Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor on January 25, 2018


Graphic of hands holding up signs with the Twitter logo on them.
Graphic courtesy of The Horizons Tracker.

Be Open to Learning

In light of Dr. Bernice A. King’s address last week, in which she advised students to be open-minded, it is important that we continue to educate ourselves as a community.

Last Friday, January 19, a panel of Providence College professors spoke about their research regarding diversity and the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Due to the large audience that attended Dr. King’s speech, one would expect there to be a crowd of intrigued students at last Friday’s forum. However, this was not the case. In fact, the assembly was primarily composed of faculty members.

While an event at 3:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon might not draw the largest group, the topics that were discussed are pertinent to the current campus environment.

The panel was a fitting way to close the College’s MLK Convocation week. The professors who spoke explained the influence that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on their own lives, as well as the psychology that explicates interracial tensions.

The best way to contribute to the solution of an issue is to educate oneself about the problem. While sitting in a room listening to professors talk might not seem like much of a resolution, it is one step in undertaking the concern for diversity on our campus.

Attending events such as the Humanities Forum are beneficial in that they help us to better understand the problem and encourage us to listen to other perspectives.

-Hannah Paxton ’19


In Search of Truth on Social Media

Once a “breaking news” alert rumbles on a person’s phone, the starting pistol blares in the race to get the most likes on social media. Instead of carefully thinking about issues and considering other arguments, people flood their newsfeeds with their gut reactions.

In a blur of tweets, all gray area is buried under a mound of extreme and hasty posts. Things either “suck” or are “awesome,” people are either “evil” or “heroes,” and all nuance gets ridiculed with dislikes from the mob.  Surrounded by over-the-top rhetoric, people join in the chorus in order to fit in, without independently thinking about the issue. After all, liking a movie that “sucks” or a politician that is “evil” does not get likes, as people chip away at their individuality to seem “right” on Facebook.

Worst of all, this flood of gut reactions distorts reality. These baseless accusations and blatant lies hide the facts, serving as a “bodyguard of lies” as Winston Churchill infamously warned. Even with gravely serious news events like October’s Las Vegas shooting, uninformed posters blurted out wild conspiracy theories without a shred of evidence, simply to get likes.

In a matter of seconds, posters blamed a fictitious “Samir Al-Hajeed” who supposedly attacked the country festival in the name of ISIS, a radical leftist named “Geary Danley” who sought revenge against conservative country music fans for the 2016 election, and even the federal government. As baseless as these claims were, thousands retweeted without thinking.

When the next breaking news alert rumbles, think before you post. Become informed, consider different arguments, and carefully consider the evidence and logic of people’s claims. Instead of having grieving families sift through conspiracy theories blaming the Illuminati and New World Order, wait until the facts arrive.

-Nicholas Moran ’19


It is Time to Fix FixIt

After two years of living in traditional dorm housing and a semester abroad, this spring semester I was excited to finally experience one of the joys of upperclassmen housing: a private bathroom. To go from sharing a communal bathroom with thirty of your closest friends to only four feels like a dream come true—if the bathroom actually works, that is.

Moving into my apartment only to find that the plumbing was not in working order and that now, over a week later, the issue still has not been resolved, points to a real problem in the way that maintenance concerns are being handled.

I know that the Office of Residence Life is very busy and has perhaps the hardest job on this campus—coordinating effective housing for thousands of students is not easy—but it is not acceptable for an apartment’s singular bathroom to be continually out of working order with no reprieve in sight.

At this point, I have exhausted all of my resources. My roommates and I have sent multiple emails, made calls, and even visited the Residence Life office in person. All I have left is one desperate plea.

The way that maintenance issues are prioritized and then fixed must be adjusted. If not for me, then for anyone else whose dreams of apartment-style living have been crushed and who are forced to run down to the basement of their building every morning in their pajamas just to use a working restroom.

-Taylor Godfrey ’19