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Good evening! Hope everyone is excited for Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl Weekend. This week’s newsletter is packed full of Valentine’s Day tips for students, Men’s Basketball game coverage and more! If you missed Tuesday’s game, Sports Editor Brady Snyder provides a recap of the nail biting game versus Villanova. In addition, there is an inside look into how the Men’s Basketball team is celebrating Black History Month. In this week’s Culture Corner, TV and music combine with a review on Lana Del Rey’s new single “Watercolor Eyes” featured in HBO’s hit series “Euphoria.” In Features, you will find not only budget friendly gifts for Valentine’s Day, but also date ideas around the boroughs. Finally in Opinion, topics from politics to Jeopardy are covered, with record breaking events in both. The Torch E-Board wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Go Johnnies!

FEATURES
PHOTO COURTESY/ Unsplash Amy Shamblen

Celebrating Valentine’s Day can be hard as a college student on a budget. Nothing says romance quite like dinner at Montgoris Hall… right? Do not worry, Managing Editor Priyanka Gera has you covered on how to make this Valentine’s Day extra special by telling your partner how much you appreciate them and showing them how much they mean to you, without emptying your wallet! Something as simple as saying the three special words or surprising them with their favorite pastry from the bakery across town can make your moment more precious. Check out some budget-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts here.

PHOTO COURTESY/ Unsplash Carrie Beth Williams

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

REDSTORM SPORTS
Men's Basketball
TORCH PHOTO/ Sara Kiernan

February 1st marks the start of Black History Month. The Big East, through its partnership with the Black Fives Foundation, seeks to raise awareness of the pre-NBA history of African-Americans in basketball. Staff Writer Connor Richards outlines the conference’s plans to honor this era during the month of February, as well as how St. John’s is participating. Read more about this Black History Month initiative here.

TORCH PHOTO/ Sara Kiernan

In a packed Madison Square Garden, the Johnnies’ fought to compensate for the devastating loss of starting point guard Posh Alexander. Despite a strong effort to limit Villanova’s three-point shooting and late-game heroics from Aaron Wheeler, an early injury for the Johnnies and poor shooting resulted in a St. John’s loss, 75-69. Read Sports Editor Brady Snyder’s deep analysis on the game and get injury updates for key players here!

This Week in Opinion:
Jeopardy Milestone & National Debt
PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube Jeopardy!

Amy Schneider surpassed $1 million on Jeopardy, making her the first woman and first open transgender woman to reach that milestone. Her 40-day winning streak made her the second-longest Jeopardy winning champion. Opinion Editor Sharmin Haque discusses the importance of Schneider’s win for transgender representation. Haque describes this event as "historic" and stresses the importance of "different voices [needing] to be amplified across media." Read more about Schneider’s historic and inspirational win here!

PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube CityXscape

The United States’ national debt hit $30 trillion for the first time in history per the Department of the Treasury on Jan. 31. The national debt includes the money which the U.S Government owes to itself and others as well as the debt of public entities like businesses and individuals. Should the average citizen care? Contributing Writer Sergio Padilla adminantly says yes. “If the debt ceiling is hit and the U.S defaults its obligations,” he claims, “the government will be shut down and people will suffer.” Read more about this serious issue here

CULTURE CORNER
Latest Drops in TV, Film & Music
PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube Taylor Swift

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which could mean a night of love, fun or pint of ice cream. Whether you are going to “Shake It Off” by yourself or are spending the day with your “Lover,” one thing that you can count on is Taylor Swift songs to capture the romance that is supposed to come along with this hallmark holiday. Click here to read Assistant Culture Editor Maria Villarroel specially curated collection of the top ten Swift love songs for you to listen to next week. 

PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube cherry champagne

Singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey has returned with her latest single, "Watercolor Eyes,” which appears in the season two soundtrack of the HBO drama “Euphoria.” Contributing Writer Liliana Wilson describes Del Rey’s vocals in this track as emotional and “unmatched…with no signs of autotune.” The lyrics perfectly capture the toxic relationships with love and drugs in season two of “Euphoria.” Click here to explore the lyrics and review.

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