Tim Morris ’14
This piece is in response to Hannah Howroyd’s latest Friarside Chat and Fr. Shanley’s campus-wide email regarding Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s scheduled visit and lecture.
As an editor myself, I feel that I speak for The Cowl when I say that this a dilemma we constantly face. It’s all too easy to find one’s own source of local, national, or international news these days – all it takes is a quick Google search. It’s tough for the student-run newspaper of a small, liberal arts college to compete with the Internet (which we ourselves use to supplement our stories) and with long-standing, professionally-run newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. While I was not a part of this decision-making process, I am sure that the placement of the Tinder article had a lot to do with what the editors felt would connect with the Providence College community. It is already a struggle to attract the attention of a crowd that typically digests information in 140-character bursts. In addition, The Cowl shares an intimate bond with PC that no other newspaper can. It’s run by our students, for our students. As trivial as a story might be, it reels the average Friar in because it offers a personal connection. But this is besides the point. Hannah hits the nail on the head when she emphasizes the passion that goes into writing for The Cowl. It is a service that demands a lot of time and effort. Tensions can run high when editors and writers have to balance their coursework with a weekly issue. The satisfaction that we take from seeing a student in Ray – sandwich in one hand and The Cowl in the other – is all we need. No doubt, we’re passionate about what we do, and we’re passionate about the issues that affect PC.
Recently, after receiving an email from the administration regarding Sen. Whitehouse, I recalled Nick Wallace’s piece on diversity. For a college so concerned about the make-up of its student body, I found the complaints to be ironic. I am not oblivious to the fact that Providence College is a Catholic institution. Still, how can we expect to tackle the problem of racial diversity when we cannot accept diversity of thought? Even if Sen. Whitehouse were speaking on abortion (which he is not), I would still allow him on campus. What is the harm in dialogue? How can Providence College hope to prepare its students for the real world when it is hesitant to open itself up? If our school is as secure in its Catholic identity as it ought to be, there is no threat posed by an alternative opinion. I applaud the administration’s decision to allow Sen. Whitehouse to speak, but its hesitancy suggests a lack of full commitment to the idea of promoting diversity. Let those opposed to Sen. Whitehouse (and other future speakers) express their opinions, but don’t balk over every obstacle that comes in our way.
Tim Morris studies English and Economics, and is an editor for The Cowl. He is currently spending his Junior year abroad at the London School of Economics. We sincerely look forward to his repatriation.