Flames of the Torch: A long week behind us and an exciting light ahead

This year has felt longer than the 11 months it’s been so far, but the fall semester has flown by. We are heading into our last two weeks of the semester before students return home for Thanksgiving and prepare for online finals. However, the final weeks of the fall semester are the last thing on students’ minds; the projected results of the Presidential Election broke over the weekend after a long week of anticipation. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the projected winner of the presidential race for the next term, which was announced by several news sources including CNN, the New York Times, NBC and Fox News. And yet Democrats, Republicans and those somewhere in between, have not yet been able to let out a sigh of relief. Trump’s impending lawsuits in states like Pennsylvania and Georgia and his blatant refusal to concede made Biden’s win bittersweet. Everyone is waiting to see what will happen between now and Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. Despite the chaotic and unconventional circumstances surrounding the election, there are two important facts to take away from the results: Biden received the most votes in a Presidential election in the history of the United States and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is not only the first woman, but the first Black woman and Asian-American to hold the position of vice president. No matter your political views, we are living through history. 

In every section of the Torch this week, it is apparent what is looming on everyone’s mind – change. All study abroad programs through May 2021 are canceled, registration for the Spring semester is almost complete for students and the availability of classes seems to reflect that of the fall semester; a mix of in-person, hybrid, synchronous and asynchronous online courses. It is unclear whether more students will return to campus for the spring or if campus will be as noticeably empty as it was in the  fall semester. Either way, the concern of COVID-19 cases on campus in  the spring and the move-out process for the fall weigh heavily on students’ minds. 

While the year was full of surprises, Johnnies have one constant to look forward to – St. John’s Basketball is having its  season opener Nov. 25 at Carnesecca Arena. However, on Nov. 5, St. John’s athletics announced there will be no fans allowed in the arena for the 2020-21 season, instead encouraging supporters to take advantage of the streaming services offered by the University. Even with no spectators, the excitement surrounding the upcoming season, especially coming off of the Red Storm’s strong ending to the abruptly-ended  season in March, is still present with the team and student body. 

The Torch releases an annual basketball preview magazine, Courtside, to distribute to fans at the first game of the season. This year we were not sure if Red Storm basketball would return, and wondered if we would be able to produce content for Courtside. We are happy to announce that there will be a digital Courtside publication with stories highlighting both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, Head Coach Mike Anderson’s impressive accomplishments and how the Red Storm is adjusting to the season in the high-stress climate created by the pandemic. Courtside will be released this Friday, Nov. 13. While our creative team lost out on the opportunity to put together a magazine from scratch, the Torch did what we’ve done best this year, and worked with what we had to make something special. Be sure to click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get Courtside 2020 delivered straight to your inbox. 

While we do not know what the future will look like and what life events are going to hit us next, we do know the St. John’s community must stick together. From the five days of waiting on election results to the uproar of people celebrating across every borough after Biden was announced the projected winner, we can feel the united excitement throughout the St. John’s community. No matter the political party, we’re all glad to be through with this election. This excitement, for Johnnies at least, transfers now to the upcoming basketball season. We may not be cheering on the Red Storm side by side this year, but we all feel a burst of excitement for a brief sense of normality.