What is Moore for? The Center at Moore Hall Must Facilitate Social Change

by The Cowl Editor on October 18, 2018


Photo of speaker at Moore Hall.
Moore Hall hosts events such as “PC Stands with Survivors of Sex Trafficking” to foster discussion
about important social issues. Photo courtesy of Brianna Colletti ’21/The Cowl.

by Laura Arango ’20

Opinion Staff

What should the Center for Inclusive Excellence at Moore Hall be used for? This question has been the subject of contentious debate since Dr. Shan Mukhtar, director of the center, expressed her belief that every event in Moore Hall should serve a cultural purpose.

Recently, she attended one of the Board of Multicultural Student Affairs’ (BMSA) weekly meetings and addressed what she intends to do with the center.

She hopes the center will become a “cultural space that promotes diverse interactions and facilitates community-based social change at Providence College,” as opposed to a center that is restrictive in its purpose.

Many students have been questioning exactly what fits the category of what is allowed to take place at the center and what is not.

Dr. Mukhtar made it clear that she intends to only allow events that have been crafted with “intention” while simultaneously fitting the “Friar Four” ideals.

Many students have expressed concern that Dr. Mukhtar may be restricting the center too narrowly, while others agree that this is what is necessary in order to allow the center to reach its maximum potential.

There must be some restrictions on what is allowed to take place at the center. Moore Hall was fought for by the students and it should become a building that is deserving of the protests executed by the multitude of students.

It needs to be utilized so that it gains the respect that other buildings such as Ruane, Slavin, and Harkins hold.

If events that do not serve a cultural purpose or uphold the Friar Four take place in Moore, then it loses its purpose and becomes another building where it appears to only be used for recreational purposes.

Restricting its function will further allow it to be a center where PC students, faculty, and staff can debate and create innovative and thoughtful approaches to fostering a more inclusive environment on the PC campus.

The center has the potential to serve our campus by teaching its audience about other cultures and social identities, while affirming these differences.

Moore Hall is the catalyst that will break the wall of social tensions and begin a more open and honest dialogue among PC students.

Furthermore, the center is open to every single person on campus even if some events are not allowed to take place there. Dr. Mukhtar plans on allowing every organization to propose an event to her and work with her to allow it to come to fruition by making the necessary changes.

Thus, she is cultivating an environment where students and faculty work together to create activities that benefit students recreationally, but also intellectually and emotionally because it is definitely possible to create events that evoke all three of these feelings at once.

Dr. Mukhtar has made it clear that although she has a vision for the center, it is not the quintessential vision. Thus, the center can only continue to grow because it is dynamic in nature and founded upon the needs and ideals of the students.

Fighting For Freedom of Speech: RI Community Grapples with Controversy in Wake of Recent Nike Decision

by The Cowl Editor on September 27, 2018


Banner of Colin Kaepernick advertising for Nike.
Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem has inspired a movement across the country. Photo courtesy of Eric Risberg/AP Photo.

by Laura Arango ’20

Opinion Staff

In an unexpected and absurd turn of events, on Monday, September 17, the North Smithfield Town Council voted in favor of a resolution in which the town requests its departments to refrain from purchasing Nike products.

This ridiculous resolution was in response to Nike showing support for the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, in their latest commercial advertisement.

The resolution was presented by Council President John Beauregard and was to be effective immediately upon approval.

However, on Sept. 24, Beauregard apologized for bringing negative attention to the town and reversed his decision.

Kaepernick was released from the NFL in 2016 for kneeling during the national anthem—advocating against police brutality and social injustice.

Beauregard originally stated that he is not opposing the former quarterback’s act of kneeling or his belief in fighting against social injustice, but rather he is opposing the negative comments Kaepernick has made against law enforcement outside of the kneeling event.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that there shall be no law that abriges freedom of speech.

Whether or not  Kaepernick chose to kneel or make comments against law enforcement is his own inalienable right. Beauregard choosing not to agree with Kaepernick’s comments and expressing his distaste for the quarterback at a town council meeting is his inalienable right.

However, Beauregard did not simply express his beliefs, he successfully tried to impose them on an entire town. The resolution passed on a 3-2 vote. 

Even the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island stated that the town could be held legally and financially liable for violating the First Amendment.

Nevertheless, this did not stop three human beings from looking past the oppositions of the community and passing the resolution.

This resolution does not fight for the rights of law enforcement. What this resolution does is disregard the reality that there is a police brutality issue in this country.

This does not mean that law enforcement needs to be done away with. Instead, it means that law enforcement is necessary in this country and America cannot afford to have police officers that exploit and abuse their power.

There are advocates out there in society that recognize the importance of an upstanding law enforcement entity and will do whatever it takes to make sure this is achieved.

Kaepernick is one of those advocates, and Beauregard is missing this fundamental point.

There should be no negative consequences to peaceful protesting and fighting against racial injustice. It is a shame that there has been so much negative backlash.

To ignore the racial inequality that exists in this country would be ignorant, to say the least. North Smithfield, a town that is 96.6 percent white, should strive every single day to try to understand the struggles of minorities in the United States.

Beauregard’s initial resolution only served to propagate further racial tensions in society.

However, now that he has changed his mind, there is hope that these pressures will improve.

Accomodate Students With Extended Health Center Hours

by The Cowl Editor on September 13, 2018


A photo of the health center at Providence College.
The Personal Counseling Center and the Student Health Center are both located in Bedford Hall on lower campus. Photo courtesy of Providence College.

by Laura Arango ’20

Opinion Staff

The Personal Counseling Center and Student Health Center at Providence College are two beneficial resources that the College offers to its students.

However, their maximum potential is not being reached—a sentiment that a majority of PC students share with one another. Both the Student Health Center and Personal Counseling Center are only open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

These are the hours of the day in which students are in class, learning, studying, attending extracurriculars, working, or attending their internships.

In other words, these are not the appropriate hours for students to unwind and debrief during a counseling session nor are they ideal hours for a student to seek medical attention.

Medical attention on a local campus should be readily available until at least 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.

Another issue altogether is the difficulty that lies in booking an appointment at the Personal Counseling Center.

Typically, it takes anywhere between two and three weeks to receive an initial consultation. Students seeking counseling for anxiety, confusion, or depression should not be left waiting nearly a month for a counseling session.

This discourages students from making an appointment at the counseling center because the wait is too long.

Truthfully, some students cannot afford to wait three weeks, nor can they afford to Uber or travel off-campus for psychological help. 

In reality, some students need consistent, weekly sessions and for the amount that it costs to attend PC, this should not be something that is up for discussion.

It is also unfathomable that both of these facilities are completely closed on the weekends.

With that being said, the reality of the situation is that many students may need to seek medical attention from professionals on the weekends outside of needing medical attention for intoxication.

Along the same lines, students may also need psychological attention on the weekends because of the party culture that dominates PC.

Additionally, Saturdays and Sundays are days when students are free and actually have the time to go to therapy or get a cough checked out.

Students who may be gravely ill may want the opportunity to seek medical attention out for themselves.

During the weekend, the only option a student has is to go off-campuswhich once again may not be feasible for said studentor to wait for an EMT to arrive.

For many students, particularly first-year students, having an EMT at your door is embarrassing and draws unwanted attention.

With unwanted attention comes unwanted questions and situations. Students at PC deserve access to medical attention without alerting every other student on their floor.

The students at PC have been wanting change for a very long time, but it is time that the College extends the hours of the Personal Counseling Center and the Student Health Center.

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor on August 30, 2018


Group of people raising their arms up and jumping on top of a hill.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Outreach Inspires Individual Growth

There is something to be said for the naiveté and free-thinking nature of children. The laws of reality that adults have learned to abide by do not stop the young mind’s creativity.

Simply spending time around young children helps to reactivate a portion of ourselves which was lost as time passed and lessons were learned.

Involvement in Children’s Outreach, a volunteer program here on campus, was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had here at Providence College.

Spending two hours a week surrounded by elementary-school students allowed my imagination to run free.

No longer were Socrates’ philosophies playing in my mind. Instead, the world became a friendly place with few restrictions. Anything was possible during these brief hours.

Volunteer programs such as Children’s Outreach, PC Pals, and FriarServe allow individuals to get to know their local Providence home, as well as give back to the same community which provides so many opportunities and memorable experiences.

Whether you are an education major or someone who just enjoys working with children, there are plenty of campus groups that allow you to get involved in our local community.

In an environment where tasks and class assignments can often be a burden on an individual, volunteering with local students can provide relaxing and rewarding settings where young minds run wild, and old ones are refreshed by the unrestricted thoughts they find themselves surrounded by.

-Joshua Chlebowski ’21


First Day Jitters-Not Just a Freshman Problem

As another new semester begins, it’s important to remember that first-day jitters are normal for all college students—freshmen and upperclassmen alike.

Too often, college students are under the impression that being an upperclassman automatically means that you have it all figured out.

However, that assumption is not true, and it creates an unnecessary and harmful sense of pressure.

Freshmen obviously deal with all of the stresses that come along with being in college for the first time: making new friends, living in a dorm, and adjusting to college-level classes.

Being an upperclassman brings its own new set of challenges. With graduation on the horizon, one has to consider what the future and post-college life has to offer.

But freshmen and upperclassmen can also face similar struggles adjusting to campus life, missing friends and family from home, and getting into a routine with classes and activities.

It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, no one really has it figured out. And that is okay! First day jitters, whether we are freshmen or seniors, are to be expected.

When we acknowledge this, we not only learn to give ourselves a break, but we also learn to act with more compassion within our community.

-Laura Arango ’20

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor on May 3, 2018


Photo courtesy of The Writing Cooperative.

Fall in Love with Writing 

Having been assigned my last opinion piece to be published in The Cowl this week, and having absolutely no clue what topic would be the best way to wrap up my experience as a writer and editor, it seemed fitting to write about the difficulties of writing—difficulties that cause some students to hate the writing process and cause others to fall in love with it.

Writing can be frustrating. Trying to express your own ideas, that you may  not fully understand yourself, to an unknown and unassuming audience is daunting. Oftentimes we fear critique or judgement when others comment or question our writing.

Writing is a process. Although many of us have become experts over the years at banging out a five- or 10-page paper in a day (or night), strong writing asks us to take time, to commit ourselves, and to stick with it even when we may want to throw in the towel, burn that paper, or vow to never take an intensive writing course again.

Yet, despite these difficulties, there is no denying that writing is powerful. Being able to clearly communicate your thoughts, ideas—and when writing for a newspaper—the truth, with a greater audience is an invaluable skill that no one can ever take away from you.

So, do not deny yourself this skill. Embrace the frustration, fall in love with critique, and take the time to recognize that writing is not a one-stop shop, but an ongoing practice—that, whether or not we want to admit it, will follow us throughout our lives in some way or another.   

-Sarah Kelley ’18


It’s O.K. Not to Know

The approaching summer promises students sunshine and relaxation. Those students who have secured a job for the summer feel much more confident and excited about their future income. Seniors who have signed on to a full-time position have even more reason to be enthusiastic as they finish their finals one last time before they enter the real world.

However, seniors who might not have the slightest clue as to their future prospects should not worry. Having a job is not a prerequisite for enjoying summer vacation. In fact, taking time away from immediate responsibilities and thinking about long-term goals can be helpful for knowing which career paths are most appealing.

Even taking an extended period of time away from thinking about a career can help you realize what will form a fulfilling and worthwhile time during your adult working life. Going on an adventurous road trip or backpacking through Europe could be experiences that will allow you to clear your mind and focus on what really makes you happy.

Other activities such as volunteering or making up for lost time with old friends can help you remember what you are passionate about and steer you towards a career which will continue to motivate and inspire you throughout your life.

Do not despair if your immediate career prospects are somewhat cloudy at the moment. Take this upcoming summer to find what fulfills you and will lead to many years of happiness. Make the most of the sunshine of new possibilities.

-Kevin Copp ’18


Never Too Late to be Confirmed

My experience with the Catholic faith is a bit different from most of the students at Providence College. My freshman year I did not come into the College affiliated with any specific religion or particularly concerned with the idea of God in any sense.

One year later, I just received my first Holy Communion and simultaneously was confirmed through Providence College’s Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program. Led by Father Dominic Verner, O.P., and Sister Anne Franches Klein, O.P., the RCIA baptized, gave the first communion, confirmed, and accepted into the Catholic Church over 30 students this year—their largest class in the history of Providence College.

I was not alone in my journey,  as so many students shared the same sentiment. God came into our lives unexpectedly, and it has been an amazing journey since. Throughout the process, I have learned that one is never too old to find their faith or reconnect with it.

Finding one’s faith at an older age is a beautiful thing because we took it upon ourselves to find our spirituality when many of us grew up without it. For those that believe they are too old to become confirmed, I say that that is simply not true. The love that God holds for all of us has no bounds and does not discriminate against anyone based on age.

RCIA opened me up to beautiful connections with people I otherwise would not have met and it opened up my relationship with faith in ways that were completely unexpected.

A year ago, if someone had told me I would be getting confirmed and attending church, I would have looked at them with bewilderment and amusement. So for those considering becoming confirmed—it is never too late.

-Laura Arango ’20


Writer vs. Writer: PC’s Core Curriculum

by The Cowl Editor on April 19, 2018


Students must take four semesters of DWC on top of a comprehensive core curriculum. Nora Johnson ’20/The Cowl.

The liberal arts core curriculum at Providence College serves as the foundation for students’ education. Between the rigorous Development of Western Civilization program and an abundance of core requirements—which cover topics such as intensive writing, fine arts, diversity, and oral communication—the liberal arts are rightfully stressed throughout academics on campus.

While a large handful of students on campus have chosen to major in various types of business or STEM- related subjects, it is crucial for students to still receive some sort of liberal arts education in order to better prepare themselves for life after college and the future in general.

Dr. Stephen Lynch, English professor and the director of the Liberal Arts Honors College, explained, “Science and technology have done wonders for us, and I would not want to live in a world without them. But science and technology provide tools—and tools don’t tell us how to use tools. We now have the capacity to manipulate the genes of virtually all plants and animals (including humans), but science and technology in themselves cannot determine whether that is good or bad or how such power should be used or controlled. For that we need a broad range of knowledge in the humanities and the social sciences. With the advances in sciences, we need the humanities and social sciences more than ever.”

Even though many news websites, such as U.S. News & World Report, put out recent lists that dub various types of engineering and business as the “Top College Majors” or “College Majors with the Highest Starting Salaries,” it is important to think about all the overlooked skills that come with having a liberal arts education; some of these include critical thinking, an increased awareness of social factors and culture, and soft skills. These are skills that computers and technology cannot possess, and are what make humans so unique.

While the liberal arts core curriculum at PC may seem tedious from time to time, it ultimately allows students to become better equipped to face society’s unforeseen challenges. Not everything can be solved through a computer program or math equation; thus, it is necessary for students to spend time developing key social skills that are only accessible through studying liberal arts.

-Katherine Torok ’20


Providence College is known for its Development of Western Civilization program and its emphasis on humanities courses. Likewise, Providence College has an excellent biology program that attracts many students, and this is the selling point for many students during the college-searching process.

For those who major in the humanities, it may seem that the core curriculum at PC is unparalleled; for who that major in something outside of the humanities sphere, however, the academic core can feel overwhelming and impossible to accomplish.

The core curriculum at PC requires two courses in theology and philosophy in addition to four semesters of DWC. Along with these, the civic engagement, diversity, intensive writing I/II, oral communication proficiency, fine arts and natural science requirements it makes it nearly impossible for a science-based major to graduate on time without taking extra summer or winter courses.

With the amount of money that students have to pay to attend PC in general, it is ridiculous that the core curriculum at PC could put students in a position where they may have to pay thousands more dollars to graduate on time, or on the other hand, thousands more dollars to stay an extra semester.

In addition, the intensity of the core curriculum can makes it very difficult for students to balance all of their classes per semester. Oftentimes, it feels as if as soon as I catch up on one pile of work, there’s another four waiting for me to tackle.

The nature of the core curriculum and its attempt to build well-rounded students is important, however, it needs some remodeling. Instead of taking two semesters of theology or philosophy: one would suffice and the College could make certain classes count for numerous proficiencies at once.

At the very least, the amount of money it costs to take summer or winter classes should be reduced. Alternatively, there should be more realistic information given to potential PC majors in terms of exactly what their schedule will resemble for various semesters.

-Laura Arango ’20

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor on April 12, 2018


Photo courtesy of Providence College.

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

To some, the phrase “Human Library” might sound more like something out of Beauty and the Beast than an event held at Providence College.  Images of fantasy aside, the Human Library is an annual event hosted by Students for Social Action that took place this past Sunday.  The Human Library is an international organization committed to breaking down barriers and dismantling stereotypes through the sharing of stories. 

At Human Library events, participants can listen to stories from human “books,” or volunteers, who wish to share their unique life experiences.  Volunteers at PC’s event represented a diverse range of experiences such as, what it is like to grow up with deaf parents, working in the healthcare field, being a first generation American and college student, and living with a brain injury. 

The mission of Human Library is incredibly important.  In a time where communication through technology is the norm and people appear to capitalize on differences, the opportunity to speak face to face with someone with a different perspective can be invaluable.  The event promotes empathy and tolerance in a way that cannot be replicated on social media or even in a real book.  As PC strives to create a more inclusive community on campus and educate tomorrow’s leaders, events like Human Library can prove to be a true asset. 

-Gabrielle Bianco ’21


Friar Students Already Give

This past week, the Providence College community came together for the 24-hour giving event, #FriarsGive, in the hopes of reaching a goal of 3,989 donors for each of the 3,989 PC students. Parents, PC athletics supporters, Friars of the last decade, PC alumni, as well as current students were all challenged to donate and participate in spreading the word of the event through social media.

While no one can deny the importance of charitable donations to support PC’s mission and its students, should students really be asked to make donations on top of the annually increasing rates of tuition and room and board paid every semester? Although the #FriarsGive website states, “Your participation as a PC student, not the amount of your gift, matters,” the various campus-based events, as well as the food and prize giveaways directed towards students definitely place at the least some sort of expectation on the part of the student body to make a gift towards the school.

While we cannot deny the reality of PC as being a tuition-driven educational institution,  we can focus the efforts of #FriarsGive towards the charitable donations of members of the PC community who already graduated. What kind of financial position are college students in to make any more of a donation than what is already required of them to attend PC in the first place?

Instead of celebrating the number of student donations made during #FriarsGive Day, why don’t we instead take a moment to recognize the growing number of PC students who will be in mounting debt by the time they graduate? It’s time to shift the focus of #FriarsGive  donation efforts away from PC students.

-Sarah Kelley ’18


More Mental Health Awareness

Last Wednesday National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) sponsored an event called “Inside Mental Illness.” The discussion itself was enlightening and humbling as members of the community shared their struggles with depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.

However, it was disappointing to see that not every single chair in the Fiondella Great Room was occupied. Providence College holds these events for students to attend, and it is troubling and saddening to see how few college students take actual advantage of all of the resources the campus provides. In fact, these events allow for students to recognize mental illness symptoms in not only themselves but also in their roommates and close friends.

If more students attended these events they might learn that certain behaviors —like sleeping too often or drinking too much—may be signs of something more serious. Campus events like these are important because mental illness is prominent in society and it is not going anywhere.

According to a spring 2015 report by the American College Health Association, two-thirds of students who are struggling do not seek treatment. One in four adults experience mental illness in a given year. That can be you, your roommate, your significant other, or anyone. It’s important for students to attend these events so that they can bring awareness to themselves and to those around them. The stigma needs to end!

-Laura Arrango ’20

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor on March 1, 2018


Respect the Ray Staff

As college students who eat the majority of their meals in a dining hall, it is easy to take advantage of the fact that we rarely have to make food for ourselves.

Even if our parents are the ones who cook for us at home, it is more convenient to be able to pick up food at any given time without having to wait.

Most of the time, we only speak to the staff in Raymond Dining Hall when we are saying “hello” or “thank you.”

Because of this, it might seem inconsequential to leave food on the tables or spilled drinks on the floor. While we may not necessarily expect someone else to pick it up for us, we also do not take the time to clean up after ourselves.

Regardless of the job descriptions of the dining hall staff, they should not have to be responsible for cleaning up the messes we make.

No matter how much of a rush we are in to get to class, it only takes a couple more seconds to throw our napkins in the trash or pick up food that fell off our plates.

The Ray employees work very hard all day, so it should not be difficult to make their jobs a little easier.

-Hannah Paxton ’19


Mo(o)re Hall Hours

The renovation of Moore Hall was much-needed and even more appreciated. Its renovation is especially convenient for those who live in buildings near Moore Hall and are looking for somewhere close to study during the cold winter days. It is the perfect alternative to the very overcrowded and often distracting Slavin Center.

However, unlike Slavin, Moore closes at 1:30 a.m. every school night, a fact that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. If Providence College allowed students access to the building at any point in the night, it would actually encourage students to study for longer hours if needed. It also provides a shorter walking distance for many students in comparison to walking to or from Slavin.

In fact, Slavin does not even have the academic equipment that is offered in Moore Hall, yet it continues to be prioritized over a building like Moore that is more centered on studying than socializing.

Most importantly, Moore is supposed to be a center for students to use in order to study at their convenience, and all students have different hours in which they prefer to do work. It is a student center for a reason: to be for the students. It is quite difficult studying in a dorm room late at night whether it may be because our roommates are sleeping or because the room is distracting.

In addition, it can also be hard at times to study in the dorm lounges because it allows for a lot of distractions from friends who also live in the same building. If it were up to the students, Moore Hall would be open 24/7. So this begs the question—who makes these executive decisions and why are the students not involved in the decision-making process? Something needs to change!

-Laura Arango ’20


Free the Weekend Packages

Is there anything worse for a Providence College student than waking up on a Saturday morning (or maybe afternoon) to a notification that you have had a package delivered to the package room?

What seems like an exciting event quickly sours when you remember that the package room is not open on Saturdays or Sundays and that your poor package must sit, lonely and unclaimed, on the cold metal shelves of the package room for 48 hours until those doors are blessedly unlocked Monday morning.

It is a cruel irony to realize that your package is waiting, but you can do nothing in your power to collect it. This is an irony made all the worse when you realize that whoever sent your email must be in the package room, but yet you are still barred from uniting with the care package from your parents or your latest impulse purchase from Amazon Prime for two more days.

I am not asking for much. I know the package room workers are busy and that allowing students to claim parcels on Saturdays will only make their jobs more hectic. But even opening the package room for student pick-ups for a couple of hours on Saturday would lessen the pain of receiving an email notification on Saturday morning and having to spend two full days staring forlornly at the obstinately locked doors until you can free your purchase.

-Taylor Godfrey ’19

Tangents and Tirades

by The Cowl Editor on February 8, 2018


Keep the Ball “Black and White”

The Black and White Ball is making a much anticipated appearance later this month, thanks to the Board of Programmers (BOP). That being said, is it really going to be a Black and White Ball?

Right after the dance was announced, BOP cleared up some wardrobe confusion by expressing that students can wear any color they want. They are not highly encouraged to just wear black or white like last year.

Because of this change, the Black and White Ball is not a black and white ball anymore.

Although it is nice that BOP decided to take the theme in a completely different direction, they should have renamed the dance to something more inclusive.

Names like sophomore Friar Ball or the freshman Spring Fling would be perfect for this type of school-wide dance. They are simple, flexible, and do not imply a specific theme or color scheme, unlike the Black and White Ball.

While this is definitely not the most pressing issue on campus at the moment, it is a little confusing. If BOP wants to keep the name of the dance the Black and White Ball, students should then be highly encouraged to wear black and white. However, if BOP does not want to restrict students to certain colored attire, they should consider renaming the event.

However, regardless of what color students wear, the Black and White Ball is still going to be a night to remember.

So, what color will you be wearing?

-Katherine Torok ’20


At Least We Still Have the Memes

As Patriots fans are mourning their way through this tragic week for New England, we can perhaps still take away at least one positive from Super Bowl LII: all of the memes that have come and will come from Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl selfie with a young fan.

If you happened to miss his halftime show, in the midst of a compilation performance of throwbacks and new songs (and even a commemorative Prince performance), JT walked up into the stadium seating to sing and dance with fans.

During this celebration, Timberlake posed for what appeared to be a simple selfie with a young boy. Yet after the photo was taken, the boy’s reaction was anything but that of a happy fan.

Totally frozen, the boy continued to stare at his phone despite JT standing right next to him. Whether he was in awe, complete shock, or in denial of the selfie that had just been taken, this young boy could barely lift his eyes from his phone screen. An expression of sheer confusion seemed to take over his face.

After this was captured on film, social media has done what it does best, creating countless memes narrating this boy’s experience while he stared into his phone in the midst of Justin Timberlake’s performance. So while we may cry over the Super Bowl, we should not forget to smile at the memes we now have from the halftime show.

-Sarah Kelley ’18


#TimesUp Grammys

The Grammy Awards, while an entertaining tradition, have unfortunately become another brick wall women have to face on the long-standing and challenging road to gender equality. Only one woman was broadcasted receiving a solo Grammy award during the 60th Grammy awards show this past weekend.

When confronted about the lack of inclusion in the awards show, Neil Portnow, the Recording Academy president, responded with a rather insensitive and ignorant response: “[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.” In light of the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, it is not only morally incorrect, but obviously false to say that women have done nothing besides “step up” this past year.

To make matters worse, the Academy’s hypocrisy in terms of the gender equality movement was evident as they hosted Kesha’s performance of “Praying,” a powerful audio and visual display of the #MeToo movement while simultaneously snubbing Kesha for an award. Kesha gave an emotional performance that referenced the abuse she had to endure at the hands of Dr. Luke, an American music producer whose colleagues were also in attendance at the awards show.

It seems that the Academy supports the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement on paper because it is the path of least resistance that will grant them the least amount of problems. However, when it comes to actually taking meaningful strides towards equality—they fall short.

-Laura Arango ’20

No Country is a ‘Shithole’: Trump’s Comments Perpetuate Racist Stereotypes

by The Cowl Editor on January 18, 2018



by Laura Arango ’20

Opinion Staff

Last week, White House officials held a closed-door meeting in which they discussed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal and a bipartisan immigration proposal that would meet the needs and wants of both the Republican and Democratic parties. What could have been a productive meeting unfortunately turned into another opportunity for President Donald Trump to evidently demonstrate his bigotry.

By using phrases such as “shithole countries” when speaking in regards to Central American and African nations, make it clear that our president believes that the key to “Making America Great Again” is making America predominently white.Trump and his advisors also questioned why there are not more people from Norway coming to the United States.

Trump has denied making such controversial statements in spite of the Democratic and Republican senators who have come forward confirming his comments. However, it is not a question in my mind—he did make those comments. He has and will continue to proprogate more and more division in our nation if we allow it. Central American, South American, and African nations deserve the same amount of respect as European countries and the United States of America.

The negative rhetoric that Donald Trump has consistently spewed only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes that people consider to be true about developing countries.

Over winter break, I traveled to Colombia, a country that in Donald Trump’s eyes, would be considered a “shithole.” And what I saw was a country flourishing in tourism—thousands of North Americans and Europeans were traveling across Colombia and enjoying the warmth of the people and the loveliness of the terrain.

When I spoke to many U.S. tourists they were clearly shocked that Colombia functioned the way that it did. They believed they would be traveling to a country where crime was tolerated and drugs were commonplace.

And that was because the U.S. is filled with negative stereotypes about Latinos reinforced by a president that reiterates that Latinos in the U.S. are only there illegally, as criminals and intending to steal jobs from American people.

These types of conversations are not limited to Colombia. They occur in every country Donald Trump considers a “shithole.”

Haiti, a primarily black nation and one of Donald Trump’s targeted countries holds “a growing number of U.S. firms . . . including commercial banks, airlines, oil, and agribusiness companies, and U.S.-owned assembly plants. Opportunities for U.S. businesses in Haiti include light manufacturing, in particular textile and clothing production; the development and trade of raw and processed agricultural products; medical supplies and equipment; etc,” according to state.gov.

The relationship between Haiti and the United States, historically, has been a positive and mutually beneficial one. Yet, our leader chooses to ignore the facts and instead feed the public with dividing and harmful rhetoric.

There are no “shithole” countries in the world. Every country’s customs, culture, land, and language are beautiful and special. We must all remember that the words of one man do not define a universal truth. Those that are from Norway should be more than welcome in the United States, but those from Africa should be as well.