The Torch Vol. 100:7 — September Edition

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INside this Issue VOL 100:7 The award-winning independent student newspaper of St. John’s University SeptEMBER 2022 ISSUE Opinion: Far-Right Giorgia Meloni Is Not Right For Italy 2022-23 Academic Year Sees Undergraduate Tuition Increase 2022 Security & Fire safety RepOrt Released Join The Torch At TorchOnline.COM/JOIN 158 crimes reported on the st. john's queens campus in 2021 University unveils LGBTQ+ Center's new home in St. john's hall Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan 2022 Security & Fire safety RepOrt Released

2022-2023 Academic Year Sees Undergraduate Tuition Increase

The 2022-2023 academic year at St. John’s University opens with a yearly undergraduate tuition rate raised by four per cent, according to the University’s website. The Fall/Spring block (12-18 credits per semester) base tuition for distance and traditional learning students on the Queens and Man hattan campuses now equal $46,230 per year ($23,115 per semester) a rise from last year’s base tuition of $44,450 ($22,225 per semester).

Tuition of juniors and seniors at the Peter J. Tobin Col lege of Business also saw an increase to $48,208 per year ($24,104 per semester) as opposed to last academic year’s yearly tuition of $46,354 ($23,177 per semester). Pharm. D. students between years three and six are now required to pay a yearly tuition of $52,934 ($26,467 per semester) increasing from last year’s $50,898 tuition ($25,449 per semester).

The Staten Island campus also saw an increased tuition this year following the announcement of its closure. Base tuition is now $33,000 per year ($16,500 per semester) for traditional students and $34,978 ($17,489 per semester) for juniors and seniors in the Peter J. Tobin College of Business, increasing from last year’s tuition of $31,730 ($15,865 per semester) and $33,634 ($16,817 per semester).

Courses taken in the Summer and Winter sessions are billed at a per credit rate. This year’s base tuition per credit reached $1,541. Per credit tuition of years three and four Peter J. Tobin College of Business students and years three to six Pharm. D. students increased to $1,607 and $1,764 respectively. On the Staten Island campus, per credit tuition for traditional students is $1,100 and $1,166 for juniors and seniors in the Peter J. Tobin College of Business.

The Torch spoke to a few students on the Queens campus about the raised tuition.

“As someone who dorms on campus, it’s definitely disap pointing to see a price hike in our tuition. I’m hopeful that the money we spend on school shows us some form of pay back in the near future,” said Sean Fleming, a sophomore cy bersecurity student. “Since the new medical building won’t be completed until just before I graduate, it would be nice to see some new additions to the campus in the meantime.”

Fleming referenced the Health Sciences Center that is currently under construction. The project involved demol ishing St. Vincent Hall and replacing it with a new academ ic building. The Health Sciences Center is set to house the

University’s undergraduate nursing program, which accept ed its first batch of students this year.

Based on estimates from a professional firm and a con struction manager, the University estimates the project will cost roughly $78 million. To fund the Health Sciences Cen ter, the University has been awarded a $5 million New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant (HECap), according to a press release.

In addition to the HECap grant, the University has already received significant endowments that will be used to fund the Health Sciences Center. Margaret La Rosa D’Angelo and Peter P. D’Angelo pledged to donate $20 million to the Uni versity in June, marking the largest donation in the school’s history. Of that $20 million, $15 million will be used for the construction of the Health Sciences Center.

The D’Angelo’s donation is not the only one made to sup port the Health Sciences Center, and the University plans a fundraising campaign in 2023 to fund capital investments, according to a recap of the May 2022 Board of Trustees meeting emailed to students, faculty and staff.

“St. John’s is a strong institution as a result of prudent fis cal management,” said Brian Browne, University Spokesper son in a statement to The Torch. “Nonetheless, we regularly take the necessary steps to ensure continued fiscal stability so that we can maintain and enhance future educational pro grams and services we offer to our students.”

Although the University is taking extensive action to in vest in the future, that might come with disappointing im plications for current students. “Personally, an expansion of dining options on campus would be ideal considering the closure of the St. John’s Red Storm Diner,” said Fleming, the cybersecurity student.

In the two years since the COVID-19 campus forced the closure of college campuses nationwide, dining services at St. John’s have taken a hit. Retail locations, including Taco Bell, in the D’Angelo Center (DAC) were permanently closed last year.

“With on-campus retail food volume projected to be lower than in prior pre-Covid years, Chartwells Dining Services regularly evaluates the number of food outlets that it pro vides on campus and adjusts accordingly based on student demand and utilization,” University Spokesperson Browne said. “As a result, DAC Room 100 (formerly the DAC firstfloor eatery) is now available and creates much-needed space

for clubs and organizations to requisition the space for stu dent programming.”

DAC Room 100, formerly the DAC first-floor eatery, was initially used as a COVID-19 testing center for students. As mandatory testing requirements were rolled back by the University, the space opened up for other uses.

In addition to the closure of the DAC eatery, the demoli tion of St. Vincent Hall forced the closure of the Red Storm Diner, which was located in the basement of the building.

“By extending the daily operation hours of Montgoris Din ing Hall to 1 am, the expansive menu options available to students in Montgoris provide more purchasing power than the limited menu that was once available in the now-defunct Red Storm Diner,” Browne added.

However, Montgoris Dining Hall ends dinner service at 10 p.m., according to St. John’s University Dine On Cam pus. Between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., the ‘Late Night’ menu is limited to select breakfast foods and grill items.

Beyond students’ concerns regarding campus resources and dining services, they also brought up the dilemma of scholarships and financial aid.

Even after the tuition increases, merit scholarship recip ients are rewarded with the same amount as they were in previous years. Alexander Chmiel, a sophomore computer science student, added that “If tuition is going to increase, it would be fairer to increase our scholarships as well.”

The University cites rising costs as a reason for the four percent tuition increase. “Like the families that we serve, the University is managing increased operating costs — such as food, services, and utilities, amid an 8.5% consumer infla tion rate,” University Spokesperson Browne said. “Our bud get decisions and student financial aid awards are made to efficiently maximize our resources, enabling us to best serve our students.”

It also offers a glimpse into the financial aid afforded to students by the University. “At St. John’s University, 99% of undergraduates receive financial aid and in 2021-2022 the University generously provided $297M of its own institu tional dollars to help defray the cost of education,” Browne told The Torch. “A sum of $494M of total financial aid was received by students in 2021-2022.”

The 2022-2023 tuition rates are effective Summer 2022 through Spring 2023. More tuition information can be found on the St. John’s University website.

The St. John’s University Department of Public Safety released a yearly safety report covering data from 2021 on its Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan campuses. The report also included the University’s satellite loca tions in Long Island and abroad. Last year, the Queens campus saw a total of 158 on-campus criminal offenses.

In 2021, liquor and drug law violations had the highest number of cases, equalling 81 and 62 on-campus cas es, respectively. 80 and 58 of those cases, respectively, occurred in the residence halls. The number decreased drastically from the 127 and 188 on-campus cases re ported in 2019, but increased from the 59 and 51 cases in 2020.

One robbery, six aggravated assaults, one burglary and one motor vehicle theft were reported last year on the Queens campus. Two of the aggravated assaults and one burglary was reported within the residence halls. 2019 saw one robbery, four burglaries and four motor vehicle thefts. None of the offenses were reported in 2020. A robbery is a theft that occurs when items are taken direct ly from another person, whereas burglary occurs when a person illegally enters a property with an intent to steal

or commit a felony while inside, according to Nolo’s legal encyclopedia.

A total of three sex offenses were reported in 2021, with one occurring in the residence halls. Nine and three sex offenses were reported on campus in 2019 and 2020. All three cases in 2020 were reported within the residence halls.

The last report of domestic violence was in 2019, when two cases were reported. One occurred in the residence halls. Sixteen dating violences were reported the same year (12 in residence halls and two on public property). Four dating violations were reported on cam pus last year, two of which occurred in the residence halls.

Since 2019, there have been three arrests. Two of the arrests occurred in 2019 due to violations of drug laws. One occured on campus in 2020, due to illegal weapons violations. There have been no criminal offenses report ed on non-campus property. There were no illegal weap ons violations in 2021.

The full report can be found on the University’s web site.

Yearly tuition increases by four percent. 2022 St. John’s University Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Department of Public Safety releases a safety report for all St. John’s campuses. Dea HoxHa anD BraDy SnyDer | Sept. 14, 2022
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan
| oct. 3, 2022

St. John’s Unveils LGBTQ+ Center’s New Home in St. John’s Hall

sented groups,” according to the employment listing.

The St. John’s University LGBTQ+ Center opened Sept. 30. Located in St. John’s Hall Room 216, the center provides an open and welcoming environment for queer students on campus.

The center is a “University-wide resource and research hub for students, faculty and employees,” according to the University’s website, “Its purpose is to organize, coordinate, and innovate LGBTQIA+ issues in the St. John’s University ecosystem to create and sustain an open and welcoming envi ronment for LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and employees.”

Founded and co-directed by Drs. Candice Roberts and Shanté Paradigm Smalls, the LGBTQ+ center is the frui tion of their efforts. As the “faces of the center,” Roberts and Smalls have spent years assessing the needs of queer students that failed to be met on campus, they told The Torch.

“In 2019, we started to want a cohesive, connected and visible LGBTQ presence on campus,” Roberts said. “We wanted to do something bigger. We wanted to do a little bit more.”

The center was officially named in Fall 2021, but did not have a home until today. “Last year was our year of trying to get our name out there and trying to do more events,” they continued. Many of the LGBTQ+ Center’s events includ ed film screenings and gatherings in conjunction with the LGBTQ+ student organization Spectrum.

The center not only is a space for queer students, but also is a place of employment. The center offers work-study and graduate assistantships for interested students. The positions are open to all eligible students regardless of orientation, but employees must “demonstrate knowledge (or desire to learn) of marginalized communities and historically underrepre

Sophomore undecided major Irene Barlis is an undergrad uate student worker for the LGBTQ+ center.

“I usually sit at the front desk, and if anyone needs anything they come in for any resources they need,” Barlis told The Torch at the center’s opening. Some of these needs include instructing students on the school’s chosen name policy, pro viding an all-gen der bathroom and being a sanctuary on campus.

“Students can do their work if they want to, or if they need a breath throughout the day. If they feel there’s anything we can add to our space, they can do that too,” Barlis continued. “I hope it keeps growing. I honestly didn’t know about it until I applied to work here, so I hope it grows and people can know about and utilize it more.” As for the center’s future, Dr.

Olivia Seaman | Sept. 20, 2022

In the past three months, Governor Kathy Hochul has de clared New York a state of disaster and emergency due to recent monkeypox and polio outbreaks. Additionally, an E.coli outbreak focused in the midwest spread to New York, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite this, Hochul dropped mask mandates on public transit Sept. 7 after two years of strict observation.

“Masks are encouraged, but optional,” Hochul said in a statement. “This is what you’re going to see on our subways and our mass transit throughout the state of New York.”

The decision follows a Metro Transit Authority (MTA) study which found mask compliance amid riders dropped in recent months.

With 71% of St. John’s students living off-campus or commuting, many students rely on public transportation to get to school.

“I genuinely just forget to bring my mask sometimes be cause I’m in a rush, but now I’m not as worried about wear ing a mask,” said sophomore Paulina Maczko. She takes the G train, E train and Q46 to commute to campus. “I wear it when it’s more crowded but I just remember taking the train before [COVID-19], and since no one wore a mask before, it helps me be less worried about not wearing one.”

Roberts believes it is bright. “We’re looking forward to build ing something with all the St. John’s community members.”

They shared their vision, which includes increasing their resources and research, in order to “create and innovate” a re search hub for St. John’s students as well as visiting scholars.

For more information on the LGBTQ+ Center as well as St. John’s inclusivity resources, check out their Instagram for

“I stopped wearing my mask about a month before the mandate was lifted because I no longer felt at risk while taking public transportation,” noted sophomore Shamarric Edwards. “Plus, wearing the mask was truly an uncomfort able experience for me, so as soon as I felt safe, I stopped wearing them.”

Edwards touched on feeling safe in a post-mask-mandat ed NYC. “Generally, I feel as safe as it gets when walking in a big city. However, during the pandemic, there have been times when I felt as if I was putting myself at risk solely because of the magnitude of people that are normally in the city all at once.”

Students living on campus frequent the city, with public transportation being an accessible way.

“I usually have some sort of looming fear whenever I roam the city. There are still so many unvaccinated people that are walking around, and I just feel a lot safer wearing my mask and making sure that I am keeping myself, and my suitemates safe,” said sophomore on-campus resident Amaiya Sancho. “I still continue to mask on the subways.”

MTA ridership has surged following the erasing of the mandate. 5.6 million people took public transit Wednes day, marking the highest ridership since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 3.7 million people rode the sub way, and 384,000 LIRR and Metro-North commuters are among that number.

With new COVID-19 boosters, the broadening of mon keypox vaccine eligibility and a dire call by New York State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett to stay up to date on polio immunizations, hope looms for New Yorkers that the end of pandemic-era NYC may be in sight.

The center provides an open environment for queer students on campus. “Encouraged, but optional:” A Mask-Free NYC Is there hope for the end of a pandemic-era New York City? Olivia Seaman | Sept. 30, 2022 Torch Photo
/ Sara Kiernan
Photo Courtesy / YouTube Lufschlange

Freight Rail Companies And Unions Reach AnAgreement, But Trouble Is Still On The Tracks

tentative agreement

This past week, talk of tens of thousands of workers going on strike against their freight rail companies shook passen gers and producers alike. The rail workers had threatened to strike on Friday, but the strike did not occur because of an agree ment reached between the companies and the unions representing them. The tentative agreement — which gives workers higher pay and more flexible schedules, including unpaid time off for medical appointments — is a big victory for the Biden administra tion as well as the rail workers.

President Biden’s Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh mediated the meeting between the industry leaders and the unions on Sept. 14.

Next, the deal moves onto union mem bers to ratify the decision not to strike. Workers have agreed to postpone a strike until the vote is tallied.

Were the freight rail workers to go on strike, commercial travel would also be af fected. While the employees of the passen ger railroad service known as Amtrak are not set to go on strike, their trains would still suffer a shutdown or stoppage because a majority of Amtrak rails outside of the Northeast Corridor (the area stretching from Washington D.C. to Boston) are owned by some of the major freight rail companies.

“I took the train [into New York City] all the time before I lived here,” said Emily Milito, a freshman at St. John’s

University and a Government and Politics major. “It’s one of the only ways to get back without spending hundreds of

be able to make it home without spending a ton of money on a plane — and we’re college students. A lot of us don’t have that kind of money.”

Consumers and producers have a vest ed interest in the freight rail workers not going on strike. If the workers do strike within the next few weeks, the United States would experience widespread shipping disruptions and a sharp surge in prices of consumer goods. The Asso ciation of American Railroads estimates that a national rail service disruption would halt more than 7,000 trains a day, and would cost the U.S. economy more than $2 billion every day the dis ruption goes on.

The main motivator for the workers going on strike, the Unions explained, is the rigorous hours these employees are clocking in. The workers have reported being unable to take time off for medi cal appointments or family emergencies without fear of being penalized.

dollars on an Uber back to Westchester.”

“If they ended up needing to shut down commercial travel, I don’t know,” Milito continued. “A lot of people wouldn’t

In a joint-statement released on Sept. 11, 2022, SMART-TD and the Broth erhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (two of the Unions represent ing the freight rail workers) stated that, “Penalizing engineers and conductors for getting sick or going to a doctor’s visit with termination must be stopped as part of this contract settlement… No working-class American should be treated with this level of

The Great Lawn and D’Angelo Center Plaza were lined with 115 student groups and 34 departments or organizations from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, according to regis tration numbers provided by Campus Activities at St. John’s University.

The large turnout marked the third in-person Activities Fair since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

University students roamed the Queens campus, stopping at designated tables to gather information about what each organization has to offer. To satisfy students’ interests, they were given a wide range of options like sports clubs, frater nities and sororities, as well as other various academic de partments.

Jared King, a sophomore journalism student, shared his excitement. “There are a lot of things for people to try and you have a lot of variety,” King told The Torch. “If there’s something that you like, the school probably has it.”

Preparations for the fair began long before the event. “It has been a month since we have been planning it,” said Marcello Capello, president of the Italian Culture Society. Others talked about how plans for the fair began as early as summer. Sharon Joseph, president of the Drug Information Association (DIA), shared, “We met up as an executive board in mid-July to discuss our plans for the Activities Fair.”

Executive board members emphasized the importance of getting involved on campus. “It is definitely important to get involved on campus,” said Shane McGovern, assistant

student director of the St. John’ Pep Band. “Find whatever it is you like, and you will find a family.”

Dylan Owen-Cessna, diversity chair of Pi Lambda Phi, added, “Not just four years, but a lifetime. We want to give them valuable lessons that they can apply out of college.”

Adrianna Diab, secretary of the Arab Students Organization (ASO), talked about how the ASO offi cially became a club three years ago. “Last year was kind of a soft launch so now we are trying to take off,” Diab said. “It’s so nice to just sit with peo ple who you all have something so strong in common with. We get to talk about our favorite foods and we get to play our music in a place where ev eryone knows what is

going on.”

More information about student clubs and organizations can be found on the University’s website.

News 4
prevents strike and possible negative nationwide effects that would follow. Activities Fair 2022: Clubs and Organizations Go All-Out For Recruitment Students explore options on how to get involved on the Queens campus. Maggie M. Turner | SepT. 26, 2022
Courtesy / Unsplash Aris
Photo /
Dea Hoxha
Dea HoxHa | SepT. 14, 2022

CCPS Opens Deckinger Center for Integrated Advertising Communications

The Drs. E. Lawrence and Adele V. Deckinger Cen ter for Integrated Advertising Communications at St. John’s University opened Sept. 20, making it the new est addition to the Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies (CCPS). The center is equipped with Mac stations, Cintiq drawing monitors, format printers and video display screens.

Dorah Ganchoso, senior advertising communications major and president of Category 5 — the student-run ad agency at St. John’s — shared her experience with The Torch. “The opening ceremony of the new Deck inger Center consisted of immense gratitude and inspi ration. It was great to hear multiple CCPS faculty speak so highly of the advertising and PR programs that St. John’s offers,” Ganchoso said. “The Deckinger Center is exactly what Category 5 needs in order to be in the right direction. I’m excited to lead this agency knowing that we have the tools and resources to succeed.”

The late Adele V. Deckinger and Elliot Lawrence Deckinger, Ph.D. — who studied and taught at St. John’s — passed away in 2002 and 2008. A year before his death, the Deckinger family founded the E. Law rence and Adele V. Deckinger Advertising Fund.

“We are so thankful to the Deckinger family for their generous donation, as well as their faith in St. John’s, its advertising program and most importantly its stu dents,” Ganchoso said. “This specialized learning en vironment gives students the opportunity to receive hands-on experience like you would in any advertising agency.”

Deckinger worked for the Biow Company and Grey Advertising from 1937 until 1982, when he became a Marketing professor at the University, retiring in 2007, about one year before his passing. While teaching at the University, Deckinger managed to aid in bringing the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) to the University. Deckinger was awarded for his efforts with the President’s Medal.

Ganchoso was part of the NSAC at the University last year. “That was a great experience and such a wonderful

opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the advertising industry,” Ganchoso explained. Her team placed third in the region.

Following the center’s opening, associate professor John A. Swan Jr. announced the new Advancing Ad vertising Scholarship Fund. The center is intended to further opportunities in the field while honoring the late professor and his wife for their contributions to the University.

Public Safety Shuttle Returns To Queens Campus

tion, which services the F train.

Students now have a familiar and safe way to get to and from local transportation hotspots around the St. John’s University Queens campus. The Universi ty’s Department of Public Safety will operate a shuttle van service through out the fall semester, announced via email to students Aug. 31.

Public Safety’s shuttle van will run in a continuous loop that will pick up and drop off students at six different spots around the Queens campus. It starts on Aug. 31 and will continue throughout the fall semester, termi nating for winter break on Dec. 7. No information has been provided about a potential shuttle service for the Spring 2023 semester.

The service starts at Gate 1, and students can wait for the shuttle at the stop sign across from the Public Safety booth. It’ll then stop at Gate 6 across from the benches outside of the entrance. Next up will be off-campus housing, including the Seton Com plex and the DePaul Houses. The shuttle van will make a stop at the 169th St./Hillside Ave. subway sta

The Public Safety shuttle van will take students to and from the Jamaica Long Island Railroad (LIRR) station, but these stops are by request only. Students requesting a ride to or from the LIRR station are ex

pected to call Public Safety at (718) 990-5252 when they arrive.

Service will operate from 3:15 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Monday through Friday, and from 6:15 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shuttle van will only be operational on weekdays when classes are in session.

Public Safety’s shuttle van is only ac cessible by the University community, including students, faculty and staff. All riders must show their StormCard before boarding the shuttle, and must comply with the shuttle’s rules. There is no eat ing, smoking or vaping while inside the van, and all drinks must have covers or lids.

Only the listed stops — and the LIRR station by request — will be made, and there will be no additional stops along the way. The last loop will start at Gate 1 at 2:15 a.m. each night, and will make stops two through six a final time before returning to campus.

For more information about transpor tation to and from the Queens campus, visit the transportation page on the Uni versity’s website.

The Deckinger family’s contributions lead to a new chapter in advertising programs at St. John’s University.
Shuttle service runs in a continuous loop, taking students to and from campus, off-campus housing and the subway station. Dea HoxHa | Sept. 26, 2022 BraDy SnyDer | Sept. 7, 2022
Courtesy /
St. John’s
Photo Courtesy / St. John’s University

Homecoming and Hummus: Reconnecting to Culture Through Food

freshmen at St. John’s University described the ways they connect to their cultural identities through the meals they eat.

With the Brooklyn Bridge in the background and a sym phony of car horns in my ears, my feet took me to a place I’d never been before but seemed to already know like the back of my hand. Heights Falafel is located on 78 Henry Street in Brooklyn, New York. The restaurant is barely bigger than a dorm room, and it’s tucked between a pizzeria and a Japanese noodle place. It’s easy to miss if you’re passing by on the street, but I’ve always loved Levantine food, and in the first week of college, it can be extremely lonely. Craving something familiar amidst all the “newness” of New York City, I went inside.

The first thing that struck me about Heights Falafel is that it seems to be one of the few places left in New York that serves a full meal for less than $10. The whiteboard behind the register included a variety of different things such as grape leaves, chicken shawarma (thin strips of chicken that have been roasted on a slow-turning spit) and of course, falafel.

For the uninitiated, falafel is a deep-fried ball or fritter made of ground-up chickpeas, and it is almost always deli cious. I opted for the falafel plate, which is four falafel served over yellow rice with hummus and warm pita on the side.

As I sat there with my meal, I realized two things. Firstly, my mother has been making tabouli — a salad made of cu cumbers, tomatoes, mint and cracked wheat — wrong my entire life.

And secondly, food can be a way of coming back to your roots, even if you’re in a completely new environment. For students at St. John’s University who have found themselves thrust into an exciting and challenging new stage of life, cul tural cuisine has helped them navigate their new surround ings.

During a time that can be both turbulent and exhilarating, it’s important to find a way to return to one’s roots. Four

“My favorite food from my Dominican culture is tres golpes, which is a breakfast dish of mangu, fried cheese and fried salami. My favorite from my Nicaraguan side is defi nitely gallo pinto [rice and beans],” Emily Valle, a University student, explains. “Eating it gives me a very warm feeling, and makes me feel even more connected to my culture.”

Nina Sandoval, who identifies as “a proud Filipina”, de scribes her favorite cultural dish, Ginataang kalabasa. “It’s basically a vegetable stew with coconut milk, squash and sea food,” said Sandoval, a clinical lab student. “Eating it makes me so happy, and all the flavors make me want to go home to the Philippines and see my grandparents.”

“My favorite meal would have to be Bún bò Huế. It’s a Vietnamese spicy noodle soup with sliced beef,” said Mi chelle Nguyen, a psychology student. “It makes me feel at home when I eat it.”

Hadia Satti, whose family immigrated to the United States from Pakistan when she was young, loves butter chicken and rice. “It’s very warm and rich, and makes me feel comforted in a way,” said Satti, a biomed student.

Everyone interviewed comes from a completely different cultural background, but is united in the idea that food is more than just what people are eating. The meals people cook connect family, culture and homes.

It seems that for college students, home is not always a place. Or at least, it’s not the place they thought it was.

Sometimes home is falafel from a little place in Brooklyn Heights. Sometimes home is what someone makes it, and even if they are living in a brand new city, people can still find their way.

Students Can Check Citations With Grammarly For

Brady Snyder | Sept. 28, 2022

Grammarly, the popular writing and communication software, now supports auto-generating citations and cita tion-style formatting checks. For St. John’s University stu dents, that functionality is available free-of-charge.

University students were first offered a free Grammarly Premium subscription halfway through the Fall 2021 semes ter, courtesy of Student Government, Inc. (SGi). Each stu dent was emailed an activation link to start using their free subscription, and a reminder was sent to current students on Sept. 9, 2022.

“Student Government Inc. is for students first, and we want to make the transition back to academic life that much smoother,” SGi said in a letter emailed to students last year. “Therefore we are proud to announce that SGi will be pro viding free Grammarly Premium accounts to all undergrad uate St. John’s students.”

At the time the free subscription was announced, students could use Grammarly to make sentences clearer, avoid pla giarism and improve word choice. But as midterms quickly approach in the Fall 2022 semester, University students have a new way to ensure their papers are cited correctly.

Grammarly can be used to make citations in the MLA 9, APA 7 and Chicago 17 formats. Students can visit the Grammarly Citation Generator to create their citations, but many commonly-used databases support auto-citations.

With the Grammarly plugin installed, the service can gen

erate citations for select websites without leaving the original source page. Supported sites include Wikipedia, Frontiers, Plos One, Science Direct, Sage Journals, PubMed, Elsevier, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and Springer.

More importantly, Grammarly Premium can now check in-line and parenthetical citations for accuracy. The feature is part of Grammarly Editor — which already checks

papers for accidental plagiarism — and looks for incorrect commas, parentheses or ampersands.

SGi’s Grammarly premium program initially gave stu dents access to writing insights and grammar suggestions. The software’s latest update is a game-changer for University students, and looks to be even more useful as midterm sea son approaches.

Features 6
While the first few weeks of college can seem isolating, it’s important to find a space that brings you back to your roots. St. John’s
Free Student Government, Inc. provided students with a complimentary subscription to Grammarly premium last year. Maggie M. turner | Sept. 28, 2022 Torch Photo / Maggie M. Turner Photo Courtesy / Grammarly

Meal Exchanges Explained: Make The Most Of A University Meal Plan

Students can use

unlimited dining swipes

retail locations, but thereare caveats.

St. John’s University offers a variety of dining options at the Queens campus, from the all-you-can-eat dining hall to grab-and-go markets. Beyond the University’s own dining services, however, there is also access to recognizable fast food brands on-campus that are sure to catch the eye of in coming students.

Students may be surprised to learn that fast food at the University can be purchased using a meal swipe — at no ad ditional cost with an active meal plan. All resident students are required to maintain an active meal plan, but the types of plan vary based on class year and the student’s need.

Both freshmen new to life on campus and seasoned up perclassmen are sure to have a few puzzling experiences with “meal exchanges.” There are caveats and restrictions, but in general, meal exchanges give students access to notable chains like Subway, Freshens and Burger King — if you know how to use them.

What Is A Meal Exchange?

Every time a student goes to Montgoris Dining Hall, the all-you-can-eat food service located in the Residence Village, they use a meal swipe. Those with an unlimited meal plan are unlikely to consider meal swipes, since entry to the dining hall is not limited per day, week or semester. Meal swipes gain importance when they are used for meal exchanges.

Meal exchanges are defined as meal swipes used at a retail location. The University considers ‘retail’ locations as those that primarily take cash as a form of payment, and sell indi vidual food items. In simple terms, anytime a student uses their meal plan to get food outside of Montgoris Dining Hall, a meal exchange happens.

Where Can Meal Exchanges Be Used?

Retail locations at the University include fast food and cof fee chains like Starbucks, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Dunkin’ — but not every retail location can be meal exchanged. No tably, Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels do not have meal exchanges available at any time.

Other restaurants can be meal exchanged, but only at

specific times. Attached to Montgoris Dining Hall, Market Montgoris has an assortment of pantry items and toiletries, but it also has limited takeout options that can be meal ex changed. Every food location in the Marillac Food Court is eligible for a meal exchange, including Freshens, Burger King, Subway, Pom & Honey, Piccola Italia, Revolution Noodle and Dunkin’.

When Can Meal Exchanges Be Used?

The University defines three meal periods that it uses to organize and restrict swipes: breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night. Students with a resident meal plan can access Montgo ris in any meal period — and multiple times per meal period as their plan allows — but meal exchanges work differently.

Only one meal exchange can be used per meal period, and since Montgoris Dining Hall is the only food location open during late night, there are no meal exchanges available after 10 p.m. each day. No more than two meal exchanges can be used per day.

The breakfast period runs from 7 a.m. to 10:59 a.m., the lunch period stretches from 11 a.m. to 4:59 p.m. and the dinner period goes from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Dunkin’s meal exchange can be used for the breakfast and lunch period, and is the only breakfast meal exchange op tion. However, access is limited — meal exchanges are avail able on Saturdays and Sundays.

Each food location within the Marillac Food Court can be meal exchanged for lunch and dinner, Monday through Fri day. That’s Freshens, Burger King, Subway, Pom & Honey, Piccola Italia and Revolution Noodle. From salads to sushi, there is something for everyone to meal exchange in the base ment level of Marillac Hall.

Market Montgoris is the place for quick necessities on campus, and it has meal exchanges available every day of the week for lunch and dinner. Although it is open until 1 a.m. daily, meal exchanges are only available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., when the dinner period ends.

Most importantly, meal exchanges must be used as the first swipe at a food location in a meal period. That means stu dents can meal exchange before using unlimited swipes at Montgoris, but not afterwards.

For example, if a student swipes in at Montgoris Dining Hall at 11:00 a.m., a meal exchange can not be used for the

lunch period. But if they use a meal exchange at 11 a.m., students can go to Montgoris as many times as they care to.

What Can You Get With A Meal Exchange?

The exact items and the total value of a meal exchange depends largely on where it is being used, but most food locations offer three categories for meal exchanges. These are mains, sides and beverages. Generally, students have the choice of one main and one beverage, but some food loca tions give students an added side.

Students dining at Freshens, Piccola Italia, Pom & Honey and Revolution Noodle can choose a main and a drink, but the absence of a side is correlated to a larger and more filling main dish. At Burger King, Dunkin’ and Subway, students will be able to grab a side to go with their main entrée.

Can Every St. John’s Student Use Meal Exchanges?

A meal plan is required to use meal exchanges, and the number of meal exchanges available per week depends on the type of plan. The Carte Blanche meal plan is required for freshmen, affords students 22 meals per week, as well as unlimited swipes to Montgoris.

Other plans are limited to two meals per day or less, mak ing meal exchanges a bit more limited. Apartment Meal Plans give students 14, ten or seven meals per week. Com muter Meal Plans are customizable, but usually provide a certain number of meal exchanges along with dining dollars, which have the same value as cash to be used at food loca tions.

Why Should Students Meal Exchange?

Meal exchanges are a great way to get takeout on campus, as fast food can be eaten on-the-go or saved for later. Going to Montgoris Dining Hall each and every day can be mo notonous, and meal exchanges can switch things up. They’re included in the cost of meal plans, so it’s important to incor porate meal exchanges in a student’s routine to get the most value from campus dining.

For more information about meal exchanges on the Queens campus, visit the Meal Exchange Central page on the University Dining Services website.

Brady Snyder | Sept. 28, 2022
Courtesy / Einstein Bros. Bagels, Freshens, Subway, Burger King Torch Design / Brady Snyder

Far-Right PM Giorgia Meloni is Not Right for Italy





“The election of the first woman prime minister in a country always represents a break with the past, and that is certainly a good thing,” said former Secretary of State and ‘woman in politics’ Hillary Clinton.

She is referring to Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, who became the country’s first female prime minister Sept. 25. The month has also seen fellow woman Liz Truss, who on Sept. 5 be came Great Britain’s third female prime minister. While these women break the glass ceiling, Truss is pulling her country into a recession and Meloni is a bigot belonging to a party with neo-facist roots quickly on the rise in Italy.

Italy elected its first female prime minister — Giorgia Meloni — in September. Meloni led the Brothers of Italy party to its first victory since the fall of Benito Mussolini in World War II. Italian voters backed the right-wing candi date, awarding the party over a fourth of votes cast.

While the country elected its first female prime minister, it seems Italy’s population vies to break away from the past. But is this a good thing? Meloni’s views set Italy up for a drastic (and frightening) change which will alter the political tone of the nation.

As a nationalist, Meloni believes in putting traditional Italians first, and is strongly anti-immigration, anti-choice, anti-religious freedom and opposes LGBTQ+ families. In a speech earlier this year, she summarized her platform: “Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual iden tity, no to gender ideology, yes to the culture of life, no to the abyss of death.” In other words, she believes in “God, fatherland and family,” a phrase that speaks volumes across Europe.

These words immediately set off red flags in my brain, and remind me of a charismatic leader who rose to power in America circa 2016. Meloni has quickly become a darling of the GOP, with many Republicans praising her beliefs on immigration, among many others.

Several Trump allies have also praised Meloni’s efforts. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz labels her “spectacular,” and U.S.

of holding seats of power.

Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Green proclaims her thoughts “beautifully said.” If that’s not enough, the prime minister considers herself a ‘deep ally’ of convicted former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

During campaign speeches, audiences wave a tricolor flag with a torch symbol, which happens to be the same symbol engraved on Mussolini’s tomb. As a young activist, Meloni professed her support for the dictator, telling reporters that “everything he did, he did for Italy.”

She even campaigned with the dictator’s granddaughter, politician Rachele Mussolini. Her charisma commands a na tion who longs for change following the Italian government’s collapse earlier this year.

s a “pro-family” politician, Meloni argues that Italy’s birth rate needs to be increased by “encouraging native women to have babies, while at the same time denouncing the dan ger of an ‘ethnic substitution’ by immigrants.” Along with this, she believes in traditional gender roles, determining that women should perform “traditional maternal destiny, in a traditional family, where gender roles return to their place”.

Meloni expressed that “unlucky children” up for adoption “deserve the best,” meaning a mother and father. These views bring up real fears for the LGBTQ+ community in Italy,and highlight fears for the LGBTQ+ community in the United States after the overturning of Roe v. Wade earlier this year and Justice Clarence Thomas’ intent to review the legaliza tion of gay marriage and contraception rights.

As a queer woman, these views terrify me, and highlight the identity politics Meloni and the far-right have estab lished. It just proves that contrary to popular belief, not all women want equality. It’s isolating to know that someone who has experienced the same systematic oppression as you continues to perpetuate a patriarchal system.

Should Italy’s allies be concerned? To put it bluntly, yes.

Considering Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, although Meloni supports Zelensky and the people of Ukraine, the same cannot be said for her coalition partners. Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi and self-proclaimed friend of Vladimir

Putin believes that “Putin was pushed by the Russian pop ulation by his party and his ministers to invent this special operation.”

To make matters worse, Meloni’s other coalition partner and leader of the League party Matteo Salvini used to wear Putin embossed T-shirts. The pair have been staunch sup porters of Russia for years, so knowing that people in power believe this is extremely concerning.

The future of Italy looks dim. Meloni’s way of allowing ba sic human rights to become talking points is cause for great concern, especially if you are a woman or a minority. Living in Mussolini’s shadow, the leader has a prime opportunity to strip rights from Italians and turn the country into a far-right playground.

There are plenty of women that are more than capable of holding seats of power.

Giorgia Meloni is not one of them.

How Carlos Alcaraz Acquired Reputation As The “Next Nadal”

Carlos Alcaraz, a 19-year-old Spaniard, becomes the youngest No. 1 male tennis player in the world after winning the 2022 U.S. Open – but is his win pure luck or raw talent?

For years, men’s tennis has felt like a broken record – Rafael Nadal wins the U.S. Open, then Roger Federer wins five years in a row, then Novak Djokovic steals the win. And while Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have become prominent names in the tennis world, they’ve been holding it hostage. Since these three extraordinary tennis players emerged, and raised the standards of tennis play to seemingly impossible heights, there has not been a player to threaten their posi tions by nipping at their heels – until now.

Carlos Alcaraz, a 19-year-old Spaniard, has made his name known as the youngest male tennis player to secure No. 1 af ter winning the U.S. Open. Alcaraz has humble beginnings, as he did not train professionally as a young kid. Despite his inexperience at Grand Slams, a day after his 19th birth day at the Madrid open, Alcaraz defeated the 5-time Madrid champion, world No. 4 and third seed, Nadal. Winning this quarterfinal match secured his fame as he became the first teenager to beat the “King of Clay.” The next day, Alcaraz beat top seed and world No. 1 Djokovic in the semifinals, globalizing his popularity by becoming the youngest player since 2004 to win a match against the world No. 1. Not only did he defeat both Nadal and Djokovic, but he also became the first player to ever beat them both back-to-back on clay.

This quick rise to fame in the tennis world has shown through the fan-based nickname given to Alcaraz: ‘the next Nadal.’ Both players have uncanny similarities; they entered the top ten at the same age, after the same tournament, and even on the exact same day. Nadal also won his first major

at the age of 19 at the 2005 French Open. However, Alcaraz himself is keen to avoid comparisons with Nadal. “I don’t like being compared to Nadal, but if they compare me to him, it’s that I’m doing something right,” Alcaraz tells the circling Spanish media.

However, the timing of his coronation is questionable to some; the media attributed Alcaraz’s win to pure luck. Nadal had an extremely limited schedule due to a series of injuries, Federer was previously rehabbing his knee — but has just announced his retirement from the sport — and Djokovic’s refusal to be vaccinated for COVID-19, alongside his win at Wimbledon earning him no ranking points, all allowed Alcaraz to secure the No. 1 spot.

Despite this, Alcaraz’s win is no fluke: he is a strong-hitting power player that is unafraid to take risks. He possesses in credible agility and accuracy on the court, using a two-hand ed backhand in order to attack both down the line and crosscourt.

“It’s not just foot speed, it’s footwork. The way he manages the court and reacts to anything short and just gets back into it on the court. He moves so well in the corners, gets in and out of them and takes the offensive so quickly. He’s a mar vel,” said Mary Carillo, a tennis broadcaster for NBC.

At just 19 years of age, Alcaraz completed three consecutive late-night marathons prior to the U.S. Open. He beat three individuals in five sets before defeating Casper Ruud in the finals, becoming the third man in the Open era to win a major after winning three consecutive five-setters. He did so using his ever-present quickness and timing, displaying his phenomenal ability to adapt on the fly and his rare capacity

to make a risky play and have it pay off.

Despite his inexperience at Grand Slams and three con secutive five-set matches leading up to the finals, Alcaraz handled the pressure like a seasoned professional, producing some of his best tennis.

The performance even caught the eye of his Spanish com petitor. “I think he has all the ingredients to become an amazing champion,” Nadal told a Planet Sports reporter. He continued to support the young Spaniard, tweeting: “Con gratulations Carlos Alcaraz for your first Grand Slam and [world] No. 1, which tops off your first great season, which I am sure will be the first of many.”

The next generation of superstar tennis players is raring and ready to go.

are plenty of
that are more than capable
Giorgia Meloni is
one of
torchonline.comOpinion8 AbigAil grieco | Sept. 20, 2022
Photo Courtesy / YouTube EuroNews Photo Courtesy / YouTube US Open Tennis Championships Photo Courtesy / YouTube U.S. Open Tennis Championships
oliviA SeAmAn | Sept. 20, 2022


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Student Loan Forgiveness: A Wrong Step in the Right Direction

President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan has been met with mixed reactions since it was announced on Aug. 24, though according to FiveThirtyEight, his poll num bers have rebounded. They stand at rough ly 42 percent as of Sept. 17, up from the mid-summer low of 37.5 percent.

At face value, eliminating up to $20,000 in federal student loans for millions of Amer icans may not seem like a political move, rather just what is right.

“I understand that not everything I’m an nouncing today is going to make everybody happy,” Biden said as he unveiled his plan. “But I believe my plan is responsible and fair.”

Spoken like a true politician. Biden fails to take into account that this move does fun damentally nothing to keep the rising costs of tuition across the country at sustainable levels. When examining the data, the plan undercuts his talking points on ‘deficit re duction’.

First, the Committee for a Responsi ble Federal Budget (CRFB), a nonpartisan watchdog often cited by politicians in both parties, asked the simple question: How long will it take for the canceled student debt to return? Approximately five-and-a-half years, should all eligible borrowers receive debt cancellation.

Even if all student debt is canceled today — the level at which student loan borrowers currently owe, approximately $1.6 trillion according to the CRFB — the committee notes that American student loan borrowers’ total debt would return to those levels by the mid-2030s.

That’s because debt cancellation is a regres sive policy. It does nothing to reform struc tural issues that cause colleges and universi ties to unload so much cost onto the backs of their students. It also allows for less account ability in schools.

For instance, when many students inev itably default on their loans, why are the universities at which they studied not at all on the hook for help in repayment of those loans? According to U.S. News & World Report, which is often cited in education al reporting and ranking, endowments for some of the top universities are in the tens of billions of dollars.

In 2020, the Brookings Institution, a re search group, studied what percentage of student-borrowers default on their loans. It found that the percentage of students grad uating from four-year for-profit schools and then defaulting on those student loans five years later was a whopping 41 percent. For two-year programs, it was 33 percent.

The data also shows that over a quarter of community-college borrowers, 14 percent of public school borrowers, and 13 percent of private school borrowers will default, all in that same five year period. These numbers may seem low, but with over 45 million bor rowers in the United States, those fractions equate to millions of students.

If college is an investment into students’ careers and knowledge, institutions should be held partially responsible when things don’t go according to plan. Even the most skilled investors will take bets on business es that don’t pan out. But when things go south, someone has to help foot the bill.

Administrative cost is also something that

should come under more close scrutiny. Be tween 1980 and 2020, the collective costs that go into receiving an undergraduate de gree has ballooned by 169% according to a report conducted by Georgetown University and cited by CNBC.

But during this time period, higher ed ucation has seen the dawn of bloat in its leadership. Associate professor and graduate coordinator in the department of Political Science at Kent State University, Daniel E. Chand, writes about this in his op-ed for The Columbus Dispatch.

“The entire nation functions with just one Vice President,” said Chand in the article. “But Kent State needs literally more than two dozen spread across numerous offices.” Chand is hardly alone in his observation.

Researchers at the Planning for Higher Ed ucation Journal found that “postsecondary institutions in the United States spent $536 billion… however, at state or public schools, only 27 percent of this spending was used for educational purposes.” The Journal cited the National Center for Education Statistics’ data from the 2014-2015 academic year.

One can only imagine what this figure is today as the total dollar amount of loans has risen.

In that same research, The Journal also states that “during the post-World War II era, the American Association of Universi ty Professors (AAUP) advocated for shared governance between faculty and campus ad ministrators through faculty senate.”

The researchers describe this time period as “a golden age for faculty, who were able to direct changes in campus operations and academic mission, but their control began to erode as the number of administrators in creased.”

Essentially, the administrative bloat in higher education is due to the overmanage ment of each individual department, which most universities could go without.

Last to go are Biden’s touting of deficit reduction as part of Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction Act”. The total deficit reduction from the bill comes out to $300 billion ac cording to data compiled by Senate Dem ocrats, though some critics say the figure is more nuanced than meets the eye.

This will be short lived, as the Penn-Whar ton Budget Model — often cited by both Republicans and Democrats — estimates that total plan costs could exceed $1 trillion, erasing all deficit reduction in the IRA. Rev up that money printer, Chairman Powell!

Circling back to Biden’s claims of being “responsible and fair,” the distinction is much less apparent when putting the issue into context. How is it responsible and fair to provide a momentary fix to an issue that will become just as apparent two presidential elections from now? Is it fair to the students who will take out loans to begin college in 2028? What about for the taxpayers who are now footing the bill for this regressive mea sure?

Serious measures can be taken to combat this issue, but for now, Biden’s plan will re main simple political posturing. Opinion 100TH EDITORIAL BOARD Brady Snyder / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Olivia Seaman / MANAGING EDITOR Dea HOxHa NEWS EDITOR elizabetH Kaufmann SPORTS EDITOR maria
CULTURE EDITOR SergiO PaDilla OPINION EDITOR elizabetH Kaufmann ASST. CHIEF COPY EDITOR Sara Kiernan PHOTO EDITOR aliSOn gOlDberg SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER abigail grecO HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER aSHley guaman BUSINESS MANAGER Suzanne ciecHalSKi ADVISER @sju_torch @sjutorch @stjtorch sju torch productions 718-990-6444 The Torch, St. John’s University O’Connor Hall - B Level 8000 Utopia Parkway Queens, NY 11439
Connor Richards Maggie M. Turner Weston Greene STAFF
Photo Courtesy / Unsplash Tabrez Sayed Sergio Padilla
| SePt. 20, 2022

Shock Horror “Barbarian” Reaches New Heights

Justin Long, who plays an actor named “AJ,” caught in the middle of a “Me Too” Esque scandal that’s threatening to end his career.

“Barbarian,” the new stand-alone horror film written and directed by budding horror auteur Zach Cregger, was re leased domestically this past Sept. 9.

“Barbarian” marks the first time that the multi-hyphenate has dipped into the horror genre, assembling an intimate cast of both well-known, and somewhat obscure actors. This cast has guided Cregger’s unconventional vision to a strong box-office showing and a substantial outpouring of critical praise on its opening weekend.

The film is anchored by a stellar performance from Geor gina Campbell, who plays a young woman named “Tess.”

The character is mistakenly double booked in an Airbnb on the outskirts of Detroit Michigan with a mysterious, and somewhat sinister seeming man named “Keith.” The man is played by the former Pennywise actor, and a gen erally unsettling screen presence, Bill Skarsgård. There’s an assist with a deliberately-deplorable performance from

This seemingly-simplistic framework allows the film to break off into a variety of unpredictable, and chaotic direc tions. Directions that do not entirely stick their cinematic landings, or catapult this film onto any horror fan’s person al shortlist. But the film’s bold, and oftentimes digressive creative swings make “Barbarian” the most unique, and jar ring viewing experience since 2018’s “Hereditary.”

The quality of the film is a considerable step down from, “Hereditary” — and frankly, a cinematic B-minus that’s sure to have its fair share of detractors and internet back lash — in large part due to the “AJ” character’s lack of mor al compass and Cregger’s choice to infuse his script with some not-so subtle social commentary. “Barbarian” is still without a doubt worthy of a watch.

The film constantly subverts expectations by continually twisting and turning its way towards a divisive conclusion; one that had viewers’ emotions ranging everywhere from

elated to disgusted. Regardless of the precise emotions in voked by “Barbarian,” viewers will struggle to get the films and its themes out of their heads. Any piece of art that provocative is worth supporting.

While a $10-million box office showing is by no means a blockbuster, the film’s ascension to the top earning spot can be attributed to its lack of competing releases. But for a movie as niche and depraved as “Barbarian,” being num ber-one at the box office is a minor miracle. Most movies in this mold have failed to make their money back com ing out of the pandemic, with many films similar in scale and budget going straight to streaming services, and fading quickly into the pop-culture periphery.

On its surface, “Barbarian” is one of these movies. An original story, written by a director without much credibil ity within the genre, with no established intellectual prop erty attached to it, and no A-list stars to bolster fan interest. Nine times out of ten, a movie like this bombs at the box office, but not this one. “Barbarian” is thriving, and it’s thriving for all the right creative reasons.

Netflix’s newest dark comedy “Do Revenge” released on Sept. 16. The film, loosely based on Alfred Hitch cock’s “Strangers on a Train” is full of unexpected twists, turns and a side of revenge.

“Riverdale’s” Camila Mendes and “Stranger Things’” Maya Hawke team up in Gen Z’s ode to the classic teen film. Directed by “Someone Great’s” Jennifer Kay tin Robinson, the film borrows classic elements from “Heathers,” “Mean Girls” and “Clueless” to bring nos talgia to any viewer.

The movie follows Drea Torres (Mendes), a hard-working scholar ship student at a hoity-toity private school. She sits at the top of the social pyramid at school and is a shoe-in for a Yale scholarship until her boyfriend Max (Austin Abrams) leaks a sex tape she sent him. After her principal (Sarah Michelle Gellar) threatens her with expulsion and her friends abandon her, Torres must find a new way to retaliate against those who have wronged her. After meeting new friend and classmate Eleanor (Hawke), who reveals that her own rival goes to their school, the two team up to “do” the other’s revenge.

The film also features young stars

such as Ava Capri, Talia Ryder, Rish Shah, Jonathan Daviss and Paris Berelc.

The use of music in “Do Revenge” is enough to have Shazam prepped for the film’s almost two-hour run time. The film opens with Olivia Rodrigos’s “Brutal” and features tracks such as Hole’s rock anthem “Celeb rity Skin,” Mazie’s upbeat “Dumb Dumb” and Billie Eilish’s breakup anthem “Happier Than Ever,” just to name a few. The tunes elevate the movie in an excellent way and highlight Gen Z’s love of past and present hits.

“Do Revenge” proves to be very inclusive and very

queer. Hawke’s character Eleanor is a queer teen who does not need a coming out story, which is refreshing for a teen film.

“From the first moment, Eleanor is pretty comfort able with her sexuality and is therefore given license to have a story arc that has nothing to do with her sexual ity — which, for women, no matter what your sexual preference is, or the preferences of your character, is rare,” Hawke said in an interview. “Usually the stories hinge upon your sexuality in one way or another.”

With an 86% and certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has garnered the liking of many critics. “As if born out of obsessive rewatches of ‘Cruel Intentions’ and ‘Mean Girls,’

‘Do Revenge’ is a subversive, foulmouthed teen comedy that goes to some pretty vile and depraved plac es,” said Sarah Michelle Fetters of

While “Do Revenge” feels like a camp retelling of a 90’s teen mov ie, it is enough to garner praise and attention from the likes of its target audience and nostalgia-filled people of all ages. Although its main themes revolve around revenge, at its core is a story about young friendship, love and all of the ups and downs it en tails.

A twisted new horror film opens number one at the box office. Do Revenge: Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke Bring the ‘Glennergy’ The pair embody ‘psycho-chic’ à la Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Weston Greene | sept. 20, 2022 olivia seaman | sept. 28, 2022 Culture10 Photo Courtesy / YouTube 20th Century Studios Photo Courtesy / YouTube Netflix

Drama-Filled “Don’t Worry Darling,” Reviewed: It’s Not As Bad As You Think

When caught up in the countless headlines stem ming from “Don’t Worry Darling’s” production and media tour, the concept of any press being good press quickly comes to mind. Director Oliv ia Wilde’s latest project has been talked to death, but in the process has cemented itself as one of the most anticipated films of the year.

The film was shown in over 100 IMAX theaters nationwide on Sept. 19, four nights prior to its scheduled release date. Audiences, including my own at AMC Fresh Meadows 7, were treated to a live-streamed Q&A with members of the cast beforehand. Stars in attendance included Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll, Sydney Chan dler, Kate Berlant, Asif Ali, Douglas Smith and Dita Von Teese. Wilde also took part and, to the delight of the gossiping crowd in Fresh Meadows, sat on the opposite end of the row from Styles.

The Q&A did not provide any additional dra ma to the release’s pre-existing storylines, though its participants did not seem to have nearly as much fun as the audience did. There was an un derlying tension to their interactions, something that could be suspected to be burnout from an especially awkward press tour. Styles in particular failed to supply much insight in his responses, de faulting to answers similar to his viral moment in Venice alongside Chris Pine. Florence Pugh andChris Pine were unable to attend due to sched uling conflicts, but each had pre-recorded video messages for the audience.

As the film began to roll, the aesthetic was firm ly established in the opening scene. The town of Victory and its dynamics were easily laid out, al lowing for a true focus on Pugh’s Alice. This cen tering, of course, includes plenty of screen time for her husband Jack, played by Styles. One char acter refers to their relationship as a never ending honeymoon, something especially evident during

— let’s say — an R-rated scene moments later. Their raunchy behavior early in the film is a mas sive contrast to the rest of the film’s tone, some thing that leads me to question its inclusion inthe film. Combine that with the film’s well-docu mented controversies, and I cannot help but ques tion Wilde’s decision-making on that front.

But alas, the couple’s honeymoon feeling fades soon after. Suspicions of foul play and wrongdo ing are confirmed early, though audiences remain unprepared for what comes next at every turn.

Pugh turns in an excellent performance as a character the audience cannot help but root for. Her paranoia runs parallel to that of those in the theater, amplifying her actions and what happens to her. Her counterparts do not provide her much to play off of which, funny enough, actually en hances the film by creating a true spotlight on her character in what is supposed to be a paradise world.

The anticipation many have to see Styles in this film is surely understandable. On a positive note, he certainly exceeded expectations, albeit they were very low. Some have described him as “dis tractingly bad,” though that is an unfair assess ment stemming from what those people expected— and wanted — to see.

Styles cannot be let off the hook entirely, though. In one particular scene, his acting truly hindered the seriousness of the moment. Though memora ble and fun for the Styles fandom in attendance, others will certainly use it as ammunition against him. With Styles as famous as he is today,there is not a true neutral party when it comes to assessing his acting. With that being said, his character and presence was enjoyable, even with very noticeableflaws.

Another aspect of the film that stands out is its sound mixing. While certainly intensified by

an IMAX theater, background noise and music played a massive role in conveying a feeling of paranoia, dread and fear to the audience. Though the film is certainly a thriller rather than a horror movie, its attention to detail in both sound and imagery enhances the experience tenfold. When asked for advice to those about to see the movie, Wilde warned viewers of the Q&A to listen close ly and not blink. I could not agree more, at least until the ending.

What ultimately detracts from the stunning plot twists of “Don’t Worry Darling” is poor technicalexecution in the final act. As the film’s final im pression on the audience, this is where any and all bad reviews come from. Its action is poorly co ordinated, creating laughable moments that con tradict the film’s entire buildup. It leads one to truly question Wilde and her crew, as they had done fairly well to that point before striking out completely on the final sequences. Thankfully, its flaws can be partially masked by the audience’s focus on Pugh’s character and the plot’s massive twists.

“Don’t Worry Darling” will hopefully be re membered for its fantastic plot, rather than its cinematic shortcomings. Some moviegoers may find themselves asking “What if?” when consid ering what another director, perhaps one whose resume extends beyond a coming-of-age film like “Booksmart,” could have done with this story.

“Don’t Worry Darling” hits theaters Sept. 23.

As an important note, the film includes elements of self-harm that may be disturbing to some audiences. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those look ing to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.

Moviegoers should enjoy the film, even with its glaring shortcomings. Connor riChards | sept. 28, 2022 Culture Photo Courtesy / YouTube Warner Bros. Pictures

Rico Está Bien Cabrón”: As Blackouts in Puerto Rico Surge, Bad Bunny Calls to Action

As the sun sets on summer, Puerto Rican singer Bad Bun ny released the music video for his track “El Apagón.” The video segues into an 18-minute documentary titled “Aquí Vive Gente” (People Live Here), presented by independent journalist Bianca Graulau. The film highlights the displacement of people and other injustices in his native island.

The summer of 2022 will go down as the sum mer of Bad Bunny. With the release of his fourth studio album “Un Verano Sin Ti” (A Summer Without You), the Grammy award-winner was able to gather two billion streams in his record — becoming the first and only album to do so in Spotify history. Last month, he also sold out Yankee Stadium on two consecutive nights, Vul ture reports.

Though “Un Verano Sin Ti ” serves as a multigenre album; featuring reggaeton, mambo and everything in between, there is one common theme across the body of work— a celebration of Latin-American culture. And its newest single, “El Apagón,” (The Blackout) is no exception.

The song opens with the popular phrase, “Puerto Rico está bien cabrón.” In Spanish, de nominating something as “esta cabrón” has two different connotations. On one hand, it can mean that a thing is excellent. On the other hand, it could mean that it is terrible. When the record was released, the phrase was an ode to the vibrant, joyous and spirited Puerto Rican culture.

But as power blackouts increase in the island, tax evaders ac quire native property and beaches are privatized — subjects discussed in the documentary — the once-celebratory phrase changes meaning to a call to action.

“They’re evicting Puerto Ricans to get rich with what’s

from here, with what’s native from here,” one woman, who said she was given 30 days to evict her apartment, told Grau lau.

The music video for “El Apagón” also comes days before

As a Venezuelan, I cannot help but feel some sort of per sonal connection to this piece. Expressing your admiration and celebrating your culture, while also recognizing the in justices that happen back at home is not an easy task, yet Benito Martinez — Bad Bunny — and his team are able to fully master it.

Bad Bunny’s constant celebration of his roots are simply contagious. Not only for Puerto Ri cans, but for other latinos too. “El Apagón” em bodies the Latin spirit. Making an upbeat party anthem from a misfortune that many Latinos have lifelong experiences with allows listeners to reclaim ownership and demand change.

At the same time, the song itself — just like the rest of the album — allows the representa tion of different genres of music and parallels the diversity of Latinos. The track starts with af ro-caribbean sounds and Puerto Rican folklore. Towards the latter half, the song commands the audience to lift their spirits as it makes a switch to EDM. The song does not follow a concrete structure or a strict guideline. Just like Lat in-American culture, it is a blend of different backgrounds that come together to make an electrified club anthem.

Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean and caused outages, floods and mudslides.

It is no secret that Puerto Ricans have been overlooked for decades. But instead of stating new issues, Graulau simply explores the deep rooted troubles that boricuas have been grappling with. Pairing that with the mesmerizing scenery that Puerto Rico provides, the result becomes an education al, entertaining yet infuriating body of art that hopes to in still change in the status quo.

With “El Apagón,” Martinez further establishes himself as the voice of Latinos in the global scene. From his songs to his activism, it is clear that the Puerto Rican artist is not just making art for the sake of it, but rather to hold those in pow er accountable and enact change in his community.

“I just hope people in PR can watch my video before the lights go out,” Bad Bunny wrote on his Instagram story when the music video was released.

City Movie

the subway and bus, respectively, while one could certainly walk to the latter if needed. As a bonus, there are excellent dining options in close proximity to both locations; Fresh Meadows is home to Applebee’s, Qdoba and Blaze Pizza, while Forest Hills has countless offerings along its popular Austin Street.

However, each presents similar potential issues. They house fewer screens than the next options, meaning less showtimes, and thus less flexibility when making plans. Additionally, while AMC Fresh Meadows 7 has a small IMAX theater, UA Midway’s only premium offering is 3D. Luckily, both locations have recliners in their theaters.

has an excellent selection of films and formats as well. What sets them apart is their heated recliners, something that can be found in nearly every one of their 14 theaters.

As you head into lower Manhattan, Regal Cinemas begins to outnumber the area’s AMC locations. Regal Union Square is the best option here, as it is home to one of the only 4DX theaters in our area. This includes moving seats, water and wind effects and even scents that correspond to what you are watching. While it is certainly one of the most expensive ways to see a film, it is worth doing at least once.

Regal versus AMC

Films are built for theaters and certain elements of the viewing experience cannot be replicated at home: the scent of fresh popcorn, a collective gasp at the big plot twist — even that feeling when your eyes struggle to adjust to the sunlight following a weekend matinee.

These characteristics, among several others, are why I fell in love with going to the movies. I am a proud member of the A-List at AMC Theatres, which allows me to see up to three movies per week at a monthly cost. Needless to say, I have sat in my fair share of theaters over the past two years.

With that being said, not all movie theaters are created equally. The of ferings of different theater chains play a massive role in where one should see the latest flick. In a place like New York City, the options can be over whelming: Regal Cinemas and AMC Theatres combine for over 20 loca tions in the Big Apple.

Hailing from the Poconos, I was once unsure of the best spots around here myself. These days, I know exactly where I want to go based on what I hope to see. Keep in mind, while these suggestions center on the offerings of large chains, locally owned theaters can be fantastic hidden gems as well.

Convenience Picks

For a casual moviegoer, the minor details of a visit may not be vital; in this instance, one just wants to see the latest releases as close to campus as possible. In this situation, either Regal UA Midway in Forest Hills or AMC Fresh Meadows 7 are the places for you. They are accessible from campus via

For the Best Experience…

While there is certainly nothing wrong with those aforementioned lo cations, a short subway ride to Manhattan opens many doors to premium theater experiences. The best of these would be at AMC Lincoln Square 13. This has been one of the top locations for movie premieres in New York City, even playing host to the debut of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” short film last year.

While it may not hold the number of screens that some of its counterparts have, its IMAX theater is located on its own floor with private concession stands and bathrooms. It boasts the largest IMAX screen in North Ameri ca, something that plays a massive role in the film experience (e.g., 2021’s “Dune”). Meanwhile, this AMC also houses a massive Dolby Cinema the ater with balcony seating, a rarity in the industry.

Combining these offerings with the consistent, exceptional service AMC provides, this is undoubtedly a favorite theater in New York. The building is historic, but not to a fault as there has been plenty of renovations to keep it well-maintained. For anything above a typical digital cinema screening, AMC Lincoln Square 13 is the place to go.

Other Options in Manhattan

AMC Theatres’ other two major locations, AMC Empire 25 in Times Square and AMC 34th Street 14, are also great options. With 25 screens in Times Square, there are always plenty of showtimes to choose from and several premium formats to explore. Down by Penn Station, 34th Street 14

With these two chains dominating the movie theater market in New York City, most moviegoers have to ultimately choose between Regal Cinemas and AMC Theatres when they want to see a new release. Their pricing is similar, but it is important to note where the companies differentiate them selves.

No trip to the theater is complete without a stop at the concessions stand. In this category, AMC boasts a strong advantage with its offerings. From curly fries to mozzarella sticks to chicken tenders, there is more to try at AMC than just the popcorn (which also bests Regal’s). Not to mention, AMC Theatres are now equipped with Coke Freestyle machines for their fountain drinks.

For moviegoers that enjoy ordering tickets ahead of time, both companies offer mobile apps to assist with planning a visit. While AMC’s design is more user-friendly, Regal’s app houses the superior rewards program where users can earn points at a faster rate. With that in mind, AMC’s tiered mem berships (manageable within their app) do more to better the experience, such as offer free wi-fi, waived convenience fees and free size upgrades on concession purchases.

Even beyond my recommendations, there are clearly several options for cinema fanatics in this city. Much like the films people enjoy, everyone has their own preferences and favorites. New students and New York visitors should take this opportunity to explore New York’s many cinematic of ferings.

The Grammy award-winner releases the music video for his song “El Apagón,” which also features documentary about Puerto Rican injustices A Beginner’s Guide to New York
Theaters New to St. John’s? Here are the best places to see the latest releases. Maria Villarroel | Sept. 24, 2022 Culture12 Connor riChardS | Sept. 20, 2022 Photo Courtesy / YouTube Bad Bunny Photo Courtesy / Connor Richards

Week In Review: Leggett Scores As Men’s Soccer Dominates Princeton

This week, St. John’s athletic teams continued their conference slates, and Men’s Soccer closed out their non-conference schedule. Men’s Soc cer dominated over Princeton, and Women’s Soccer were victorious in their clash with Seton Hall. Wom en’s Volleyball put up a good fight but were unable to make it out of the matchup with a win against Villano va.

Women’s Volleyball Falls To Villanova, 3-1

The St. John’s Women’s Volley ball team saw their seven-game win streak end with a loss against Villa nova, 3-1, on Friday, Sept. 30.

The Red Storm are now 2-1 in the Big East conference and 11-5 over all. The team is 8-0 at home and 1-3 away, a trend that continued Friday as the match was held on Villanova’s home court.

Personal victories did shine through despite the loss. Graduate student Rachele Rastelli put up a match-high 16 kills for the Red Storm. Sopho more Wiktoria Kowalczyk main tained her title as the NCAA assists’ leader, recording 36 more assists during the matchup.

Freshman Lucrezia Lodi tallied

a team high 10 digs, nine kills and five service aces. Sophomore Gior gia Walther put up nine kills for the Johnnies.

The first set went to the Wildcats with a score of 25-15 and the sec ond set went to the home team as well with a score of 25-21. St. John’s snatched the third set with a score of 25-16, finished off by Lodi.

This Johnnies victory was short lived, as Villanova came back with a 25-17 win over St. John’s in the fourth set.

The team hits the road once more to compete against Georgetown Sat urday, Oct. 1 in a 5 p.m. duel.

Women’s Soccer Dominate Seton Hall, 1-0

St. John’s Women’s Soccer saw vic tory on their home turf Thursday, Sept. 29, tacking on another win in conference play.

After a header from junior mid fielder Ava Collins was saved by Pi rates keeper Grace Gordon, the Red Storm were granted a corner kick.

The kick was blasted by Jessica Gar ziano, met with a header by Nicole Gordon that found its way to Isabelle Aviza. The senior forward Aviza sent the ball to the back of the net in the

28th minute, putting up the one and only point on the board for the en tire game.

Senior Gina Muzi started in net for the Red Storm, making one save in her 90 minutes of play against the Pirates.

St. John’s outshot Seton Hall 11-3. Six out of their eleven attempts were saved by Pirates keeper Gordon, but the rest were not quite on target.

The Red Storm traveled to Villano va’s Higgins Soccer Complex on Sun day, Oct. 2 for another conference showdown, and fell to the Wildcats, 1-0. The team holds a record of 5-43 overall, and are 2-2 in conference play.

Men’s Soccer Take Victory Over Princeton, 2-1

St. John’s Men’s Soccer completed non-conference play with a 2-1 win over Princeton on Tuesday at Bel son Stadium. This is the third con secutive one-goal loss for the Tigers against the Red Storm.

This win was brought about in a re match of the first round of the 2021 NCAA College Cup.

The first point was added to the board in the 18th minute of the first period by graduate student Einar

Lye, who redirected a shot attempt by Atila Ashrafi. The point was the Undheim, Norway native’s first goal of the season.

Wesley Leggett, hailing from New Jersey, tacked on the second goal for the win. This was the senior forward’s second goal of the year.

Leggett was set up by a corner kick from graduate student midfielder and defender Brandon Knapp. The ball found its way to forward/mid fielder Adrian Roseth, who attempt ed a shot on goal but was deflected by Princeton’s keeper. Leggett found an opportunity and took it, adding another goal for the Johnnies.

The Red Storm saw assists from Ashrafi, Roseth and Nigel Griffith, who set up the first goal scored by Lye. All three players put up their first helpers of the season in this fa ceoff against the Tigers.

Princeton may have outshot St. John’s 16-7, but the Red Storm had just one more on target than Prince ton managed to shoot.

Big East play resumed on Saturday, Oct. 1 with a 2-1 loss at Seton Hall.

The Men’s Soccer team now holds a 3-6-1 overall record, and are 1-2 in conference play. Sports
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

The Start of Soccer BRings New Overtime Rules

QUEENS, NY — The St. John’s Men’s Soccer team is back in full ac tion after finishing off their non-conference games in the 2023 season.

The Johnnies played their last non-conference game on Tuesday, September 27 against Princeton University at Belson Stadium. The Men’sSoccer team secured a 2-1 victory, backed by early goals from Einar Lyeand Wesley Leggett.

Following a loss to Seton Hall University at Belson Stadium on October 1, the Men’s Soccer team is 3-6-1 for the season. In the Big Eastconference, the Johnnies are ranked eighth in the early slate with a 1-2record.

The Men’s Soccer program is coming off a widely successful season, asthe Johnnies went all the way to the first round of the NCAA CollegeCup last season. They won their first-round matchup and finished withan overall record of 11-6-3.

Graduate student Brandon Knapp talked to the Torch about howhe thinks the rest of the season will play out following a 3-1 win vs.Georgetown last month. “We got a good start in the Big East season tonight, so we’ll enjoy it tonight, and then get back to work on Monday,”Knapp said.

The team celebrated the victory but quickly returned their focus tothe remaining Big East schedule. Knapp said the team will “just keeptrying to work hard, to keep trying to get better each day, to get resultsin the Big East.”

With a new rule put into place, the 2022 season will look different thanany other previous season. The decision was made last spring duringa meeting with the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel in April toeliminate all overtime in both men’s and women’s regular season games.

The panel consists of 12 members, including six from Division I andthree representatives each from Division II and III. St. John’s Universityand their respective Big East Conference do not have a member on thepanel.However, in postseason and NCAA College Cup games, overtime

comes back into play. An additional 10 minutes will be added to theclock for overtime. If neither team can score during this overtime period, penalty kicks will decide the winner.

It’s unclear how the new overtime rules will change the game. The rulechange will likely affect the Johnnies more than most teams, as they hadeight overtime contests last season. “[It’s] a little different, but [we’re]still focusing and preparing the same way each and every day in practiceand in the games,” Knapp said. The next home game will be on October5 at Belson Stadium against Xavier.

Torch Photo/ Sara Kiernan
Torch Design / Daniela Yarahuan T
Torch Photo/ Sara Kiernan
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