Passing on the Torch

by The Cowl Editor on April 26, 2018

Editor's Column

by Marla Gagne ’18 and Paige Calabrese ’18

Spring is the ultimate time of transition—days that once required three layers of jackets and snow boots turn into days of laying out in the sun and blasting music on the quad. And as the warm weather comes, so does the chaos of wrapping up a college year and, more importantly, a journey with The Cowl.

Looking back to September, we are amazed by the growth we have experienced as a club and as a newspaper. We worked hard to improve our journalism, working with writers one-on-one, attending writing workshops, and making a stronger effort to tackle investigative issues and diverse events.

We worked hard to grow The Cowl brand, creating a new social media team, hiring new writers, and promoting our print issue around campus. And we worked hard to become a close-knit club, making the office our second home, being your shoulder to cry on, and a crowd to celebrate with.

We wanted to leave The Cowl better off than we started and now, confident that we have done our part, we cannot wait to pass on the torch to our new Editor-in-Chief, Taylor Godfrey ’19, and Associate Editor-in-Chief, Abby Czerniecki ’19. We have watched you grow as writers and editors and are fully confident that you will take good care of The Cowl next year and do amazing things.

Congrats to the new editors taking over sections—the job can be difficult and at times daunting, but so much fun and rewarding. Welcome to all the new writers that are just beginning their journies with the club, and congrats to our veteran writers and graduating seniors—you have allowed us to serve the community and carry on our tradition.

Thank you to Vice President Goodwin, Dean Sears, and Sue McCauley for supporting The Cowl year after year after year and to Richy Kless for always having our backs and being our number one supporter.

There’s no easy way to say goodbye, but it helps knowing The Cowl is in good hands. We look forward to flipping through future publications and seeing everything the rising 2018-2019 staff accomplishes.

We Can Do Great Things

by The Cowl Editor on April 19, 2018

Editor's Column

On Tuesday nights, you will usually find me in my literary non-fiction class in a dark room of lower level Ruane. For two and a half hours we talk about how to craft the perfect non-fiction story, and we even workshop our own pieces. But this Tuesday, we transported to Aquinas Lounge to hear published author Stefan Merrill Block talk about his newest novel, Oliver Loving, and his own writing experience.

Block is a personable author who, even after 10 years of being published, seems just as excited to talk about his writing as he did on his first book tour. He is artistic and thoughtful, and gives such a realistic view of writing as a roller coaster process filled with many mistakes and grand moments.

Oliver Loving is a story he has been working on for over six years, as he struggled to find the right way to tell this story of a small town, family, and school shooting; he even threw away a fully finished manuscript and started over again.

For a room full of many  English majors and aspiring writers and publishers, Block did something very difficult—he made us believe that we could do it too. He showed us his flaws and his strengths and said this could be us. He was 23 when he signed his first book deal, just a year older than me, and has been writing ever since.

Right now, many students are suffering through the April blues of what to do after this semester. April is the time for seniors to look into jobs and decide on graduate schools, and for underclassmen to find internships and summer plans. The world can seem hostile and confusing and our dream job or career can quickly slip away in the face of fierce competition. But Block shows us that real people can do great things. For him, becoming an author took a dose of luck and a push from his then-girlfriend to get a literary agent, but mostly his hard work and strong passion for writing.

Reading articles for this week’s edition, I was impressed by how many Providence College students are already harnessing their talent and showing their potential for great things.

The News section showcases students making change, including a social work class making a student advisory board to personal counseling to promote mental health awareness, Jennifer Dorn ’18 winning the prestigious Fulbright award to teach English in the Czech Republic, and students preparing to host the annual Relay for Life this Saturday to raise money for cancer research.

This list could go on and on, but these few examples show that PC students are doing great things to proudly represent our community and make a difference throughout the world. And as we enter into the world of the unknown, we should keep that hope and confidence that we too can be an author, or any of our dream jobs.

PC’S 100th Commencement Speaker Announced

by The Cowl Editor on April 12, 2018


Historian and Author David McCullough Will Address the Class of 2018

Photo Courtesy of Providence College

by Marla Gagne ’18

Editor in Chief

Providence College has announced that highly acclaimed author and historian David McCullough will be presenting the Commencement Address at the College’s 100th Commencement exercises. 

McCullough, known as “one of the great American writers,” is a highly respected  teacher, lecturer, and television personality. The Pittsburgh native and Yale University alumnus has received two Pulitzer prizes for his biographies, John Adams and Truman, and was also awarded two National Book Awards and the Francis Parkman Prize. Additionally, McCullough received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award possible, under President George W. Bush in 2006.

The historian is known for his unique way of retelling history, bringing new understanding to American life, and providing insight into the individuals’ accomplishments, struggles, and hardships. This spirit was captured in his most recent book, the #1 New York Times bestseller The Wright Brothers, as well as works including The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, 1776, Johnstown Flood,  The Great Bridge, The Path Between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, and Brave Companions. In honor of his work, McCullough has been honored with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Gold Medal for Biography given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. 

McCullough first became acquainted with PC in October of 2013, when he presented the keynote address at the dedication ceremony for  the Ruane Center for the Humanities. In his remarks, McCullough stressed the importance of a liberal arts education and understanding the human side of history. “I feel to the depths of my being that this emblematic new building is not only a step in the right direction for Providence College, but for our country,” said McCullough. “We need to be reminded about who we are and how we got to be who we are.” 

Inspired by his colorful way of retelling history, Ann Manchester-Molak ’75, assistant to the president and executive vice president/treasurer and chair of the commencement committee, knew that he would make the perfect speaker. “We actually offered him the position on the spot that year,” said Manchester-Molak. Personal and professional commitments would make McCullough unable to commit not only for that year, but for the following years—until this year, that is.

Each year the commencement committee, made up of faculty, current students, administrators, and alumni, reviews all community suggestions and revisits approved candidates from past years who were not able to commit. When considering candidates, committee members look to find a gifted speaker and someone who can “bring an inspiring message to the graduate class in their last lecture.”

The committee was excited to find McCullough finally available, and believed his mix of teaching, entertainment, and moral fiber would set high expectations for the event. “He makes readers and audiences…recognize and understand that which is extraordinary about ordinary men and women,” said Manchester-Molak. 

 Along with his literary works and academic pursuits, McCullough is also known for one of his physical traits—his voice. The storyteller is often recognized for his work hosting the The American Experience and narration in the movie Seabiscuit. His voice wowed the PC audience in his original keynote address. “I don’t know what God is going to sound like when we finally get there, but it’s either James Earl Jones or David McCullough,” Father Brian Shanley, O.P., said.

Coming off an important centennial anniversary and the upcoming celebration of PC’s 100th graduating class, Manchester-Molak and the committee felt McCullough would help the College “help us recognize our historic moment” with a “powerful speech.”

And for those students who are unfamiliar with McCullough, Manchester-Molak suggests keeping an open mind. As students listen to their last lecture, she says to  know that “McCullough will show you the value of history, [the value of] the education you were just given, and the excitement of the future.”

McCullough, who has received 55 honorary degrees and will be receiving a doctor  of letters honorary degree from PC, is one of six recipients receiving an honorary degree, including: Joseph P. Brum ’68, the founding father of PC’s alumni relations program; Brian Maher ’68, former director of the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center at Farmingdale College; Larry Rachleff, former music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra; Lisa M. Schenck ’83, associate dean for academic affairs at the George Washington University School of Law; and Beverly Daniel Tatum, a clinical psychologist, author, and former president of Spelman College.

The Commencement  Ceremony will take place Sunday, May 20 at 11:00 a.m. at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 1 LaSalle Square, Providence.

Bulletin Board Update:

by The Cowl Editor on April 2, 2018


 Find out more about recent developments regarding the bulletin board controversy including responses from administration, the current status of bulletin boards, and an impending Title IX investigation.

Photo Courtesy of St. Joe’s Resident
 by Sabrina Guilbeault ’18, Marla Gagne ’18
News Editor, Editor in Chief
In the weeks following the display of the bulletin board in St. Joseph Hall at Providence College on March 2, the controversy has sparked great backlash from students, faculty, alumni, and local media and received both criticism and praise.

The board was displayed by Resident Assistant Michael Smalanskas ’18, and represented the Catholic Church’s vision of marriage as a sacrament performed by one man and woman, and contained the statement, “Marriage, the way God intended it.”

Due to the controversy following this board, Jana Valentine, director of residence life, made a joint decision with her staff to suspend the use of bulletin boards for communication until a task force can more properly define a function and purpose for the boards.

Smalanskas explained that his intention was to proudly display Catholic teaching on a Catholic campus and to expose the double standard he finds at the College that does not protect conservative views in the same way as others. “A good example of this is the pro-same sex ‘marriage’ bulletin board on display in McVinney in February,” wrote Smalanskas in an email responding to The Cowl’s questions. “I have been accused of abusing my power and promoting hatred by displaying pro-traditional marriage views, but this other resident assistant was not.”

A summary of the initial events that occurred within the first week of the board’s installation, including a Board of Multicultural Student Affairs (BMSA) meeting in which Kristine Goodwin, vice president of student affairs, addressed student concerns, was reported by The Cowl and can be found here:

Since the publication of the initial article, the controversy has continued to gain attention from outside media, and the College has made additional statements regarding the incident. A recent report from the National Catholic Register cited Smalanskas as stating that a Title IX investigation is underway to investigate a cartoon depicting Smalanskas being sodomized, which was found in his dorm bathroom of St. Joseph Hall in the following days since the bulletin board was put up.

A majority of the articles published regarding the controversy can be found on the Facebook page, “Make PC Catholic Again,” which was created and run by Smalanskas to “provide the most recent news about the developing situation at PC.” In the description of the page, it is stated that “Make PC Catholic Again” is not meant to be an open forum on the topic.

“It is meant to be a place where all news coverage of the situation can be found in one place,” said Smalanskas. Some students who have left comments to the page have voiced concerns that their voices are “silenced” when their comments are deleted. “All comments, whether they are supportive of me or adamantly opposed to what I’ve done, are deleted,” said Smalanskas in response.

One specific article found on this page is a letter from March 21 to Smalanskas written by Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, reaffirming the Church’s teachings on marriage and praising Smalanskas for his proclamation of faith. While encouraging prudence and charity with every action, Bishop Tobin did reaffirm that Christians “do them no favors, and we fail to fulfill our Christian vocation, if we hesitate to present and explain the divinely revealed truth about faith and morals.”

Portrait of Bishop Thomas Tobin
Photo Courtesy of

Bishop Tobin continued to express regret for the negative reaction Smalanskas has received from his community, especially on a Catholic college campus such as PC. “I think we have the right to presume that those who teach or study at a Catholic school should accept, or at least respect, the stated identity, mission, and fundamental teachings of the Faith,” said Tobin. “Otherwise, there are lots of other good options for higher education they can choose if they really feel threatened by or are uncomfortable with the teachings of the Church.”

Two days prior to this letter, President Father Brian Shanley, O.P., sent an email to the PC community regarding the board, and stated that the Church’s views on marriage is not homophobic as homophobia is a sin. “We will never eliminate the tension between what the Church teaches and what modern secular culture professes about human sexuality and marriage,” he said. “Our challenge is to create a campus climate that will enable us to explore our differences dialogically with mutual respect and charity.”

Smalanskas, as well as Dr. James Keating, associate professor of theology and advisor to Smalanskas through the Title IX process, expressed their disapproval of the College’s initial response regarding the reaction to the board.

“The College failed in many respects to address the situation properly,” said Smalanskas, who said he repeatedly asked administration to denounce the harassment toward him from the very beginning. He explained that he felt that the rape drawing would have been avoided if the College had acted. “It also seemed like an easy task for the administration to support the content of the board but it took several weeks for the school to affirm its Catholic identity and speak against the hatred and harassment,” Smalanskas said.

Keating explained that in his opinion, the administration’s reaction to the cartoon and lack of initial response is the “strangest thing.” “As soon as someone files a Title IX violation, the school should go into extreme protection mode,” said Keating, who earlier explained he felt the administration responded to the feelings of students in response to the board and should have also responded to harassment against Smalanskas. “They should have sprang into action, but we saw an absolute flouting of Title IX protections.”

The Department of Public Safety at Providence College did remove Smalanskas from his dorm room in St. Joseph following the initial incident and housed him in another dorm room for his protection.

Goodwin addressed the issue to student leaders in an email on March 18, and encouraged students to engage in dialogue. She encouraged students to attend a “March Against Transphobia and Homophobia at PC,” organized by SHEPARD, the student organization and support group for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Mallari Bosque ’18, president of SHEPARD, explained the march was meant “to acknowledge the discomfort that the LGBTQ+ community are often subjected to feel.”

PC students holding signs in support of the LGBTQ+ community
Photo Courtesy of Sabrina Guilbeault ’18/TheCowl

At the march, faculty, staff, and administrators affirmed that homophobia has no place at a Catholic institution, and that the purpose of the march far extends the content found on the bulletin board. For full coverage on this event, please use the following link:

Fr. Shanley released a second statement in an email on March 26 in reaction to what he calls “negative publicity, mostly on conservative media sites” that are “not accurate,” and increasing phone calls from angered alumni.

“The College always has, and always will, remain faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” said Fr. Shanley. He also denounced the hostility shown to Smalanskas in the passing weeks, and stated that the drawing was “odious” and “reprehensible.” “There can be no place on our campus for bullying, harassment, or intimidation,” Fr. Shanley said.

While this message did fulfill the initial request made by Smalanskas and Dr. Keating for the College to address the harassment and confirm Catholic beliefs, Smalanskas thought it came only after bad publicity for PC and was insulting to members of the media, alumni, and himself.

Looking to the future, this bulletin board controversy has shown a larger conflict at place at PC and within Catholic colleges across the country—how can a college maintain its Catholic identity while still being inclusive?

Dr. Keating believes that PC was not ready to address this “huge challenge” and now must decide, like many Catholic colleges, what it means to be a Catholic college not just in the pulpit or classroom but in the everyday life of students. Goodwin also stated that PC is “not alone in this struggle” and looks to professional organizations like the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities for guidance and information.

“I think about moving forward prayerfully and curiously,” said Goodwin. “It’s more important for me to understand than to be understood. Experience of students, faculty, administration, and alumni helps us move forward and we can count on professional organizations to help us in dialogue and conversations and inquiry.”

Smalanskas has continued to pursue his Title IX claim, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal fundraising and aims to remedy hostile learning environments. PC’s Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Policy complies with Title IX, and the College’s website defines sexual harassment as “any form of sex discrimination when the conduct creates a hostile environment.”

Investigations fall under the Department of Public Safety and are overseen by the Title IX Coordinator Dr. James Campbell. Complainants are given an adviser, in this case Dr. Keating, who has previously worked on Title VI and IX cases, and can find resources with the Dean of Students, Steven Sears.

While the investigation is ongoing, administrative figures are “reluctant to talk about an individual student” in respect of their privacy and to never compromise an ongoing investigation, said Goodwin.


Leave a Mark at PC

by The Cowl Editor on March 15, 2018

Editor's Column

by Marla Gagne ’18


As we end our first week back from spring break, we are ironically surrounded by over a foot of snow and still bundled in our winter coats.

It is hard to believe that, despite the cold weather and our first snow day, April is just around the corner and the semester is slowly wrapping up.

And with spring (hopefully) on its way, the realization has finally come—the semester is almost over and so is my Providence College career. As a senior, I can honestly say the old cliché “college goes by so fast” is accurate. And as I observe that I only have two more months left on campus, two months left working at the Writing Center, spending my Wednesday nights at The Cowl, and hanging out with my roommates all week, I feel an urgency to leave my last marks on campus.

For me, a large part of leaving my mark has been on The Cowl. This has included doing more journalism training, expanding the website, building a social media team, and continuing the strong bond and family connection that The Cowl has been based on for over 80 years.

Recently, we have seen students from all grades and majors taking action on campus. Students were vocal on Wednesday morning when they planned and executed a walk out against gun violence, having members of the Providence College community gather by the torch for 17 minutes to represent the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Next Wednesday, students are planning a march for the community against transphobia and homophobia on campus. And recently, we have seen men and women stand up for women’s rights throughout Hollywood, championing #MeToo.

As the remaining time of the semester quickly flies by, take the time to reflect on what you want to experience at PC and what you want to do before you leave. What will your lasting mark be?

Getting the Gold at PC

by The Cowl Editor on February 15, 2018

Editor's Column

by Marla Gagne ’18


Whether you are a die-hard sports fan or just in it for the curling, the Olympics is a time to amaze and be amazed. Athletes from around the world defy all odds and show their skill, intensity, and passion during their one shot to prove they are the best.

In the first week of competition, the United States has already claimed four gold medals and created superstars. We are amazed by the young athletes, like snowboarders Red Gerard and Chloe Kim, who claimed gold at their first Olympics and at the age of 17. We are amazed by returning champions that continue to train and stay motivated—Jamie Anderson just became the first female snowboarder to win two Olympic gold medals. And we are amazed by athletes setting records, like Shaun White who just became the first snowboarder to become a three-time Olympic champion and claimed the U.S. historic 100th medal in Winter Olympic history.

Each Olympic season, I am always equally surprised by what I learn about different countries, cultures, sports, and the skill and devotion of these athletes. And while I may not be training to make it down the half pipe or to perform a triple axel, I think we can all be our own Olympian by getting out of our comfort zone, advancing our skills, and all around bettering ourselves.

February is the perfect time to attend different events and learn something new. This week’s issue features events surrounding Black History Month, including mobile museums, faith-based talks, and movie reviews. Join conversations and learn something new about people’s culture, accomplishments, and struggles.

Challenge your mind with Opinion articles—what do you think about attending Providence College  events and do you support the newest Super Bowl commercials? Or be fearless with A&E and go visit the local bands mentioned in “Let’s Rant” or explore Brown’s art and architecture. And see what our own devoted and talented athletes are doing in softball, tennis, and swimming—do we have any future Olympians here at PC?

The campus is filled with opportunities to do what you love or find something new to love. Take February to explore interests, meet new people, and live like an Olympian—fearlessly.

Finding Truth in a World of “Fake News”

by The Cowl Editor on February 2, 2018

Editor's Column

by Marla Gagne ’18


For the last few months, I have been patiently awaiting the premiere of a movie that has my three favorite things: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and journalism. Last Friday, a small group of Cowl editors and writers ventured to the mall to finally see The Post, a retelling of journalism at its finest.

The movie follows The Washington Post’s involvement in the publication of the Pentagon Papers—top-secret documents regarding the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War dating back to 1945. The New York Times initially published the classified documents, which revealed that the government had misled the American public about the state of the war, but was eventually ordered to stop publication by the government. The movie follows The Post’s journey of locating the papers and publishing them, eventually making their way to the Supreme Court to fight to uphold their use of the First Amendment.

The movie is everything you want it to be—writers huddled around  conference tables, smoking cigarettes and using typewriters. Inspiring speeches by Post editor Ben Bradlee saying the only way to assert the right to publish is to publish. And the evolution of a woman working in a man’s world as publisher Katharine Graham risks her paper, reputation, and fortune to publish the truth—the ultimate mission of any newspaper.

We may not be going against the White House or defying court orders to find our own truth, but in today’s world finding the truth is not the easiest task. Facebook fills your news feed with people and ideas that mirror your own. The internet has created a platform where anyone with anything close to an opinion can voice their beliefs. And our own president has started a trend of “fake news,” a simple write-off of any argument one does not like or want to address.

But this attitude of dismissing arguments and information we may not like is harmful to every person of the community. A New York Times article recorded Pope Francis recently denouncing “fake news”  as a way to “grab people’s attention by exploiting ‘emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration.’” The article further reports that the pope advises individuals to debunk circulating falsehoods but also “praised educational programs, regulatory efforts and social media companies’ progress in verifying personal identities ‘concealed behind millions of digital profiles.’”

At a college that values “veritas,” or truth, it is crucial that every part of the community moves beyond click bait headlines and hearsay. We must be informed and open-minded and hold everyone, from media and professors to friends and family, accountable.

Giving Yourself This Holiday Season

by The Cowl Editor on November 30, 2017

Editor's Column

by Marla Gagne ’18


After five days of eating copious amounts of food, going to war at malls across America, and catching up on much-needed sleep, it is time to say goodbye to Thanksgiving and hello to the Christmas season.

Like many people, I spent the remainder of my break watching Hallmark Christmas movies while drinking eggnog and prepping our Christmas tree.  And as I returned to Providence College Sunday night, it was clear I was not the only one ready to celebrate the season of Michael Bublé, hot chocolate by the fire, and nonstop Christmas movies.

Finals can be a stressful period that leave little time to enjoy the winter festivities or celebrate important religious holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. But throughout PC and Providence, there are many things to do to enjoy the holiday season if you can spare a minute or two.

This week’s issue features a Winter Season preview from A&E, giving you the best tips to make the most of December. Read more about where to adventure for local ice-skating or join the debate about the best city to visit during December—New York or Boston?  Find out more about the history of snowstorms at PC and the winter fashion sweeping campus and tell us if you agree with our top five Christmas movie list.

The season is also a time of giving, to help people in need and ensure they are prepared for winter and can also have a special Christmas. News this week takes a look at the toy drive of Providence College’s Leadership Honor Society, Dirigo, one of many organizations on campus helping the community with toys, food, and winter supplies.

Supporting these organizations is so important to being a responsible member of the community and thinking beyond the PC bubble. But as you approach the season, I also encourage you to look at giving beyond materials. Your skills, talent, and time can be so special to people, from visiting someone who cannot go out in the cold weather to volunteering at a local church or food drive. Even spending a few extra minutes to check in with a stressed friend or FaceTiming someone you have not talked to in a while can make such a difference to that person.

As finals consume the end of the semester, remember to care about the work you are doing, care about the people you are working with, and have some holiday fun.

The Cowl Takes Dallas

by The Cowl Editor on November 9, 2017

Editor's Column

by Marla Gagne ’18


Dallas, Texas, is home to BBQ, football, cowboy hats, and…journalism? This week on pages 12 and 13 you will find a dose of Dallas as Cowl editors highlight the best parts of the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association’s Fall National Media Convention.

Two weeks ago, five Cowl editors boarded a flight to join a buzzing journalism community in the Lone Star State. Thousands of students, advisers, and journalism experts came together to talk about our favorite thing—news.

The conference was mainly a time of workshops and discussion. We split up and conquered many sessions, ranging from “Cut the Crap,” 10 editing tips that can be done in 10 minutes, to “Diversifying Resources,” the best way to include news about all members on campus. Our photographers met professionals who advised them on the best ways to take last-minute portraits, while we learned more about the First Amendment, reporting objectively, and how to cover those difficult investigative pieces.

We were also able to meet with critics who examined our paper and gave us positive and negative feedback. We were happy to hear the newspaper critic was impressed with The Cowl’s large size, articles, and visual layout, all without a journalism program. We also gained more insight into improving content and received many suggestions for advancing our website and social media.

The convention also placed a big spotlight on the ethics of journalism, especially in an age of “fake news.” Everyone from keynote speakers to advisers reinforced the reporter’s responsibility to find the truth, write objectively, and report with ethical integrity—doing the right thing when no one is watching.

In between workshops and lectures, we were able to explore downtown Dallas and get a taste of the culture, from museums and street murals to highly acclaimed food. Special spots included the Sixth Floor Museum, the location where Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy, the Dallas Museum of Art, and Pecan Lodge, home to some of the best Texan barbeque.

Attending the conference was a special experience that allowed us to bond as a staff and gain more journalism knowledge, something especially helpful for non-journalism majors. We thank Providence College for making this opportunity possible and are excited to start applying our new ideas. As always, The Cowl hopes to bring the best and most accurate information to readers and we always love to hear your feedback and ideas.

Fall in Love With Critique

by The Cowl Editor on October 26, 2017

Editor's Column

by Marla Gagne ’18


As you read this article and look over our newest issue, I will just be getting settled in Dallas, Texas. Like thousands of college journalists from around the country, I, along with four other Cowl editors, will be attending the National College Media Convention.

The annual conference is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for young journalists, who spend the weekend hearing accomplished journalists speak, attending workshops to advance their skills, and getting their papers and websites critiqued by experts from the industry. The conference center is filled with buzz as thousands share their passion for writing and reporting the news.

But getting reviewed is nerve-wracking. As a tutor at the Writing Center, I know how hard it can be to have someone read your work. You anxiously await feedback and watch every stroke of the red pen, waiting to be told the bad news.

This week our school underwent its own peer critique, as the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (CIHE/NEASC) talked to students, faculty, and staff to address the strengths and weakness of Providence College. Every part of PC was under scrutiny—from the DWC program and student experience to race relations and dialogue on campus.

In this week’s issue, writers share their thoughts about local and national issues. The opinion section discusses how the media handles figures and also analyzes the state of gun laws after the Las Vegas shooting. On a lighter note, other writers argue for an express line at the Ruane Café, the promise of Miley Cyrus’s new album, and love for the newly evil Taylor Swift.

Criticism is easy to give, harder to get. It takes a little dose of courage to put your ideas and work out there, ready to receive both good and bad feedback. But each year we get a little better with feedback and a little more motivated to get even better reviews for next year. So as you enter your week and hand in papers, audition for a new role, or try a new sport, embrace the criticism and use it to help you. As our advisor Richy Kless always says, “Fall in love with critique.”