Be Conscious of Our History
We should all take advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday, but first we need to change it.
Thanksgiving commemorates a fictionalized meal shared by the first Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people of North America. There may very well have been a temporary alliance between the first European arrivals and native peoples, but this relationship was one of utility and would not last long.
In 1637, Puritan settlers pillaged and burned a Pequot village, killing 700 women, men, and children. The ethnic cleansing of Native Americans persisted for years. Even if there was a merry first Thanksgiving meal, plunder and genocide followed. Many people do not celebrate Thanksgiving for this reason.
Thanksgiving Day should be transformed into the only secular national holiday to honor the diverse religions, ethnicities, and cultures found in our “melting pot” of a country. Thanksgiving could become a cross-religious, cross-cultural meeting ground, giving us an excuse to take one or two days off work, reconnect with family, and thank whomever we believe bestows us with the gift of life.
If we can reclaim and transform derogatory terms so that they lose their hateful power, then we can reclaim Thanksgiving too. Let’s drain the day of its old importance and replace it with a new tradition. Mother Nature, Allah, or the stars bestow us with beautiful fruits and vegetables. We should say thank you at least once a year for that.
What happened when the Puritans encountered the native tribes of North America matters.
The modern Thanksgiving holiday must evolve into something more conscious, inclusive, and respectful, but the concept of a national day of thanks must not disappear.
-Lela Biggus ’18
Athletes Deserve More Benefits
As the price of tuition has skyrocketed in recent decades, it becomes easy for current students to complain about the ways the money they pay is allocated. Especially when tuition money is used to support athletics, as many students at Providence College have speculated, it seems unfair for “normal” students to support the endeavors of the athletes whom it might seem are treated like God’s special gift to the school.
However, a closer look at the revenue they generate shows that college athletes actually deserve more than the tuition and other benefits they receive.
Patrick Hruby of Vice Sports notes that college football and basketball players collectively receive only about 10 percent of the revenue they generate. Considering that the TV deal the Big East Conference signed with Fox Sports in 2013 generates between $4 and $5 million a year for Providence College, it seems like a pretty nice deal for the school to only pay somewhere between $2,000-$5,000 per semester per player in cost-of-living stipends.
The $4-5 million does not even account for ticket revenue, jersey sales, or any other money the school might receive for postseason appearances. A 2011 study at Drexel University estimated that if college basketball players were compensated at the same rate as their professional counterparts, the average player would be worth over $265,000 a year. Based on the price of tuition, Providence College basketball players are compensated for roughly 25 percent of their actual market value.
Don’t be so quick to judge that Friar athlete you see wearing the latest Nike gear. They are getting way less than they deserve.
-Kevin Copp ’18
The Irony of Black Friday
Each November, Americans rise at ungodly hours and shuffle into the darkness we know as Black Friday.
How ironic is it that Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude for what we have, yet the day following Thanksgiving calls for greed and excessive spending?
What is most fascinating is the dedication of these Black Friday shoppers. Many shoppers wake up at one 1 a.m. Some never go to bed after a very long day.
Spend hours on foot, wait in long lines, and sometimes getting into verbal disagreements due to lack of sleep and sanity.
Would we not prefer to do something that makes us feel whole? Something that expresses our worth in a way that fosters pride, rather than just pointing to a pile of bags and saying “I did well.”
I propose that we radically change the meaning of Black Friday. Let us make it a day where people still rise at odd hours of the night, but they do so to donate food, clothing, and time to those in need.
Every store in America can still market incredible sales, but what if every penny made on Black Friday was donated to a variety of charities across the country?
Marketing has always tied Thanksgiving to Black Friday, but there is zero correlation. It has only ever made people “thankful” for access to cheap materialistic items.
-Kelsey Dass ’18