Tangents & Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Tangents


Photo courtesy of Freestockphotos.

 

Pre-Summer Blues

As the end of the school year rapidly approaches, and the weather grows warm and sunny, the pre-summer blues of a college student begin to set it.

By the time each student has finished their finals and the warm weather has finally come to stay, we must pack up, go home, and say goodbye to Providence College.

That considered, the end of the college year frequently induces the antithesis of the energizing effect the start of summer evoked during one’s high school years, as the sorrow of saying goodbye to college friends and roommates and the thought of working 9-5 all summer can be evocative of a pre-summer blues.

Summer really should serve as an opportunity to unwind or pursue something that you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the time for during the year. Re-organize or redecorate your room, start a book, a new TV series, or a new workout routine.

Pick up an instrument, get involved with some community service, reconnect with your closest high school friends, and perhaps catch up with some other buddies that you perhaps have not connected with since graduation.

Although leaving the liveliness of PC may seem disheartening, it is important to remember summer is a vital time to recharge, refuel, and restart, and enjoy hobbies, company, and weather that might not have been possible during the school year.

—Alyssa Cohen ’21

 

Get to Know Someone by Their Stickers

The best way to judge a person is not by looking at their clothes or hairstyle, asking them their major, or looking at their Instagram bios. Those only reach the material aspects of life or personality.

Rather, take a peek at their laptop stickers the next time they whip out their computers in class or at the library; they are the quickest and easiest way to spot a person’s interests and passions in a second.

Do they have an image of Prison Mike? Chat them up about The Office. Donkey or an Elephant? Boom, you know which politics to discuss―or avoid. Boston, New York City, or any other cities or states? Their hometown or favorite vacation spot.

With just a small image or text, so much information can be gleaned from a laptop; favorite television shows or sports teams, quotes, hobbies, or passions, whether or not they care about aesthetic. The insight is endless.

When looking for conversation starters, commenting on a sticker is a surefire method of initiating an organic discussion.

—Elizabeth McGinn ’21

 

Give the Empanada Truck a Try

As the academic year winds down and most students try to come to terms with the prospect of leaving campus for the summer, or for seniors coming to terms with graduating, students may find themselves realizing that they have not done everything on their school year bucket lists.

One place that students should definitely aim to go before going home after finals is the empanada truck that can be found next to Sam’s Food Store just off campus.

It is slightly tucked away and may not be noticeable upon first glance, however, that is part of its charm. It is easy enough to drive or walk past food trucks but this is definitely one students should venture to before leaving for the summer.

At just $1 for one empanada, it is a deal that cannot be beat and one that is also pretty hard to come by. And the best part is that the empanadas are really good, even if the incredibly affordable pricing may be a bit off-putting at first glance. Once you taste that first empanada, you will never look back.

It does not get any better for a college student than to have cheap, good food in an incredibly convenient location.

So before you write off the empanada truck, give it a try the next time you go past it. Finding a great new food place before leaving after finals will make you that much more excited to return to campus.                       

—Bridget Blain ’19

Writer vs. Writer: Alumni Hall Food Court or Eaton Street Café?

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


The Alumni Hall Food Court is located on upper campus,
while Eaton Street Café is on lower campus. Brianna Colletti ’21/The Cowl.

Alumni Hall Food Court

by Bridget Blain ’19

Opinion Staff

 

When Providence College students are asked about the best dining options on campus, the first options that most likely come to mind are Raymond Dining Hall and Alumni Hall Food Court. Eaton Street Café is not likely to be your first thought.

This is because the food and drinks offered at Alumni have more variety than Eaton Street Café, and because Alumni is more conveniently located. Alumni gives students the opportunity to take a break from the repetition of the food provided at other dining options on campus, which makes it much more preferable and popular among PC students.

One of the reasons Alumni is preferred by students is its location, especially for students who live on campus. Slavin Center is a popular spot to either do homework or relax with friends,  so it is convenient to get a meal at Alumni while you are there as well. For students who do not have any classes in the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies, it is not likely that they will go out of their way to go to Eaton Street Café.

Eaton Street Café does not provide the same type of atmosphere that Alumni does. You can’t go to Eaton Street Café and sit in a booth with all of your friends like you can at Alumni. The atmosphere of Alumni encourages students and faculty to sit down and take time to relax for a moment, which can be really helpful when the semester becomes stressful, especially around midterms and finals.

For students with meal plans, the Take3 option at Alumni is also a great way to take a break from eating the same food every day at other places on campus. There are plenty of options available to satisfy whatever craving you have at Alumni while the options at Eaton Street Café are rather limited. Because there are not that many dining options on campus, variety is crucial.

When it comes down to it, the social atmosphere that Alumni provides and its various food options make it the best option for getting food on campus.

 

Eaton Street Café

by Kelly Wheeler ’21

Opinion Staff

 

One of the most polarizing debates among students at Providence College erupts over whether Alumni Hall Food Court or Eaton Street Café deserves to be called the premier dining facility on campus.

Although Alumni has a lot to offer, like the convenient Take3 option and the themed station, Eaton Street Café is ultimately worthier of the title.

The variety of foods available at Eaton Street Café simply can’t be beat. Not only does it have a grill menu from which students can enjoy burgers, chicken sandwiches, and steak and cheeses, but the café also has Sandella’s inside of it. Sandella’s offers an array of items that cannot be found at Alumni, such as delicious flatbread pizzas and burritos.

The quesadillas at Sandella’s are also a unique option, as they include chicken. This is a major perk for meat-lovers like me who feel disappointed by the protein-free quesadillas at Alumni.

Also, the Eaton Street Café offers breakfast options, whereas the meals served at Alumni are limited to lunch and dinner. Students can grab their breakfast sandwiches in between their morning classes, or they can even enjoy one at nighttime if they are craving breakfast for dinner.

Eaton Street Café also has a late-night window open between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays. This is very convenient for students who get hungry while staying up late to study or socialize. Also, Alumni is closed on Sundays, so their hours of operations are much more limited than those of Eaton Street Café.

Finally, another advantage Eaton Street Café has over Alumni is that it has some grocery items available for purchase. This allows students to buy things like eggs or milk right here on campus instead of having to venture off campus to do so.

Although Alumni is a very strong contender, there are countless reasons why Eaton Street Café prevails over Alumni in the fight for the title of the best dining option on campus.

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Scenery in Ghanda.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Maymester: An Alternative Abroad Experience

Studying abroad for a whole semester is a big commitment that may not be right for everybody. But at this young age, college students should take any opportunity they can to travel and explore other cultures.

Luckily, Providence College offers several Maymester options for students to take classes in a different country after the school year ends. These programs typically consist of one three-credit class that is taken over the course of two weeks, usually from mid-May to the beginning of June. These opportunities are also offered during winter break.

This is a great opportunity for students who would like the opportunity to study in a foreign country without having to miss a whole semester at PC. Due to their shorter time span earlier on in the summer, Maymesters most likely will not conflict with internships or other summer job commitments.

As of now, PC is offering a 2019 Maymester in Ghana: “Sustainability & Social Value: Systems Approach to Complex Problem Solving” and also one in Eastern Europe: “Flashpoints: The U.S. & the Cold War in Eastern Europe.”.

Before the real working world begins for college students, one should take any opportunity to travel and explore other cultures and study in another country.

If studying abroad for a semester is not for you, take the time to check out upcoming Maymester opportunities and get out of your comfort zone before you lose the opportunity.

—Marie Sweeney ’20

 

Ending the “Beach Body” Stereotype

Now that spring break has come and gone, many of us may be breathing a collective sigh of relief that we no longer have to worry about going to the gym every day or straying too far from maintaining a healthy diet in order to have that perfect beach body.

During the weeks leading up to spring break, it always seems as though both the media and even our own peers make it almost impossible not to second guess our own self-confidence.

However, the pressure to have a certain body type does not just exist around spring break. For many, it is constant, and social media apps such as Instagram often make it feel inescapable.  While many companies have made noteworthy efforts to be more inclusive and body-positive, there is still an underlying pressure to look a certain way and to have a specific body type.      

If you spent your spring break on a beach or by the pool, hopefully you felt completely comfortable and confident in your own skin, because you should.

It is a complete waste of time to compare your body to anyone else’s, especially to those photoshopped influencers you probably follow on Instagram.

There is no such thing as a “beach body.” All you can do is learn to ignore this type of pressure and remember that your body in no way defines who you are.     

—Bridget Blain ’19

 

Reading Past the Headlines

When it comes to talking politics, many choose to refrain from discussing  political issues and tend not to keep up with a news source. This is completely acceptable for those that do not have a passion for politics. 

It is, however, not acceptable to express interest in politics and advocate for a cause when one is completely blind to what they are actually advocating for. I noticed this type of political ignorance firsthand while interning at the Rhode Island State House and seeing daily protests in response to an upcoming women’s health bill. 

With the exception of my boss, every person I had spoken to about this bill was under the impression that it was identical to the bill that recently passed in New York. However, the Rhode Island bill is entirely different. 

This type of ignorance in political discussion today is very common and is rooted not in ideologies, but in lack of awareness of the issues. 

In the U.S., we are presented with a variety of news forums, and need to carefully select those that contain the least amount of bias. Many seem to base their knowledge of current events simply off headlines that fail to encapsulate the full story. 

Whenever you see an important headline, remember to read the full story. Educate yourself before taking a stance on political issues.

—Savannah Plaisted ’21

The Final Countdown: Seniors Scramble to Make Their Last Memories in Friartown

by The Cowl Editor


Campus


Students posing for a photo at Black and White Ball.
Sophie Palopoli ’19, Luiza Alves ’19, and Katherine Agugliaro ’19 at the first Black & White Ball in 2017. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

As the semester gets to the stressful point of looming midterms and spring break right around the corner, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day monotony of classes and homework. Instead of spending time with friends, most students find that their days and nights are spent in the library or cooped up in their rooms writing papers and applying for jobs. Reaching the midway point of the semester can often coincide with a decrease in productivity or motivation for many students, and campus events can be a great way for students to take a break, even if it is just for a night. Although academics should be every college student’s first priority, it is also important to spend quality time with friends and take a night off from the daily stresses of being a student.   

    This past weekend, students had the opportunity to take the night off and celebrate being a Providence College student at the Black & White Ball. The Black & White Ball is a bit different than other dances because it is open to all students and essentially turns the Peterson Recreation Center into a ballroom, complete with a live band, food and drink bars, and a dance floor. The Black & White Ball is always a popular event as it allows students to get dressed up and dedicate a night to spending time with the entire student body. Seeing Peterson transformed into a beautifully decorated ballroom and getting to see thousands of PC students come together is the perfect way to get out of the mid-semester slump that so many students find themselves in.    

   To continue the celebrations last weekend, McPhail’s hosted a Senior Night for the Class of 2019. Coming off the success of the first Senior Night that McPhail’s hosted in February, members of the senior class were given another opportunity to spend time together as a class. As the semester continues, there will be less opportunities for seniors to spend time with their entire class. The Senior Nights in McPhail’s are the perfect way for seniors to unwind and catch up with each other. Senior Nights are also a convenient and fun way to spend time on campus, as McPhail’s is a familiar place that virtually all students can access.

While Senior Ring Weekend and Commencement are the main events for the senior class, the smaller events like the Senior Nights held in McPhail’s are often just as special and fun. 

   While all students benefit from celebrations such as Black & White Ball, these events are particularly special for seniors who are feeling the pressure of graduation day getting closer. Once spring break comes and goes, students will really start to feel the pressures of studying for finals and finding summer employment, and the semester will be over before we know it. It is important for students to remember how beneficial it is to take a break from studying every now and then to spend time with friends and fellow classmates at events such as Black & White Ball and Senior Nights. Your four years at PC will be over before you know it, and these are the memories you will want to hold on to after you graduate.

The Danger of Crime Entertainment: ‘Ted Bundy’ and ‘You’ Glorify Criminal Behavior

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Poster of Ted Bundy Tapes.
The first episode of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes aired on Netflix in late January 2019. Photo courtesy of Screen Rant.

Fascination with true crime is nothing new, but lately it seems impossible to get away from movies and documentaries about the dangers of charming criminals. Shows like Netflix’s You and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, along with the recent film about Bundy, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, seem to have created a blurred line between villain and hero.

The image of the suave, charming man who ends up being a killer has long been romanticized in films and literature, but takes on a different significance in the digital age. While the popularity of documentaries and films about true crime has created important conversations about the potential normalization of male violence, it has also led to audiences beginning to romanticize these seemingly “normal” criminals.   

One of the most fascinating aspects of the show You and the documentary series The Ted Bundy Tapes is that they have given viewers the opportunity to get inside the head of terrifying criminals.

Not only that, but these are criminals who do not fit the stereotypical image of what we imagine a criminal to look like. It is human nature to want to understand what drives people to act in such horrific ways, but these shows have also raised concerns over whether or not the voices of these criminals should be heard.

In The Ted Bundy Tapes, for example, it becomes obvious that Bundy wanted to gain fame and attention for his crimes, which is exactly what these new documentaries and films are allowing him to do. Should the voice of someone who committed such violent acts be listened to? It is dangerous to make it seem as though someone who did such terrible things deserves to have an entire documentary series based on their actions and justifications.

While it is beneficial to raise awareness that even seemingly normal, charismatic people can be dangerous, that message can be conveyed in a way that does not simultaneously glorify the criminals themselves.     

Netflix’s show You has also been criticized for romanticizing the main character, despite his incredibly violent actions. The main character portrays himself as a seemingly nice guy who commits violent crimes to protect his loved ones.

While the show is not condoning his crimes, it paints his character in such a way that the viewer may often find themselves sympathizing with him, even if just for a moment. When these criminals are repeatedly portrayed in the media as beautiful and charming people with hidden double lives, the threat of normalizing male violence becomes possible.

While in order to accurately portray criminals such as Bundy it is necessary to show how they use their charming and “normal” personas to commit crimes, this is where the potential romanticizing should stop.

In most cases, the physical looks of a criminal should not be relevant or even be mentioned when analyzing their actions. There is a fine line between acknowledging that looks can be deceiving, and completely focusing on the outward appearance of these criminals. There are so many groups of people whose voices are not heard, and it can be disheartening when people who commit terrible crimes are given that platform instead of them.                           

Develop PC’s Diversity Proficiency: Students Require More Knowledge on Social Issues

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Graphic of various people on bench.
Graphic courtesy of BD Foundation.

One of the most important opportunities that attending a liberal arts college gives students is the ability to take courses in subjects that they may have otherwise never been exposed to. 

The majority of liberal arts colleges require students to take courses that they consider to fulfill a diversity requirement. 

For many students, these courses expose them to issues in society that they may have never even known existed. 

But in order to gain a true understanding of our society and various social issues, taking one course may not be enough. 

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, it is important that college students learn how to actively fight against stereotypes and harmful social norms. They should also be able to go out into the world with more awareness of societal issues.

At Providence College, students are only required to take one class that will fulfill the diversity proficiency. 

While PC does offer courses that cover a wide range of topics such as race and gender, it is easy for students to put off fulfilling the proficiency until much later on in their time as a student. 

Only requiring one approved class to fulfill the diversity proficiency does not properly express the true importance of diversity nor does it educate students in a way that allows for them to actively be involved in the world once they graduate. 

While students are required to take two classes in both theology and philosophy, the diversity proficiency is much easier to satisfy. 

For students who are not sociology or global studies majors, for example, there should be a much bigger push to take courses in those departments. 

Two years of undergrad at PC are spent focusing on the Development of Western Civilization program and learning about Western Civilization and, for many students, taking courses about society and culture may end there. 

Taking the time to learn about cultures different from one’s own and about how our own society has evolved is necessary in order to be a thoughtful member of society. 

One of the most satisfying moments as a student is realizing that what you are learning in class will stick with you forever and genuinely changes the way you see the world. 

Seeing the world through as many different perspectives as possible and learning how to put their understanding into meaningful practice will hopefully lead to students graduating with a unique outlook on the world. 

After all, for many students, that is one of the goals of receiving a college education.  

Students at all liberal arts colleges, not just PC, should continuously be encouraged to take classes outside of their major that focus on important social issues. 

Developing an understanding of the need for diversity and gaining knowledge about culture is extremely beneficial to students, as many social issues seem to be growing more rampant each day. 

While having to take more courses to fulfill the diversity requirement may seem like a nuisance to some students, it may benefit students more than they thought possible in the long run.          

Gillette at Its Best with “The Best Men Can Be” : Controversial Ad Highlights Social Problems and Promotes Change

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Gillette commercial still.
Gillette’s new ad features scenes that display the many ways toxic masculinity is embodied today. Photo courtesy of Gillette.

This past week, Gillette released their “The Best Men Can Be” advertisement, which immediately drew both praise and criticism from the public.

While many viewers praised Gillette’s message of the importance of rethinking how masculinity is taught and expressed, many critics argued that the commercial is anti-men.

The commercial shifts from depicting the current state of masculinity to showing what the world would be like if men held each other accountable and pivoted away from the “boys will be boys” mentality.

While it may seem strange that a brand such as Gillette would release an advertisement with such a strong social commentary, there is still an immense amount of value in brands taking responsibility to promote social change.

In order to spark social change, companies with large social platforms must use their voices to spread awareness.

With the “The Best Men Can Be” advertisement, Gillette is promoting the message that toxic masculinity only further encourages bullying and sexual harassment, and that all men have a responsibility to teach the next generation how to be better.

Some of the criticisms of the advertisement are that we do not need this message and that it is really an attack on men.

These criticisms, however, miss the true goal of the advertisement: emphasizing the importance of teaching future generations to be better than previous ones.

It is hard to argue that there are not seemingly endless ways in which generations can improve, socially and politically. As shown by the global spread of the #MeToo movement over the past few years, sexual harassment and violence against women is very prevalent in today’s society.

While men are not the only perpetrators of sexual harassment, they still have a responsibility to stick up for those who are affected.

Gillette has been heavily criticized for using the advertisement to attack and blame men for all of society’s problems; however, the commercial does the exact opposite of that.

By the end of the commercial, it is clear that the message Gillette is trying to get across is that they believe that men have the potential to enact significant, meaningful social change.

Gillette is not calling for a dramatic upheaval of society and destruction of the patriarchy, they are simply calling for recognition of the dangerous belief systems and attitudes that enable unequal power structures.

The advertisement in and of itself is not anti-men, as many critics have claimed it to be. Because Gillette is a brand centered around products for men, the commercial sends the message that it is men who not only have the ability, but the responsibility, to influence future generations to be better. 

Ultimately, the “The Best Men Can Be” commercial achieved what Gillette wanted: it gained immediate attention and sparked controversy.

Just because one of the main purposes of the advertisement may have been to help Gillette raise profits and gain new customers, this should not take away from the impact that the campaign has had.

Brands that are as well-known and influential as Gillette should use their platforms to promote social change as much as possible. Any opportunity to raise awareness and advocate for change should be taken, even if it may be misunderstood by some.   

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Golden globe trophy.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Bring Cash Back to Slavin Ticket Office

This past Wednesday, Providence College students received an email regarding a new policy for purchasing tickets at the Slavin Ticket Office. 

Starting this semester, students will only be able to purchase tickets with PC Cash. Previously, students had the option to purchase tickets with regular cash. 

It is unclear why this change has been made but it is safe to say that students who do not frequently use PC Cash will be annoyed with the new policy. 

This new method of payment will be a nuisance to many students who wish to buy event tickets but may not use PC Cash frequently enough to justify depositing money onto their PC ID. 

For students who do not have money loaded onto their PC ID, the hassle of depositing cash to their card may lead to students putting off purchasing tickets or even dissuading them from doing so completely. 

Although this new policy will most likely be more convenient for those working at the ticket office, it will be a hassle for the rest of the students and faculty who want to purchase tickets through PC. 

As a college student, convenience is one of the major factors when considering where and when to make purchases. The opinions of students should be taken into consideration when making decisions that have to do with student life on campus. 

While this is admittedly a trivial thing to complain about, this policy change emphasizes the importance of taking student life into consideration when making this type of change.    

—Bridget Blain ’19

 

Change Red Carpet Questions for Women

In the midst of the second awards season following the initiation of the Times Up movement, there is an eye on the red carpet. Though choosing to sport more colorful dresses instead of a monochromatic movement at this year’s Golden Globes, women in Hollywood are still making strides towards equality. 

Since the origination of televised red carpets, women have consistently been asked the same question: “Who are you wearing?”

For years it seemed that this was the only question in an interviewer’s repertoire. However, in more recent years, women in Hollywood have initiated change in this particular field.

Before Times Up and other wide reaching organizations emerged, smaller groups were urging change in simpler ways. 

Amy Poehler, for example, started a group called Smart Girls, which offered more intellectually stimulating questions to celebrities on the red carpet. Though it did not completely change the atmosphere on the carpet, it certainly got the ball rolling for change.

As women continue to be snubbed in certain categories at awards shows such as Best Director, it is important that they keep their voices heard as a way to spark a reaction in viewers and influential people in Hollywood; one way to do this is through what is said on the carpet. 

The only way to initiate these conversations is through the facilitation of a red carpet interview host. 

When asking questions, the hosts tend to stick to a more superficial level of questioning: who are you wearing? Why did you change your hair color? Changing this will be the first step towards a better carpet environment—and equality.

—Julia McCoy ’22

 

Remember Self-Care in Times of Stress

Self-care: a term many people associate with indulging in ice cream, putting on a relaxing face mask, or watching one’s favorite movie. All the aforementioned can be considered self-care, but many people, especially college students, seem to forget that self-care is much more than that.

Self-care is a critical part of our overall happiness during college. With everyone coming back to school after spending quality time with family and friends, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed when coming back to a full workload of classes.

That is when one should focus on self-care and realize that one’s mental and physical health should be first on one’s priority list. 

Focus on what is truly important, enjoy every single moment, and realize that life is priceless. If you are feeling buried in coursework, talk to your teachers. If you miss your family, call them. If you are suddenly more focused on writing your essay than caring for yourself, set your priorities straight.

So, nurture your soul, talk about your feelings, keep a journal, eat food that fuels you, go to bed early, and do not stress, because at the end of the day getting straight A’s will not matter if you are not truly happy and able to enjoy life.

—Angela Bueso ’22

Checking Your Privilege at PC: PC Democrats Event Inspires Discussion About Social Issues

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Photo of diversity mural in Moore Hall.
The mural in Moore Hall represents a step in the right direction towards continuing to promote diversity at the College. Photo courtesy of Providence College News.

by Bridget Blain ’19

Opinion Staff

Even though college is often considered to be the final step before entering the “real world,” college campuses can often feel like their own little private world. The priorities of academic life and involvement with clubs on campus can lead to students not being fully aware of what is going on outside of their own lives.

This past Thursday, Providence College Democrats hosted a panel to discuss strategies to break the PC bubble in order to create more opportunities for students to have conversations about privilege and other social issues, not only with their professors, but with each other outside of class.

Members of the panel were asked to talk about topics such as how to recognize one’s own privilege and the importance of taking the time to learn about other student’s life experiences.

Panelists also discussed how to best create a dialogue in the classroom to help students become aware of their privilege and how to use it to help make changes here at PC and out in the real world when they graduate and are no longer shielded by the campus bubble.

One of the ways in which almost all of the panelists agreed that PC can help foster these conversations is through academics.

An issue that was brought up by the panelists is that while PC does have a diversity requirement, it is easy enough for students to not even take a class that fulfills that requirement until their senior year.

Putting off fulfilling this requirement only hurts students as they may miss out on learning opportunities and important discussions during the majority of their college years.

As these conversations typically start in the classroom, more of an emphasis should be placed on students gaining a better understanding about social issues throughout all four years of college.

If students are given more chances to learn how to recognize the importance of acknowledging their own privilege and how to advocate for those who may not have the same privileges, they will leave PC with the knowledge and awareness necessary to make a real impact in the world.

Recognizing and admitting one’s own social privileges is often an uncomfortable and painful process. For college students, it can be very easy to only focus on academics and their social life and not have to think about what is going on outside of campus. For other students, ignoring the outside world may not even be an option as political decisions or other events may have a direct and immediate impact on their lives.

In order to gain a better understanding of the different life experiences of others and to create a more inclusive environment, an emphasis needs to not only be placed on the importance of learning about systemic privilege during class time, but also on how to have productive conversations about privilege outside of the classroom as well.

Colleges across the country need to constantly evaluate whether or not they are encouraging their students to learn and grow, not only as students, but as humans who will soon be entering the workforce and will have the opportunity to make real change in the world.

Changes cannot be made by our generation if we are not willing to have difficult conversations with each other.        

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Line of electric scooters on a sidewalk.
Students used to ride electric Bird Scooters around campus until they were banned. Photo courtesy of The Verge.

Brands Should Promote Diversity, Inclusivity in Advertising

At this point in time, it is hard to believe an event such as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show still exists in its current form.

As more companies have begun to realize the importance of representing all body types, races, and genders, they have seen more profit and customer engagement. For example, Aerie’s decision to stop Photoshopping their advertisements led to an immediate boost in sales and popularity.

Ultimately, customers want to see people who look similar to them in advertisements, not the unattainable body of a supermodel. Body positivity and inclusion of all body types is something that can only benefit a brand’s popularity and financial status. More importantly, it is just the right thing to do.

Young women in particular are especially vulnerable to pressures, which are created by advertisements to make people feel like they have to look a certain way.

Brands have a responsibility to not overly promote too high of standards or “ideal” body types that may lead their consumers to harmful behavior or negative self-image. The days of only one body type being considered beautiful are over and it is upsetting it has taken this long for companies to catch on.

Representation matters and there is no reason for companies to continue to only show one type of body in their advertisements or events. Image and inclusion of all body types should not be done by companies as a marketing ploy, it should be done because it makes a difference.

—Bridget Blain ’19

 

Lift the On-Campus Ban: Bring Back the Bird Scooters!

Over the past month, Providence College students have experienced a new, electrically charged means of expediting their commutes around campus—The Bird Scooter.

These electric scooters, recently banned on the PC campus, started cropping up around the city of Providence in July before they were intermittently removed from the streets in order for the city to establish an effective set of regulations for scooter operators.

By mid-October, Bird Scooters had returned to the streets, and started popping up on the PC campus.

Some members of the PC community view the scooters as an eyesore to the collegiate, gothic, and modern aesthetics of the campus, as well as a potential safety hazard to both  the scooter drivers and pedestrians.

However, the Bird Scooter serves as a valuable link to the city, as well as a convenient transportation resource for students.

As many students are not permitted to keep a car on campus, traveling into the city proves inconvenient when an individual must wait 40 minutes for two RIPTAs or pay $20 round trip for an Uber to travel two to four miles off campus.

On the other hand, Bird Scooters present an exciting, practical, and affordable mode of transportation that, if allowed on campus, become readily accessible to students.

These scooters can accelerate up to 15 miles per hour and charge per minute, at the rate of $1 flat fee and an additional 15 cents for every minute of use.

However, although authorizing the use of Bird Scooters on campus proves beneficial for students, like the city of Providence, the College must establish regulations for scooter operator conduct in order to facilitate safe and effective use of the motorized vehicles on campus.

The Bird Scooters allow PC students to indulge in the food, art, and culture that the “Creative Capital” has to offer, and for this reason PC should lift the ban.

—Alyssa Cohen ’21