PC Celebrates Irish Heritage
by Will Devaney ’23
It’s the time of the year when shamrock decorations adorn every home and the color green is everywhere you look. St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and the Providence College community is eager to celebrate.
The holiday, however, is about more than just leprechauns and Shamrock Shakes. The city of Providence has deep Irish roots that stretch back almost 400 years to when the city was first founded.
To celebrate this cultural legacy, the Providence College St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee will be honoring the Irish Heritage Festival by hosting a lecture. The event will take place Thursday, March 5 at 6 p.m. in the Slavin Center ‘64 Hall.
The lecture this year will be given by Dr. Scott Molloy, Ph.D. The title of his talk is “Green Ink: When the Irish Controlled the Providence Journal and Sparked a Local Irish Literary Renaissance After World War II.”
Molloy has a distinguished academic resume. He earned his Ph.D here at Providence College in 1991, taught at the University of Rhode Island for 30 years and was awarded Professor of the Year in 1995. Mollo received the same honor in 2004 for the Carnegie Foundation Rhode Island. Molloy donated a collection of over 100 labor union artifacts to the Smithsonian Institution, which is now named after him.
He is the author of a biography of Joseph Banigan, Irish Titan, Irish Toilers: Joseph Banigan and Nineteenth Century New England Labor. He is a member of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame and was even chosen to be Grand Marshall for the Providence St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2018. He is also the head of the Transit Union.
The event will feature a performance by the Providence College Irish Step Dancers. Attendees will get to enjoy an extensive experience of local Irish history and culture.
PC Celebrates Black History Month
by Will Devaney ’23
Every February, the country commemorates the struggles and achievements of African Americans in their pursuit of equality and justice in the United States. Most students know at least some aspects of black history, but few know of the historical impact that African Americans have had right here in Rhode Island.
The Black History Exhibition in The Center at Moore Hall gave the Providence College community an opportunity to explore the rich African American heritage right in our own backyard.
The exhibit chronicled black history in Rhode Island from African culture before the slave trade to 20th century political struggles to gain equality. Some of the artifacts included tribal masks and figures from West African countries, 19th century African American literature, and a large collection of historical photographs of African American families in Rhode Island.
Displays from the Rhode Island State Archives were also feautred that explained the African American influence in various periods of American history. In the years after the American Revolution, Rhode Island controlled roughly 60 percent to 90 percent of all the slave trade in the U.S.
The artifacts in the exhibit focused on black history in Rhode Island, specifically. There were political pamphlets that called for reform from the Gilded Age, a barrel from an 18th century rum distillery in Newport, and even images of the 1652 Rhode Island decree that abolished slavery, a law that would become largely unenforced in later centuries.
The exhibit serves to educate PC students and faculty during a month where we look back at the rich history and culture of the African American community. The location of the exhibit was chosen so that “it would be convenient for everyone, especially students coming right out of class,” said Nick Sailor ‘17, the director of Education and Training for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He added, “The exhibit offers the opportunity to learn more about black history, particularly as it relates to our own local history.”
With racial inequality and injustice still prevalent in contemporary society, the celebration of Black History Month has never been more important. As much as the exhibit is about the past, it is ultimately tied to the present. “All of these pieces provide specific details for the conversations happening today about black history,” said Sailor.
The Black History Exhibition is an effective and unique way to showcase an important side of local history that is often overlooked. To wrap up Black History Month, the Board of Programmers (BOP) will be hosting an event titled “Black Expo: We Are One” to celebrate African American achievements, Pan-Africanism, and the unity of the African Diaspora. It will be held in Moore 125 Lounge on Thursday, February 27.
NAACP Spreads the Love
by Will Devaney ’23
On Feb. 6, Providence College students got the opportunity to listen to Reverend Justin Lester speak about love and the various forms it presents itself in our daily lives at the “Enough Love to Go Around” event. Lester is the pastor for Congdon Street Baptist Church right here in Providence. He is an adjunct professor at Providence College, as well as a Religious Life Affiliate at Brown University. He came to PC last Thursday to share some advice and speak on his own experiences with his church.
College campuses are busy places—they are the birthplace of countless memories, ideas, and relationships. Lester began his talk by speaking to the students about the importance of fostering healthy and valuable relationships. He highlighted the importance of knowing who you are before you commit yourself to a relationship. He stressed that your values should align with the person that you are in a relationship with, in order to be able to grow as a person with them.
His next talking point covered how loving yourself is necessary in order to love others. “In order to cultivate love, we have to do things that we are passionate about and care about,” said Rev. Lester, “People should consider all of their experiences as an investment towards yourself,” he added. He told the group to be careful with their endeavors, because they make you who you are. Friends, professors, and bosses all contribute to your personal development, so it is important to choose them wisely. Beyond the campus, he told the students that they must choose a job offer that aligns with their personal values. “No is a sentence,” he said, explaining that it is ok to say no without offering an explanation. The pastor explained that we dedicate so much of our time and energy into our careers, so it is important that we undertake jobs that allow us to focus on things that we care about.
The event was held in the Slavin Overlook Lounge and hosted by the NAACP. Students who attended got to enjoy some Insomnia Cookies as they listened. Students definitely took away valuable lessons about college life and life after graduation from Rev. Lester. President of the NAACP chapter, Beah Cyrus ‘22, commented on the talk, “He was lighthearted as he spoke and pretty funny. Students definitely enjoyed the event and he had all of our attention.”
Super Bowl LIV: A PC Perspective
by Will Devaney ’23
The Kansas City Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday after a stunning second half comeback. 24 year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP for his late game heroics that earned the Chiefs their first ever Lombardi Trophy.
The 49ers struck first with a field goal early in the first quarter, but the Chiefs responded with a one-yard touchdown to give them a 7-3 lead to end the first quarter. The second half began with lockdown defense from the 49ers. With some seemingly unending pressure from the 49ers defensive line, combined with Jimmy Garoppolo’s solid passing game, San Francisco began to shut down the Chiefs, leading them 20-10 at the end of the third quarter.
With the game on his shoulders, Patrick Mahomes threw for 138 yards and two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter alone, leading the Chiefs to a 31-20 victory.
Far away from the action in Miami, Providence College students got to enjoy the big game at McPhail’s Super Bowl Game Watch. The event was hosted by the Office of Student Activities and Cultural Programming (OSA-CP).
Students had the chance to win gift cards through picking squares, as well as enjoy complimentary pizza and wings. The game itself was entertaining and memorable, but for many here at PC, Super Bowl Sunday just did not feel the same without some familiar faces on the gridiron.
The New England Patriots’ rare absence from the championship game was a hard pill to swallow for the large New England fanbase at PC. “It just doesn’t feel right, you know?” said New Hampshire native Jared Burns ‘23. “Tom should be out there, Jules should be out there, It doesn’t feel right.”
With the Patriots out of contention, New England fans were faced with a decision that they are not used to making: who to cheer for. A common answer was the 49ers. The logic behind this choice had a lot to do with the man under center for San Francisco.
Garoppolo spent his first three seasons with the Patriots, playing as backup for Tom Brady until he took the starting job as quarterback for the 49ers in 2017. Many New England students wanted to see just how much the “Baby Goat” learned from the six-time Super Bowl champion during his time with the Pats.
Those from outside the New England fanbase held similar views. Brian Cantin ’23 of California said, “Probably the 49ers because they’re in California, I didn’t care that much though.”
Some other non-Patriots fans wanted the Chiefs to win, particularly those with longstanding grudges against anything Patriots- related.
Despite the seemingly awkward absence of Tom Brady and the Patriots from February football, the PC community was still able to share food and fun on Super Bowl Sunday.
Bursting the PC Bubble: Coronavirus
by Will Devaney ’23
An outbreak of a mysterious illness called the coronavirus is leaving thousands infected across the world. Originating in Wuhan, China, it is believed that the virus originated in contaminated fish at a local sea market.
Since the outbreak started in December, more than 6,000 people have been infected and more than 130 deaths have been reported. Although the vast majority of the infected are in China, several cases of the virus were reported in many neighboring Asian countries.
On Jan. 26, the United States’ fifth confirmed case of the virus was reported in Los Angeles. France and Australia have also confirmed cases of the virus.
Coronavirus can cause a variety of symptoms, from a cough and fever to severe pneumonia. Most of the fatalities in this most recent outbreak are older patients with preexisting conditions.
In most cases, the infection is transmitted only from animal to animal, but this Wuhan coronavirus can be spread by humans to other humans.
China’s National Health Commission Minister, Ma Xiaowei, told reporters that the virus is getting stronger and can spread much easier than previously thought. He added that people can spread the virus weeks before they even start to show symptoms.
In recent days, the Chinese government has dramatically ramped up its efforts to quarantine the virus by putting 16 cities on lockdown, affecting over 46 million people. The U.S. State Department has even ordered all its employees to evacuate Wuhan.
The virus strikes China during one of its busiest travel seasons of the year, the Lunar New Year. Even though most major celebrations have been canceled, millions of Chinese citizens will be traveling across the country, which may make the outbreak harder to control. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working rapidly to treat the infected and provide preventative care to those most vulnerable to the virus.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has made plans to travel to Wuhan this week. On Sunday he tweeted, “We are working 24/7 to support [China] & its people during this difficult time & remain in close contact with affected countries, with our regional & country offices deeply involved. @WHO is updating all countries on the situation & providing specific guidance on what to do to respond.”
This is not the first time a serious form of coronavirus has infected millions. From 2002-2003, the coronavirus SARS infected millions in China and spread globally before international efforts stopped the pandemic. In 2012, another form of the coronavirus, called MERS, emerged in Saudi Arabia allegedly from human contact with infected camels. Over 1,000 cases were reported and over 400 people died before the outbreak ended.
Per CNN, “By far the most important measures to stop the Wuhan coronavirus will be those related to hospitals and how well medical teams can contain the virus.” While top WHO officials and scientists do not believe the outbreak will stop anytime soon, there are actions that can be taken to stop the virus.