Flames of the Torch: From the New Torch Bearers

The semester is nearing its end, but this year’s close looks nothing like it has in the past. Normally for us here at the Torch the end of the year would mean putting together our final few issues as an outgoing e-board, but our first few as the newly elected e-board. The past three weeks would have been spent getting to know each other and our new positions in our basement office late at night on Tuesdays. We would probably go on a diner run to grab dinner, someone would have brought some coffee for the office and our Torch playlist would be playing on Spotify. Instead, the past three weeks have been filled with Friday night Zoom calls and countless Slack messages, texts and emails. We have covered breaking news from our beds, stayed up late to edit stories from our couches and bounced ideas off of one another on FaceTime calls. We each have big shoes to fill and being so far from one another as we transition into our new roles has not been easy. These are unprecedented times, but we recognize that our duty to keep the St. John’s community informed remains unchanged. 

Our coverage has not slowed – we followed the recent SGi elections as the prospective e-boards campaigned via Instagram and broke the vote tallies before the official election results were released on Monday. We have written opinion pieces on protests against social-distancing, album reviews on new music and covered campus events that have been forced to go digital, such as Relay for Life. We’ve talked to student-athletes living abroad and professors who’ve transitioned their classes online. We are pushing each other daily to contribute what we can, with the time we have. 

We’re adapting to our new digital landscape, putting out stories online on a rolling basis and pushing our new newsletter out to upwards of 300 subscribers. We’re looking forward to continuing to build on the relationships our successors forged this school year and we are going into the summer prepared to continue our coverage online. News never stops and neither will we. 

On April 25, we joined student newsrooms across the country in the Save Student Newsrooms Day of Action. We shared our thoughts on why student newsrooms are essential and why we need help keeping ours alive. It was both inspiring and motivating to see how hard our fellow student journalists are working in every corner of the country. They are all faced with the same hurdles we are, separated by the pandemic and forced out of their newsrooms.  No matter the circumstances, we are proud to be an independent newspaper and we are proud to have earned the support of many. As we trudge forward we hope to reach more people than ever before and to educate them on why what we do is so important, starting from this very moment as we continue to navigate these uncertain times.