Flames of the Torch: Moving Forward

When the Torch’s editorial board found out that school would be online for the rest of the semester, dreams of another print edition were shattered. The plan was to publish two more issues as the 97th e-board before turning over the e-board, and then publish a final issue for the 2019-2020 school year. Instead, each of us went home, one by one, with a laptop and two week’s worth of outfits. We work remotely regularly here – we’re busy students with multiple responsibilities, so we meet once or twice a week, and communicate mainly through emails, Slack and text messages. 

That made production nights an even more sacred event, a night where all of us could be in the same room, meticulously putting together a 16-page paper, sometimes finishing while everyone on campus is asleep (or at Parson’s). We complain about those late nights, but ask any alum of the Torch and they’ll tell you it’s the number one thing they miss. We have a newsletter now, planned as a partner to our print paper, but today, the newsletter is all we have. We hope it draws attention to the changing landscape around local news. We find it’s more necessary than ever, in the midst of a pandemic, to provide you all with accurate information in a timely manner. 

But it’s hard. We are sprawled out among California, Tennessee, Florida and other states. Our internships have been canceled prematurely or on-campus job shifts suspended. There are no sports games to cover or students to sit down with for Coffee Conversations. Our yearly event, the Alumni Panel, was canceled – we miss the alums dearly and they are missing out on the chance to network with our incredible CCPS students. 

Not only does the seniors’ final moment hang in limbo, but their final moments with the Torch were shattered. There were no gifts, no reminiscing, no heartfelt goodbyes. We’ve been a tight-knit family for 98 e-boards. We have inside jokes and nicknames, long-standing traditions. It’s complicated for each of us to feel our own sadness while simultaneously feeling a duty to serve the community in a way no other organization can. We’re dedicated to providing you up-to-date information on coronavirus as it pertains to St. John’s, the same way we have with even the most mundane news. We’re here to answer your questions and amplify your voice, no matter who you are. And we can do that because, even in the midst of Zoom classes and endless discussion boards, we are there for each other, supporting each other in one of the most difficult times in our history.