Congress Updates

by The Cowl Editor on November 15, 2018

Congress Updates

by Aine Redington

Student Congress Publicity

Chaplain Fr. Peter Martyr Yungwirth, O.P., and Fr. James Cuddy, O.P., vice president of mission and ministry,  visited Student Congress for their weekly meeting on Tuesday, November 13. They discussed their various roles and the roles of Campus Ministry at Providence College. 

Fr. Cuddy is a graduate of the College and served as the Chaplain of PC before becoming the vice president of mission and ministry. This department is concerned with the Catholic identity and the Dominican presence at  the College. Its primary purpose is to “promote a greater understanding of what it means to be Catholic and Dominican in academic affairs and outside the classroom.”

Fr. Peter Martyr discussed his role as the overseer of Campus Ministry. He talked about a new initiative which gives each residence hall its own chaplain.  This year, each athletic team was appointed a chaplain to oversee the players. Each chaplain is only assigned one team to ensure that the Friars can develop organic and real connections with the athletes. 

A Student Congress member asked if there was any way Campus Ministry could connect with the international student population. 

Fr. Peter Martyr agreed that it would be a great idea to reach a smaller student population who may be susceptible to struggles as they are so far away from home. He thought it might be a great idea to hold smaller intimate dinners. 

Another congress member asked about how Campus Ministry is working to connect with Residence Life.

Besides each chaplain being assigned to his own residence hall, Dominicans are encouraged to go to the hall office of each building and play cards, watch sports, and have conversations with RAs and residents.  One student agreed that after playing Uno with his Chaplain he felt much more comfortable talking to him as a friend. The more we come to know each other the easier it will be to spread the love of the Catholic and Dominican tradition. 

During General Announcements, President Christopher Campanelli ’19 encouraged everyone to go to the SpeakUP PC event in ’64 Hall from 5-7 p.m. This event will be a forum to discuss sexual assault and sexual violence on campus. 

The first piece of legislation was regarding the establishment of a new deadline for club applications. 

According to this piece, all prospective clubs must submit an application before Nov. 15 or Feb. 28 depending on the semester. The piece passed unanimously. 

The following pieces of legislation will be voted on by the members of Student Congress in two weeks on Nov. 27. The second piece of legislation was a proposal for a new club called BELIEVE. This club is designed to be a community and a resource for students with disabilities and challenges. 

Although they acknowledged that there is a lot of support for this topic from faculty and staff, there is no club that offers peer support for students with disabilities. It will also serve as a safe place for dialogue and questions. 

The third piece of legislation was an amendment to our constitution. The amendment calls for the removal of Article 4 Section 6, which states that each congress member must bring one guest from the College community each semester to attend a regularly scheduled meeting. 

The speaker believes that “if someone is interested they should come on their own, member[s] should want to bring guests and advocate for the club not be forced to bring people who don’t want to be there.”  

The fourth piece of legislation was another club proposal for a club called Friars for ____. The club is dedicated to planning events to raise funds and create awareness for different organizations. 

Last semester, the club raised money for Puerto Rico relief after Hurricane Maria. This semester they have held a grilled cheese run to raise funds for Operation Christmas Child. Members vouched for the club and commended its commitment to service. 

The fifth piece of legislation was another club proposal for a new club called Wishmakers-on-Campus. This club is a chapter of the non-profit, Make a Wish. The purpose is to raise money and awareness for the Make A Wish chapters in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They plan to have a 5K walk for wishes in the spring where “Wish Families” can come to talk to students. Additionally, there would be a reception outside Slavin at the end with sponsors and lawn games. 

Again, congress members were very receptive and commended the speakers for their dedication to service. 

Congress Updates

by The Cowl Editor on October 25, 2018

Congress Updates

by Aine Redington ’20

James Campbell, assistant vice president for student development, and Cheryl Granai, coordinator of outreach and prevention, visited Student Congress for their weekly meeting on Tuesday, October 23.

They shared various statistics about mental health on campus in light of mental health awareness month, including the effects of the “mental health and substance abuse grant awarded by the center for mental health services.”

Campbell and his constituents have traveled to 104 meetings to talk to students about suicide, mental health, and prevention. 

There have been 35 outreach and awareness programs, 52 life skills and wellness events, 39 events for students of color, marginalized or at risk. 

This grant has also supported various gatekeeper trainings to prepare students on how to look out for their peers. This includes KOGNITO training and Step Up! Bystander training. 

Dr. Campbell also discussed a new leader for the “student leave program” that addresses the anxiety of students who take a leave of absence unexpectedly. 

A case manager is assigned to provide each student with adequate resources, so they feel comfortable coming back to campus when they are ready. 

A member of congress asked how faculty members are trained to help students who struggle with mental health issues, especially if those issues are affecting their academic lives. Dr. Campbell informed the congress of two upcoming meetings where he and Granai plan to meet with department chairs to inform staff of the seriousness of mental health issues and how best to help students who are struggling and may need help. 

During general announcements, Congress swore in the sixth student representative of the class of 2022, Julia Karim. 

Also, Dean Beverley discussed the Democracy Wall. The Democracy Wall is a black board on the third floor of Feinstein which poses a new question each week. This week, the question is “What is the difference between FREE SPEECH and HATE SPEECH?”

Student Congress encourages everyone to check it out or follow them on Instagram @pcdidwall.  

There were two pieces of old business and no new business. Both old pieces  of legistlation were proposed clubs: Wine and Cheese Club and International Business Club. 

Wine and Cheese Club was introduced as a networking club where potential members would learn about wine and cheese. 

Concerns arose from congress members because money allocated from congress can not be used for the purchase of alcohol.  

Ultimately, the piece was tabled because of the reservations. 

The International Business Club is a club dedicated to preparing students for international markets and how to navigate and network. The piece passed unanimously.