PC Plans to Celebrate In-Person Commencement
by Max Waite ’21
On Thursday, May 20, commencement exercises for the class of 2021 will be celebrated with an in-person ceremony at Hendricken Field. As much as this past year has been uncertain, it is remarkable to see how far the Providence College community has come in order to make this event as memorable as it can be.
Despite COVID-19 regulations easing up in the surrounding communities, as well as vaccine availability increasing, parents and guests will not be able to attend the outdoor ceremony. Father Kenneth Sicard, O.P., announced, however, that the ceremony will be livestreamed.
In the past several weeks, students have received their caps and gowns and have taken the time to get their senior yearbook photos done. There is a palpable excitement in the air throughout the community. Michael McGreal ’21 stated, “I’m sure our entire class was wondering what commencement would be like this year. I felt that it was on us to do whatever we could to prevent the spread of the virus. I’m ecstatic that we’re able to have an in-person ceremony.”
The ceremonies will start with a commencement mass for the senior class, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19 at 4 p.m. Additionally, there will be a separate, in-person ceremony for graduate school and School of Continuing Education graduates on Friday, May 21 at 6 p.m. Parents and guests will not be able to attend this ceremony either.
The College also announced Dr. Laurie Santos will be the commencement speaker. A Yale University psychology professor, Dr. Santos is the host of a widely acclaimed podcast called The Happiness Lab, where she dives into the factors that can impact our overall well-being. This will certainly be a memorable part of the ceremony, during which the class of 2021 will be sent off with a positive message that we can carry with us on to the next chapter of our lives.
Students will be notified of graduation honors and class rank before the ceremony as part of their academic transcripts. Students who have been studying remotely for the past year are encouraged to join their class for the ceremonies, and, of course, they must provide a negative COVID-19 test before the ceremony. This past year has not been easy, and it is amazing to be able to celebrate the class of 2021 with an in-person commencement ceremony.
Rhode Island Recovery Effort Experiences Growing Pains: Citizens Become Frustrated With Vaccine Dispersal
by Max Waite ’21
As of Feb. 22, eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine has expanded in Rhode Island to those who are 65 and older. Though this age group is now eligible, it has already proven to be difficult to book vaccination appointments at various testing centers and pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. Appointments are quickly being booked extending into the immediate future as more groups are becoming eligible for the vaccine, and citizens have expressed their frustrations with the online format’s technical issues.
Approximately 9,900 citizens were vaccinated across both state-run testing facilities during the first three days of operation. Over the past six weeks, the vaccine administration rate has increased by 89 percent in Rhode Island, with more than 211,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine having been administered to date.
Overall, the state has seen a steady decline in new cases and hospitalizations. Field hospitals in Providence and Cranston will be taken out of service, as Rhode Island has seen a 47 percent decline in hospital admissions since last month. The Rhode Island Convention Center will have its last day of patient care on Friday, Feb. 26, and Cranston’s site is scheduled to shut down within the next couple of weeks. On another note, Rhode Island has placed New Hampshire back on the state travel advisory list, along with Louisiana.
In the past seven days, Rhode Island reported the most COVID-19 deaths as a percentage of its population in the country. For the past year, the state has had the fourth-highest COVID-19 death rate in the country, behind New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Six percent of the population in Rhode Island has been fully vaccinated.
For Providence College students, the routine of weekly testing remains the same. Over the past week, the number of positive test results at the PC testing center has significantly declined. On Feb. 18, Rhode Island reported a 1.72 percent COVID-19 positivity rate, with an average of 2.2 percent over the course of that week. Though eligibility for vaccinations is expanding across the state, the College continues to urge students to remain conscientious of social distancing guidelines, having students remain in their pods and encouraging them to only leave for essential purposes. There have been concerns regarding the continuation of large gatherings off campus, and if the positive numbers increase significantly again, there may be trouble ahead in Friartown. In the meantime, as vaccination efforts continue to progress, it is best for everyone to continue to do whatever they can to stop the spread of the virus.
Featured Friar: Alex Richards ’21
by Max Waite ’21
For Alex Richards ’21, attending Providence College runs in the family. Son to Derek Richards ’92 and brother to Morgan Richards ’19,’21G, Richards carries on his family legacy as a marketing major and writing minor.
Originally from Georgetown, MA, Richards attended St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, MA. He was an active member of the St. John’s community. He was a member of the football team, played the saxophone in the school band, and served as president of Amnesty International, a non-government human rights organization. When it came to the college application process, PC was always at the top of his list.
“I chose Providence College because of my family’s history and knew that I would be rewarded with a one-of-a-kind college experience. I loved the atmosphere and felt that it would be a perfect fit for me,” said Richards.
Arriving at PC, Richards established a large circle of close friends through his involvement in and out of the classroom. One of his fondest memories came from his freshman year Introduction to Literature class with Professor E.C. Osondu, as the class enhanced his passion for writing and prompted him to declare a writing minor.
“The short stories that we read in Osondu’s class were really inspiring for me to start writing my own stories,” said Richards.” I developed a great interest in the composition of a unique story and have tried my best to reflect my own style in everything that I write.”
Additionally, Richards has been a part of several intramural sports teams, including hockey, football, and frisbee. Though he has not won a coveted intramural champion t-shirt, he hopes to chase that dream in his final semester as a competitive badminton player. He said, “I feel like it’s everyone’s goal at PC to win an intramural champion shirt. I’d love to add that to my Providence College experience, as it would serve as a great accomplishment during my past four years.”
During his freshman year, Richards was a part of the club frisbee team. He had played throughout high school, and wanted to take his skills to the next level.
While Richards did not stick with frisbee, he took his talents to the WDOM 91.3 FM radio booth. “WDOM is a great creative outlet for my friends and I to share our interests for the Providence College community to hear. I’ve loved music all my life, and have an extensive background and taste in everything that I listen to,” he said.
As a business student, Richards has thrived in all of his marketing courses with his friendly and extroverted personality. He has expressed a great interest and dedication toward his studies, and his marketing major has provided him with a lot of great opportunities to explore after graduation.
Currently, Richards works remotely from school as a recruiter at Sevenstep RPO, a business that works towards developing talent management and recruitment strategies.
“My job has given me a great introspective view on the interviewing process and an excellent chance for me to work during the school year,” noted Richards. “It’s also been great practice for me in how to communicate within a professional environment.”
As his four years at PC come to a close, there are a lot of things that he will miss and cherish. “I’m really going to miss the liberal arts aspect of my education. I was able to take a lot of different classes that interested me with a wide variety of subject matter,” Richards stated.
“I really enjoyed my [Development of] Western Civilization experience. I took the Magic and Mysticism Civ colloquium with Professor Johnathon Wales, and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience learning about esotericism, which is something that I never imagined I’d be able to learn about in a classroom.”
Some of his favorite memories come from spending time with his friends and housemates as they conclude their final year together, as well as Late Night Madness and the spring concerts. While Richards is concluding his undergraduate experience at PC, he has applied to the 4+1 MBA program, where he is hoping to continue his education at PC next fall.
Students Safely Celebrate a Spook-tacular Halloween
By Max Waite ’21
Last week, spooky season arrived on the Providence College campus. This was not your typical Halloween in Friartown, as students were confined to their pods to respect social distancing guidelines. The same rules applied to off-campus students, who were advised to stay in their homes for the duration of the weekend.
Halloween weekend is always a memorable experience for PC students. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many obstructions to everyday life and common traditions from the past. Thus, students were not necessarily able to experience Halloween in the traditional sense. Nevertheless, students were encouraged to make the most out of the weekend in a safe and respectable manner.
Prior to the weekend, all off-campus students received an email from Shannon Russell at the 02908 Club with recommendations for the weekend. Social distancing, remaining in pods, wearing masks indoors and outdoors, and respectable noise levels were among some of the requirements listed in the email.
Earlier in the week, Governor Gina Raimondo ordered Providence Police to issue $500 dollar fines to individuals found at parties that did not follow social distancing guidelines. There was also fear of the “Purge of Providence” that was supposedly going to occur over the weekend. Luckily, the culprit organizing the event was arrested shortly before the weekend began.
Timothy Siemen ’21 is one of the many off-campus students that did their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Siemen said, “I had broken my collarbone the previous week while riding an electric scooter, so I took advantage of my time indoors by rehabilitating from my injury. The surgery was incredibly painful, so I’m really glad that I had my roommates there to cheer me up. We had a lot of laughs and made lots of memories!”
Among the on-campus students, student-athlete Sean Meehan ’22 had a similar experience in Davis Hall. Meehan stated, “Even though I couldn’t go anywhere, I really enjoyed wearing my costume in my apartment. I would have liked to show my Elvis costume off a little more, but I’m happy with how it was received by my roommates.”
With COVID-19 cases increasing exponentially within our area, it is great to see that Halloween weekend did not impede any of the College’s progress concerning the virus. As a result of the increase in Rhode Island’s cases, though, Governor Raimondo issued several new COVID-19 guidelines similar to those in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Effective Nov. 8, there is a stay-at-home advisory from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Groups of no more than 10 are allowed. Bars and restaurants must close at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. on weekends, while keeping the social gathering limit at the mandated level.
As Thanksgiving break approaches, the Providence College community needs to do its best to proactively prevent the spread of the virus. The fall semester is coming to a close, but the possibility of bringing the virus back home to Friar families and at-risk relatives remains a concern. Remember to wear a mask, social distance, and stay safe!
Connecting and Networking through an Online Network: Providence College Holds Virtual Career Expo
By: Max Waite ’21
This past Wednesday, Oct. 21, the Providence College Career Expo was held virtually for the PC community. Over 450 students attended the redesigned event, where they were given the option to sign up for one-on-one or group sessions on the Handshake platform.
The Career Expo has always been a tremendous opportunity for students, not only to expand their networks, but also to gain valuable practice in communicating with business professionals. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire event had to be moved to a virtual format in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Despite this, students were still engaged with and intrigued by each guest speaker.
Prior to the event, students were given the opportunity to participate in the “Expo Crunch” on Oct. 13-15 from 1-5 p.m. As part of this event, students could elect to receive extensive feedback on their resumes from employer partners of a student’s choosing. Another set of eyes is always helpful when reviewing resumes, for the advice provided from someone in a field you are interested in could enhance your brand image within the working world.
Dylan Clune ’21 appreciated the help he received on his resume, stating, “It was awesome to receive feedback on how to improve my resume in order for it to stand out.” He continued, saying, “It was great to experience the effort and care someone was willing to put in to help me out to make my resume even better.”
Given the virtual format, it was likely more difficult to ask questions within sessions. Originally, students could have the opportunity to have a brief one-on-one conversation with an employer and ask them questions about their line of work and their company. Within virtual group sessions, however, it could be more difficult to stand out amongst other attendees of a session, and students may have felt awkward asking questions or participating in conversations with large numbers of attendees in a particular session. Regardless, students received great preparation to take with them for future interactions within a professional environment.
Cam Offner ’21 stated, “I attended 3 sessions, all widely ranging in the number of attendees. I thoroughly enjoyed the Career Expo, but sometimes felt that it was difficult for some students to ask questions to employers. I truly feel that I received all the information that I needed in order to make the most out of the experience, as well as enhance my presence within the working world.”
A crucial component of the Career Expo, regardless of whether the event is virtual or not, is preparation. All students were strongly encouraged to research each of the industries and companies that they were interested in, even if they had participated in previous events of this kind. Through research, one could stand out and impress employers by showing their dedication and motivation. Alex Richards ’21 said, “I thoroughly researched every employer in attendance. The Expo is always a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and expand your network. There are a lot of opportunities to stand out at the Expo, and I strongly felt that I did my part to make the most out of the experience.” As part of the preparation for the Career Expo, students were also given the opportunity to attend the Career Development & What Employers Are Looking For Webinar on Thursday, Oct. 15.
Featured Friar: Matthew Petry ’21
by Max Waite ’21
For all incoming students at Providence College, the process of getting involved with the various organizations on campus can be quite intimidating. However, getting involved with the school community is important, as it can pave the way toward many amazing experiences. By gradually developing their own networks, students have the ability to access more and more of these opportunities.
During the past three years, Matthew Petry ’21 has seized the vast amount of resources and opportunities that the College has to offer.
Growing up in Southborough, Massachusetts, Petry attended St. John’s High School, where he was involved with the football and hockey programs. Additionally, he regularly volunteered for the Be Like Brit Foundation, which leads volunteer efforts for disaster and humanitarian relief. As a volunteer for this organization, Petry traveled to Haiti for one week to learn about the Haitian culture, to build homes, and to help children within the community.
Petry stated, “The whole experience was incredibly moving. I was incredibly taken aback. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to help others, and it will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
During the college decision process, Petry wanted to find a similar environment to that of his high school. Petry said, “What was really important for me was the size of the campus. I noticed on my tour and through visits to PC that everyone was really friendly. It was a close-knit campus community with a Division I athletic program and a great business school. I knew that PC was the right fit for me and that I could adapt to campus life smoothly.”
Petry is studying both finance and accountancy in the Providence College School of Business, where, recently, he has been active as the healthcare sector portfolio manager in the new club Student-Led Asset Management (SLAM). Petry said, “This has been a very exciting experience. I enjoy helping students learn the fundamentals and guide them to pitch stocks they believe we should buy.”
Additionally, Petry has been an equity analyst for the Student Managed Investment Fund class in both the industrial and communications sectors, respectively.
Recently, Petry was named co-president of the Finance Society alongside Liam Faulkner ’21. Petry stated, “Our vision together is to really try and expose all the students that are a part of Finance Society to as many career paths as possible. There are so many career paths within financial services, and it is hard to receive exposure to all of them.”
To add to Petry’s impressive resume and involvement within the school community, he has been a student mentor, an Admissions Ambassador, team captain for his group of four students at the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) challenge, and has a channel on PC’s radio station, WDOM 91.3.
As an Admission Ambassador, Petry gets to meet potential new students and inform them of all that Friartown has to offer. Petry added, “It’s interesting to think that I was in these students’ position only a few years ago. I love Providence College, so I thought it would be helpful to guide high school students during this process while sharing my own experiences.”
Petry has done a remarkable job in this position, and he encourages students to learn more about joining the team.
During his freshman year, Petry and some of his friends started a radio show. By tuning into Petry’s station on Saturdays from 6-8 p.m., active and admiring listeners can experience a wide range of music from country, to rock, to rap, to R&B, along with side commentary about current events on campus.
Petry added, “The radio show has been a great opportunity for me to access a creative outlet. My friends and I all have an absolute blast, and I will cherish the memories for a really long time.”
As the ambiguity of the outcome for this school year clouds the thoughts of the entire PC community, Petry reminisces on his favorite memories in Friartown. Petry stated, “My favorite memory at Providence College was my freshman year when the men’s basketball team took down Villanova at the Dunk. I’ll never forget storming the court with all my friends, and seeing the giant cloud of pink shirts fill up the arena.”
In terms of what Petry will miss, he says, “I will miss the community as a whole (which I already do currently). I will miss seeing everyone that I don’t normally see or wouldn’t normally talk to. I’ve made a great group of friends over my past three years, and for now, I really look forward to spending more time with them and making more memories.”
Matthew Petry’s journey through Friartown should serve as an inspiration to all those who wish to make the most out of their Providence College experience. Involvement is key, for PC has opened many doors for him, including his recently accepted position at Citizens Financial Group as an investment banking analyst in their Boston office.
Breaking the Ice and Bending the Curve: Freshmen Orientation Undergoes COVID Overhaul
by Max Waite ’21
For all incoming students, move-in week and new student orientation can be a very exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. Entering and adjusting to a different environment can be difficult, especially in the times we are in right now; 2020 has proven to be an incredibly strenuous year for people all over the world. Uncertainty fills the air and tensions seem to constantly be running high. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a devastating crisis that has affected and challenged everything about our day-to-day lives. Thus, administrative and student leaders will have to find unusual and creative ways to introduce new students to all college life has to offer for the foreseeable future.
Sean King ’21, Jordan Pagliuca ‘21, and Mia Gheduzzi ‘21 are some of Providence College’s prized orientation leaders tasked with welcoming the Class of 2024 and transfer students to Friartown. We have all grown accustomed to social distancing guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thus, it should go without saying that all group gatherings normally associated with orientation, including the class photo, convocation, welcome mass, and some group ice-breaker activities had to be removed from the orientation itinerary.
Pagliuca states, “On a day-to-day basis, our staff alternated between running group meetings and volunteering to assist with more logistical tasks such as directing families during move-in, escorting students still in quarantine to lunch/dinner, and overseeing social distancing guidelines in Peterson and Ray.” Some groups even had creative approaches to get together through virtual game nights and Netflix watch parties.
Commenting on the many differences between this year’s orientation versus past years‘, King remarks, “Though all of the group gathering activities were taken away, what stayed was the constant energy, support, and compassion that all the leaders had for their orientation groups, as it shifted into a virtual dynamic and programming.”
Another theme that the COVID-19 pandemic has produced is the fact that nearly everyone is experiencing some level of uncertainty and anxiety. Whether it is emotions or the actual restrictions that we all have to comply with, both orientation leaders and new students have one communal element that everyone can relate with and talk about. Gheduzzi explains, “I feel like we had more in common this year than we could have before because we were all experiencing this type of orientation for the first time together. It was definitely still the same good vibe and energy that always comes with orientation and the beginning of the school year.”
As freshman and new students enter this exciting new chapter of their lives, it is incredibly important and helpful for them to have strong a support systems. Clear and concise instructions help tremendously in providing all students with a smooth transition Pagliuca commented on her concern about lack of engagement between orientation leaders and new students, stating, “I was quickly proven wrong by the energy and enthusiasm of new students who were ready to embrace college life, even in times as different and challenging as these are.”
Despite all of the drastic changes implemented to make orientation possible, some freshmen have voiced their gratitude for their orientation leaders and their amazing efforts to welcome them into the Friar Family. Alex Ohl ‘24 says, “The whole experience was extremely helpful and well-thought-out. The schedule that was sent to each orientation group explicitly outlined what we need to do and was super easy to follow to be in a call when we needed to be.”
Ava Baron ‘24 explains, “Although orientation was really different than how it was supposed to be, I thought our orientation leaders did a great job welcoming us to campus. Whether it would be walking with us to lunch or offering advice, they were great examples of Providence College upperclassmen.”
Despite all of the changes that impacted new student orientation, it is clear that our orientation leaders took everything in stride in order to make new students feel as welcome as possible. Gheduzzi explains, “Orientation this year wasn’t really what anyone expected and even though I was really apprehensive going into it I think we still accomplished the same goal of being a welcoming and supportive resource to the new students.”
King added, “I have nothing but gratitude for the work done by the staff in charge and the orientation coordinators who created the best possible delivery for orientation for the class of 2024. It may not have been similar to what we had experienced our freshman year but this is the new normal for now, and hopefully those students to feel welcome in our Friar Family.”
To King’s point, this is the new normal. We must work together as both new and returning students to make the best of our difficult situation. Be kind to one another, for we are all facing challenges in unprecedented times.
Featured Friar: Sean Richardson ’20
by Max Waite ’21
During the college search, some people do not have to search very far to call a place home. For Sean Richardson ‘20, home was just a stone’s throw away.
Richardson is a sociology and public/community service double major who grew up in the neighboring town of Pawtucket, where he attended Charles E. Shea High School. Staying close to home was very important for Richardson, and the proximity of the Providence College campus to his house was too tempting to pass up.
Richardson explained, “I really wanted to stay close to my family. The campus was really pretty, and the financial package made it a no-brainer to stay local.”
In high school, Richardson was involved in his student government as the class secretary. By the time he came to PC, he wanted to continue down that path. As it turns out, Richardson was elected vice president of his freshman class.
Richardson was very excited but quickly became overwhelmed. Upon arriving at his first meeting, he instantly realized that student government in college was not nearly the same as it was back at Shea.
“Student Congress was an interesting place. I was in a room with almost 100 people, a majority of the upperclassmen, and I was one of the only black people in the room. After some time, I got into it a lot more because we were doing some really important work, and realized how important it was for voices of color to be present in those conversations.”
Coming to PC, there were many opportunities Richardson took advantage of during his freshman year, and he used these opportunities to try new things. Despite the fact that Richardson had never danced in his life before arriving in Friartown, he became a part of Motherland, the African dance group on campus, during his freshman year.
“Joining Motherland was completely random and outside the box. I figured I would join because my friends were in it and I wanted to see if I would like it too. It ended up being so much fun, and I still do it here and there.”
Starting his sophomore year, Richardson was one of the resident assistants in Guzman Hall. After that memorable year, Richardson became the head resident assistant in McDermott Hall and is now the head resident assistant in Fennell Hall. Needless to say, Richardson says it has been a wild ride as an RA.
“I’d say my favorite RA experience was in Guzman. I miss watching over first-year students a lot. Everyone was so invested and interested in everything I did and really wanted to get to know me. There was such a great atmosphere and they had so much respect for me where nothing felt forced.”
Richardson did not study abroad for a semester, but did take two courses that were global-service learning. He was involved with global border crossing, where he actually got to walk across the California-Mexico border. Additionally, Richardson went to Guatemala last spring break where he fulfilled one of his theology requirements.
Looking back, Richardson reminisced on what stood out to him about PC that made it feel like home. He came onto campus for registration day when Huxley Avenue still ran through the campus. A couple of weeks later, he came back as part of the Friar Foundations program and Huxley had disappeared. Richardson noticed the huge difference it made for the campus.
Another aspect of the PC community that made Richardson more at ease was the sense of feeling a part of something. He said, “People were asking how I was doing. If I was not in class or was busy somewhere doing work, my friends would ask where I was or what I was doing. I felt like I had a presence in my community, which was really comforting.”
Recently, Richardson attended SRW and had an amazing time. His favorite part of the weekend was being able to see his entire class in one place at the same time. “Just seeing all the seniors come together and the camaraderie between everyone was really exciting to see. Usually, everyone is really busy but I was able to see all my friends in one place. I was even able to meet some new friends, which was nice.”
Though Richardson’s four years on campus are coming to an end, he is looking forward to finishing some of his thesis work, as well as figuratively “passing off the torch” to the next class.
“I think there is such a special moment when transitioning out of PC when the senior class knows that they are putting the community into good hands. For the next class to learn from the old class’s mistakes in order to make everyone better.”
Richardson is looking forward to continuing his education in graduate school, where he hopes to study higher education policy within the New England area.
Medical Shuttle Lends a Helping Hand
by Max Waite ’21
For about five years, Ernie Adamo has been helping the Providence College community by providing shuttle rides around campus to those with physical ailments.
Adamo, along with his wife, had worked in the alumni office here at PC for 18 years prior to taking his latest job.
Instead of heading into retirement, he gave the office of Public Safety a call to see if there was anything available for him. Adamo explained, “I can’t stay home. I just like to be working.”
As it turns out, he was given the opportunity to drive students around campus who could not walk on their own. Additionally, Adamo and his team of shuttle drivers get to drive six students off-campus for their student teaching positions at nearby schools.
Jake Murray ‘21 is another shuttle driver who drives student teachers to their schools off-campus. Murray says, “I like driving the vans on/off-campus because it is a work-study job where I can connect with other PC students in a different setting other than the classroom. Driving around the local communities around the PC campus has given me insight into the Rhode Island community and the people associated with PC. I wouldn’t trade the job for any other one on campus.”
An interesting part of the shuttle drivers’ is how drastically the College’s campus has changed since Adamo started driving for the school just five years ago.
Since the College closed off part of Huxley Avenue, it has been much safer for students traveling across campus. Adamo describes, “The traffic patterns are much better, and students are much safer by not having to cross a busy street.”
Currently, Adamo and his team drive about 14 students around campus with two vans. The larger shuttle is wheelchair-accessible and can fit four people, while the smaller van is not wheelchair-accessible and can fit six people.
Up until three years ago, the College only had the six-passenger van, which was especially difficult for those in wheelchairs.
Steve Joyce ‘21 has ridden on the shuttle since the start of the semester due to an injured leg. Joyce said, “I honestly have not had a ride in the shuttle that wasn’t a good time. I am extremely thankful for all the shuttle drivers, and I hope to be back on my feet soon!”
What the drivers have found especially difficult to juggle has been the fact that there are only two vans to take students both around and off-campus. Adamo also wants to caution students to look both ways before crossing the streets on-campus for their own safety.
Despite that, the PC community applauds Adamo and his drivers for their job well done.
Saying Goodbye to the Eaton St. Bike Lane
by Max Waite ’21
Upon moving back on campus this semester, students were greeted by a drastic change on nearby Eaton Street.
As part of the “Great Streets Initiative,” Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza approved of 60 plus miles of bike lanes scattered throughout the city of Providence. Eaton Street was the first street to be reconstructed.
The construction was finished the week of Sept. 9, adding a double bike lane on the side of the street. Lieutenant Eric Croce from the Office of Public Safety described the repaving process by saying, “It was like it happened overnight.”
While the construction project seemed to sneak up on locals nearby, it ended up being short-lived. The construction received backlash from those who live in the area surrounding Eaton Street, who were also surprised by the project.
According to Steve Maurano, associate vice president of public affairs, community & government relations, the repaving process of the .75-mile bike lane could be restored to its original condition as early as Monday, October 21. It cost $63,500 to construct, while the repaving process will cost $64,000.
Last month, there were two community meetings that were held at St. Pius School as a result of the double bike lane. Council members in attendance for the first meeting were David Salvatore, Jo-Ann Ryan, and Katherine Kerwin representing Wards 14, 5, and 12.
Many locals in attendance found the project to be rushed and not well thought out. Some locals actually thought that Providence College wanted the bike lane. But this decision was entirely the city’s, and the overall consensus was that a bike lane is not a bad concept, but the city should have looked for more community input on the abrupt project.
Locals are not too happy about the taxes they are going to have to pay as a result of the failed project either. Ultimately, it was a common theme that Eaton Street was the worst location to premiere the city’s widespread bike lane initiative.
A couple of years ago, Maurano got a group of faculty members together who all enjoyed riding bicycles to discuss the use of “jump bikes” around the Elmhurst area. Maurano said that faculty members were “supportive of the concept, but the streets in the area were not equipped to handle bicyclists.”
To add to the project’s overwhelming sense of haste, there were many factors that the city did not take into account.
Maurano went on a ride-along with Lieutenant John Dunbar from the Office of Public Safety to experience the changes on the road. According to Maurano, there were a couple of spots on their drive where tree trunks nearly took off the side mirror on the public safety truck as a result of the incredibly narrow road. One could only imagine the difficulties that drivers would face in even bigger vehicles.
Additionally, the lanes were so narrow that other cars veer into the opposite lanes and face head-on with traffic. When turning onto Eaton Street, drivers have to go all the way into the other lane in order to make a proper turn, as well.
Though these dangerous instances are just a couple of examples as to why the double bike lane was not thought through, Maurano expresses several more concerns in a letter that he sent to the city of Providence while construction was underway.
Among issues addressed in the letter included trash pickups for PC off-campus residents living on Eaton Street as well as snow removal. Both of these concerns are crucial because the yellow poles between the lanes prevent these jobs from effectively being accomplished without difficulty.
With these concerns in mind, think about who would be using this double bike lane. It seems evident that the lane was not used nearly as much as the city anticipated, and that is most likely because the lane is not even a mile long.
If someone is an avid bicyclist, or even just wants to go out on a ride, they most likely will want to ride longer than three-quarters of a mile. Once the Eaton Street lane ends, there are not any connecting bike lanes in the area anyway.
Many streets in Providence have the potential to feature a bike lane, but it was quickly proven that Eaton Street is not on that list.