Dear Torch,

To the editor:

We would like to respond to the penlight editorial from the Nov. 6 edition of The Torch. The literary style of addressing God in order to give perspective to the author’s point is a very old one, and often quite useful. However, both the tone of the letter and the content left a great deal to be desired. A more balanced and reasonable tone may provide people with more of an opportunity to think about the opinion expressed. In contrast, one that is sarcastic rarely has the effect of swaying the reader.

Perhaps the most glaring problem with the editorial was its stark contrast of what the author dislikes in the world. The perceived wrongs listed that are done in God’s name went from religious violence and persecution on a massive scale, all the way to the visitor policy that is expected of students in St. John’s Residence Village. Although everyone may not approve of the visitor policy, it somehow pales in comparison to the suffering inflicted by the scourge of war and international terrorism. This led to the editorial seeming more like a rant than as a reasoned critique. Regrettably, it also has the unfortunate effect that it creates the stereotype of some college students as sheltered critics who cast themselves as the righteous oppressed who long for freedom. It rings rather hollow.

Does the author offer any positive action? We believe that when students mentor a child, or feed a homeless person, or take any action that makes a day on the planet a little brighter for another human being, they make God visible in the world. When a writer moves people to that, they ennoble themselves and all the people who act because of their words. That is how the written word serves best.

The genuine expression of a faith in a God of love and compassion does indeed challenge us to live better lives and work for justice in the world. In fact, it can sometimes be the only thing that can break through a hatred that seems insurmountable. But how we use God’s name-how we invoke him-will really tell people what kind of world we want. Hopefully it is a world where we treat people with kindness and respect, even if we disagree with them. We imagine that is a letter that God would be happy to receive.

Scott Salvato

Campus Ministry

To the editor:

According to Swati Bindra’s article “Accessibility causes concerns” in the Nov. 6 issue of The Torch, the use of Gate 6 as the new late night gate has “raised concerns about safety, convenience and accessibility” among St. John’s students.

“‘There were people sitting outside their houses by Gate 6. My friends and I were walking home late and they were harassing us,’ resident student Jessica Pintucci said.”

HMMMM…the neighborhood people were harassing the SJU students? Maybe the neighbors were saying to keep the noise down and these SJU students consider that harassment? Some of our neighbors have yelled at the students to keep quiet, and some have had to have students’ cars towed to access their driveways.

What about the safety of the residential neighbors? What about all the sleepless nights, vandalism and litter we have endured for 4 years?

In the same article, “Gate 7 on 82nd Ave., is no longer open at night, even to walk through.” Walk through? Problem is, students coming and going all hours of the nights made so much noise they woke up the neighborhood. In fact, there are still problems even with the gate officially closed.

“The turnstile, which was available for students to swipe their Storm Cards and enter campus, is no longer functional during the evening hours.” Delusional! Problem is, these students arrived in the middle of the night. Sleep disturbing noise and vandalism, litter etc. were the result.

“‘If I park my car on 82nd Avenue, I have to walk all the way around to Gate 6, late at night,’ resident student Joe Tigro said.” Joe Tigro, may we ask why you are parking your car in the street? Shouldn’t St. John’s have a parking spot for you and all SJU resident students? Do you think it’s right of SJU students to monopolize all the parking in a residential area?

SJU has created this injustice. Dorm students should have a gate entrance (e.g. gate 4) away from homes and should have lots in the middle of the campus for SJU dorm students. SJU should have ample parking for all students.

The problem is stuffing dorm students into a cramped campus in a residential area. SJU is overflowing into our neighborhood!

Senator Padavan, as 82nd Ave. and Surroundings QOL Committee members, we well know you have been working on our behalf and we appreciate it. Please continue to fight the good fight for us.

Lillian Kienle & Stacey Payton

170th Street, Hillcrest