of growth.  

This year, St. John’s also expanded several departments and made new resources available to students, as well as new initiatives. Since September, St. John’s has opened The Inclusivity Resource Center — an extension of the Office of Multicultural Affairs — and an Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion. Additionally, the College of Professional Studies now offers a Fashion Studies major and has also opened a Cyber Security Lab located on the second floor of St. Augustine Hall. As the world outside of the campus changes, St. John’s has taken steps to create such expansions that grant students the opportunity to grow and express themselves in a safe and comfortable environment.

Emboldened students have inspired their community by starting new organizations, allowing for a greater range of voices to be heard and passions to be shared in new and creative ways. Meanwhile, older organizations on campus have celebrated milestones, such as Haraya’s 50th anniversary. Other organizations have held workshops to educate the community — from students to faculty alike — on the issues and topics that are of the utmost importance to them.

Additionally, the St. John’s community continued its long-held tradition of advocating for political and social movements through participation in forms of peaceful protests, such as the student walk-out over the Kavanaugh hearing and the vigil held in honor of the fallen Christchurch victims. In January, students shared their pain and frustration with the University concerning its handling, or lack thereof, of instances of sexual harassment and assault through #SurvivingSJU, sparking a conversation about the real issues of sexual abuse that are too often silenced behind closed doors.

As we prepare to welcome the St. John’s University class of 2023 and bid adieu to the class of 2019, we hope that the St. John’s community will continue to push the limits of this University. We hope that students can — and will — break the silence that can sometimes be deafening. We hope that they question the limitations and boundaries placed on them. We hope that they continue to look at the world and see where humanity can do better.

The Torch will continue to provide a platform for students who continue to strive for a better community. As your independent student newspaper, it is our duty to report on and bring attention to the issues and happenings that affect the lives of the students here at St. John’s. We look forward to the uncertainty and excitement of the upcoming academic year because we know as a community, the new organizations, departments, educational resources and movements will create a wave of change at this University.

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