Flames of the Torch: An ode to the 98th E-board

Well, this is it. A year-long journey is slowly approaching its end. On Sunday, March 28, the Torch will have a new editorial board with a new set of goals, outlooks and motivations. The 98th E-Eoard is one that will have given the Torch a brand new legacy: an entirely digital transition. 

Transitioning Eboards at the beginning of a pandemic, working through a pandemic and leaving when it seems like there is a shot at a normal life on the horizon has been an experience that the 98th e-board will never forget. While we didn’t have late nights in the basement of O’Connor and won’t have a print edition of the paper to show for it, we have made the best of what 2020 has dealt us. 

We’ve expanded our newsletter – releasing a total of 17 newsletters curated by Digital Editor Priyanka Gera, featuring original front covers designed by freshman Design Editor Chloe Fecci and now reaching an audience of hundreds and an entirely virtual version of our annual basketball magazine, Courtside – got creative with our fundraising efforts, thanks to Business Manager Shaolin Barid and took our coverage to new places with the help of incredible editors and staff. We’re bringing back our Alumni Panel, where we’ll hear from Torch alumni from as far as 20 years back and are introducing a University-wide media literacy event in just over a month. When the 98th E-Board first took the helm, we were handed circumstances that felt nearly impossible, and we went beyond what we ever thought would be possible, from our homes nonetheless.

Our last newsletter, which covers everything from fashion on campus to the termination of housing on the Staten Island campus, shows this. We have transformed the definition of teamwork and found new ways to make things work for a newspaper that is adapting to the digital age. We have conducted dozens of interviews over Zoom, emails and even several in-person in order to make these stories possible. It’s a job that has been as challenging as it has been rewarding. 

It’s still not easy and forging these skills and our relationships as an E-Board has been complicated this last year. But every Thursday evening over WebEx we got to pretend that life was normal as we answered cheesy ice breakers and complained about school.  

So, in our final days as the 98th e-board, just two years shy from the Torch’s centennial, we can walk away knowing we gave the Torch something it had been striving for the past several years — a digital presence. And we still have so much more up our sleeves.