The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

As a St. John’s student, I am concerned with the health violations of this University. The outdoor smoking between Marillac Hall and Council Hall, in the area known as Marillac Breezeway, outside of St. John Hall, and outside of St. Augustine Hall, is in violation of St. John’s University Code of Conduct:
“Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings. Smoking is prohibited outdoors within 40 feet of building entrances and open windows.”
I do not believe this code of conduct was created for us to pick and choose to follow and enforce what we see fit. It is unjust that Public Safety chooses not to move the smokers at the cost of the health of every student, staff member, and visitor to the University. Prospective students will be put off by having someone blow smoke in their faces as they tour the campus. Current students have to deal with the negative health effects as they walk to class. This clearly is a problem for current and prospective students. I ask that Public Safety enforce the University Code of Conduct completely, instead of just parts of it.

Christian Puntarelli
Class of 2009

To the Editor:

Concerning college students and everyone else for that matter, global issues are probably the most important steps in making people realize that the severity of these issues must be dealt with as soon as possible. The ONE campaign is an excellent program established to raise public awareness on issues such as poverty, hunger, and disease. It’s through simple little actions on our part such as signing petitions to push our government to provide funding for underdeveloped countries that will make these countries better places through time. Understanding these harsh realities that are out there will make us realize that a direct plan of action is necessary to alleviate the pain and suffering that the people of these countries really don’t have to go through if everyone is willing to contribute. In fact, the smallest contribution on our part can save the lives of many. If the power to save is in our hands then why wouldn’t we want to be a part of that?
Getting college students more active is vital to the success of such campaigns as ONE. However, the public is not stupid. If the public knew the horrible living conditions and the poverty people in underdeveloped countries endure on a day to day basis, you think that we’ll live in our nice comfortable lives and not do anything about it. Are government relief programs doing their part? If we still in this day and age face global issues then that simply means that we’re just not doing enough on our part to solve these issues. Although it may be a difficult task at hand to do more than what we’re already doing, raising public awareness, and gaining more support than ever is what we need to do at this point to finally put to rest all these global issues that have haunted us for decades.

Jean Pierre Canarte
Class of 2010

In response to the letter by Fanny Wu (November 14):

I am one of those smokers “loitering” outside certain class buildings of which you write. I’m not exactly loitering–I’m smoking, something I’m not allowed to do inside. Usually I have class in the building next to which I’m “loitering,” which means I have every right to be there. If we were to actually stand 40 feet away from doors or open windows, you’d see large groups of people standing in the middle of roads and lawn areas–and I’m pretty sure you’d still complain about it, anyway.
You claim that you are “engulfed in a smoke cloud” upon exiting Marillac and St. John Hall. I personally have never seen this “cloud”. This campus is at a relatively high elevation and fairly windy. However, if it really bothers you, I have a suggestion: hold your breath. I’ve timed how long it takes to walk from the entrances of both buildings and by my calculations, walking at a leisurely rate, one is past the smokers in approximately 5 seconds. If you’re in any kind of shape, holding your breath for 5 seconds should pose no problem. I can do it easily and I’m a decrepit, diseased smoker.
I don’t mean to sound insensitive to your concerns, but I think it’s bad enough I and my fellow smokers are forced to stand outside in the elements like lepers. A just and tolerant society tries to accomodate everybody and that means that occasionally all of us will have to sacrifice some comfort so that others can enjoy something we may not approve of.

Chris Sorochin
College of Liberal Arts

To the Editor:

I am writing to you because I feel that the Marillac computer lab should have different hours and rules. I think it should be open later so students with night classes can access it more. Also, I do not think the thirty minute limit is beneficial. If they want a lab just for printing then they should open up another one in Marillac for this. Thirty minutes is not enough time to get assignments done, and sometimes students do not have time to go to the library or the Sullivan lab. I think this situation should be noticed and properly addressed.
Jamie Hillgardner
Class of 2009

To the Editor:

I’m a freshman this year and I’m trying to get used to the school and what it has to offer. I disagree with the article that talks about three two day schedules. I think having a Mon/Wed/Fri schedule and a Thu/Thurs schedule gives more variety and choice. For some people it is easier to sit through a 55 minute class rather than an hour and a half long class. I hope that it works out for the best in the end.

Alesya Draganchyuk
Class of 2011

To the Editor:

St. John’s University has a wide variety of food, as well as many places to eat on campus. Places like the Marillac Food Court and The Grill in the Law School, are just some of students’ favorite places to eat. However, I don’t understand why these places aren’t open later. When we’re burning the midnight oil and want some real food, not just what’s in the vending machines, what do we do? We paid all of this money to go to this school, the least you can do is let us eat whenever we want to.
Kimberly Fontaine
Class of 2011

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