Flames of The TORCH

Yet another tuition increase

Earlier this month, students received letters in the mail from the university bursar informing them that the cost of their education would once again increase. Tuition increased 8 percent last year and will go up another 7 percent next year, bringing the total cost to more than $16,000 per year. Students in the Tobin College of Business and the College of Pharmacy can expect to pay even more. As the university continues to implement its plan for the future, The TORCH hopes that the current students will not have to pay the price. Students who have already invested a number of years working toward degrees in specific areas may find it very difficult to transfer should the costs here become too high. In that sense, students are at the mercy of the university. While all freshman are given the option of a fixed rate tuition, that can be misleading. The tuition is fixed at a rate considerably higher than the price they would have paid for their first year and possibly even their second. While this program can relieve anxiety about rising costs of tuition, students are not really saving much money in the end. Tuition increases are expected, but 15 percent in just two years is too much. If the university is in dire need of more funds, it should look to scale back construction programs before it transfers this financial burden to the students.

UC space next year

The arrival of the Queens Kings caused quite an upheaval in the University Center last year as many organizations were forced to relocate to smaller, less convenient offices. The TORCH was affected as the space we previously occupied is now shared with Spectator, Seqouya and The Vincentian yearbook. C.A.U.S.E., the largest student organization on campus, was forced to cancel some of its programs. University officials and even members of Student Government Inc. have pledged to improve conditions next year. The Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., president of St. John’s, has suggested that the construction of a new soccer stadium might allow for more student space. The TORCH hopes that these promises are kept and that there is real change next year. The countless student organizations that operate from within the UC are the heart of student life at St. John’s and a vital part of the university community. Let’s make their comfort a priority.

Common Hour, a year later

When it was announced last spring that class schedules on Tuesdays and Thursdays would be altered to include a common hour, many students were upset. The idea of an hour and a half gap in classes posed a problem for many who had planned to go to work in the afternoons. The administration said that the common hour would be a more effective alternative to the activity hours that were set aside for student activities but which also took away valuable class time. After a year, The TORCH has mixed feelings on the issue. The Common Hour has allowed us to hold twice weekly meetings that have been invaluable to the communication between the editors and the staff. On the other hand, the 7:35 class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings is absolutely unbearable. Students and professors alike have trouble dragging themselves to school at that time. Perhaps common hour could be moved to later in the day so that classes could begin at 8 a.m. every day.