Reflecting on Transitions and Traditions

by The Cowl Editor on November 12, 2020

Editor's Column

Reflecting on Transitions and Traditions

by Andrea Traietti ’21 


This issue of The Cowl is the sixth and final issue we will be publishing this semester, and it’s quite an exciting selection of content with which to end. Covered in this issue, first and foremost, is the momentous national news from last week—Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s victory in the presidential election, marking a transition into a new era of American history. Second, and of special importance to all of us on The Cowl staff, The Cowl will celebrate its 85th anniversary on Nov. 16, making it one of the most long-standing traditions at Providence College. 

Reflecting on what we’ve published in the past three months, I’ve realized that transitions and traditions, themes captured by these two events, have taken center stage in much of our content this semester.

Countless articles have covered the many ways in which the PC community has made difficult transitions this semester—making continuous adjustments over the past few months as we navigated through a COVID-19 outbreak on campus and eventually transitioned back to in-person classes.

We’ve also turned our coverage to the resilience and adaptability that the PC community has so often shown by finding new ways to celebrate old traditions, such as Last Chance Mass and Senior Ring Weekend, which have shaped life at the College for generations. 

This semester has been one of transition and tradition for The Cowl itself, as well. We were halfway through the process of completing our second issue when, late one Tuesday night, we learned the College was implementing a stay-at-home order. Unable to access our on-campus office and with a Wednesday deadline to meet, the Editorial Board scrambled to transition our operations remotely, and they’ve remained that way  ever since.

It’s been a challenging transition, and we’ve since had to move to bi-weekly rather than weekly issues, but not publishing The Cowl was never an option. I think that for so many of us, the drive to keep going came from the understanding that, with The Cowl, we get to be part of something that is much larger than any of us as individuals—a tradition which next week will turn 85 years old, having been in continuous existence aside from only two years during World War II. To play a part in preserving PC’s history, especially in this moment, is both an incredible privilege and an immense responsibility. 

I was and continue to be inspired by the resilience and commitment that the entire Cowl staff has shown during this difficult semester, and in the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to end my final Editor’s Column of the semester with a note of thanks.

We all owe thanks, first and foremost, to the professors, administrators, and staff members—true testaments to the meaning of the phrase “Friar Family”—who worked tirelessly to make this semester possible, keep us safe, and provide us with support inside and outside the classroom. 

But on a final, personal note, I owe a sincere thank you to the 80+ members of The Cowl—writers, Editorial Board members, and copy editors—who gave their all to each and every issue and helped preserve the tradition of The Cowl during this challenging semester. 

I could not be more grateful for each of you: for your hard work, for the energy and time you so willingly give, for your commitment, and for your resilience. Being a part of this special PC tradition is made all the more meaningful when you get to share it with and work alongside such an incredible team of talented and inspiring individuals. Thank you all.