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

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Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

This is my first year attending St. John’s University and I must say we have the strangest break. Not only is it the wrong time for Spring Break, but we have midterms the following week. A break is supposed to be a time for students to relax and ease off from all the work we had since beginning the spring semester. However, the whole break I spent studying for my upcoming exams and not once did I feel like I was on a break. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to my frustration and it’s quite unfair. Those who work and study hard should have a “real” break. Students need the time off every now and then to work efficiently and to stay healthy. Breaks are very crucial for students to stay sane after working so hard. In addition, spring is far from February and it’s silly to call it Spring Break when half the time it was freezing and raining. There has to be a change in the school system where Spring Break is actually set during spring and also not right before the week of midterms.

Stephanie Lau
Class of 2011

To the Editor:

Students and professors on facebook together should not present a problem. Users now have the option to control who sees what. By setting your profile private, meaning only “friends” can see your pictures and information, people you don’t want to see your profile won’t. By fixing your settings you can make it appear as if you don’t even have a facebook.
Your name won’t appear in searches and when posting on friends’ walls your picture will appear as a question mark and cannot be clicked on and no name appears. If for some reason your professor friend requests you and you actually want to accept, you can limit the amount of information they can see by allowing them to see your “limited profile”. This is where you can choose what information is seen by simply unchecking the things you do not wish for them to view.
There are more positives than negatives when it comes to professors being able to have access to facebook, which have been named in previous articles. Facebook makes it just as easy to remain private as it does to have all your business out there.

Ashlee N. Payne
Class of 2011

To the Editor:

The Quiet Study Area in St. Augustine Hall next to the Jazzman’s Café is an absolute disgrace. It is a nightmare and a hassle because every seat is usually taken when I walk in there and all the time people are doing things other than studying. There is no reason why people plan on going in there without the intention of studying because that is not the purpose of the room.

These are some problems I come across whenever I’m inside looking for a seat. Around half the people I notice are communicating with their friends either by Facebook or instant messaging. Other people are on message boards or watching online videos that apparently have nothing to do with academics. A few desks are empty but inconveniently reserved (sometimes by friends) because they are already covered with someone else’s belongings. Three students are taking naps, at least one of them without books or a laptop. I would say only five of these people are actually working at their desks compared to about twenty who aren’t.

If this is a Quiet Study Area, shouldn’t studying be enforced? In theory, the room is a great idea, but the students must be able to respect that. If people hang out there and are not focusing on academics, they shouldn’t be there in the first place. Many of the things these students do can be done at home or in their residence halls and it is unfair to those who want the benefit of using the place to catch up on their work.

Kevin Jauregui
Tobin School of Business
Class of 2011

To the Editor:

When coming to St. John’s, I like many others surmised that the University would foster and promote a Catholic ideology. Mid last semester I thankfully was blessed to become a part of Voices of Victory, St. John’s University’s gospel choir. An event we were invited to sing at, which was hosted by the University’s campus ministry, caused me much indignation and compelled me to write this letter. I do not know any other way to hold the University accountable.

At the event, a Hindu student was invited to the podium to share his faith. The Hindu student asked everyone at the conference to follow him in prayer to what he regarded as a Goddess Lakshmi. He instructed the many students present to clasp their hands together, close their eyes, “to pray however they feel comfortable praying” to the Hindu Goddess. Many Christian students did not know what to do. Some fell into praying to the Goddess because they did not want to offend the student or be different by not praying.

I could not watch what I witnessed and walked out of the event. These are only two quotes from the many upset students that attended the event. I was apprehensive to go to the school paper right away and wanted to talk with the administration first about what was experienced in hope that they would resolve the issue. The University made me talk to the head of Campus Ministry who attempted to justify the event by relating it to a learning experience that may take place in a classroom. The two experiences cannot be related.

The act of idolatry that took place at the event was not regarded as wrong, or as an act that was being studied from the Christian perspective of being something that one should not do. Students were asked to participate and commit the act. In the Talmud, Qur’an, and Holy Bible, this act is one of the worst things one can commit. How does the University justify holding such events? How does the University allow a Hindu students association?

The experience I have had at the University was a worldly one. The University seems to have compromised its teaching to appeal to the culture of the times, an all-accepting Universal doctrine.

I feel for the parents who pay however much money so that their children receive solid Catholic morals only to have their children commit acts that are grounds for going to hell.

Thomas Jewels
Anthropology Major
Class of 2009

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