Flames of The Torch

St. John’s has plenty to boast about, from its strong academic reputation, to its notable athletic programs, to its recent ranking as the seventh most wireless college campus on Intel’s “Most Unwired” list.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of our University, however, remains its remarkably diverse student body.

The University’s racial diversity is evident with a mere stroll across the Great Lawn or a trip through Marillac Cafeteria. What makes the campus run as a kind of democratic diplomacy, however, is its diversity through student activism and leadership.

On a college campus largely composed of apathetic young adults, there is a select few dispersed amongst several student organizations that are responsible for the diversity of on-campus events.

Events like Haraya’s Nov. 4 and 5 fashion show, or Phi Sigma Sigma’s Nov. 7 Greek God and Goddess Pageant, or Alpha Phi Alpha’s Nov. 10 Miss Black and Gold Pageant, add to the cultural development of a diverse student body that requires diverse student representation.

With political organizations like the College Republicans and College Democrats, students are provided an opportunity to further attach themselves to their respective political affiliations.

The Chappell Players provide a creative venue, intramural athletics allow students an opportunity to compete in sporting events, the list goes on.

The most beneficial aspect of the diversity of these organizations, more so than the opportunities they provide or the events they fund, is the balanced, democratic paradigm they create.

When an organization, or a member of an organization, criticizes another or questions the policies of another,that questioning adds to the development of the diversity of the University.

When The Torch criticizes Student Government, Inc., or Haraya, or a Greek organization, or whoever else, we call into question a policy or a decision worth questioning.

If we did not ask questions or construct criticisms, we would not only do an injustice to the student body, we would allow for that specific organization to obtain an unfair advantage over others.

We see this in Letters to the Editor, in editorials, and in public debates. We depend on this for our school to run democratically just like we need a balance in national politics.

And just as this kind of questioning creates a balance, so too do ethnic and entertaining programs like Haraya’s fashion show or Phi Sigma Sigma’s Greek pageant, or Alpha Phi Alpha’s Black and Gold Pageant.

The most significant aspect of our diverse student body, more than the ethnic diversity that unites us in our differences, is our unified identity as a Catholic institution.

We are represented by a plethora of cultural and political organizations composed of active and driven students. So too are we represented in our Catholic mission through Campus Ministry.

Their Nov. 9 Night of Solidarity with the Homeless emphasizes our ability to step outside of our shoes and into those of the impoverished. This is the greatest accomplishment that any diverse community could achieve.

It is our Catholic identity that both adds to our ability to understand different ways of life and encompasses our diversity.