Featured Friars: The Musical Theater Alliance

by The Cowl Editor on October 26, 2017


By Darren Squillace ’19

News Staff

Nicholas Crenshaw ’20/The Cowl

For those who are not musically inclined, or do not keep up with the latest plays and theatrical performances, there has been a lot going on you may not know about in the Smith Center for the Arts.

A group of music majors, along with some students who are involved in the department of Theatre, Dance, and Film, decided that the gap between themselves and their activities was too wide and that a more tightly knit union would be beneficial to both sides. Because of this, both groups decided to formulate what is now known as the Musical Theatre Alliance.

The group is composed of Teddy Kiristy ’19, Aisling Sheahan ’19, Deirdre Lahiff ’20, and Ariana Tomasi ’19. Kiristy, a theatre major with a musical theatre concentration, summarized the series of events that led to the alliance being formed. “So four of us, two theatre and two music majors, were hanging out one day and realized that as theatre and music majors we share a beautiful building, the Smith Center for the Arts, yet we never have any crossover or collaborative events. We also barely talk to one another and we see most people from the other department daily! So we decided we should create a group where we could meet once a month, mingle, and get to know one another. It has been very successful,” said Kiristy.

Shehan, also a theatre major with a musical theatre concentration, agreed that the purpose for creating this group was to bridge the gap between the music and theatre departments. They hope that the alliance will help to create a space where members of both departments can work together and potentially collaborate on future projects.

As far as what the alliance members hope to achieve in the long run, Sheahan stated that “Our goals are definitely to have everyone get acquainted with one another so that in the future the two departments could do something amazing together!” In addition, the members are also hopeful that the alliance will promote interest on campus for both music and theatre and that eventually, the alliance will grow bigger and stronger. The Musical Theatre Alliance represents what being a “Friar Family” is all about by welcoming all those who are interested, not just music or TDF majors, to be a part of the community that they are cultivating in Smith. While they may be a small group now, the alliance is an example of yet another opportunity created by Providence College students themselves in the effort to foster diversity and inclusion to all of those who wish to demonstrate their talents and abilities.

Analyzing the State of the US Healthcare System

by The Cowl Editor on October 20, 2017

National and Global News

by Darren Squillace ’19

News Staff

Not too long ago America was buzzing as people across the country showed support for their favorite presidential candiate. In 2017, almost a full year removed from the polarizing election, many of the hot-topic issues are still up for debate.

One of those issues is healthcare.President Trump made promises along the campaign trail about what the “Repeal and Replace” process would look like for the Affordable Care Act. Yet once Trump took office in January, the numerous attempts he and the Republican members of Congress made in those first months to propose a new alternative to the ACA all but fell apart. The current state of healthcare and the ACA seems to be growing more obscure by the day.

Dr. Robert Hackey, who is the director of the health policy and management department at Providence College, was recently available to clarify the current state of affairs. While the issue of healthcare has not gotten the same share of media attention as it did when “Repeal and Replace” seemed like an immediate possibility, Hackey noted that there have been several recent developments over the last week regarding healthcare that could affect the entire nation.

One new development is that the Trump administration is beginning to give Americans the option to buy cheaper healthcare plans with less coverage. According to Hackey, “What the Trump policy does is allow plans to market particularly to younger, healthier folks.”

On the surface, this may seem like a logical healthcare option for younger Americans, ones who typically are not at risk of needing extensive medical treatment and therefore can afford to have a less comprehensive healthcare plan. However, this policy has led to concern among many in the Democrats and others who are supportive of the ACA.

The reason for the concern is that younger people opting into these cheaper plans will cause premiums to increase significantly for those who need more coverage and are more likely to get sick.

“Health insurance is all about risk and risk pooling,” said Hackey. “When people buy health insurance they pool their money so that the people who get sick are subsidized by the healthier folks.” Hackey believes that this new policy enacted by Trump could significantly shrink that pool of money in the ACA causing it to ultimately fail.

Hackey stated that the Trump administration decided that it will no longer pay the subsidies on co-payments for low-income citizens. According to Hackey, “Even those with insurance now may think twice before filling prescriptions, or they may rethink going to the doctors.”

The ACA made it so that many low-income families could do these things and have their co-pay taken care of, but the Trump administration seems to be effectively ending that within the confines of the act.

Trump appears to be using executive actions to undermine the ACA now that completely repealing the bill seems to be more of a distant reality. A consequence of these executive actions is that several insurance providers are now pulling out of the marketplaces the ACA created. Many of these insurers have been losing money by being in this marketplace, and Hackey believes that these new policies will cause even more providers to pull out of the market. “All the things we saw this past week are going to continue that.”

It seems as if the fate of healthcare is in the hands of Trump now more than ever with legislative concordance on the issue only becoming more difficult to attain by the day.

Analyzing NFL Protests and America’s Response: Part 2

by The Cowl Editor on October 5, 2017

National and Global News

What Happened at the White House?

by Darren Squillace ’19

News Staff

From NFL players choosing to kneel during the national anthem to certain championship sports teams getting their White House invitation rescinded, protests at sporting events have made headlines along with other national issues such as North Korea and its threats to obliterate the U.S., the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the toll it has taken on Puerto Rico, and the expected upcoming tax overhaul.

Many of the president’s critics believe his attention on these issues is based on his desire to divert the public’s attention from the more critical issues at hand so that he can handle them in his own preferred manner without as much scrutiny. Others say it is simply an effort to garner enthusiasm from his base of supporters.

Stephen Curry, a member and star player from the 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors team, stated that even if invited to the White House he would not attend, as a sign of disapproval of the current administration in place.

In response to this, on Sept. 23, President Trump tweeted, “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” This was a tweet that not only drew to it the attention from the political world, but also the sports world for many reasons as well.

It is unclear if Trump had ever formally invited the team to the White House. Curry is not the only notable athlete who is unsatisfied with the president’s body of work since he has taken office. Fellow star athlete Lebron James responded to the president’s tweet with a tweet himself saying, “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

Similar sentiments to the ones expressed by James have become a common theme around professional sports. Athletes are no longer seeing an invitation to the White House as being fulfilling and enriching as they did under past presidents who extended invites, both Democrat and Republican.

While President Trump has tried to make it clear that none of his criticisms against teams or athletes have anything to do with race, many of those who have publically protested him and the job he has done in office seem to have taken them that way.

The majority of athletes who have chosen to speak of the president critically and chosen to decline his White House invitations have been African American. Trump has recently bragged that the NHL Stanley Cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins, would be accepting his invite to the White House, but many were quick to point out the reality is that the Penguins, along with all other teams in the NHL, are made up of predominantly white athletes.


Bursting the PC Bubble: Hurricanes

by The Cowl Editor on September 28, 2017

National and Global News

A Review of the Recent Hurricane Destruction

by Darren Squillace ’19

News Staff

Hands reaching out to hold up a globe.
Photo courtesy of Rancho Murieta Community Church.

This hurricane season has been a consistent onslaught of one hurricane after another wreaking havoc in places across the Atlantic. The vivid images of the destruction and hardship these hurricanes have caused have sparked many different reactions, from enhanced discussions of global warming to unprecedented relief efforts.

Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane of the 2017 season to affect the United States. Harvey hit the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 26 after gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico. It is believed that at least 80 people died due to Harvey’s impact, most of which was felt in the Houston area. As bleak as this news may sound on its face, many Texas officials and residents say they were prepared for much worse. Their precautionary measures are said to have made a positive impact and saved countless lives. Yet while human lives were certainly saved, the same cannot be said for much of the city of Houston, as it is clear it is going to take time before Houston fully recovers from the impact of Harvey’s wrath. Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, estimates that the hurricane will have been responsible for around $180 billion of damage to the state. One of the most notable relief efforts was conducted by Houston Texans star defensive player J.J. Watt, who raised over $37 million in order to deliver much needed supplies to people across the city. This effort and many others like it have proven to be the most effective remedy in a time of so much tragedy.

Just days after Hurricane Harvey had made its mark on the people of Texas, Irma began its destruction across the state of Florida. It was the strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean, with winds that sustained 180 mph for over 36 hours. After razing multiple island nations in the Caribbean, the hurricane reached the Florida coast on Sept. 10 as a Category 4 storm. Over six million people were forced to evacuate their homes to prevent as many deaths and injuries as possible. After Irma had left Florida, approximately 75 Floridian lives had been lost.

While considerably less powerful than Harvey and Irma, Hurricane Jose was until just recently seen as a potential knockout blow to many of the Caribbean islands that had been ravaged by Irma in the days prior. However, these fears were not substantiated, as Jose was downgraded to a tropical storm.

Yet another hurricane formed which has devastated parts of the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria has already claimed the lives of at least 10 people in Puerto Rico. Nearly all residents of the U.S. territory are without power after experiencing well over two feet of rainfall. Maria has also caused significant damage in places such as the Dominican Republic and other islands across the Caribbean. If Maria continues along its projected path, it will hit the east coast of the U.S. later this week, with states such as North Carolina taking the brunt of its force.

As Maria is the third hurricane to threaten the United States in just one month, many people are wondering if this intensity of this hurricane season is simply coincidental or a sign of something bigger. Not only has the U.S. never been hit by three consecutive hurricanes of this magnitude in modern history, but this is also the third warmest year for ocean waters on record. The president and many other prominent politicians have been ambiguous about relating these events to climate change by making statements about storms in the past that have been larger than the current hurricanes. Yet many others have taken these extreme weather patterns as an indicator of climate change and the potential damage it could cause.

Students Are Invited to “Ask a Professor”

by The Cowl Editor on September 21, 2017


Anscombe Society Allows Students to Seek Answers from their Teachers 

By Darren Squillace ’19

News Staff

anscombe society
Photo Courtesy of anscombe.princeton.edu

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to get inside the mind of your favorite (or maybe even least favorite) professor? What are their interests, hobbies, and habits  outside of the classroom?

All those questions will finally be answered thanks to the Anscombe Society here at Providence College.

For those of you who might be unaware of the Anscombe Society’s role on campus, they are a group whose mission is to seek alternative routes away from the traditional path of hyper-sexuality that we see on much of TV and all over our social media pages.

The trickle-down effect that all this content has on the culture around many college campuses is what the Society ultimately hopes to combat against with their events, which show that there is much more to college than simply partying and drinking.

One such event that the Society has put on is called “Ask Your Professor.”

Taking place outside of McPhail’s in Lower Slavin, students were given the opportunity to ask some of their most pertinent real-life questions to their professors.

Annie Rodriguez ’18, who planned the event and is president of the society, explained that all students had to do is write down a question and slip it into a box.

The questions will be taken and copied onto a Google document, which will then be shared with PC’s professors and will give them the opportunity to share their answers back. Students were given the opportunity by the Society to do this anonymously or to share their name if they wish, and can also send questions to specific teachers, which will be put into a separate Google document.

When asked about what she hoped to accomplish in regards to student-teacher relationships around campus, Rodriguez said, “Anscombe Society hopes to foster relationships between students and teachers that are not restricted to the time spent in the classroom, and that through this event they will be giving students to see their professors from a different perspective they would normally not get a chance to see.” She explained that the Society also hopes that students might be able to learn things they normally wouldn’t in a classroom by asking these real-life questions.

After the conclusion of the event, the Society will be posting the answers they receive back from professors outside of McPhail’s for students to read and enjoy. Rodriguez enourages students to attend this part of the event which will take place in late October.