posted on: Thursday April 15, 2010
Jordan Frias ’11 / Asst. News Editor
Congress hosted special guests these past few weeks. Rev. Brain J. Shanley, O.P., president of Providence College and John Nonnamaker, executive director of the Office of Career Services, were invited to speak at Congress meetings that were held in March and in April. On Tuesday, March 30, members of the 60th Student Congress greeted Father Shanley as the guest speaker of their weekly meeting. He explained how he had been away from the College recently to campaign for donor dollars for the College’s 100thanniversary, set to take place in 2017.Shanley said that his goals for the next five years include decreasing class sizes, hiring more professors, and improving the Office of Career Services. In addition, he also hopes to build better facilities for the College’s athletic teams.He then opened the floor to Congress members for any questions or concerns they might have about the College.A question concerning the College’s mission statement was brought to Shanley’s attention by Elian Seidel ‘10, specifically regarding the discrimination policy. Seidel asked if Shanley could look into adding sexual orientation in the mission statement of the College which only recognizes race, color, ethnicity, sex, disability, and age discrimination. Shanley explained how Providence College adapted its mission statement from other Catholic colleges and universities. He said that although Providence College does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, he could not support explicitly adding that phrase into the mission statement of the College, considering the repercussions that would follow. In Shanley’s opinion, amending the student handbook to include sexual orientation might conflict with the College’s religious views and Catholic identity.In terms of improving technology on campus, Skye Hawkins ’12 and Joe Miller ’10 questioned Shanley about wireless accessibility in all buildings on campus and prevention of basic problems with things such as sending and receiving e-mail through Microsoft Outlook. Shanley said that it has been difficult to outfit some of the older buildings on campus for wireless access. The College is also trying to cut costs by spending less on technology for the time being.Thomas Ongeri ’10 questioned Shanley about the lack of diversity on campus. He further said that the Diversity Committee is forming a strategic plan for recruitment of multicultural students at this time.