Reclaiming the Second Floor: Why Gender Norms Should Not Determine your Workout Equipment

by Andrea Traietti


Opinion


The upper level of the Concannon Fitness Center houses a number of different arm and leg machines, the use of which can be beneficial for both men and women. Nicholas Crenshaw ’20/The Cowl.

by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

For many of the female students at Providence College, the upper level of the Concannon Fitness Center is an unknown territory. This is due to the fact that it is predominantly occupied by male students, who use the space for its weight-lifting equipment.

However, one’s gym routine is a personal preference that should not be affected by gender norms regarding weight lifting. Girls should not feel uncomfortable in an environment on campus that is supposed to be shared by all.

The second floor of the Concannon Fitness Center is predominantly a weight lifting section with several other machines and treadmills.

Due to the weight lifting machinery on this floor, it is mainly used by male students. However, there are many machines that are friendly to all levels of ability that many female students are missing out on.

Some may argue that the reason there are more men than women on the second floor is because women do not lift as many weights. However, many women have voiced that the reason is due to the fact they do not want to be one of the only females in a room full of males, and do not want to be judged while working out.

Frequent gym-goer Sarah Kerrigan ‘20 said, “Ever since freshman year, I’ve been told upstairs of the gym is ‘only for guys’ because it’s where the heavier weights are. There’s such a stereotype around girls focusing on cardio while guys focus on strength, but everyone needs both strength and cardio in their workout routines.”

Many women have entered into the realm of lifting weights, and the second floor of the gym would be of use to them. It is time that society removes the stigma of women being “weaker” than men and that women should be small rather than strong. Furthermore, there is the stereotype that women who lift heavy weights are bulky and manly which further discourages and limits women from choosing the workout that is best fit for them.

Even though these stereotypes exist, many female students avoid the second floor even though there are several cardio machines, such as treadmills, available. This is due to the unfortunate fact that many women fear being judged at the gym by male students.

Exercise is a very personal activity that can cause a lot of insecurity for many individuals. While women have every right to develop the confidence to feel comfortable at the gym, it is important that men treat women with respect to ensure that everyone feels comfortable during the personal activity of working out.

Student worker at Concannon Fitness Center Laura Fusco ’20 added, “I’ve been working at the gym for three years and have always noticed that men predominately workout upstairs while women usually exercise on the first floor. As a woman, it can be very intimidating to try new workouts surrounded by only men.”

It is time that heavy and intense exercise should be considered an activity for both men and women rather than being solely for just men. Women should not feel uncomfortable in certain locations of the gym due to the equipment or the gender ratio in the room, and both students and administration at PC should take efforts to combat this imbalance.

PC students are lucky to have such an updated, accessible, and excellent gym facility. Society’s gender norms should not ruin that.

Writer vs. Writer: Is It Safe to Leave Your Possession out in the Open on Campus?

by Andrea Traietti


Opinion


PC students often make reference to the “Friar Family,” but is
this family always trustworthy when it comes to valuables left out on campus? Laura Chadbourne ’20/The Cowl.

 

NO

by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

A common practice among students at Providence College is to leave their valuables around campus due to the strong amount of trust students have in one another.

However, students need to be more careful with where they place their items because there is a risk of non-student and student thieves, students mistaking others’ items for their own, and the fact that not everyone can be trusted.

The Concannon Fitness Center is a common place where people put their items at risk. Students have developed the practice of leaving valuables such as wallets, headphones, phones, and more in the cubbies, which are in plain sight.

This also occurs in the library, where students will leave their laptops on tables for hours unattended. Anyone, a student or a non-student, could take it.

Although some may argue that this is just a part of the PC culture and that we should embrace it, there are individuals that can take advantage of the unspoken trust that students have for one another. For instance, there have been many reports in certain residence halls of people stealing clothes from the laundry rooms.

Rachael Kelly ’20, a student worker at Concannon, said, “People report missing items to us all the time. Someone loses their airpods or airpod cases at least once a day.”

While this trust among students is part of the Friar culture, it is not worth it for students to put their valuables at risk. Students need to be more careful where they place their important items to avoid the risk of them being taken.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be trusted and when it comes to the more expensive and important items, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

 

YES

by Alyssa Cohen ’21

Opinion Staff

While it is a gamble to leave one’s valuables unattended on campus, or within any public setting for that matter, Providence College students have no reason to fear their belongings being stolen. 

Considering the many anxieties that may be induced by the academic rigor and social culture of the college lifestyle, the concern of being robbed on campus need not present itself as an added stressor. 

The trustworthiness of the PC community is evident in a variety of ways. Take, for example, the “lost and found” page that has naturally emerged on the PC mobile app that students constantly utilize to connect with one another to return missing belongings. 

Additionally, the culture of the Concannon Fitness Center also proves the trustworthiness of the College campus.

Despite the fact that students regularly leave electronics, wallets, airpods, and other valuables unattended in the cubbies on a daily basis, Hannah Lavery ’22, a student worker at the fitness center, says, “Claims of articles being stolen are pretty rarely reported.”

Not to mention the fact that language and behaviors of skepticism and paranoia towards having one’s belongings stolen emit an air of distrust of one’s peers.

Such attitudes are detrimental to efforts to promote an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere within the PC community. 

Essentially, while it is always important to use common sense when it comes to leaving valuables unattended in any public setting both on or off campus, manifesting constant anxieties of robbery is both unproductive and unnecessary, and emits toxic energy into our campus community. 

Paying a Price for School Spirit?

by Andrea Traietti


Opinion


Nick Crenshaw ’20/The Cowl.

 

by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

Attending men’s basketball games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center  as well as other sporting events on campus is a substantial part of what it means to be a Friar at Providence College. However, for some students, the price of a student ticket is not worth it. PC and the athletic department should work towards lowering the cost of student basketball tickets and offer free tickets to students for on-campus athletic events.

The current cost of a single basketball season student ticket is $75, which for someone who only goes to a few games a semester can be an unnecessary expense. However, for certain games the cost of a regular ticket can be a substantial amount, causing some students to miss the most exciting games of the semester, such as the PC versus Villanova University game.

Students at PC should not be expected to pay as much as $75 a year for the most popular sporting event of the season. The athletic department constantly encourages students to attend games, yet some students cannot afford to pay $75 for a season ticket or up to $100 for a single ticket to a popular and almost sold-out game.

This was a major issue at this season’s Villanova game, where those who did not have student tickets were desperately trying to find one, and the non-student tickets were very costly and quickly selling out. Catherine Flugel ‘20, a non-season ticket holder, said, “finding a ticket for the Villanova game was stressful, especially because I didn’t want to be the only one out of my friends that couldn’t go.”

At other schools, such as the University of Miami, students can go to football games, which are held at Hard Rock Stadium where the Miami Dolphins play, for no cost at all. This encourages students to attend and brings no stress to those who do not have a ticket for a specific game.

However, there are some reasons why student tickets must be a certain price. One main reason is to keep the amount of students attending each game under control, especially at a smaller venue, such as the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

According to men’s basketball manager Hannah Valente ‘20, “If student tickets were substantially cheaper, every game would be as chaotic and overcrowded as the Villanova game.”

However, at some of the less popular home games the student section can look almost empty. For this reason, PC should consider certain initiatives to offer discounts on students tickets or consider lowering the price to a more reasonable amount.

Some also believe that the ticket prices are reasonable for the overall experience of the event. Morgan Starkey ’20, a student worker at the PC Athletics Ticket Office, argues, “The prices of season tickets and individual student tickets for basketball are reasonable. Oftentimes Athletics rewards students who attend games with free food and apparel which is definitely an extra plus.” She also believes the athletic department can improve access to certain major games like Villanova. She said, “Athletics should consider releasing a certain number of tickets to seniors so that they can attend their last Villanova game as a PC student.”

The College should also make all on-campus athletic events free of cost for all students. Currently, students have to purchase a $4 ticket online for hockey tickets that are on campus at Schneider Arena. Although this is a small amount, students should not have to pay anything in order to attend an event that is on campus. If students had the ability to simply show up to Schneider and scan their student ID, more students would be likely to attend.

Overall, the PC athletic department should make more effort to make PC athletic events more affordable and attractive for students to attend. This would encourage more students to have Friar pride and ensure that the entire PC community is able to enjoy these exciting and memorable events in Friartown.

Tangents & Tirades

by Andrea Traietti


Opinion


The TikTok Takeover

Today’s generation seeks entertainment from social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, especially the memes that these types of apps have to offer. With the growing influence social media has on society, new apps such as TikTok are created to provide this source of entertainment.

Many consider the app to be the new version of Vine. TikTok merged with the app Musical.ly to provide entertainment through funny videos and dances to popular songs that people can learn with their friends.

The most amusing part of TikTok is the trending dances. Creators on TikTok come up with easy-to-learn dances with popular dance moves to the beat of popular songs. The duet function on the app also allows users to create a side-by-side TikTok with their friends doing these dances together.

TikTok is different from Vine and other social media apps like Instagram because it offers two main feeds: one with trending videos on the For You page, and one with videos from TikTokers you follow. 

The For You Page is the homepage of the app. This feed is where trending videos appear as well as TikToks from popular creators. One of the greatest aspects of TikTok is that the For You page customizes the videos based on your interests and the TikToks you have liked. For example, I have a habit of liking dog videos.

TikTok truly embodies its name, as the time tick tocks away when you get deep into the For You Page filled with hundreds of thousands of funny videos.

—Emily Ball ’22

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

 

Is There Anything to do in Winter?

Is Christmas the only fun part of winter? It certainly can seem that way sometimes. Yet there are plenty of ways to make the first few weeks of spring semester lively while embracing the chill in the air. 

Hockey games always remind students of winter, and Providence College’s team is definitely entertaining to watch! With tickets starting at four dollars, these games are a great way to take a break from homework and hang out with your friends. 

Additionally, PC usually offers a few open skate nights for all students. Serving cookies and hot chocolate, these skate nights allow you to hang out on the rink in Schneider Arena. 

If you are not a great skater, or are looking for something less active to do, downtown Providence has some wonderful opportunities. Thayer Street boasts some great restaurants that are just a quick drive away. 

And, in the winter, what do students love more than a good hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Blue State Coffee on Thayer Street is a great place to have any of these and more! Just a short drive from campus, a coffee shop is a change of scenery that can be much needed once we reenter the stress of schoolwork. 

Although the cold certainly limits our opportunities to get outside, winter in Providence is not to be overlooked. Embrace the snow while it’s here, because it won’t last much longer!

—Julia McCoy ’22

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.

 

New Year, New Healthy Habits

As always, in the first weeks of the new year, “New Year’s Resolutions” are a common topic of conversation. The most classic and common resolutions, especially among college students, relate to body image and physical appearance. As we enter a new decade, it is important to focus more on the betterment of one’s whole self rather than just physical appearance.

The obsession with having an attractive physical appearance takes away from the more important resolutions that college students can make. While a lot of people aspire to lose 15 pounds, get toned, finally achieve that six pack, etc., other things such as aspiring to make more people smile, be more thankful, start a new hobby, volunteer locally, and other resolutions should take priority over the physical appearance.

While it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising, these practices should not dictate your happiness and focus going into 2020. A lot of these resolutions can lead to an unhealthy obsession and relationship with body image that can impede upon other factors in one’s life.

So as this new year and new decade commences, remind yourself that a resolution can be more than just a number on the scale or how snug your jeans fit. The betterment of oneself is more than just physical and it is important that happiness, curiosity, knowledge, and more are not forgotten in the process of self-improvement in 2020.

—Marie Sweeney ’20

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.

Don’t Let Holiday Cheer Mask Mental Health Awareness

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


The holidays can be a time of loneliness for some people, and it is important to check in on friends and family who may be coping with those feelings.Nicholas Crenshaw ’20/The Cowl.

by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

For most people, the holidays are a time of warmth, excitement about being home, and relaxation from school and work. However, for others the holiday season can be a stressful, anxious time that brings up feelings of loneliness and sadness. Although Christmastime is exciting and all-encompassing, mental health should not be forgotten during this time.

 Christmas has always been marketed as a time of happiness and cheer, during which people are expected to live in the “Christmas spirit” and be extra positive because no one wants to be seen as a “scrooge.” However, this expectation can trigger further anxiety and mental illness and can also cause others who may not deal with mental illness to overlook what others may be going through. 

Furthermore, coming home to family and childhood friends can cause a lot of extra stress and anxiety for anyone, especially someone who already suffers from debilitating anxiety and other mental illnesses. According to a study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “approximately 24 percent of people with a diagnosed mental illness find that the holidays make their condition ‘a lot’ worse and 40 percent ‘somewhat’ worse.”

Social anxiety can occur when meeting up with friends or random high school acquaintances due to the pressure to seem as if everything is great in your life to the point where it is almost a competition over who is having the most fun at school or who already has a job or internship lined up. Sarah Kerrigan ‘20 said, “Going home for the holidays is an exciting time but sometimes the constant questions about my career path and other stressors can be overwhelming.” 

Christmastime is also a time in which holiday parties and large gatherings are frequent. This can cause a lot of anxiety for someone who does not enjoy large groups or having to socialize with many people. 

Some individuals also do not enjoy being at home due to an undesirable home or family environment or because they feel lonely without being with their friends from school. In this case, the month-long Christmas break can be very daunting and can make one anxious to be away from a more comfortable environment for them such as being on campus. 

In a different way, sometimes the holiday season can bring up old memories of loved ones or other emotional experiences which can elicit strong emotions and can induce depression or intensify an individual’s depressive thoughts. Loneliness is often another feeling that can occur during the holidays if someone is unable to be surrounded by their friends and loved ones. 

As Providence College students gear up this next week to head home for Christmas break, it is important to be mindful of your own mental health as well as that of those around you. While the excitement of Christmas and other holidays can mask mental illness awareness, it is extra necessary to be wary of mental illness during this time to facilitate a happy and healthy Christmas season for all.

Whistle While You (Net)Work: The Benefits of Networking at College

by The Cowl Editor


Campus


Several networking events are hosted each year in cities across the nation for PC students to connect with alumni. Photo courtesy of Providence College Alumni Relations.

by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

College is a time of growth, education, and fun. However, it is also a time where making contacts and connections are integral for the future. As Providence College students begin applying for internships and full time jobs, it is necessary to keep in mind the importance of making connections and networking for potential opportunities. 

Networking can help a college student in a variety of ways. By having the right conversations with people, an individual can learn about different career paths and what works best for them. It can also help students make the right decisions about graduate school or other education and certification opportunities. But most importantly, it can help students secure an internship or a full time job. 

Luckily, at PC there are various ways that students can successfully network. One of the easiest ways to do this is by getting to know your professors and going to them for advice and guidance in the professional world. Most of the professors at PC have a plethora of contacts that students can use for informational interviews and exciting opportunities. 

Another way in which PC students can effectively network is through our vast alumni network. As many know, Friars love to hire from their alma mater, and networking with an alum can open doors to a variety of opportunities for PC students. 

The Career Center also created several resources such as FriarLink and HandShake to assist students in connecting with alumni and other organizations that would best fit their career interests. This can also be done using LinkedIn where you can search for companies and find out if any alumni work there. 

Brendan Cooney ‘20 is just one example of this practice. He states, “Reaching out to alumni on LinkedIn and HandShake is something I began to do because it really helps me narrow down my career interests through the conversations that I have with them. I know this will also help me in the future if I decide to apply to a company that they work at and I can really use them as a helpful resource.” 

Although some students may think that networking is something to focus on later in their college career or even later in life, it is important that students begin to build these connections and relationships as early as possible. 

Some students may also feel that networking can be awkward and difficult, and that they would rather apply for internships and full-time jobs on job boards or through a company website. However, applying through the company website can be tedious and a lot of times applications can get lost among the others. 

Networking helps build connections so that when someone applies they can have their connection at the company accelerate their application through the candidate pool. This way, there is a better chance of your application actually being seen and someone at the company can vouch for your candidacy.

As students begin to stress out about the application process for internships and jobs, it is important to keep in mind how beneficial and helpful networking can be for your future. Networking takes the stressful process of job applications and makes it much more successful and enjoyable for applicants and can create long lasting career relationships. 

Tangents & Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Photos courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.

 

Take the Challenge, Not the “Easy A”

As spring 2020 registration comes around the corner, students should focus more on what classes interest them rather than if the class is an “easy A.” 

The website RateMyProfessor.com has been a blessing and a curse for college students when deciding their class schedule. While it is nice for students to look up their professors and see what type of teaching style they have and other reviews, this can also limit a students full learning experience. 

Every student has a different teaching style that fits them best, and a lot of people can disagree about whether or not they enjoy a certain professor. For this reason, RateMyProfessor.com can be a waste of time and opportunity for many students. 

For some Providence College seniors, this upcoming spring semester can be the last time taking classes as an undergrad student. Therefore, students should take into consideration their interests or even challenge themselves to take a thought- provoking class instead of one that is boring or does not require attendance. 

Being a liberal arts college, PC offers a variety of very different courses ranging from the arts to the sciences and more. Students should explore other fields of study in their electives to broaden their range of knowledge and spark new interests. 

With class registration approaching in the coming weeks, PC students should consider other course options besides what is the easiest and focus on what can expand their learning and interests. 

—Marie Sweeney ’20

 

 

Photos courtesy of Public Domain Files and Pixabay.

 

Appreciating Underground Films

This year, the theatres have been inundated with blockbuster hits from Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame to the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Every few months, box office records are being shattered and people flock to the theatres to see the latest installment of their favorite franchises. While this record breaking year is certainly notable, the blockbuster culture has made it much harder for smaller, independent films to get the advertising they need. 

Films with smaller box office numbers tend to be showcased only for the few months leading up to the Academy Awards. Additionally, they have to spend much more money on advertising as a way to increase the possibility of a successful opening weekend. Because they often are not attached to a particular franchise, audiences will question if the movie is worth seeing. 

This phenomenon is particularly disheartening, especially considering the fact that these lesser anticipated movies are often the most celebrated films during the upcoming awards season. 

For example, last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Picture—Green Book—had a fairly dismal opening weekend in the box office. Though it had steady success and was obviously a masterful craft, the movie was not granted as much attention as sequels and extensions of already beloved franchises.

While these long-running movie series are a fantastic staple in our society, they often take away from the success of independent movies as a whole. 

—Julia McCoy ’22

 

 

Photo courtesy of clipart-library.com.

 

Clean Your Dirty Laundry (Room)

Doing laundry is a necessary part of living independently on a college campus. Yet, it is also a difficult part of living on a college campus and is often a burden. 

The laundry rooms for some buildings at Providence College are co-ed, which poses an awkwardness when people are moving clothes out of a machine. Some of the machines are also broken, which causes students to waste time when a load is not actually washed or dried. 

There is an unspoken rule at PC that when clothing is left after a cycle in a machine for too long, people move it onto a table to put their stuff in. But this becomes slightly uncomfortable in the co-ed laundry rooms when boys’ and girls’ clothing are sitting out in the open. 

People also tend to empty others’ clean clothing on the floor. This is appalling because those clean clothes are becoming dirty from the floor, and because boys’ and girls’ clothing are laying out in the open on the ground for everyone to see and step on. 

In certain buildings, Suites Hall for example, some of the machines are broken. Two of the dryers in Suites do not work, so students waste 50 minutes of their lives waiting for their clothes that actually are not even dry. 

PC needs to work on improving the laundry rooms by encouraging people to take care of their own clothing as well as others’ clothing, and by ensuring that all machines function properly. 

—Emily Ball ’22

Put an End to the Trend: Stop E-Cigarette Use at PC

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Research has shown that Juuling and usage of other electronic cigarettes can result in
detrimental health consequences. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

 

by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

In the past few years, vaping and Juuling have become increasingly popular on college campuses across the U.S. However, recently there have been reports of illness, intense addiction, irreversible health damage, and even death associated with the use of vapes and Juuls. In the wake of this Juuling epidemic, the Providence College community needs to take these health risks seriously and work together to eliminate vape use among PC students. 

Although electronic cigarettes came to the market in the U.S. in 2007, mostly targeting cigarette addicts, their popularity increased dramatically among adolescents in 2015 with the introduction of the Juul. Even though they claim to have not been targeting a younger generation, the creation of flavored pods and the accessibility of the Juul itself was very attractive to a younger audience. 

Originally, people saw vaping as a “healthier” way to get an adrenaline rush as opposed to a traditional cigarette; however, many people fail to see the dangerous health effects of vaping and Juuling. 

One of the major risks of casual vaping is a very intense nicotine addiction. Dr. Suzanne Bornschein, M.D., staff physician at PC, states, “The nicotine in the form of the [Juul] pods has less of a throat hit so it can be a much stronger dose of nicotine than a traditional cigarette; an average pod has the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes.” Due to this, addiction to a Juul develops much faster than addiction to cigarettes and is much more difficult to quit. According to Dr. Bornschein, it can take just one to two months of Juuling to become addicted to a pod a day. 

However, nicotine addiction is the least of the concerns compared to the other health risks associated with vaping. When inhaling a vape, there are various amounts of chemicals that may enter the body such as propylene glycol, glycerin, diacetyl, and more which can have negative and unknown effects when inhaled directly into the lungs. 

Vaping has led to so many shocking health issues around the U.S. that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the term EVALI, or E-Cigarette Vaping Associated Lung Injury, to label these ailments. These illnesses can range from negative gastrointestinal symptoms to respiratory issues and can even lead to death. The most recent data shows that there are at least 33 confirmed deaths associated with EVALI. 

These issues can happen to someone who is just a casual user of a vaping product. Dr. Bornschein states, “Of the 1500 current confirmed cases, it looks like most of them have [vaped] within the week prior to admission. Not everyone is a daily user.”

Furthermore, nicotine causes more issues than just addiction. According to Dr. Bornschein, long-term nicotine use can rewire the brain, decrease concentration, increase anxiety and depression, affect the reproductive system and immune system, and more. 

The scariest part of this intense vape use is the uncertainty regarding the health risks and what causes them. There is also uncertainty in regards to future health implications that can occur due to vape use at a young age in terms of brain development. At this stage of life, teenagers’ brains are still developing, and vaping can have a negative impact. The CDC is trying their best to understand what causes EVALI or other issues that result from vaping, but at the moment a lot is unknown. 

However, a lot of students on campus hear the frightening risks of vaping but refuse to believe it can happen to them. Even with the deaths that have occurred, Juuling is still very prevalent on and off of PC’s campus. 

“It kind of came out of nowhere. Juuls went from being known as this very simple and safe form of smoking to literally killing people,’’ states Elizabeth Connor ‘20. 

Now that more is known of the risks associated with vaping, the PC community needs to come together to discourage Juul use and create awareness of the harmful risks before one of our own becomes a victim of EVALI. 

Dr. Bornschein encourages students to avoid Juuling at all costs and to take the necessary efforts to quit. The health center offers several options and resources to help users quit and to prevent further harm to one’s body. At this point, the adrenaline rush, the positive feelings, and the social aspect are just not worth permanent bodily harm that can occur with vape use. It is an activity that should be discouraged on campus to ensure good health for all. 

Reconsidering the Reputation of “Hotel Fennell”: The Negativity Commonly Associated with PC’s Single Dorm is Misguided

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Located in the farthest corner of campus, Fennell Hall might seem isolated, but there are
plenty of programs to connect Fennell residents with the rest of campus. Photo courtesy of Providence College Residence Life.

 

by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

Fennell Hall is probably the most undesirable residence hall at Providence College. Most believe that Fennell is where students live when they have roommate problems, have just transferred to PC, prefer to isolate themselves, or several other stereotypes associated with the hall. Most also believe that it is filled with ghosts and haunted memories from the past. However, what PC students fail to recognize is Fennell’s potential greatness. 

Students assume that living in Fennell must be an isolating experience. However, most students do not understand that the majority of the residents who live in Fennell have chosen to live there and find it perfect for their needs. 

A residence hall with single rooms is necessary to any college campus which aims to suit the needs of students. There are various reasons as to why students would prefer to live in a single room rather than with roommates. Some prefer to have their own sleep schedule, have the luxury of doing work in their room with no distraction, and many more reasons. 

Additionally, Fennell is in very close proximity to the Smith Center for the Arts which is beneficial for music and theatre majors to quickly get to their classes. The same goes for business majors who want to be close to the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies. A lot of students argue that Fennell is far from the rest of campus; however, it is the same distance from everything as Suites Hall, one of the more desired living spaces on campus. 

Noticing this negative reputation of Fennell, the Office of Residence Life has done a lot  to make Fennell more desirable and enjoyable for residents. 

Evan Jones, the current complex director for Fennell Hall, states, “I picked up on that reputation pretty quickly and wanted to do my best to change things and make Fennell the best it can be.’’ Jones and ResLife created the motto of “Fennell Fam” to encourage Fennell residents to embrace their residence hall and get to know each other better and to promote public awareness of Fennell’s comeback. Jones also created a Fennell Fam Spotify playlist to allow any Fennell residents to add their favorite songs and create a shared bond. Fennell is also constantly hosting fun and exciting hall activities. 

Furthermore, Fennell is just as nice, or even better than some of the traditional residence halls. With a newly renovated lounge space, roomy living spaces, and up-to-date facilities, there should be no reason why Fennell is not a desirable place to live. 

Director of Residence Life Jana Valentine adds that they receive many requests from students, mostly sophomores and juniors, that were placed in Fennell to live in Fennell again for the following year because “they like the room so much that they want to remain there.” 

In recent years, ResLife has received a lot of backlash from the campus community for placing freshmen and transfer students in Fennell. Students argue that this isolates these students who are new to campus and limits them from making friends and meeting people. 

While this may be the case for some students who are placed there, the majority of first year students and transfers enjoy living in Fennell. Also, placing freshmen in Fennell is a last resort for ResLife, which tries its best to place freshmen in traditional residence halls. In the case that they need to place a group of freshmen in Fennell, they put in major efforts to keep them connected with the rest of the class, and most of the time freshmen truly enjoy living in Fennell. 

As for transfer students, residence life keeps in constant communication with them to ensure that they are comfortable where they are living and accommodate any room changes they may desire. 

Overall, students should have an open mind when discussing Fennell, as most students have never even set foot inside. There is absolutely nothing wrong with living in a single residence hall if one so desires, and no one should judge someone based upon their living preferences. Fennell is a great place to live on campus and the negative reputation is something that should be discouraged. 

Writers’ Forum

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

Writers’ Forum

If PC had the money for one major renovation or new building on campus, how should they use it?

 

Academic Buildings

by Andrea Traietti ’21

Opinion Co-Editor

If Providence College had the money for only one major renovation on campus, they should use it to renovate the older academic buildings on campus. When it comes down to it, PC students are really here for one reason: to learn. 

While dorm renovations or new fixtures on campus might be nice, the current status of the residence halls and the looks of campus are not getting in the way of students’ education. The outdated technology and unaccommodating spaces in some of the older academic buildings, however, serve as a consistent barrier to learning. 

Specifically, the Feinstein Academic Center and Accinno Hall need updating. The first problem with the classrooms in these two buildings is the space. In both buildings, tables and chairs, or in some cases chairs with attached desks, are crammed into tiny rooms. These rooms are filled with the maximum number of students in most classes, making an already small space feel even smaller. 

Even worse, many of the classes in these two buildings are centered on class discussion: history classes, theology classes, even foreign language classes where students’ primary task is to speak, to name a few. The tightness of these classrooms makes it impossible to move desks or chairs to make the room more conducive to class discussion. This results in some people being confined to the ‘outer circle’ and not being able to participate, or others not being able to see the chalkboard or projector. 

Speaking of projectors, the second major barrier to academic success in these buildings is their lack of modern technology. The technology that is there does not consistently work and is outdated compared to the equipment in the new science complex. The technology used in the science complex and business school has set a new standard for how rooms should be equipped, and any building that is lacking should be updated to meet this new standard. After all, smart classrooms open the door to new and creative ways of learning. 

While there will always be other concerns about residence halls or ways to beautify PC’s campus, updating the older academic buildings on campus would be the most practical and worthwhile use of funds because it would directly improve PC students’ academic experience. And in the end, learning is the most important part of being at college.

 

Parking Lot

by Kelly Wheeler ’21

Opinion Co-Editor

Although we are very fortunate to attend a university with many state-of-the-art facilities such as the Science Complex and Concannon Fitness Center, there is always a need for renovation at Providence College. Admittedly, several academic and residence halls are overdue for touch-ups. However, if PC were to acquire funding for some sort of transformation on campus, the College should apply it toward the creation of a new student parking lot.  

Student parking at PC is extremely limited. Permits are only available to juniors and seniors, and the number of parking spots available to this fragment of the student body remains insufficient. Thus, a lottery process is used to decide which students are able to purchase a parking permit. Unfortunately, the odds do not end up being in the favor of many upperclassmen.

This creates problems for countless students. Although some students enter the parking lottery simply to enjoy the luxury of having a vehicle on campus, many students have a serious need for one.  

For example, many upperclassmen have off-site internships or student teaching placements in the Providence area. PC does not provide transportation for these opportunities, meaning students without cars need to find their own way to get there. Many carless students carpool with other students who have vehicles, but issues can result if the drivers are unreliable or they do not have a schedule that is identical to those of their passengers. 

Additionally, students that live in on-campus apartments with kitchens typically have modest meal plans (or none at all), so they need to go grocery shopping to purchase food. Doing so can be very inconvenient without a car on campus. Although the RIPTA stops at Shaw’s, it can be difficult to lug bags of groceries onto the bus.

Also, students use their cars on campus as a means of transportation when long weekends or holiday breaks come around. Students often want to go home at these times, but if they were not granted a parking permit, they may be unable to do so if no one is available to pick them up at PC.

Even students that emerge victorious from the lottery process find themselves frustrated with parking on campus. James Galvin ’20 said, “I was lucky enough to get a parking pass my junior year. But parking spots are so limited on this campus that people would park in the student lots even though they didn’t have permits. Because of this, the lots would fill up and I would have nowhere to put my car. I often had to park in visitor parking as a result, and I ended up getting a ticket one time for doing so.” 

In conclusion, there is a significant need for more student parking at PC. So, should PC get money to build or reconstruct something on campus, the College should dedicate it to alleviating the large discrepancy between the supply and demand for student parking on campus.

 

Residence Halls

by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

Each year, Providence College is becoming more popular, and each accepted class has grown exponentially in the past several years. However, the College has failed to accommodate the growing number of students in its outdated residence halls. 

This has led to forced quads in both freshman and sophomore housing, forced room changes to accommodate students coming home from abroad, and various other problems. If PC were to receive an unlimited amount of money to update or renovate an aspect of campus there is no doubt that it should be allocated to renovate current residence halls and build new ones to fix this housing issue. 

Being comfortable on a college campus is one of the most important aspects in ensuring students stay at their respective school. A student’s living space is a major factor that affects that comfort level. If they are not comfortable in their living space, it can have a negative impact on their life as a student. 

The College must listen to the needs of students and prioritize them over other campus renovation projects. The popularity of the school starts with the students and if the students are not happy, the entire school will reflect that.  

Coming in as a freshman and being forced to live with three other roommates in a small room can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. It can also lead to further roommate problems. The College needs to allocate money to the building of a new residence hall, especially because the incoming classes are continuing to grow. 

As for the quality of the housing, some of PC’s residence halls have been the same since the 1980s, and they look that way. Halls such as Aquinas, McVinney, St. Joe’s, and more desperately need renovation. PC is becoming a widely known and popular school and it needs to keep up to date with its residence halls, which will certainly have an impact on incoming students and parents. 

PC must prioritize the comfort and contentment of its students over other projects that need major funding. The lack of student housing and the poor quality of available housing reflects badly on the college’s understanding of student comfort in their living situations. By funding a residence hall project, PC will not only acknowledge and excite current students, but will also further attract incoming students to make PC the best it could be. 

 

Phillips Memorial Library

by Katherine Torok ’20

Associate Editor-in-Chief

The Phillips Memorial Library is nothing spectacular when compared to its neighboring buildings: the Ruane Center for the Humanities, the Science Complex, and Harkins Hall. Its boxy exterior made of dull bricks, dark windows, and sand colored concrete feels outdated and mundane compared to the beautiful architecture which surrounds it.

While Ruane and the Science Complex are relatively new in comparison to Harkins and the library, their architecture mirrors Harkins and makes the string of buildings feel cohesive.

The library, on the other hand, feels out of place. It first opened on January 6, 1969, and feels like it came straight from the late 60s and early 70s. Though it is connected to Ruane, the two feel completely different. This is especially apparent when walking from one building to the other through the small Inter-Hub. You transition from walking on dull geometric carpet to sleek tile, toward welcoming natural light. Natural lighting is essential; instead of being subjected to the harsh lighting that emits from the grid-like concrete ceiling of the library, the beautiful windows from Ruane allow for warm light to shine through on sunny days.

The library does have some great study spaces nestled in the corners of the second floor. Yet, they are often  occupied due to their panoramic windows which let in an abundance of welcoming natural light.

This is why so many students choose to study in the Slavin Center or the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies; the ambiance is warm and inviting thanks to the massive windows located throughout each building.

Aside from adding more windows throughout the library, it is also essential for the College to invest in different furniture on the first and second floors.

While the basement has bright, fresh, and modern furniture to encourage collaborative group work, everywhere you look on the first and second floor on the library is filled with the same chestnut colored wood.

The desks, tables, chairs, couches, and bookshelves are the same. Switching up the furniture or mixing different styles would be a fun and energizing change. In addition, the geometric carpet could be switched out for something more neutral.

Overall, the Phillips Memorial Library is good, but it could use some freshening up, both inside and out.

The addition of windows, installation of new flooring, updating of furniture, and a possible exterior makeover would create a more inviting environment and ultimately encourage more students to spend time doing work there.

There is no need to rebuild a new library, just continue the updates from the IT department upwards and outwards. As a result, the academic buildings of upper campus would look more cohesive and unified.