December 16, 2019

Guest Response to Corbin ’15’s Football Article

posted on: Thursday November 14, 2013

by Daniel Caplin ’14
Guest Opinion

I would first like to thank Ms. Corbin for writing her article, as the points raised underscore aspects of the PC community that we need to reflect on. Ms. Corbin and I whole-heartedly agree that there is a problem with the strength in our school’s community, yet our solutions are drastically different.

Nicole walks on the quad and feels that our students would be more inclined to commune with one another if we had a football team. I’m sorry to tell you this Nicole, but another sports team would feed into a twofold problem facing our community: the problem being the effect it has on the structure of our student body and how athletics pervert the priorities of an academic institution.

While Nicole is right in saying that football—or sports—are at the heart of American society, she’s wrong in reflecting on that positively. On our campus, sports have produced a privileged minority like that present in American society. If you disagree with this, think about opening up Cyberfriar at 7 in the morning last Friday with “athlete Civ” on your list as an easy alternative to your first choice. Or possibly sharing classes with basketball players, wondering how they’ve lasted four years after attending an eighth of the classes you’ve attended. If you think about it, it’s actually fair; why should they attend classes that they aren’t paying for? Implementing football into the athletic program would only aggrandize emulation from the blindly disadvantaged majority that embodies the actual PC community. If you think I’m being unfair, ask a member of our basketball team to explain that last sentence.

In regards to the second facet of the problem plaguing the strength of PC’s community—the perversion of PC’s priorities as an academic institution—I will address it by reflecting on how the problem has affected me personally. I have been involved in theatre at Providence College during my time at PC: I’ve acted in six main-stage theatre productions, I’ve designed lights for two dance concerts, and I’ve been the assistant director for one main-stage production, along with numerous other remedial credits. I had a lead role in a play during my sophomore year, Lend Me a Tenor, which was by far the most widely enjoyed by the PC community during my time. One of the principal figures at the head of PC’s leadership could not make it. Initially, I thought nothing of it, seeing as his position garnered my thinking he was appropriately indisposed during the two weekend run of my show. That is, until I spoke with him two weeks later. While being treated to lunch at the priory by Fr. Nowel, an avid fan of the Blackfriars theatre productions, the absentee approached our table to apologize. He decided to assuage my concerns with a fitting disclaimer: “I apologize, but I had Super Bowl tickets, couldn’t miss that.” For those of you who understand football, the Super Bowl takes place on one night, thus significantly shrinking the timeframe the absentee had to see the show from six nights…to five nights.

Although I sound like a disappointed, pimple-faced teenager being stood up for a date, his absence underscores how our leaders prioritize athletics over all else. How a man of his position failed to see the play running at the college he works at boggles my mind. So Nicole, forgive me for not jumping at the chance to give my support for something that might make my 12 hours of weekly rehearsal time seem infinitely more obscure. When I leave the theatre at 4 after hanging lights all night, I fail to see the need to make our community ignore the various other achievements our students accrue on a daily basis. If we want to know what a community is, let’s remind ourselves of the Corvino sit-in, where we came together, wept, told stories, shared laughs, and embraced each other over who we are. A community is a round of applause as a transgender student tells his peers that he is finally happy to look in the mirror and see the person that is looking back. Next time you walk on the quad, say hi to him, and you’ve done far more than any football could do.

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