Abby Hevert ’15
Many students here at Providence College have questioned the decisions of our administration and the true intent of the cancellation of John Corvino’s “debate” about gay marriage. Some have not and have supported the administration’s decisions. Wherever you stand on this issue, we all know that Facebook has absolutely exploded with opinions, articles, and frankly, the pissed off sentiments of so many PC students. Herein lies the great irony: out of the midst of this controversy we have discovered the true capacities of the students here at Providence College. Are you ready for this?
We actually have the ability to get mad about something.
I love this school for many reasons. However, it is seldom that I actually see the majority of the college get “friared up” about something related to social justice. Of course, this is not to say that there are not large populations at this school who commit themselves to bettering the world around them. There are these groups of people. However, in my years here at PC I have literally never seen such a profound response from the student body about an issue that may not directly touch them personally. You know what that shows some of us? It shows us that we have empathy. It shows us that we can feel for other people who may feel abandoned by their school right now. It shows us that we not only feel badly for each other but that we actually are angry on one another’s behalf. A wave of a protective instinct has kicked in here, not only for the PC students and faculty/staff who do identify with the LGBT community, but for our friends, parents, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, and strangers who do not attend PC and also identify as LGBT. Many of us are attempting to hold their frustration with them. Do you know how remarkable this is? We have literally been watching advocacy work on our newsfeeds. Our twitter feeds show the passionate attempts of students to be heard on this issue. However, I do have to say that many of these statements, while worth making, are angry.
Here’s another thing that I know: anger is a surface emotion.
When we get angry, we usually are feeling something else that we cannot or do not want to recognize. Maybe we are angry because we are scared for the future of our school. I know that many of us have gotten calls this week from confused friends and family members asking: “What the hell is wrong with your college?” Perhaps we are ashamed. Maybe we are confused. However, there is one thing to recognize: we are concerned. No matter what any student’s opinions are on this issue, a level of concern is being demonstrated as opinions are offered and, hopefully, listening is taking place. So where does this leave us? What are our options? Do we give up on our school? Do we “throw in the towel” on this issue?
No. Pick up the damn towel.
Show your peers that you care about them. Start conversations with not only fellow students, but with professors. Contact administrators. Form some groups to start this necessary dialogue. Attempt to understand this issue better. One very positive solution to being angry is to tap into some sympathy. PC needs us right now, perhaps more than ever. We need each other right now, perhaps more than ever. So are we going to give up on the place that so many of us call home? No.
We are too young.
We are too smart.
We are too determined.
This story has just begun to be told. We have the power to write the ending to it. Let’s make it a compelling one.