Tangents and Tirades

by Jezel Tracey '24
Opinion Staff


Opinion


Turn off the Lights

By Kaelin Ferland ’23

It seems like I am constantly reminding my roommates to turn off the lights. I probably get on their nerves, but it’s one of the easiest things that we can do to help the environment, as 19 percent of energy consumed globally is used for lighting. Many people know that turning off the lights is better for the planet; however, they do not know why this is the case. Around the world, fossil fuels are still the primary source used to generate electricity. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2020, 4.01 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy were used in the U.S. alone, releasing 1.71 billion tons of carbon dioxide. Only 62 percent of this electricity was generated from fossil fuels including coal, petroleum, and natural gas. It is also estimated that 714 pounds of coal are used to power a standard 100-watt light bulb for one year. By unnecessarily leaving on the lights, we not only support the fossil fuel industry but encourage a cycle of environmental destruction, especially in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. 

For us PC students to say that we do not need to turn off the lights on campus because we do not pay for electricity is irresponsible and ignorant. We might not directly pay the electricity bills at PC; however, if we continue to have this careless mindset, the environmental costs will be much greater.

Obstructions Versus Solutions:  Addressing the Unanswered Questions of Campus Parking

By Jezel Tracey ’24

 It seems as though every new semester comes with a cycle of parking complications and frustrations. Limited parking on campus has always been an issue at Providence College, and it feels like the problem will never end.

Student frustrations are fueled not only by the lack of solutions to these problems, but also the creation of obstructions that only make these problems worse. The newest problem with parking is not a limitation on space, but rather that spaces are being removed. As the College has decided to replace the parking lot by Glay Field with a new dormitory building, students are left with even more questions concerning the campus’s severe lack of parking. 

While there is a clear need for more parking spaces on campus, it does not seem that there have been any visible efforts to find solutions to help students who need parking. Whether it is having to park across campus in the only available lot or receiving an innumerable amount of tickets, it does not seem as though there are any solutions to solve these problems.

 Even though it appears as though the College intends to solve problems in regard to the expansion of the campus, this solution only creates more problems. There is no way to satisfy everyone, but they could at least offer solutions. 

While our campus expands, it is a red flag when the already limited space that we have is reduced.

@pcfriarlife Has No Real Grasp of a PC Friar’s Life

Olivia Bretzman ’22

Early last week, the Instagram account @pcfriarlife, an official Providence College social media account, posted multiple, poorly shot, pictures of meals from Raymond Dining Hall.  Now, one may find this rather typical, especially considering Ray meals are not necessarily aesthetically appealing; however, these particular photos were coupled with a calorie count for each meal as well as other nutritional facts.

One may not think anything of this, but many students were appalled, and the post has since been deleted, suggesting pushback at its insensitivity towards students with disordered eating and poor mental health.

While PC has a very active student body and prides itself in athletic endeavors, as it should, this culture can be extremely toxic for many students. Frequent exercise becomes a way of life, rather than an avenue to promote healthy living and balance. 

Clearly, the people paid to promote student activities and accomplishments have no real grasp on the pain points and issues within the student body.

Posting the calories of a meal that would hardly satisfy a busy and physically active student perpetuates the “ideal meal” that is honestly ideal for no one. 

Every individual student has a different lifestyle, goals, and body. Their metabolisms are all incredibly unique. Thus, suggesting these meals with calories attached is simply foolish. It is neither accurate within the whole population nor helpful when battling disordered eating or poor mental health. 

@pcfriarlife’s post promotes the horribly sad expectation of what one’s body should be fueled by and should ultimately look like. No one should have to see this on their feed, especially not from an account they have come to love and trust. PC, we can do better.

Tangents and Tirades

by jmccoy3


Opinion


Make Time for 7 P.M. Mass

By Zach Rossi ’23

As a Catholic institution, Providence College does a phenomenal job providing Mass to its students. In their tours of PC, nearly all members of Friars Club or Admission Ambassadors discuss the Mass options for students, focusing on one specifically: the 10 p.m. mass. While this service gets an abundance of attention and hype at the College, it is inferior to the 7 p.m. Mass.

The 10 p.m. Mass is often completely filled with students. To get enough seats for yourself and your friends, you need to get to the chapel relatively early. It tends to get so packed because the Mass is such a production. The music, performed by some of PC’s best singers and musicians, is unique to the service and gives a more contemporary alternative to a traditional Catholic Mass. While this format can be refreshing, it likens the service to more of a spectacle than an actual Mass. The environment of it all, tied in with getting out at 11 p.m., gives people the feeling of attending a packed, late-night concert. The 7 p.m. Mass, on the other hand, is at a reasonable time and gives people the chance to enjoy a traditional Catholic Mass, and without being on top of one another. 

The 10 p.m. Mass has a great reputation, but is it really all that? The 7 p.m. Mass offers a standard service and gives one the chance to enjoy it with one’s friends in a comfortable setting. While one may be unique, the other is more preferable if a person is really trying to just enjoy Mass.

 

Embrace the Discomfort of Being Alone on Campus

By Olivia Bretzman ’22

Walking to the Slavin student center from Phillips Memorial Library takes approximately three minutes. Most of that time, although so brief, is spent on one’s phone.

When walking alone from a residence hall on lower campus to the science building, the task becomes even more daunting. There seems to be an unwritten script for students to quell their feelings of discomfort walking alone by going on their phones.

Students hardly ever walk alone with their head up or ears unplugged. While understandable when one is trying to make one’s walks more enjoyable, often there is a sense of urgency to constantly fill any sort of empty space, conversation, or moment.

This habit has become part of almost everyone’s daily life and is incredibly detrimental.  In life, there are supposed to be moments of silence, of respite, of repose. Life should not just be a huge jumble of distractions and screens. 

Our campus yearns to be appreciated. People are meant to be acknowledged and smiled at. Humanity finds its place in nature by looking up every once and a while and putting down one’s phone.

Not only do people lose out on opportunities to be silent, but also to learn something. By looking for the details on our campus and in others’ faces, students, professors, administrators, and coaches can gain a perspective on life that will impact them far more than anything on their iPhone.

Of course, there are moments during one’s walk that are perfect for a phone call to one’s mother and should be cherished, but aside from a call or genuine human interaction, it simply makes no sense to pass up on the opportunity to look around and smell the roses.

Moreover, everyone can and should try to embrace the discomfort of being alone when walking around campus and take in life for its raw and pure nature.  

 

Why Being a Material Girl in College Is Not a Smart Thing to Do?

Ashley Seldon ’24

For the last couple of months, one of the most popular sounds on TikTok has been “Material Girl” by Saucy Santana. Many users have been quoting the sound to brag about their poor spending habits while actually having little-to-no money in their bank accounts. While it is fun to listen to, and can be entertaining to pretend everyone can live out their “Blair Waldorf” dreams, most expenses are unnecessary and give insight into how wrapped up young women have become in material items. Some girls will brag that they cannot stop buying expensive oat milk lattes or constantly have packages from Amazon arriving at their houses. However, spending hundreds of dollars on nails that last two weeks or fast fashion is merely short-term gratification, and in the long term, women will likely regret spending money on these items because many college students do not have steady incomes and either work few hours at minimum wage jobs or live off the money their parents put in their bank accounts.

While these TikTok videos are jokes and are often intended to merely poke fun, it is concerning that the trend seems to be encouraging young women to buy useless items that they do not need.. To combat this, it would be wiser for college-aged girls to begin to recognize their toxic spending habits now before it leads to dangerous adult behaviors that could affect one’s credit score or ability to save money. For example, instead of instantly buying something or constantly “treating yourself,” try to sit on online orders for longer and recognize that the things you want are probably not needed. There is already a stigma that young women do not know the value of money—prove everyone wrong.  

 

Euphoria: A Plea for Help in the United States’ School System

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


By Olivia Bretzman ’22

Content Warning: This piece contains discussion of drug use and addiction. 

HBO recently released season two of Euphoria, the hit show about teenage lives filled with real-life emotional, mental health, LGBTQ+, drug, and family struggles.

The show follows Rue, played by Zendaya, during her battle with drugs and rehabilitation.  It describes Rue as a character who has “no plans to stay clean.”  Watching the show, one can see the troubling reality of drug abuse among young people.

Wherever Rue goes, drugs seem to follow. They are readily accessible, and seem to be the answer to maintain a social existence as well as her mental health. .

According to IMDb, Euphoria has won three Primetime Emmys and various other awards. There is no question about the allure in the intensity of the show itself.

This general excitement and awe about the show is highlighted on social platforms. Social media has been blowing up about Euphoria, particularly TikTok, one of the most-used platforms by young, teenage people.

When scrolling, one can find many TikToks about the show itself, its characters, etc. But underneath the fan-following, there is a dark and worrisome reality that highlights the violence and drug-abuse rampant within the United States school system.

These particular TikTokers state things like, “You think Euphoria is a joke? Have you ever attended X high school in X city?” or “When Rue from Euphoria is your reality” followed by blurry, tear-filled photos of drugged-up nights and family battles in high school.

Other TikToks include Euphoria-like stories that give legitimate examples of violence, drugs, addiction, mental health crises, etc. in various high schools around the states.

Amazing, yes. Terrifying? Absolutely. These TikToks are no joke. They are a testament to the opioid crisis that plagues our population starting at the most fundamental stages of development.

The New York Times states, “Overdose deaths in the United States has exceeded 100,000 a year, more than the toll of car crashes and gun fatalities combined.”

As a country, we are failing. We are failing the mental health of the United States through poor drug control, failure to regulate medicinal use, the lack of medical and therapeutic support in our schools, failure to provide easily accessible rehabilitation, and the lack of support within familial units. Drugs are exceedingly available and getting more accessible by the minute.

 Euphoria has simply opened the door to have more open conversations about this horrid reality within our youngest population. The sad reality is no one with true power can really see the severity without being exposed to its darkness firsthand. 

Because of the media today, unless experienced, glamourized television series seem like fictional dramatizations depicting far away problems. However, social media is proving otherwise, emphasizing that something else needs to be done.

The Providence College community itself has been exposed to these crises more times than it would like to admit. Many gloss over these tragedies by not telling the true stories of victims who die of overdoses or purposefully overdose to feel better. 

Mental health and drug addiction among young adults is no joke.  Our own school proves it along with the rest of the U.S. school system, highlighted by Euphoria and its glamourization of the tragedies that students face.

To aid in this country-wide crisis, one can do a few things. Check in on your family and friends, especially those who seem to be hurting or masking their pain with substances.  Sadly, this crisis is not going anywhere any time soon,  but sometimes a smile or a call can make a huge difference.

Don’t Let the Job Façade Faze You

by jmccoy3


Campus


Don’t Let the Job Façade Faze You

Olivia Bretzman ’22

​Every second semester senior is beginning to feel the pressure of the last few months of student status. Unfortunately for seniors, the pressure to perform directly after graduation is intense at Providence College.  ​

​The idealization of already having secured a job post-graduation or going into graduate school application-craze mode in this very moment seeps out of the classroom and daily conversations of the class of 2022. 

​However, career paths are not as cut-and-dry as the PC culture and some parents continually portray them to be. While many business school students have their first entry-level job laid out post-graduation, they are some of the only students with a clear idea of their future. Even they will likely switch paths soon after their 90-hour work weeks drive them to insanity.

While the pressure may be on, there are so many reasons to take a step back, breathe, and truly take in your last experiences at PC.​ First, you are not alone. Most seniors feel confused, frustrated, and conflicted with what to do after graduation. Many are realizing that perhaps what they set out to study is not exactly what they want to do. Or maybe it is exactly what they love, but their luck with finding the perfect job that offers an entry-level position is incredibly stressful.

For that reason, this summer of 2022 exists! If given the opportunity, take the summer to move home, live with a friend, find an odd job, and make some money while thinking of your next career move.

Second, it is a proven fact that not all career paths are linear. Even if you start out in an entry-level HR position, you could change your mind in two or even 15 years and go to grad school or take a year to think and explore other avenues. 

It is incredibly important and helpful to talk to parents, mentors, and friends to legitimize this concept. Hearing others’ stories and conventional but also unconventional, difficult paths can help settle anxieties.

Converse with roommates and friends in the senior class! Chances are many of these individuals are beginning to realize these same concepts, which is incredibly comforting.  

No matter what one’s job status currently is, the end of college is a transitional point in life for everyone. It requires a deep sense of appreciation for all the hard work finally accomplished. It also requires a level of maturity and reflection on how to move forward.  

Now, this “moving forward” should not be rushed. Not many good decisions are made within minutes, but rather necessitate deliberation over a long period of time. One should take time to explore their passions, what truly fuels them, and even travel if they get the chance.

Life is incredibly short. To miss out on life’s opportunities for discomfort and growth is a true tragedy. To ignore those lessons and one’s true calling is an even bigger one.

No matter where one is in their journey formalizing post-graduation plans, the most important things right now are to release the pressure, accept reality – even if it is scary – and enjoy the last moments of senior year.

Easy Access Does Not Always Come Equally

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Easy Access Does Not Always Come Equally

by Olivia Bretzman ’22

As we near the end of 2021, we must reflect on the intensity of the year. Our worlds have turned upside down and inside out the past two years. More than ever, we have become reliable on technology to inform, relate, and ultimately survive.

         Our culture has transformed into one of extreme accessibility, and, as a result, of course, there is extreme disparity. While accessibility typically holds positive connotations, our generation has become numb to the privilege and the negative impacts created by accessibility culture.

         The term accessibility is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the quality of being able to be reached or entered” and “of being easily understood or appreciated.” Of course, technology has revolutionized this term as almost everything has become easily obtained, from groceries to relationships.

         Allyson Giso ’22 explains, “Everything from food to clothing to people has become accessible. There is a market for people now.”

         One can order groceries or a new outfit from their phone just as easily as they can open a dating app and find a date or hookup for that same night. One can FaceTime with their grandparents who live three states away or their brother who lives in another country, which is a beautiful thing; however, in terms of work, school, and social lives, everyone has become 100% attainable 100% of the time.

         It is no wonder why relationships are more complicated than ever, and that people are drained all the time. Not only does communication become difficult without face-to-face interaction, but people are constantly assuming that everyone has their means of communication open at all times and get upset when one does not respond right away. Giso explains, “Relationships have been better but more complicated because it opens up more doors for communication, but everything can be taken out of context.”

         This accessibility also takes away from the actual privacy and beauty of any relationship.  We tend to take our relationships for granted when, in all reality, a text message hardly equates to anything real.

         Aside from relationships, there is a general accessibility of commercial commodities and basic necessities such as food delivery services and online shopping. This particular version of accessibility makes people impatient for things that should and do, in reality, take time. Giso comments on this phenomenon, stating, “It’s like a shopper’s high…you need it now and then it’s a letdown.”

         Our constant mindset is that everything can be handed over and easily used. Inevitably, many can be affected negatively by this without even realizing. It creates a mentality of irritability, impatience, and self-centeredness especially when things do not go as fast as one believes they should.

         On the other hand, the greatest disparities within our society are highlighted through these services. One could order two hundred dollars’ worth of alcohol to their house via DRIZLY for a Christmas party while a person down the street relies on SNAP benefits to survive. 

         Aside from necessities and relationships, art and human culture have become incredibly accessible, which, again, can be useful and beautiful, but when misused, is a huge issue. Instead of going to a museum to view a work of art, one can literally download it onto their phone or order a print on Etsy. 

         This can be applied to anything including literature, movies, and music. It is constantly misused. Artists, who are typically recognized, can also be taken advantage of, which depreciates such a huge part of life—art and travel.

         Providence College is blessed with accessibility. And again, for the most part, this is an incredibly beautiful and overwhelmingly helpful reality for students and professors. We have access to books, people, and concepts that are truly fulfilling and helpful for education.

         However, as we continue to gain  accessibility in general life, PC’s campus needs to be mindful of the ways in which we use our technology for good. Instead of ignoring the disparities and negative impacts of accessibility, we must be aware of how accessibility affects every aspect of our culture.

Tangents & Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Veteran’s Day Should Not Be Business as Usual

Christina Charie ’25

Enjoying a day of relaxation is not a tragedy. After multiple five-day weeks in a row, Providence College students are exhausted and feeling anxious about finishing homework and studying for exams. Since Veterans Day is a federal holiday, many people in the Providence area do not report to work. A one-day vacation from classes would not result in a learning deficiency. In fact, having Veterans Day off could have the opposite effect. Additionally, by ignoring the federal holiday, PC prevents students from honoring and serving veterans in the community.  

After midterms, students often need time to find their homework routine again. A day during the week without classes gives students the chance to complete assignments while taking time for self-care. Cutting down on instructional time seems counterintuitive; however, if students feel overwhelmed, they will not learn effectively. Time spent in classes is more productive once students are relaxed. In addition, professors could utilize the extra time on Veterans Day to grade exams, alleviating much of the anxiety that lingers after midterms. Having the College close on Veterans Day would encourage and support learning, despite giving up time in class.  

By taking off Veterans Day, students at the College would have the opportunity to organize Veterans Day events, service projects, and memorials. Events on campus could help students learn about the sacrifices veterans make for the community. The College could invite alumni who served in the military back to campus as a sign of gratitude. Veterans in the Providence area would certainly appreciate Providence students reaching out to them.  

Clearly, changing the academic calendar offers benefits to all members of the PC family, including students, staff, and alumni. 

 

Astro-Nomical Tragedy

by Sydney Gayton ’23

The last thing people could have imagined at Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert in Houston, TX on Friday, Nov. 5 was the death of nine people and the hospitalization of hundreds more. Injuries resulted after concert goers at the 50,000-person music festival stormed towards the stage when Scott came on. People were pushed and trampled while others sustained more serious injuries, some treated for cardiac arrest. 

The tragedy is attributed to a systematic breakdown. In the 59-page operations plan for the event, only the concert and executive producers had the ability to stop the concert. It also did not have an emergency plan in place to deal with such a situation despite something similar occurring at Astroworld in 2019. The plan only contained a warning about avoiding a potential “civil disturbance/riot.” The safety measures at the event are currently under investigation to determine who is at fault. Hundreds of concertgoers have already hired attorneys in lawsuits against Scott and Live Nation for their bodily injuries that occurred as a direct result of the encouraged violence and lack of safety precautions at the venue.

While Scott may have been unaware of the situation while performing, his prior safety violations, as well as his and Drake’s actions after the tragedy, that resulted in the death of nine people between the ages of fourteen to twenty-seven are reprehensible. The “concern” both performers show on social media seems to be only to protect their images and minimize lawsuits. It was their actions that night, at Dave & Busters and a strip club, that say more about their care for their fans than the obligatory Instagram apologies try to express. No one should die at a concert. Scott should cancel the rest of his Astroworld Tour and spend time figuring out how he can ensure his team’s and his own failures never result in the loss of another fan’s life. In the meantime, stop listening to Travis on Spotify and listen to Taylor Swift’s new releases.

 

Business Majors are Not the Only Students at PC

Olivia Bretzman 22

There is no doubt that Providence College has an extremely successful business school. Most PC students are business majors, so obviously, they need support from the Career Center, networking events, etc.

However, there are a lot of other majors at PC that deserve the same support considering all undergraduate students pay tuition to attend PC and utilize their resources. This is a major point of discrepancy in PC’s student support system, particularly when it comes to mentorship in applying for internships, jobs, and higher education.

When looking for internships using PC’s Slavin 108 network, the “past internship list” includes about 30 possible places to intern for each business major and only five-10 for other majors. The Slavin 108 system is entirely geared towards becoming a corporate businessperson, so much so that when an undergraduate, non-business major asks for guidance, the system fails to foster.

There is a real lack of knowledge within the network of what humanities majors can accomplish and how to assist them, which seems incredibly convoluted considering PC prides itself on its liberal arts education and was founded on a strong belief in the humanities.

Thankfully, many professors in these non-business major departments are incredibly helpful in job searches, internships, etc. However, that is out of their expectation as a professor. While most are happy to connect students to their connections, other faculty, and more, it often feels like putting more work on an already extremely busy plate.

Overall, PC simply needs to do more and better support its non-business majors. Not only should they have mentors in Slavin 108 for all majors, but they should also provide career expos with more than just business-focused jobs and graduate work. While there are some, it truly is not enough.

 

Snapping the Style Status Quo

by The Cowl Editor


Campus


Snapping the Style Status Quo

Personal Standing Does Not Equate to Personal Style

by Olivia Bretzman ’22

Opinion Staff

Walking around Providence College’s campus on any given day, and you will find a plethora of Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, and Nike wearing students traipsing around with North Face backpacks or perhaps the occasional designer, “different” school bag.

While some students defy these norms, there is an overwhelming majority that “sticks to the status quo” of trendy fits on a day-to-day basis. Overall, there is a general lack of personality and individuality within students’ sense of style.

Many people do not comprehend the idea of personal style as something more than just looking “put together” or buying the newest trend.  Allyson Giso ’22, explains: “To me, style means creativity and confidence—no matter what it is one wears, as long as it makes you feel your best, that is your style. It does not necessarily mean you have to follow a ‘main-stream’ vibe, but it can also mean that too!”

Personal style develops over time and takes many forms. It is different for everyone.  While it can incorporate trends, it could totally defy them as long as someone feels comfortable in the way they are presenting and representing themselves.

Style should embody one’s personality just like the way they treat someone. It should be a window into their real, emotional depth. 

At PC, there are quite a few reasons why personal style is stunted. Giso explains, “It can be limiting.  There is a pressure to have a certain style.  There is a connection between social groups and style. For example, for senior ring weekend, everyone is stressed out because they want to look ‘unique,’ but also want to have a cohesive look—presentable, formal, and trendy, when in all reality all those things mean something different to everyone.  In the end, everyone will end up buying their dresses from most of the same places anyways.” 

Madigan Farrell ’22, Secretary of PC Fashion Society comments, to, on PC students’ personal style, stating, “Although the culture at PC allows for an array of different styles, I have noticed there is a line that typically is not crossed. When I venture off-campus and observe students at Brown or RISD, I notice that they are more diverse with their style and wear outfits that I would not expect to see at PC. Despite the supportive community we have on campus, I do wish that students felt comfortable enough to go beyond the existing fashion norms and freely express themselves through their style without fear of looking different.”

There is no question that PC has a very cliquey atmosphere—oftentimes that can determine the way one dresses and acts. If one’s style dramatically changes from the norm, that person runs the risk of judgement or even just standing out. 

Many people relate style and impressions with one another. While this makes sense, PC students continually hold onto the idea that their clothing or accessories will determine how a person thinks of them from the get-go. 

Farrell elaborates on this point by stating, “​​I believe that the predominant barrier when facing personal style is conformity. There is a perceived obligation to develop your personal style within the boundaries of what is acceptable.”

Pressures from peers, academic expectation, and a general lack of diversity, all bar PC students from feeling empowered to try out something different.

Now, obviously, these statements are generalized. Not everyone dresses the same, and some are often appreciated when dressed differently.  

Trends are not all bad. They are an expression of current events and culture  but there is a definite lack of individuality that many people fall into on PC’s campus due to the pressure to feel accepted.

Oftentimes, too, trends can really bar someone from dressing like themselves because of social media trends. Farrell explains, “A term that has circulated through social media, particularly Tik Tok, is “cheugy,” a term that refers to a trend being out of style, and no longer trendy.  When a trend becomes known for being ‘cheugy,’ it is difficult to continue to wear this trend without feeling ridiculed and embarrassed.”

In all reality, everyone is capable of dressing themselves based on their uniqueness and genuine expression of beliefs.  While perhaps that is simply expressing trends or one’s athletic status, PC really does lack reality in this sense. 

To emphasize this point, Farrell added, “We belong to a generation of digital natives who spend a significant amount of time connected through social media. Though this has its pitfalls, it provides us with a multitude of avenues to connect with others through our style.The age of social media and influencers allows us to keep up to date with upcoming trends and provide us with not only inspiration, but we can develop the confidence to branch out and wear more unique styles.”

Outside of PC, there are billions of styles that color the world in all its variability and beauty in different ways. PC students should not be afraid to live, act, and dress true to themselves and their personal style. 

 

Tangents & Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Develop Your Global and Local Citizenship, At PC!

by Olivia Bretzman ’22

Languages can connect people on a level unlike any other. When attempting to speak another’s language, although one may feel silly, the effort means the world to the native speaker. Communication and respect for another’s culture in a world of chaos and disruption can unite two people.

 For this exact reason, amongst many others, Providence College students should take a language class in a formal, academic environment while they still can. The language department at PC offers a plethora of opportunities and intro-level classes in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese. 

Practically speaking, students benefit tremendously from the ability to understand and speak another language, helping them in their future career, studying abroad, and beyond. Many languages can also help in courses that tie in language components or even require a bit more knowledge on the roots of words and phrases. 

However, each of these language-based courses can do so much more than teach diction and grammar. They broaden one’s perspective of the world around them. This includes learning about cultural norms, traditions and values, and current events in countries where the learned language is spoken. This new perspective even allows one to explore their future on a deeper level—perhaps after taking a class, one will want to add a minor or major!

However one views their purpose for taking a language class, and no matter what level one is at, languages are truly keys that open doors to the broader world and community. 

 

Sadie Hawkins was a Genius

by Madeline Morkin ’22

Too often girls wait around hoping to receive a text, call, or conversation instead of taking action into their own hands and reaching out to someone they admire themselves. The reality is that all of this waiting and wishing is a huge time waster when it comes to forming meaningful and healthy relationships. 

Unavoidably, there is fear and stress that comes with reaching out first. The potential harm or hurt emotions that can occur from contacting someone first can also be helpful to avoid wasting more time with a person who does not reciprocate those same emotions. 

Nobody enjoys being brushed-off, especially if they think so highly and optimistically about a potential future friendship or relationship with that person. But is it really better to submissively give someone else control of an entire relationship before it has even begun? No. It entirely disregards your own thoughts and intentions, while also unfairly places expectations on  the other individual—who may be worried about reaching out themselves—to potentially work on this relationship alone.

So what’s the worst that can happen? Maybe they do not respond to your text or perhaps this person explains they are not interested in further developing your relationship. Ouch! Wouldn’t you rather be aware of this information instead of spending more time internally dreaming up that disinterested individual into an impossible fantasy? It is not easy to do, but if it is truly meant to be, reaching out first will not discontinue the future of that relationship and might even expedite its progression.

Reach out, respond in a timely manner, get rejected sometimes, and move on to someone who is actually willing to reciprocate equal interest. 

 

Don’t Break your Bank on Dresses

by Emily Ball ’22

One of the big excitements of senior year at Providence College is all the fun formal events that the school plans. With multiple formal dances, like Black & White Ball, Senior Ring Weekend, and Senior Week, there are many events that require formal or semi-formal attire. 

For girls, it seems like the only option is to buy a brand-new dress for each event. But this path is not the best option as it costs a lot in terms of monetary and environmental factors. 

Some girls argue that it is important to have a new dress for each event, which justifies spending money on dress after dress. But, this problem can easily be solved without spending the money by sharing dresses with friends, floormates, or roommates. 

A good quality dress generally starts around $40-$50, not including the price of shipping. By sharing old dresses with friends, you can mitigate the financial burden that these formal events may put on you. You can still wear a dress that you have not worn yet if you borrow it from a friend. 

Further, many formal dresses are designed for short-term ownership, which is bad for the environment because the chemicals in the dye from clothing can cause environmental issues. By sharing dresses instead of purchasing multiple new dresses, we are actually helping the environment as well as our bank accounts. 

Although there is a glamorous excitement in purchasing a brand new cocktail or semi-formal dress, there is just as much excitement and benefit in borrowing a cute dress that has been gently used from a friend. 

 

Pop the PC Bubble

by The Cowl Editor


Campus


Pop the PC Bubble

Students Should Get to Know the Surrounding Community

by Olivia Bretzman ’22

There have been countless conversations about respect for neighbors in the Elmhurst neighborhood and other surrounding areas beyond our campus due to last year’s COVID-19 trials. The Providence College community attaches many stereotypes to these communities and, frankly, to anything other than PC. 

These negative stereotypes and assumptions prove that PC is a bubble––one that, if unaddressed, creates an environment of fear and misunderstanding about our surroundings. There seems to be a truly disheartening belief about the areas around PC. While the rates of crime and gang activity are incredibly high in any city, the assumption that everyone who lives in the area is involved in that activity is rash and nonsensical.

The saying “Chad Brown Turn Around” was preached to students of years past,   perpetuating these stereotypes. This phrase creates tension between students and residents of the Elmhurst neighborhood, especially those past Chad Brown Street. However, if you find yourself on any side street past Chad Brown, you will see families outside with playing children and encounter friendly smiles and conversation.  

Along with the local residents and PC students that live in the area, many other college and university students rent houses in this neighborhood. The fact that they are not PC students does not mean anything—the stereotypes surrounding students of other schools are astoundingly narrow-minded.

Aside from neighborly realities, the fact of the matter is that off-campus is called “off-campus” for a reason. The streets students live on, while just steps away from campus, does not give anyone the right to trash the sidewalks with glass bottles, empty cans, or litter of any kind.

While people may do what they wish on their own property, littering on community property, or that of one’s neighbors, demonstrates a level of disrespect that no student would  stand for in their own neighborhood or home. 

When it comes down to it, PC is a bubble in which the good of our surrounding community is sometimes forgotten. PC is a beautiful place with wonderful people and opportunities, and students must open their eyes to the rest of the community in which they take part, the city in which they go to school, and the world in which they live.

One can do this easily by getting more involved in the community. This could include simple things like going out to eat or trying a new bar, or it could be more in-depth and personal, such as volunteering or working off campus.  

It really comes down to the reality that not everyone is alike in this world. Within a like-minded or similar community, it is easy to believe that “others” are strange, abnormal, or even dangerous. However, the world is a complex place with people totally different from each other, and that is why it is imperative to recognize the classist and racist stereotypes in order to dismantle them.  

I implore the students at PC to reconsider their mindsets about the community around them and to be a bit more mindful of where they are in the world. Students are not the sole individuals in the Elmhurst community, and we should not act as such. Respecting and including other community members is essential to living here; it is our duty to pop the PC bubble and ensure that we are not continuously perpetuating harmful stereotypes that create division among PC students and permanent residents of the Elmhurst neighborhood.

 

Tangents & Tirades

by The Cowl Editor


Opinion


Tangents & Tirades

No Mask? Smile Up!

Olivia Bretzman ’22

“Masking up” commonly connotes masking any emotions.  In a way, it makes an individual rather lifeless—their facial features and expressions compromised in every social interaction.  

Last year, wearing masks outside created a really unemotive, often cold environment for Providence College students as they walked to the few in-person classes they had, the dining hall, or Slavin without expression, recognition between peers and professors, or easily breathable airways.  In all honesty, this aspect of mask wearing in public made it incredibly difficult to find joy in the little things and in the people around us. 

This semester, students should take advantage of unmasking outdoors as much as possible. The entire experience of walking on campus or going to class will be entirely altered with a mindfulness of masks!

Thus, to take advantage of these policies, one should really try to smile at their classmates, professors, acquaintances, and even random strangers.  With an emotionless year, it is clear that even the simplest of gestures such as a smile or wave can truly make a difference.

This mindfulness can also be applied to reconnecting with old professors and classmates. There is a blatant, awkward tension between those who “knew each other” pre-Covid and now are suddenly smacked with the reality that they will see people they only met on a screen or have not talked to for more than a year! We should not be afraid to say hi, smile, or even just wave to those individuals.

Each of these aspects of mindful behavior will make a world of difference on campus and an incredible impact on the mental health of those around you.

 

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Don’t Speak.

Madeline Morkin ’22

Talking poorly about other people reflects far worse on the person doing it than it does on whoever is being talked about. Nobody likes to hear that their name has been dropped into some conversation in a negative way, yet people continue to talk poorly about others—even when they have experienced that bad feeling themselves. 

There are a multitude of reasons why someone taints another person’s reputation by making fun of or judging certain behaviors or aspects of another—they might be lacking self-confidence, letting out anger at a person for something else entirely, or reflecting a pessimistic view onto other people because they simply are not happy with something about themselves or their own life. While it is so common, it really does hurt both sides—the person being spoken about and the speaker. 

Everyone should be able to form their own opinions of others without the preexisting knowledge of another person’s particular biased impressions. When speaking poorly to fill conversation or in an unsuccessful attempt to elevate themselves, people tend to target the most trivial or superficial attributes of another person. The negative speaker might poke fun at a person’s wardrobe, appearance, financial situation, or upbringing, amongst many other personal realities that concern no one besides that individual. 

Friendships formed on the basis of criticism are unhealthy and do not allow for real uplifting contentment. Every person is unique, and what a boring world we would live in if that was not the case. 

If another person is happy with their life and isn’t hurting anyone, nobody else should judge or diminish their joy by slandering them in conversation. Be kind and try to only speak from a place of positivity because it will allow you to be a happier person as well.