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

Back on track: literary magazine seeks reactivation

Sequoya, St. John’s student literary magazine, is actively seeking reactivation as an officially recognized organization on campus.

For the last two years, the literary magazine was not an activity under the jurisdiction of Student Government, Inc. or Campus Activities because it failed to submit proper paperwork.

As a result, Sequoya did not receive its own budget. Instead, it received funding from a variety of on-campus departments, including the English Department, Fine Arts Department, and The Provost’s Office.

This year, funding for Sequoya has become an issue, with various departments announcing that they would be unable to properly fund the magazine.

As a result, Tom LaSalvia, the current Editor-in-Chief of Sequoya, began looking to reactivate it as an official organization with its own budget.

“Fine Arts and English have always been a departmental anchor for the Sequoya,” LaSalvia said in an e-mail to the Torch. “But we now realize that it is much easier for us to function as a recognized student organization that receives funding from SGI than it is to try to fit ourselves into the budgets of existing departments.”

According to LaSalvia, he, as well as many other students, was unaware of Sequoya’s previous affiliation with SGI. He added that he is currently working on making Sequoya an active part of SGI and maintaining that status for the future.

According to Damien Duchamp, director of Campus Activites, Sequoya has not been an official organization for the last two years.

“Each organization must submit a packet with things like a roster of students and information about the group,” Duchamp told a Torch reporter.

Because Sequoya failed to do this by March of this year, Duchamp explained, they are not considered an official student organization.

“I am working with them to find funding, but it is not easy,” Duchamp said.

Duchamp explained that student organizations often have a lack of communication while transitioning from one Executive Board to another, and that is how some organizations fail to file correct paperwork the next year.

The 2008 issue of Sequoya has already been completed, so when LaSalvia learned that the magazine would not be able to receive adequate funding from departments, nor would it have its own budget, he began seeking a way to obtain the proper funding.

Duchamp helped organize a meeting on Tuesday, April 15, between Sequoya and Campus Activities Board – a group of administrators and student liaisons – to determine prospective funding.

“The board was incredibly helpful and understanding,” LaSalvia said. “They wanted to make sure that the Sequoya could become a consistently produced magazine that explores the creative and artistic talents of St. John’s students and their collaborative efforts that extend across all the colleges of the University.”

According to LaSalvia, CAB had yet to give him an official response regarding funding, but he was informed through e-mail by Duchamp that Sequoya will receive “enough funding to print 2,000 copies.”

The next step, LaSalvia said, is to make Sequoya an official organization. He and other Sequoya members have been meeting with various staff at the Writing Center, Campus Activities, and the English and Fine Arts Departments to create bylaws and a constitution that, according to LaSalvia, “reflects the Sequoya as an embodiment of the St. John’s mission.

“He added, “After funding and printing have been decided upon for this year’s edition, I, as well as the future Editor-in-Chief and staff will meet with Jodie Cox [of Campus Activities] and begin our reactivation later this year.”

Duchamp was also optimistic.

“By next year, hopefully they’ll be active again and receive consistent funding,” he said.

LaSalvia said that he is sure Sequoya can serve as “an example of the great work that can be created when staff, faculty, and students work together with a common goal in mind.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *