Archive for December, 2008

Complaints? What complaints?

December 12, 2008

School spirit. We all know what it is, and chances are that after we graduate we’ll have some as alumni. But one of the first things I noticed upon arriving at this school was a serious lack of pride in its students. Sure, we all wear our school’s logo on our hoodies, and I was one of the multitudes jumping up and down singing “Oh When The Storm Comes Rolling In” at last week’s quarter-final comeback victory in Belson Stadium, but I can’t help but notice the amount of complaining St. John’s students do.

We gripe about our location, the quality of our education, the food, the residence halls, campus events, the basketball team, even the lack of attractive females on campus (well, at least we did before we saw this year’s freshman class, *wink*). In 2007, the Princeton review ranked our school #7 on it’s “Least Happy Students” list, the highest St. John’s has ever ranked in any Princeton Review list.

So what is it about our school that makes students so unhappy about going here?

For those living on campus at least, a major concern is the services the department of Residence Life provides resident students.

“Residence Life should provide students with four things: Good living conditions, quality food, entertainment, and safety,” said Andrew Scott, who lives in the townhouses, “St. John’s department of Residence Life has failed in all these areas.”

As far as good living conditions are concerned, students have found many faults in the living conditions in St. John’s dorms. For Andrew Scott, these problems manifested themselves in a leaking shower, cockroaches, several leaking air conditioning units, and sprinklers without caps in what were supposed to be brand new townhouses. “There was a lack of preparation for students moving into the townhouses. The construction wasn’t finished, and you could tell they cut corners when building them.”

Faulty plumbing and air conditioners are what you can expect if you’re lucky enough to get housing in the townhouses, but what about student’s who can even manage that? Last year, with two new housing facilities opening and a host of new places to live, housing selection was a disaster.

Louis Nicosia, a Junior, was one of the many given an incorrect appointment time last year. He said: “I was told that my appointment was at 8:30 a.m., which is a great time, and when I arrived they turned me away and told me to come back at three, when most of the housing was already taken.”

As for the food Residence life provides, St. John’s also gets low marks. Montgoris’ abomination of a cafeteria is one of the most reviled things on campus.

While the low quality of the food is what angers most residents, Montgoris’ trayless Tuesday and Thursday program is especially unpopular. Chartwells, the catering service in charge of Montgoris, claims that the money it saves by not washing trays it donates to the school’s midnight run charity program. “As a coordinator for the midnight run program I can tell you that we haven’t seen a dime from Chartwells” says Andrew Scott.

While Marillac cafeteria provides an alternative to Montgoris’ food (And this writer uses food in the loosest terms, it’s more like pig swill), and extremely popular thanks to the meal exchange plan that allows students to substitute one meal under the value of $7, It’s often crowded, with little food available during peak hours and nowhere to sit. “The Meal Exchange ends at 9:30, 10 minutes before night classes end,” said Michael Keenan, “There’s a very narrow window of time dictating when you can or can’t get food.”

There’s very little complaint by most students when it comes to entertainment, however, many complain that the school hemorrhages money into campus events, neglecting more important departments. “I was at an event that was attended by about eight people, and we each went home with an entire pizza and a load of cups and bagels,” said Keenan “that’s a serious waste of money. A lot of campus events are just people giving away pizza.”

Most unpopular of all with residents is the school’s visitation policy which students just love to complain about. Computer science major Kevin Whelan puts it best: “The University justifies the visitation policy as an instrument for keeping the students safe, but I think that with the Founder’s Village Townhouses, it’s clear that the University can treat its students as adults with regards to visitation without compromising their safety.”

The general opinion on campus is that students are treated more like children under the custody and care of St. John’s university rather than tenants who ware paying thousands of dollars to reside on campus.

So what’s the verdict? Are Student’s complaints justified? Answer the poll, and comment with some more complaints:

-Mario Vergara

Was it worth the work?

December 12, 2008

So we go through 4 years of high school and think things can’t get much more complicated than what we’re going to wear to prom or who was seen holding whose hand in the hallway. Then… college comes along. It’ll be the best 4 years of your life, they always say but after hunting down money to pay for tuition, rummaging through and eBay to find the most expensive book for the cheapest price with the least highlighter marks in it and then finally reaching graduation, I can’t help but wonder… was all of the work really worth it?


Student Q&A: Life after graduation

December 12, 2008

Michael Pote, 21

Year: Senior

Major: Advertising

Lives: Brooklyn, New York

What are you going to do on graduation day?

The first thing I’m going to do is graduate, after that, I haven’t really made any plans. I might go out and eat dinner or something with my family, but I’m definitely trying to party. It’ll be one of the last days that me and my friends are all here, and it’s my last day of school, so it’s definitely reason for celebration. As for specifics, I haven’t made any plans yet, but I definitely want to do something unforgettable.


A Look Back: Our Best St. John’s Moments

December 12, 2008


No matter what year you are in here at St. John’s, it probably only took you a little while to see the diverse opinions of the school from the student body. Many run into problems early on and form negative opinions about it. But others are able to get past that and form better opinions. And throughout one’s time here, there is a chance of getting outstanding opportunities from St. John’s.

When I came to St. John’s, I wasn’t sure of what exactly the school had to offer me other than what they stated on paper. I entered the University as a psychology major, thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to do after school. Things changed along the way, and come sophomore year, I was a journalism major. From that point on, the opportunities came.

I started writing for The Torch and after wowing my editor with my first film review, my second assignment was a little better: I would attend a press screening of Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and subsequently interview the cast of the movie. Coming from Santa Barbara, Calif., I knew I was not going to get that same opportunity if I stayed at home and attended UC Santa Barbara. I’d get to see the celebrities that live in Santa Barbara sure, but interview them? Most likely not. After that first round of interviews, St. John’s has given me the chance to meet more celebrities: Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D; John Cusack; Neil Patrick Harris and Kal Penn (better known as Kumar); the women of Sex and the City. Those are just some of the names.

But enough about me. I’ve talked with several students who will soon graduate from St. John’s about their unique opportunities. What I found were varied results, but one thing remained constant: St. John’s offered them fantastic opportunities that they will remember (possibly) forever. (more…)

Is STJ the best of NYC?

December 12, 2008

I’m putting STJ to the test–I’m taking four area schools and seeing how they rack up compared to our humble Queens abode. The competitors are: Upper East Side’s Hunter College, nearby Queens College, our neighbors over at Stonybrook U, and Hofstra University.

At first glance, Hunter College, outpaces all the other respective schools in population alone, boasting over 15, 000 students alone. STJ, Stonybrook, and Queens aren’t far behind with student populations in the tens of thousands. Hofstra differs with a population under 10,000. The winner hear goes to preference–if one likes small schools then Hofstra is the clear victor.

It should be noted that Queens College, Hunter and STJ are smack dab in the middle of city environs, while Hofstra and Stonybrook are tucked away in the ‘burbs. If you like access, then these schools aren’t it unless you have a car.  Public transportation surely gets you anywhere you need to go in the city.


Student Q & A –

December 12, 2008

Here is an interview THE FLASHLIGHT had with a normal student, with normal goals, with a normal life. Here is what he thinks about life here at St. Johns University – 


– Good Bye for now, and enjoy the Holidays!

– Jose Silva

Flashlight Special: Who Said Graduates of St. John’s Don’t Make it Big?

December 12, 2008

schwab_logo1Hey there, stressful Johnnies,

Well, just like all of you reading this post, I am stressing out hardcore! I got one of my finals out of the way, and got two more to go (doubtful that you really cared, but too bad, I’m telling you anyways). Now, before you go commit academic suicide, just know that the work you are doing could lead to something big in the future. Maybe even famous!

Before I did this, I walked around campus to see if I could get some influence on who the students wanted to see in the post.

“There are famous people who have graduated from St. John’s?” replied one student.

“How about Britney Spears?” replied another. (I really wish I could have made that one up) (more…)

You Know it’s Finals Week…

December 12, 2008

…when the hottest search on Google is the Gadsden Purchase; number 18 is the ‘Gaston Purchase.’

Good luck on your finals, if you have any left; I’ll see you all tomorrow.

Inside Gate 6: Former Student: Lou Carnesecca

December 10, 2008

louGraduation is coming, for some students, congratulations! It already existed in their future plan. However, for others, it may be a little more than a year away, even longer. As a senior, you probably think a same question over and over again “Where will we go from there?” Should we go and seek a job, continue our education or something else?

      St. John’s University is such a diversity university. They have students all over the world, but this diversity also caused another big issue. Yaqi Zhang, a Finance major student from China will graduate in May 2009 from St. John’s. She said, “I am very nervous about the possibility of having to leave America if I don’t receive and H-1B [work] visa.”

This is the data from 2007 to our most recent in St. John’s University:   (more…)

Beyond Gate 6; Study Break…

December 9, 2008

Yo St. John’s,

I was in the middle of procrastination and needed to watch a new youtube video. My friend got me onto this one, and I haven’t been able to stop laughing since…

(Viewer Discretion is advised.)

~Matt Goulet