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The Torch

The Torch The independent, award-winning student newspaper of St. John's University since 1922. The Torch is the award-winning, independent student newspaper of St.

John's University serving the Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan campuses.

Operating as usual

Join us for our first GBM of the semester this coming Monday, September 12th during common hour. The meeting will be hel...
09/09/2022

Join us for our first GBM of the semester this coming Monday, September 12th during common hour. The meeting will be held in The Torch Office, which is located in O’Connor Hall’s B-Level, but a zoom option will also be available. We look forward to seeing and meeting you all soon!

We are searching to fill a few positions on our 2022-23 Eboard! If you are interested in joining The Torch or want more ...
09/07/2022

We are searching to fill a few positions on our 2022-23 Eboard! If you are interested in joining The Torch or want more information, please email [email protected].

St. John’s University held the first annual  Festival Friday on the Great Lawn, featuring food vendors, carnival rides, ...
05/01/2022

St. John’s University held the first annual Festival Friday on the Great Lawn, featuring food vendors, carnival rides, art installations and live performances by Juanialys, B-Lovee, Capella Grey and Sleepy Hallow. The event was a new twist on the spring carnival, which was canceled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the carnival was substituted for a virtual “Stormin’ Loud” festival. It was a great way to bring students together in a time of lax mask mandates to celebrate the end of the spring semester. Read more with the link in our bio.

📸 Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

With wedding season quickly approaching, it is no surprise that love is in the air. While weddings are filled with love ...
04/20/2022

With wedding season quickly approaching, it is no surprise that love is in the air. While weddings are filled with love and excitement, the other reality is that they can be highly stressful when it comes to factors such as wedding planning, and seeing how different families interact with each other. Though they are entertaining, films tend to sugar-coat these stressors that come with weddings. Here are 10 wedding-based films that accurately represent the highs and lows of the day of the “I Do.”

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Bride Wars

The New York State Education Department approved a B.S. in Nursing program at St. John’s University. On Monday April 11,...
04/19/2022

The New York State Education Department approved a B.S. in Nursing program at St. John’s University. On Monday April 11, 2022, the University released a statement announcing the approval of the four-year pre-licensure program. Applications are currently being accepted for the first cohort of students to begin in the Fall 2022 semester and the construction of the Health Sciences Center is underway — opening Fall 2024 — which will aim to provide technologies to help further students’ opportunities in the Health Science field.

Photo Courtesy / Unsplash Abby Anaday

🚨 TORCH SPORTS ALERT 🚨 The Johnnies have struggled overall in Big East competition — lacrosse and baseball are last in B...
04/13/2022

🚨 TORCH SPORTS ALERT 🚨
The Johnnies have struggled overall in Big East competition — lacrosse and baseball are last in Big East Rankings, and softball is second from the bottom. However, hope is not completely lost for Red Storm fans: Women’s Tennis won its 10th consecutive match, defeating DePaul 5-2, reaching 10 straight wins for the first time since 2005, and lacrosse broke a program record in its face-off against Marquette. Read all about it in the link in our bio!

📸Torch Photo: Sara Kiernan

Over 1,600 accepted students and their families flocked to Queens to celebrate their acceptance this April 9 for Accepte...
04/11/2022

Over 1,600 accepted students and their families flocked to Queens to celebrate their acceptance this April 9 for Accepted Students Day, according to David Diano, the Tour Coordinator of the Student Ambassador Program. St. John’s University held the event in Taffner Field House — though initially planned for the Great Lawn — after two years of holding it virtually. Campus clubs and organizations, Student Ambassadors, faculty and deans were in attendance to give accepted students information to excite them to be a Johnny or help solidify their college decision. Click the link in our bio to learn more!

📸Torch Photo: Sara Kiernan

In this week’s edition of “Culture Corner,” The Torch’s staff writers look at pop culture’s defining moments, with unfor...
04/09/2022

In this week’s edition of “Culture Corner,” The Torch’s staff writers look at pop culture’s defining moments, with unforgettable slaps and record-breaking new releases. A complicated incident involving Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars captured the awe of millions. Nick Kroll’s “Big Mouth” spin-off is a h***y and irreverent comedy that demonstrates the toll and hardships taken on the fictional creatures in “Human Resources.” Harry Styles’ lead single breaks two Spotify records ahead of his third studio album, “Harry’s House,” slated for release on May 20, 2022. Ariana DeBose makes history at the Oscars with a heart-wrenching reimagination of “West Side Story,” and an in-depth look at Sally Rooney’s “Normal People” explains the meaning behind her powerful prose. All at the link in our bio!

📸Photo Courtesy / YouTube ABC, YouTube Netflix, YouTube Harry Styles, YouTube ABC, Crown Publishing Group

Across the world, people witnessed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson become the first Black woman appointed to the Supreme Cou...
04/08/2022

Across the world, people witnessed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson become the first Black woman appointed to the Supreme Court. What does this mean for the future of United States politics? Hopefully, the end of partisan America. Click the link in our bio to read about how monumental it is that three Republican senators voted against party lines to do what is best for the country.

The official winners for the 2022-2023 Student Government, Inc. (SGi) Executive Board and Student Senate were announced ...
04/07/2022

The official winners for the 2022-2023 Student Government, Inc. (SGi) Executive Board and Student Senate were announced today at 12:30 p.m. at the D’Angelo Center Coffeehouse. Led by current SGi president Ethan Burrell, the R.A.I.N ticket swept all executive board positions up for grabs. However, the ticket’s margin of victory varied greatly across the various positions, as voters are not required to vote along an entire ticket. For the full voting breakdown, obtained by The Torch, click the link in our bio!

Elections for Student Government Inc. (SGi) are currently underway, with two tickets — R.A.I.N. and L.O.V.E. — vying for...
04/04/2022

Elections for Student Government Inc. (SGi) are currently underway, with two tickets — R.A.I.N. and L.O.V.E. — vying for the highest editorial board positions.
Students can cast their votes until tomorrow, April 5 at 11:59 p.m. via an eBallot provided to their St. John’s emails. Click the link in our bio for more information on the electoral process, ticket platforms and candidates.

We have a few positions open on our 2022-23 E-Board! If you are interested in joining The Torch or want more information...
04/04/2022

We have a few positions open on our 2022-23 E-Board! If you are interested in joining The Torch or want more information, please email [email protected].

Torch Design🎨: Chloe Fecci

BREAKING: A fire has been confirmed in Montgoris Dining Hall, according to on-scene public safety officers.  The fire is...
04/01/2022

BREAKING: A fire has been confirmed in Montgoris Dining Hall, according to on-scene public safety officers. The fire is in the loading dock of the building, with firefighters on the scene as of 5 p.m Friday evening dousing the building’s exterior. Montgoris Dining Hall is closed for service as first responders assess the situation, and Marillac Food Court will reopen for meal exchanges. This story is ongoing.

📸Photo Credit: Brady Snyder

Round of applause for the Chappell Players for their production of “12 Angry Jurors.” Co-Directed by juniors Peter Astri...
03/31/2022

Round of applause for the Chappell Players for their production of “12 Angry Jurors.” Co-Directed by juniors Peter Astriab and David Bayha, the play hooked the audience before the curtain even opened. Based on the 1957 movie, “12 Angry Men,” (adapted to participate in a co-ed production) it is a straight show following a murder trial. The cast and crew were highly praised for making a continuous scene so entertaining. Culture Editor Mia Flores, who attended the show on its opening day, describes the production as having “extremely notable elements of … tension” and “striking performances.” Click the link in our bio to read the full review!

📸 Photo Courtesy: Jordan Ban & Alexander Coger-Bonet

St. John’s just needed a win to keep their season alive. They did all that and more in an absolute dominant performance ...
03/10/2022

St. John’s just needed a win to keep their season alive. They did all that and more in an absolute dominant performance Wednesday night against DePaul in the first round of the Big East Torunament. The Red Storm entered the court shakily, surrendering six points in the first minute of play. After a crucial timeout down by ten, the Johnnies took control of the game and never looked back enroute to a 92-73 victory. No. 7 St. John’s will play No. 2 Villanova in the Big East Quarterfinals tonight at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. For the full recap, click the link in our bio!

📸Torch Photo: Sara Kiernan

The Big East tournament is underway…
03/09/2022

The Big East tournament is underway…

In honor of International Women’s Day, Photo Editor Sara Kiernan talks about her journey through writing and working in ...
03/08/2022

In honor of International Women’s Day, Photo Editor Sara Kiernan talks about her journey through writing and working in sports and overcoming many obstacles that is all around her in society.

📸Torch Photo: Sara Kiernan

BREAKING NEWS: Per the University’s email “Effective Monday, March 7 masks are no longer required anywhere at St. John’s...
03/02/2022

BREAKING NEWS: Per the University’s email “Effective Monday, March 7 masks are no longer required anywhere at St. John’s University either for indoor or outdoor campus activities.” Story to follow.

📸Torch Photo: Sara Kiernan

The Big East, through its partnership with the Black Fives Foundation, seeks to raise awareness of the pre-NBA history o...
02/14/2022

The Big East, through its partnership with the Black Fives Foundation, seeks to raise awareness of the pre-NBA history of African-Americans in basketball. Staff Writer Connor Richards outlines the conference’s plans to honor this era during the month of February, as well as how St. John’s is participating. Read more about this Black History Month initiative at the link in our bio!

📸Torch Photo: Sara Kiernan

Amy Schneider surpassed $1 million on Jeopardy, making her the first woman and first transgender woman to reach that mil...
02/11/2022

Amy Schneider surpassed $1 million on Jeopardy, making her the first woman and first transgender woman to reach that milestone. Her 40-day winning streak made her the second-longest Jeopardy winning champion. Opinion Editor Sharmin Haque discusses the importance of Schneider’s win for transgender representation. Read more about Schneider’s historic and inspirational win at the link in our bio!

📸Photo Courtesy/ YouTube Jeopardy!

From naming a roach for your significant other to a sunset hike, this list of Valentine’s Day to-do’s has something for ...
02/11/2022

From naming a roach for your significant other to a sunset hike, this list of Valentine’s Day to-do’s has something for everyone. Editor-in-Chief Alicia Venter provides a concise, yet wide-range list of activities for Monday’s day of love. From Queens to Manhattan, the search for last minute plans is over. Click the link in our bio to read and find your perfect plan.

📸 PHOTO COURTESY/ Unsplash Carrie Beth Williams

Make this Valentine’s Day extra special by telling your partner how much you appreciate them and showing them how much t...
02/09/2022

Make this Valentine’s Day extra special by telling your partner how much you appreciate them and showing them how much they mean to you, without emptying your wallet! Something as simple as saying the three special words or surprising them with their favorite pastry from the bakery across town can make your moment more precious. Check out some budget-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts at the link in our bio.

📸 Photo Courtesy/ Unsplash Becca Tapert

“Trust me, no one feels worse when we lose a game than myself,” said St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson after a tough l...
02/02/2022

“Trust me, no one feels worse when we lose a game than myself,” said St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson after a tough loss at Carnesecca Arena.

St. John’s fell to No. 15 Providence, 86-82, despite a near-sellout crowd in the team’s campus arena. Sophomore Posh Alexander’s career night — which saw the point guard score 29 points paired with 12 assists for a double-double — wasn’t enough to propel the Red Storm over a fierce conference opponent. Junior forward Julian Champagnie was nowhere to be found, first because of a facial injury that required stitches mid-game, and also because his four-game slump has continued. Stay tuned for the full recap.

The Red Storm Men’s Soccer program not only had one of its best years in 2021, but also made history when three players–...
02/01/2022

The Red Storm Men’s Soccer program not only had one of its best years in 2021, but also made history when three players––graduate student Lucas Bartlett, senior Tani Oluwaseyi and redshirt junior Luka Gavarn––were selected during the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. “Each one of these young men has worked incredibly hard and given so much to this program and this University,” Head Coach David Masur said in a press release. Read more about this historic draft and the soccer program’s amazing season at the link in our bio!

📸Torch Photo: Sara Kiernan

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Jamaica, NY
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Founded in 1922, The Torch is the award-winning, independent student newspaper of St. John's University serving the Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan campuses.

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Christine McGrath ’03CPS is an Emmy-Award-winning Digital Executive Producer for News 12 Long Island. She wanted the experience, so she chose , where she was a member of student organizations like WREDtv and The Torch. At St. John's University, she had several prestigious writing internships, including working with Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Read more about her fantastic story here https://bit.ly/3KgvGNp
The Success of RedLine’s FLOYD TUNSON’S ACCENT

By John Burl Smith author “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop!!!”

The changing world of Black Arts was on full display at RedLine Gallery in Denver, Colorado (7/12-15/2022), as it kicked off “Afrofuturism + Beyond 2022!” “Afrofuturism/Afro-realism” has continued to tweak the consciousness of Black artists as they visualize projects that give our past, not only historical context, but become futuristic projections to fuel their dreams. By combining “Floyd Tunson: Accent!”, with Arish Khan’s “Black Power Tarot Card” exhibition and a screening of the classic and iconic “Invaders” documentary, RedLine gave the Art world a “bold and challenging new vision of how the past can project where Black Arts is headed. This exhibition was a reflection of how artists, of all types, can remain on the cutting edge of change.

My previous statement is based on conversations RedLine arranged and facilitated with a number of Denver artists. Thomas Evans, a rising young photographer, in “They Still Live”, juxtaposed the old with the new, taking intricate masks and African emblems against in gritty urban spaces to highlight just a peak of Dr. Paul Hamilton’s magnificent African Art collection. Sam McNeil, a metallurgist/blacksmith, allowed me to view his “other worldly” creations that featured a thirty-foot-high sculpture of Frederick Douglas that reminded me of the “Tin Man” in “The Wiz!” I returned to RedLine for a different type of conversation with R. Alan Brooks, the graphic creator of “The Burning Metronome” graphic novel. We shared his journey to becoming a professor/speaker to podcasting.

I shared my journey from black power/organizing the “Invaders” to being one of the last two people to meet with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a strategy meeting. We also discussed “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop,” as the motivation for creating “The 400th Performance Period,” as a result of missing 2019, the “Quadricentennial Year” history books established as the first slave arrival, “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop” projects 2030, as the “Quadricentennial Year” to give descendants of American slavery sufficient time to prepare to commemoration and celebrate this milestone as our birthday. What is most important here is that enslaved Africans were kidnaped from all along the West African coast, as individuals, however today we identify ourselves as one people! No other people the world over have accomplished such a feat, which makes us a “unique people.” “The 400th Performance Period” is envisioned as a platform for those who identify with “Afrofuturism/Afro-futurism” as a phenomenal accomplishment by a people without a prototype and cannot allow this period to pass unheralded. Consequently, we project 2030 as our commemorative birthday! The hope is that other galleries, museums and performance venues will follow RedLine's example, as we project Black Arts as a mainstream artistic endeavor.

Louise Martorano, Executive Director for RedLine provided an unbelieve opportunity, with an introduction an amazing icon, Dr. Paul Hamilton, author of “African People’s Contribution to World Civilizations” (Shattering the Myths), and the first Black elected to the Colorado legislature, among many, many other astounding accomplishments. For me, his most mind-blowing accomplishment is Dr. Hamilton has amassed one of the largest private collections of African Art in the US, if not the world. Dr. Hamilton and his collection defy description. Viewing it, for me, was a spiritual experience. Discussing his life, work and collection, I felt that not only is Dr. Hamilton’s collection an American treasure, but he is a treasure also!!!

Now in his eighties, the thing is, Dr. Hamilton has ceased collecting, and is considering selling his enormous collection. My physical reaction to the thought of losing such a magnificent collection was like being stabbed in the heart. This crushing blow came after Thomas Evans and I had meandered pass hundreds of artifacts centuries old, which I had never seen or knew existed in one place. My thoughts of the public losing access to art of many African people that no longer exist, like our connection to a specific people in Africa. Relief came when Thomas informed me; art lovers in Denver are exploring ways to keep his collection intact and accessible to the public through the establishment of a Dr. Paul Hamilton African Art Museum in Denver.

I did not hesitate to pledge my support to hope, help and work to save an American and world treasure. Since 2020, I have supported the Biden/Harris administration and though the road has been rocky, especially in Congress, saving Dr. Hamilton’s irreplaceable treasure with a museum in Denver, his hometown, should be something Pres. Biden can easily and eagerly support. The fact it will be location in the Midwest, will give descendants of American slavery, as well as others, something to not only draw pride and identify with, it will demonstrate further that the Biden/Harris administrations committed to helping to, not only make Black Arts mainstream in America but internationally. The Paul Hamilton African Art Museum in the center of the nation will be easily accessible to Art lovers East and West of the Mississippi River. Such a bold undertaking by the Biden/Harris Administration will demonstrate a long-term commitment to a community that is among its most loyal supporters!!!
A COVID Stricken World and Afrofuturism!!!


By John Burl Smith author “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop!”


Denver’s RedLine Art Gallery’s efforts to launch “Afrofuturism + Beyond 2022” was shut down in 2021 by COVID-19 and has been sidetracked again by this deadly monster. Originally set to debut in 2021, and now COVID, rising from the grave, like “the grim reaper,” has defied many who thought with warmer weather, America had seen the last of COVID-19. The one lesson “Republicans COVID-deniers and others who refuse to get shots, are still spreading COVID to even those who got shots. Denver residents are currently experiencing just such a spread, and out of an abundance of caution, and RedLine’s desire not to become a “super spreader,” has delayed the opening of its major exhibition “Floyd Tunson’s ASCENT” from 6-10/7-31-2022 to 7-11/16-2022.


The pause provides another opportunity to acquaint art lovers with RedLine’s quest to make “Afrofuturism” mainstream by presenting “Floyd Tunson’s ASCENT!!” Tunson has emerged as one of the driving forces supporting “Afrofuturism.” Along with Arish “King” Khan, international “Punk Rock” artist, who created “Black Power Tarot” we were in Colorado Spring (2019), for an appearance at the Gallery of Contemporary Art (GOCA) when Daisy McGowan, curator, introduced us to Floyd Tunson. “King” Khan and I were talking with Floyd, what has become “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop” and trying to visualize the role of “Afrofuturism,” as a vehicle. Our hope is to commemorate our ancestors’ journey into slavery, while celebrating our survival in 2030, as the Quadricentennial year of our arrival in North America. Envisioning enslaved Africans’ their arrival through this new and different lens, brought 2030 and “Afrofuturism” together as a concept, talking with Floyd.


For those less familiar with “Afrofuturism,” Floyd, Khan and I talked about making it more than just another “catchy phrase or gimmick!” However, back in 2016, I realized 2019 was just 3 years away. Moreover, I thought, “more noted individuals—artists, historians, civil rights activists or politicians—would be up front driving such a movement. With a regretful resignation, I watched 2019 zoomed by with only a whisper. Floyd took the artistic approach, looking for venues receptive to his artistic concept, hence RedLine entered his portrait with “Afrofuturism + Beyond 2022.”


“King” Khan blew my socks off, with his creation of Black Power Tarot, just as Prichard Smith was warping up production of the “Invaders” documentary. Their efforts inspired me to tell my family and other descendants of American slavery’s story, which began before creation of the “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.” Writing “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop,” I recapitulate their journey all the way to Hip hop’s rise, which sidelined R&B on the way to becoming an international genre. I saw creating “The 400th Performance Period” as a multi-purpose platform that, among other things, will allow R&B to reposition, not remake itself. Utilizing Afrofuturism to exemplify and verify the multiplicity of genres Black Arts encompasses, Arish and I wanted to reflect its centrality in slavery’s descendants’ development.


Our hope is that young artists will pick up the challenge of Afrofuturism and “The 400th Performance Period” to address their image and lack of access to America’s economic system. Hip hoppers must tell their story or chance getting written out of history all together. Young people cannot allow the older generation to hold on to power they will use against them! They must see in Tunson’s RedLine exhibition, the viability of “Afrofuturism” as a vehicle and platform. Floyd brought “King” Khan and me on board RedLine’s opening week of “Floyd Tunson’s ASCENT!” For me “Afrofuturism” is a theme that makes Tunson’s exhibition the leading exponent of Afrofuturism.


Questions like, “What difference will a word or concept like “Afrofuturism” make, after 400 years of discrimination, political oppression, economic deprivation and isolation?” I answer, “Afrofuturism” and the “The 400th Performance Period” is a projected timeline that began in 2020 and culminate with activities throughout 2030. Then comes, “Why such a long time, Black people are so impatient; why wait 8-years to celebrate something we can do next year?” I respond, “All the major movements African Americans have mounted in the past—the March on Washington (1963), “the Poor People’s Campaign (1968), and the Million Man March (1995)—were organized as one day affairs. We wanted the concept and activities to be innovative, not dependent on one group to keep activities going. Slavery’s descendants need to learn how to sustain a process, without the “number one black leader” dictating to the masses. You do not need to wait on the OK nor join anything. If you have an idea, start developing it, you will have a head start. What we envision with “The 400th Performance Period” and “Afrofuturism” is a time frame and a goal beyond the present. During those 8 years (2030), activities will be planned. Artists and entertainers can modify their projects, while touring small communities, not only large ones.


Even more importantly, there are millions of descendants of slavery that were hijacked and carried to islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These slavery descendants are artists, writers, performers and others who revere their slavery roots and will want to exhibit their cultures. With everything coming together for “Floyd Tunson’s ASCENT,” the opening week, it will bring African American Art to the fore, while elevating its contributions to a similar level of recognition white Art is accorded. Based on RedLine’s groundbreaking exhibition, which recast what was status quo before COVID-19. The world will see what that reshaped “Art world” looks like. Consequently, descendants of American slavery are truly fortunate to have such a prominent artist, as Floyd Tunson, on the frontline with his RedLine exhibition “Floyd Tunson’s ASCENT,” makes it the leading edge for Afrofuturism. For the first time in our history, slavery’s descendants will have artists, performers, entrepreneurs and activists, leading efforts to project possible futures with create example of what those futures can be! These are exciting times!!!
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