Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

Over the past few weeks many St. John’s University students may have noticed an increased discussion on an issue known as “Henley Road.” As the executive board of Student Government, Inc. we feel compelled to release our point of view.
A description of a St. John’s student can include many diverse terms. Included in these terms would be service oriented, dedicated, and responsible members of the community.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, a sector of the general community has decided to disillusion our students with terms such as irresponsible, drunk, and even destructive individuals.
As a current student who works at a pharmacy, an active member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and President of Student Government, Inc., I personally know this opinion couldn’t be further from the truth. Having spent the past five years of my life as an active and dedicated member of this University and its student life, it is time for us to step up and defend ourselves.
This past month I have read many quotes from local politicians including State Senator Frank Padavan. These quotes have included figures stating alcohol and drug incidences on campus. To my understanding these were not only vastly overstated but included alleged violations not actual incidences.
Along with the overstated numbers Senator Padavan has stated, “You are going to have 485 college students on a quiet residential block, doing what college kids do.” The insinuation that what college kids do includes a large number of activities that include drugs and alcohol is not only unfair but is unfounded.
Joining forces with local politicians, many community members have also weighed in on this matter. Kevin Forestall, a member of Queens County Community Board 8, which covers the area around St. John’s University, recently stated, “They’re [St. John’s University] like a cancer, except they never die.”
Undisputedly, as with any community of over 12,000 teenage students, irresponsible actions have taken place by a vast minority of students. Does this justify categorizing all students in such a negative way? I personally hope not.
Over the next few weeks Student Government, Inc. will be hosting a series of community awareness events to spotlight the true St. John’s student. Along with these events we are requesting that every student, resident or commuter, to become a registered voter.
The only true way to stand up and defend our character is to take an active part in our representation. This effort will send a message to the local community that this University is home to upstanding students. As we continue to grow, a relationship of understanding and cooperation is essential for all parties.

Lawrence King
President
Student Government, Inc.

To the Editor:

This is a letter concerning the ratings for the Marillac dining hall. I’m concerned about the fact that Marillac failed its health inspection twice. This can affect the students that eat at Marillac and from my experience that’s a lot of students.
It’s not fair to the people that dine there and to the people that dorm here, that’s basically their main source of food. What would happen if they get sick from the food? I think there should be something done because I like Marillac and it’s a great place to just chill out and relax, but if it didn’t pass the health inspection twice there should be change in order to help it pass the health inspection.

Paul Kim
Class of 2008

To the Editor:

Concerning the 11/7 article on Britney Spears’ “Blacked out,” I thought that was uncalled for. I mean yes I agree that she’s definitely not as good as Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake, but there’s no reason why you should spend time to literally tear someone apart. If you don’t like her music just don’t buy it. “If four toddlers were given wooden spoons and pans to bang on, the ‘music’ they would make would still sound better than Britney Spears’ latest disaster, Blackout.” Was that necessary? I just happen to like her new single. Whether she can really sing or not, I don’t really care because just about all her singles had been catchy songs.
The point that I’m trying to make is that everyone goes through some struggles in their lives. And some are not as good at handling obstacles. Obviously Britney is going through some hard times, and yes she’s definitely not handling herself well at all. Coming out with a new album at this state she’s in right now was a very bad idea. I just need people to have some sympathy for Britney Spears. Don’t forget she’s a human being just like you and I. She sucks? Well don’t listen to her music.

Sarah Isidore
Class of 2011

To the Editor:

Responding to the protesting neighbors on Henley Road in the Jamaica Estates, I believe the residents are being a little unfair. Although I sympathize with you all and can see your points of view, there is no reason why St. John’s should not be allowed to build new dorms for our continuously upgrading University. Yes, 18 to 20 year olds will be living in these dorms. However, we are now adults on our own and are a little more mature than high school students. I am a student that lives on campus and I haven’t seen anything too out of the ordinary since I’ve been here. As far as crime, parking, and noise, what do you think Public Safety is for? They do a great job protecting people on campus. Why wouldn’t they do the same on off campus dorms? I just believe the people are being a bit selfish.

Ashlee Richardson
Class of 2011

To the Editor:

I am writing this not to respond to any of the recent published articles but to address another concern. I am still a freshman, but since the beginning of this school year I’ve noticed that there are smokers loitering outside of the class buildings, mainly Marillac and St John Hall. I don’t mean to sound like a goody two shoes when I say this but according to the University Code of Conduct, smoking is prohibited outdoors within 40 feet of building entrances and open windows. I write this in hopes that the editors, the student body and the faculty members will help enforce this rule because I’m sure there are many people who do not enjoy being engulfed in a smoke cloud whenever they step out of these halls.

Fanny Wu
Class of 2011

To the Editor:

Recently I have seen the article about dorms being built in our school newspaper, The TORCH. I understand that this might cause many environmental problems. But if they agreed to build a dorm they will have solutions to fix the environmental issues, such as overcrowded parking, noise, water pressure and problems with the sewer drainage.
I sympathize with the neighbors but I also find that they are kind of stereotyping college students. It has been said in the article that, “they (St. John’s students) will cause crime, young children are not on schedule and that behavior of college students aren’t that peaceful.” But how will they know if they never gave the chance for them to build the dorms? Why can’t they look at the bright side and see that there are many college students that help the community and make it better? Some college students can make this neighborhood a better place. They might even provide volunteer services to the neighbors. So take a step back and maybe things will turn out better than you think.

Joey Pang
Class of 2013