By Max Waite ’21
Last week, spooky season arrived on the Providence College campus. This was not your typical Halloween in Friartown, as students were confined to their pods to respect social distancing guidelines. The same rules applied to off-campus students, who were advised to stay in their homes for the duration of the weekend.
Halloween weekend is always a memorable experience for PC students. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many obstructions to everyday life and common traditions from the past. Thus, students were not necessarily able to experience Halloween in the traditional sense. Nevertheless, students were encouraged to make the most out of the weekend in a safe and respectable manner.
Prior to the weekend, all off-campus students received an email from Shannon Russell at the 02908 Club with recommendations for the weekend. Social distancing, remaining in pods, wearing masks indoors and outdoors, and respectable noise levels were among some of the requirements listed in the email.
Earlier in the week, Governor Gina Raimondo ordered Providence Police to issue $500 dollar fines to individuals found at parties that did not follow social distancing guidelines. There was also fear of the “Purge of Providence” that was supposedly going to occur over the weekend. Luckily, the culprit organizing the event was arrested shortly before the weekend began.
Timothy Siemen ’21 is one of the many off-campus students that did their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Siemen said, “I had broken my collarbone the previous week while riding an electric scooter, so I took advantage of my time indoors by rehabilitating from my injury. The surgery was incredibly painful, so I’m really glad that I had my roommates there to cheer me up. We had a lot of laughs and made lots of memories!”
Among the on-campus students, student-athlete Sean Meehan ’22 had a similar experience in Davis Hall. Meehan stated, “Even though I couldn’t go anywhere, I really enjoyed wearing my costume in my apartment. I would have liked to show my Elvis costume off a little more, but I’m happy with how it was received by my roommates.”
With COVID-19 cases increasing exponentially within our area, it is great to see that Halloween weekend did not impede any of the College’s progress concerning the virus. As a result of the increase in Rhode Island’s cases, though, Governor Raimondo issued several new COVID-19 guidelines similar to those in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Effective Nov. 8, there is a stay-at-home advisory from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Groups of no more than 10 are allowed. Bars and restaurants must close at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. on weekends, while keeping the social gathering limit at the mandated level.
As Thanksgiving break approaches, the Providence College community needs to do its best to proactively prevent the spread of the virus. The fall semester is coming to a close, but the possibility of bringing the virus back home to Friar families and at-risk relatives remains a concern. Remember to wear a mask, social distance, and stay safe!