To the editors:
On Sunday, Feb. 19, Campus Ministry sent its weekly campus-wide email in which it announces upcoming events. One event in particular caught my interest, namely, Emily Albrecht’s talk on Mar 14, “Considering Abortion in a Post-Roe World.” As part of their description of the talk, Campus Ministry writes, “Emily will move beyond slogans to help you base your position on abortion in facts and strong philosophical arguments and will share her own conclusions.” Such wording implies that the talk is educational and that Ms. Albrecht is an expert with formal philosophical credentials, someone who is qualified to deliver a talk on abortion that is not superficial or merely political. The truth, however, is that Ms. Albrecht has no such qualifications or expertise. She works for the Equal Rights Institute, a political organization that coaches pro-life advocates on how to debate their opponents. In her bio for the organization, Ms. Albrecht shares that she holds a B.M. in vocal music education.
Campus Ministry’s description of their event is at best misleading and at worst dishonest. Campus Ministry is, of course, free to invite whomever it pleases to campus to speak on whichever topics it sees fit given the work of that office. But in advertising such events, Campus Ministry ought to remember that Providence College is first and foremost—that is to say, essentially—an institution of higher education (some might disagree and claim that PC is essentially Catholic, but nothing can be essentially Catholic, a point that is easy to see when one remembers that nothing can be born Catholic). Because we are essentially an institution of higher education, Campus Ministry has a responsibility to be honest and forthright with our community about the events it hosts, particularly when those events are presented as educational.
Christopher Arroyo, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy