The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

The Ways You Can Celebrate Valentine’s Day at John Jay

Information+for+the+John+Jay+Donor+Clubs+Bone+Marrow+Drive
Umaima Ali
Information for the John Jay Donor Club’s Bone Marrow Drive

College students in New York are trying to find ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a budget-friendly manner. Luckily, for John Jay students The Waterfront Club in Long Island City is offering a twenty percent discount to John Jay Students, Faculty, and Alumni any day Tuesday-Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Reservations can be made through The Waterfront’s website. Students and faculty must show a valid ID upon their visit to claim the offer. 

John Jay Alumna and Managing Partner Nina Megna want to give back to the community that has given so much to her. Megna built friendships and skills by playing Women’s Soccer at John Jay, writing for The Sentinel, and participating in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).  

“[The Waterfront Club] has an upscale New York City vibe with elevated American Classic dishes and a warm cozy atmosphere,” said Megna.

For something closer to campus, SESAMO provides a quaint Italian dining experience.

The dishes at SESAMO range from $20 to $40. But, plates can be purchased for less than $20. The most popular items on SESAMO’s menu are the truffle mushroom lasagna and duck ragu pappardelle.

Meagan Heatherton is a John Jay Student with a long-distance boyfriend visiting New York for Valentine’s Day.

SESAMO is one of our favorites. It is close to school and affordable for a special occasion. We love spending a few hours there eating good food and catching up. It is such a nice restaurant,” said Heatherton.

For some students, who, prefer a quiet evening at home or in their dorms, without the stress of cooking this takeout option is accessible and affordable.

Lion’s Gate Grill is an Asian-style restaurant just two blocks away from John Jay’s campus. Reagan Peperno, a freshman at John Jay, shares sentiments about the restaurant. 

“Me and my friends stop at Lion’s Gate Grill all the time. It is super close to the train station, pretty cheap, and the food is good,” said Peperno. 

The meals at Loion’s Gate Grill range from $10 to $20 per person and include simple boxes like butter-grilled shrimp and braised beef. All meals come with a side of vegetables, white rice, and a beverage.

Veneisha Turner, a John Jay freshman, values accessibility for her meals. She goes to Afficionado Coffee Roasters often.

“It is close to school and I love their drinks and food. What makes Aficionado different, compared to other coffee shops near school, is the great amount of comfortable seating like couches and cushioned chairs,” explained Turner. 

A recommendation for those who are looking to have a no-cost, quiet Valentine’s Day experience is a trip to Wagner Cove in Central Park.

Rae Ross, John Jay Junior, is new to her relationship. Ross commented on her plans for a no-pressure Valentine’s Day.

“We aren’t ready to do the whole fancy dinner thing yet. We wanted a casual at-home dinner but still wanted to do something special too. We [my partner and I] walk by Wagner Cove on the way to school all the time and love sitting down for a few minutes if we have the time. It is such a beautiful and serene place.” said Ross. 

Wagner Cove is a secluded scenic spot set on The Lake in Central Park and is one uptown subway stop on the A or C train away from Columbus Circle. The small pavilion located in the cove is the perfect picturesque spot to stop before heading home or to dinner plans.

There are many campus-based events on the John Jay campus planned such as on February 13th, John Jay’s Spectra is having a tabling session entitled “Love Yourself, Know Your Status.” 

As for on-campus events, there will be free STI/STD testing from 10 am to 3 pm in the Atrium. 

The President of Spectra, Amaris Vargas explained further, “The tabling event is an opportunity for students to feel comfortable with their sexual expression. The truest form of self-love is self-care.” 

Vargas also shared how this event is one of Spectra’s aims to make STI/STD testing readily available to students. 

“We hope to de-stigmatize “taboo” topics, to create a space where students can freely be themselves without the fear of judgment,” said Vargas

Wagner Cove (Taylor Johnson)

John Jay’s Donor Club will also be hosting a Valentine’s Day Bone Marrow Drive on February 13th from 10 am to 5 pm at Hound Square.

Whether your plans include taking a stroll at Wagner Cove or grabbing a bite at The Waterfront Club, students like Peperno explain how you celebrate Valentine’s Day by showing support for your community.

Peperno said, “Compared to other holidays where people just give and take with everyone around them, Valentine’s Day is a time devoted to people showing how much they care about the people closest to them.” 

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About the Contributor
Umaima Ali, Managing Editor
Umaima Ali is currently a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s in Criminology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice with two minors in Cybercrime and Middle East studies. Umaima has won awards in recognition of her writing, including the 2022 Excellence in Journalism award from the Herald Newspaper in her town. She is also a self-published author selling on Amazon, showcasing her poetry. She has worked as a past Staff Writer to Web Editor and is now a Managing Editor. Although writing has been her passion, it intertwines with many other interests. She has involved herself with the ePortfolio program by being a Junior eTern at John Jay, allowing her to improve her digital literacy. With both minors, she can incorporate language and history with technology. Her aspiration for the Sentinel is to continue to keep writing to the John Jay Community.  Ali is also in the Interdisciplinary Program at John Jay College, which has explored her writing with a variety of genres. She plans to embark on her academic journey by taking writing-intensive courses as a student. She has done research papers newsletters, etc. She is fond of investigative journalism and diverse writings. She aims to expand her knowledge and land a position in a law enforcement agency. Her life-long dream is to pursue a career in criminal investigations. She will take every opportunity to build that. Her favorite quote is “There is little that can withstand a man who can conquer himself” Louis XIV. It resonates with many moments of weakness Umaima has had in the past and overcame them by learning from her faults. It certainly gave her the strength to fight her battles. Her favorite article is “John Jay’s Shift In Campus Dining.” She enjoys writing stories local and warm to the John Jay Community for what impacts them.

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