Flames: From the Outgoing E-Board


The time has come to send off the seniors and usher in a new e-board. But as a graduating class we can’t do that without imparting some wisdom and kind words on the new leaders of this newspaper. The Torch has elected its 98th e-board, with Dayra Santana steering the ship as Editor-in-Chief. We could not be prouder or more confident in her leadership abilities, and in her choice of editors and managers. Being on this e-board is a challenge — we’re up against deadlines, financial burden, a new digital landscape, constant breaking news and a pandemic (yikes). At the end of the day, the people who are most qualified to run this newspaper are those who care enough to step up when things are going wrong, not just take credit when things are going right. E-boards of the past have made that clear in their pursuit of facts and investigation of all parts of St. John’s University. It does not stop at those of us who are graduating. It’s an ongoing mission of independent journalists everywhere, to prioritize the truth in times where information (and misinformation) is everywhere. It’s also important for us to bring in new people and provide them a place to learn and grow in their journalistic skills, as well as leadership and cooperation. We’ve included majors far outside of CCPS, from biology to Spanish. We’ve incorporated religions, ethnicities and viewpoints from across the spectrum, despite existing on a Catholic campus. We’ve been able to celebrate three years of top positions being held by people of color at a predominantly white university — Santana, our managing editor Jillian Ortiz, our digital editor Priyanka Gera and our business manager Shaolin Barid are all women of color.

We’re happy to see our former Sports Editor Nick Bello take his incredible photography talents to the photo editor position, making space for our first female sports editor Sydney Denham. Two of our team members have quickly made their way up — Sophie Williams and Alicia Venter started as assistant features editor and assistant news editor, respectively. Both now hold the editor positions of those sections. We’re excited to see staff writer Maher S. Maher join the e-board for the first time as social media manager, and Yueran Yu joins Sara Rodia to head the Opinion section. Dana Livingston is back from abroad and returning to the e-board as chief copy editor. Lastly, Patrick Loftus joined the Torch last year as Chief Copy Editor, having never contributed before then, and will fill the Culture Editor role for the first time. 

These editors are walking into uncharted territory, but on a solid foundation. We’ve ramped up digital publishing and started a newsletter that has reached over 300 people. We’ve also come to an understanding with the outgoing Spectrum president about our role in representing all members of the St. John’s community. We’ve built direct relationships with several leaders on campus (administration and students), and managed to stay connected to each other to produce content from our homes, without sacrificing quality.   

So, to the 98th e-board, best of luck to you. You’re equipped and you’re ready, and there are more of you to split up the work and support each other. Don’t compromise your ethics — study them and know them, so that you can act quickly and educate others. Don’t settle for good enough. Getting the story right is better than getting it first with errors. Build relationships with your sources and your readers, because they are both essential to your work. Bring people near who are ready to cooperate and build up the team. Fail hard and apologize often. This is a job, and it doesn’t pay, but it’s an essential service. You’re important, and we’ve got your back.