Tangents & Tirades

by Andrea Traietti on February 13, 2020


Dunkin’ Cam for the Mail Room

Have you ever gone to pick up a package only to see the line is out the door? In a situation like this, it makes it increasingly more difficult to fit going to the package room into our already busy days as students. Not to mention that your package will be sent back if it is not claimed within five days of arrival. One way to avoid this problem would be to add a camera, similar to the Dunkin’ cam, to the package room.

Most people pick up their packages between classes, which is the source of the problem. Everyone is in the same mindset, thinking it is most convenient to stop by after they finish class, which only causes more of a wait.

The addition of a camera outside of the package room could ease this stress, not only for those working at the time, but also for students who have limited time to pick things up. The benefits do not only include convenience, but also efficiency. If students have more free time, although it may be marginal, it can contribute to better grades and a more involved campus life in general.

The integration on the My PC app could be seamless. Programming and installation are very minimal tasks, which could result in numerous benefits, including the ones listed above. This could be an opportunity to impact the campus in a widespread way— to ease the stress on students’ busy schedules as well as the package room employees.

As a benefit to students there, it should be a student-run push for this integration. Similar to the Ray improvements, if there is enough support for this, change is attainable. Students have more power than we realize, and that should be used to our advantage, which is the reason why students should band together to get this achieved.

—Peter Mazzella ’22


Reading to the End of the Page

What attracts you to an article? The title, the content, or both? Most young adults in our current society attempt to read the news but stop after the first paragraph or glance through. They don’t read the entire article, and this can cause many problems.

It is possible that when we only glance through an article, we lose the main focus and interpret it in ways that are different from what the author meant. For example, we can look at the recent Coronavirus issue, where most of us only read the title or first paragraph of an article and not the entirety of it.

Reading the headline without getting all the information can lead to the spreading of false information, rumors, and possibly hysteria, as has been the case with the Coronavirus. We need to be careful with how we interpret and digest information that we read. 

Reading the news is essential to be informed about our society today and it is a great way to be educated in modern events. But when most are just skimming or not truly reading the whole content, this can become problematic for the individual and society.

We need to push everyone to read the full article, and then discuss the facts which they are reading. This will help so many young adults be better educated on the news that they are reading daily.

—Erin Garvey ’22


Photo courtesy of Public Domain Vectors.


Becoming a Bookworm

After a long day of classes or work, people dream of hopping back into a nicely made bed, opening up their laptop, and binge-watching Netflix shows for hours upon hours. While spending time this way is certainly desirable, reading for pleasure is a great, or even better, alternative.

With a busy lifestyle and loads of reading for homework, college students might argue that reading for pleasure cannot fit into their schedule. Why would they want to add even more reading on top of their reading for classes?

When it comes to reading for pleasure, one can choose a book that appeals to their specific taste instead of something assigned that they do not enjoy. If you like drama, try Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. If you enjoy coming-of-age fiction, try Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. If you like fantasy fiction, read the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. If romance is more your thing, any of the Nicholas Sparks books will do. There are options for any type of interest and any type of reader.

Also, there is no time crunch when it comes to reading a book for fun. One can read for 10 minutes before bed, a few hours on the weekends, or in between classes for a little break.

If you read this and you are still convinced that you would prefer Netflix, challenge yourself to read a book and afterwards watch the movie that is based on that book. Try The Hunger Games, The Outsiders, or The Great Gatsby, and then watch the movies to see how your interpretation of the book comes alive.

Reading for pleasure challenges the mind in a way that watching television cannot. It’s a way for one to escape reality and fully transport one’s self into a whole new story. 

—Emily Ball ’22

Tangents & Tirades

by Andrea Traietti on February 6, 2020


Cherishing Our Grandparents

Over break, many students spent most of their time with family.  After all, what is break for, if not that?  While this may not ring true for all, many were able to connect with their grandparents over holiday meals or perhaps meet with an elderly relative or friend.   

Whether family or not, one thing these amazing people hold is experience and sage advice.  In college, we often think we know everything or are invincible. Reality strikes, and we realize, we are far from that. We have not yet lived.   

For this reason, grandparents and the elderly in general can be a fountain of knowledge, advice, and pure love. If one thinks about it, they might have gone through school, perhaps raised a family, overcome an illness, lost a loved one, or fought in a war. Maybe they have lived a seemingly simple life!  One thing they all have in common is the fact that they made mistakes.  They learned. 

While we meditate in our time of maturation and learning, we can glean so much from these amazing people. If anything, give them a call this semester, if they know how to use their cell phones, and ask them about their lives. Listen.  Learn. Show a little love.

—Olivia Bretzman ’22

Photo courtesy of Pixabay


Embracing Diversity in Education

Regardless of major, every student at Providence College has to fulfill certain core requirements. Oftentimes, students would rather take another class for their major or something fun and easy, but fulfilling the core proficiencies can make us more well-rounded human beings.

The diversity proficiency is especially important. Courses that fulfill this requirement can be found across a multitude of departments, including English, women and gender studies, and American studies, to name a few. 

The diversity proficiency is much more than a throwaway requirement; it teaches us topics that we are familiar with through a focused and unique point of view. Classes that fulfill this requirement celebrate our differences and highlight them thoroughly.

PC is a Catholic institution that is not considered especially diverse, andthis proficiency is certainly a step toward understanding the significance of different cultures in the history of humankind. 

The diversity requirement can attempt to connect our learning from classes like Development of Western Civilization to the rest of the world.

Recently, DWC as a whole has been making strides towards including lectures and texts from cultures that are not considered traditionally western. This evolution of the course and an appreciation for embracing the diversity requirement can make the College a more welcoming and accepting environment.

—Julia McCoy ’22


Plants in Dorms

When decorating dorm rooms, students try to make them as homey as possible by adding family pictures and items with special meanings. But lately, plants have become a common item in many dorm rooms. 

A frequent issue with many plants, however, is that they tend to attract insects. This can cause problems for students where insects might take over their whole room or even the building. Because of this, we need to be mindful about which plants we bring into our dorm buildings. 

Succulents are a popular trend because they are very low maintenance, but students should start to consider other low maintenance plants that have many positive health benefits, for example, the ZZ plant. 

A ZZ plant can hold water in its stems for weeks at a time and can thrive in any lighting that you place it under. This plant also releases oxygen into the air which can help improve sleep. 

This is the perfect plant for students who do not have much time to care for a plant but like the aesthetic appeal of a plant in their room. Plants are important to have in a college dorm because they boost morale and help increase productivity, but with the issue of insects, doing some research might be useful to help lower that possibility.

—Erin Garvey ’22

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Resources for International Students: PC Has Room to Improve

by Andrea Traietti on January 30, 2020


An International Student’s Perspective on the Programs and Services Offered


by Erin Garvey ’22

Opinion Staff


When we think about the college application process, it can be very stressful, but most students do not

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Files.

have to worry about transitioning into and accepting new cultures. For international students, their college experience may involve culture shock and new ways of life, on top of the already strenuous process.   

Here at Providence College, a larger number of international students are being accepted every year into diverse programs, but the question remains: is PC providing them with the resources needed to thrive in our community or are they just accepting these students to improve their diversity numbers?   

Preceding freshman orientation, international students are placed into a program that immerses them into the American culture. But can an international student be immersed in a new culture in under a week? This program includes trips to Target, the Providence Place Mall, and small sessions with specific professors here on campus. This week-long program, while well-intentioned, seems an inadequate measure to truly prepare international students for the PC experience and American way of life.

International students are expected to thrive and understand life in America when they might have grown up in a completely different culture for 18 years. The resources that PC provides are just scraping the tip of the iceberg of what international students need to become successful in the American culture.   

Some of the resources international students are provided with are off-break housing and a welcome program that lasts a week, which international students are required to attend. As an international student myself, I have experienced first hand the complications that come with adjusting to a new lifestyle. 

Thang Bui ‘22, also an international student, said, “In terms of internship and job search, the career center doesn’t have customization for international students. Let’s say they could do some research and make a list of companies that are willing to hire and sponsor international students’ work visas, but we just must figure it out on our own.” 

Also, there is not much representation of international cultures at PC. The College sponsors activities that celebrate African American and Latino cultures, which are undoubtedly needed and beneficial, but they are still not comprehensive enough. One of the more inclusive and impactful measures colleges can take in terms of welcoming and recognizing different cultures and students from different backgrounds is having an international student office—which PC does not have. 

It all boils down to the administration, which is not willing to adequately accommodate the international student body. Having said that, there are still basic resources for international students like English as a Second Language support, legal services, and orientation.

Ryan Mastroianni ‘21, an orientation leader, offered a summary of the College’s programs based on his first-hand experience welcoming international students to PC:

“Currently, PC offers an international student orientation, in which the international students arrive at college a week before the full student orientation, a program everyone participates in. This is intended to acclimate the international students to the new culture they are being immersed in. What is especially unique with this program is that students from all over can come together to reflect upon and prepare for the challenges they may face going to school in a foreign country.”

As exceptional as this sounds, this is just not enough. PC provides great resources before classes begin with the international student orientation, but fails to continue their effort throughout the college experience. Furthermore, while the College claims to provide housing and other support services to international students, these programs have not come without problems for some students.

Overall, while PC’s baseline offerings indicate that they do want to help international students, so long as those students themselves still require more support and see issues with existing services, there is room to make improvements.

Values-Based College: Why Not Enforce Values in Every Underclassmen Dorm?

by The Cowl Editor on November 14, 2019


by Erin Garvey ’22

Opinion Staff

You are planning what you are going to do for the night and your friend suggests going to hang out with friends in St. Joseph Hall. At the same time, your other friend suggests going to see friends in Meagher Hall. How do you decide where to go? Does the fact that one building has parietals and the other building does not factor into the matter? For most, yes, it affects not only their social activities, but also their daily lives.

Parietals are widely known on our campus and are  generally perceived as a negative aspect of campus life.  This rule especially applies to freshmen, because parietals are enforced in almost every freshman dorm on campus. But what happens if you are placed in St. Joe’s, which houses freshmen and sophomore boys, and where parietals are not enforced? Or on the other hand, how does it impact a sophomore girl who lives in Meagher, the only sophomore/freshman building on campus with enforced parietals?

When Meagher resident Lizzy Madden ’22 was asked how she felt about enforced parietals, she responded,  “My building feels like I am going through freshman year all over again. I was super excited about the living arrangements sophomore year because that would be something we would no longer have to deal with. However, living in Meagher has given me the same feeling as freshman year which is having a negative impact on my living situation.” 

When asked how she thinks the building dynamic would change if parietals were not enforced, Madden answered, “I think it would feel more like the other sophomore residence halls since they have the freedom to have anyone in their room at any time. However, I think the dynamic could have the potential of being more lively. I think this because there could be more people coming in and out of the building during any point of the night and day without having to sign in or leave by a certain time.”

Providence College is known for its religious influences throughout the campus and enforces its religious-based values throughout the student body. So why is it that the parietal values are not being enforced in every building? It might be more expensive or require more able bodies to enforce these values in some buildings, but isn’t it worth it? Shouldn’t PC want to enforce all their values in every aspect of the campus and not just some?

When approached, St. Joe’s Resident Assistant Noah Kozub ’22  stated his opinion about the parietals in his building. “On paper, Joe’s has parietals, but they are quite hard to enforce considering there is no door monitor in the building. I’m not sure how this dynamic affects each person in the building, but as an RA and a former Joe’s resident, I can say this about the Joe’s community: Joe’s houses some of the youngest students on campus, and yet, amid its parietal situation, it is known as the calmest and tightest knit community of all the freshman male residence halls. I think this happy paradox speaks to the consciences of its residents, and the intercession of the hall’s patron, St. Joseph. Our residents are known as the ‘Gentlemen of St. Joe’s,’ and this sentiment has prevailed for years. In saying this, I don’t mean to detract from strict parietal policies, which I believe are a good value and would ultimately benefit both the men who live in Joe’s and the women who come to visit the building.”

So whose opinion do we take more into consideration? Do we try to appease the residents and make it equal among the whole student population? But how do we appease them, by getting rid of parietals in any buildings where sophomores reside or the opposite: enforce parietals in every building that freshmen reside in?

This is a tough decision to make and it needs to be decided by the leaders in Residence Life who have the resources and answers to most questions. But when making their final decision, they need to consider this last question. If we are such a values-based school, then is it not worth it to enforce the same values in every freshman building?