Featured Friar: Laura Arango ’20

by The Cowl Editor on October 3, 2019


Arango has many responsibilities on campus
besides running OLAS. photo courtesy of Laura Arango ’20

by Sienna Strickland ’22

News Staff

Laura Arango ’20 leads a busy life on campus and has quite the impressive resume. “Here at PC, I am Head RA of Cunningham, Mal Brown, and Di Traglia. I am the founder and certified facilitator for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Support Groups that take place on campus. I am a Feinstein Fellow with my site at the RI Free Clinic. I am also on the Diversity Outreach Committee through the Admissions Office. Finally, I am the NAMI Rep on the Active Minds Exec Board and an active member of BMSA.”

Amongst the lengthy list of Arango’s obligations, there is one that stands apart from the rest—OLAS. What is this organization, and what makes it so special? 

Arango answers this question, stating, “OLAS is short for the Organization for Latin American Students, and it is a safe space for latin(x) students on campus, but we do not limit ourselves to the latin(x) community. We believe any student that wants to be a part of a loving, open-minded, and caring community is welcomed at OLAS.”

This caring community that OLAS fosters is what makes this specific club stand out so much amongst her other commitments. She elaborates on this sense of community, saying, “My favorite thing about OLAS is the community it creates. OLAS is where I met my best friends; it is where I learned more about my own culture; it is where I felt accepted, and it is where I felt like I was experiencing a piece of home.”

Arango loved OLAS so much that during her tenure as a member it became an aspiration of hers to join the executive board. “I joined exec because I knew I could bring commitment, passion and creativity to the board. I know that OLAS had so much potential that had yet to be fulfilled and I wanted to be a part of the mission to meet and exceed that potential. So I decided to run for Vice President, and I got it. Fast-forward a year and I am now President and it has been a fun, wild ride so far.”

Now that Arango is president of the club, she has direct influence over the direction it will take in the future. She is responsible for much of the networking, organizing, and planning behind the scenes. 

“I meet with different organizations on campus to discuss co-sponsorships. I meet with my exec board on a weekly basis to plan out OLAS meetings and I, alongside my exec, run the OLAS meetings with our members. I also take pride in always advocating for OLAS, making sure our voices and our presence is heard and known, and always pushing OLAS to keep growing and expanding,” Arango says.

The future for OLAS looks bright, and so does the future for Arango. She has had a busy senior year so far but is making an active effort to enjoy it while it lasts, saying, “Senior year has been busy, but great. I’m excited to see what the rest of the year will bring and all the amazing memories I will be making with the people I love and care about.”

As for her own personal aspirations for her future, Arango has begun thinking about what is waiting for her in her life after PC. “Post-graduation I plan on taking a gap year to work on my med school applications and to study for the MCAT. During this year I’ll be working at the RI Free Clinic and hopefully traveling! Ideally, ten years from now I’ll be happily married, with an MD Degree and many, many dogs. Most importantly though, I just want to be happy, healthy, and surrounded by people I love.”

Featured Friar: William Oser ’19

by The Cowl Editor on September 28, 2017


From on Stage to on a Bike, Oser Discusses His Bop to the Top

By Catherine Brewer ’20

News Staff

William Over with friend
Photo Courtesy of William Oser ’19

Even when you think you’re ahead, William Oser ’19 is always one step—or spin—in front. Despite my efforts to beat him to lower Slavin’s Dunkin’ Donuts for our 8:30 a.m. interview—the only time that he can squeeze me into his whirlwind week—I spot his crisp white Friars Club sport coat from the stairs.

As Oser and I grab seats at a high top, he informs me that he was just in a meeting for the student representatives on the Board of Trustees, a position that he was recently invited to fill. Oser adds this new title to his laundry list of involvement at Providence College. Entering his junior year, he serves as an orientation leader, a spin instructor, a member of Friars Club, and a member of the comedy sketch group Six Gents…all on top of his dedication to theatre.

As a theatre and business management double major, Oser says that he feels he is most confident on the stage. “It’s always been the backbone of who I am,” he explains, adding that the “performance personality” he developed has made him a better public speaker for his other involvements.

“I’ve always wanted to play something outrageous,” Oser gushes on his role as Vice Principal Panch in this October’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He explains that his character is “quirky, weird, and intriguing”—a “perfect” fit for his own personality.

Although PC can’t get enough of Oser these days, his success was hard fought. Oser admits that he was rejected from a number of clubs and organizations as a freshman, and it took a toll on his self-esteem. Rebuilding himself was time-consuming, but it was ultimately worthwhile. “Don’t get discouraged,” he says to those aspiring to get involved. “There is always the possibility of rejection, and you have to come to terms with that.”

Despite the struggles that he has overcome, Oser finds joy in sharing his experiences as an orientation leader. “I love being that welcoming face,” he states, adding that he loves the opportunity that the orientation program presents to kindle relationships with a variety of different people. With a group of incoming freshmen looking up to him, Oser feels that it is crucial for him to show that “life goes on after orientation.”

Fellow OL Jackson Reis ’20 finds that Oser’s philosophy is working. “Will was a really positive person to work alongside and such a great member of the orientation staff,” Reis states. “He helped everyone feel welcome and part of the Friar Family. As an upperclassman, he’s such a recognizable personality on campus and is involved in so many things. He’s a great role model.”

So, where does a savvy student like Oser head to hit the books? He exclaims, “The tables by the Slavin Mural Lounge!” Oser savors the social aspect of doing his homework in the heart of campus involvement, but it also keeps his competitive juices pumping. When he sees other students thriving in their own activities, it reminds him that there is always room to grow, motivating him to work harder.

Oser’s seemingly limitless ambition has also driven him to join the staff at the Concannon Fitness Center as a spin instructor. This month, he began teaching twice a week, and his classes have been filling up almost immediately. One of Oser’s regular students, Caprial Harris ’19, had nothing but praise for his class. “It’s a really great workout,” she confirms. “He is super encouraging throughout the class and it’s a lot of fun!”

“Honestly Will’s classes are not only a great workout, but they are fun and entertaining, simply because his personality brings so much laughter and positivity to exercising itself,” said Brittney Price ’18. “Will and I have been workout buddies since the end of my sophomore year, and I’m so happy he became a spin instructor! I teach Zumba in the fitness center too and we always joke about someday opening our own spin/dance/Zumba studio.”

There are two other aspects of Oser’s life that he is very particular about: bagels and style. “The best bagel in Providence is Bagel Gourmet,” he reveals, whipping out his iPhone to look up its 250 Brook Street address. “They’re a little smaller than your typical bagel on campus, but they hit the spot. I love my New York and New Jersey bagels,” says the Verona, New Jersey, native.

As for style, I asked Oser what’s hot and what’s not on Eaton Street. He’s currently loving joggers, adding that there are so many different styles to choose from. Oser recently snagged a fiery red pair with edgy zippers from Zara. Bomber jackets, jean jackets, and sleeveless sweatshirts are some of Oser’s other top trends. However, he hates when people dress too casual for a night out. “I wish more guys tried,” he states, adding that he is tired of seeing the same-old American Eagle jeans and oxford shirt. Oser encourages students to try new things because, after all, it is college.

As we wrapped up our conversation, I couldn’t help but ask the PC king of Instagram about his feed. “I love it! It’s another platform where I can perform and show my personality off,” Oser raved. “I treat my Instagram like everything I do. I don’t like to just float. I like to push the envelope.”

Spelling Bee will be performed at the Smith Center for the Arts on the weekends of Oct. 20-22 and 27-29, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Oser teaches spin classes Mondays and Wednesdays at the Concannon Fitness Center.