Friarside is Back: Relaunch Week

It’s been a quiet month for Friarside Chats as we’ve settled into a new and busy academic year, but we are back and eager to write. This school year, Friarside Chats will continue its mission of both sparking and engaging in dialogue on campus and community issues. We will highlight our community’s achievements while not fearing to constructively evaluate our shortcomings. We will aim to be a crossroads of diverse perspectives. We will share our honest convictions, and we will learn along the way. As always, you are invited to join in this ongoing project.

Over the course of the week, stay tuned for new posts, features, and the debut of new regular contributors. Here’s to a fruitful third year of Friarside Chats! Thank you for your continued readership.

Happy New Year!

mhagandefaultMichael Hagan ’15

Several months ago, Friarside Chats celebrated the first anniversary of its launch in October of 2012. Today, on behalf of our whole team, I am pleased to bid you a very happy New Year! The New Year’s holiday provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and what lies ahead as we press on in our second year as a media presence at Providence College

The early days of 2013 were still uncertain ones for our blog. We were four writers who knew this community had much more to discuss than what was being addressed in administratively sanctioned outlets. In the twilight of 2012, we dove into the election in which many of us students would cast our first ballots. We shed light on systematic problems in the way PC interacts with the Smith Hill community. We discussed the ethos of Providence College’s institutional advancement and philanthropic appeals. Our readership exceeded our earliest expectations. There was buzz, but would it last?

We hit the kinds of obstacles that every student group encounters. We struggled to publish consistently in the face of papers, projects, and exams. We hit others unique to our kind of organization. We had no funding, no advertising budget, nor any of the advantages that come with administrative sanction. In a recent conversation with another Friarside writer, I remembered just how uncertain the viability of our blog once was. But that has changed.

Today I would like to recognize the people who have been most integral to the success and vitality of Friarside Chats: my fellow writers. When this blog was no more than a brainchild in 2012, I envisioned a site which would bring together some of our campus’ most energetic and dedicated activists to write about the matters that inspire their leadership. Our team of regular contributors and many guest writers together have been no less than this dream come true. It is their energy, willingness to learn, and abiding will to be constructive members of the campus community they love that has grown this simple vision into a steadfast media fixture at Providence College.

One thing wonderful about our team is that we are not perfect, and we do not pretend to be. We do not write as academics or, hell, even journalists. We write honestly, we prioritize writing accessibly, and we write about what’s important to us. From the beginning we have had a policy of not assigning pieces to write. Every post you read is the product of its author’s own initiative. Authenticity is our policy, and each new post impresses me anew as our team lives up to it.

My role with Friarside Chats has scaled back since I went abroad this fall. The blog has mostly been administered by other writers stateside. But my absence has not detracted from the blog. On the contrary, this ongoing project only grows stronger. This is a testament to the quality of our team and the importance of this site. Thank you, Providence College for the privilege of your readership. Here’s to the Chats to be had and achievements to be made in 2014. Happy New Year to all!

Being Neighborly: Friarsider in the News

Friarside Chats writer Matthew Henry Smith was featured in the Sunday Providence Journal in a news article about neighborhood tours conducted for 160 interested freshmen as part of this year’s orientation weekend. Matthew, Dave O’Connor and other OL’s introduced freshman to the culture, history, and flavors of the often misrepresented neighborhood he is a proud native of.

Tour

Be sure to read the article in the Projo. On a related note, check out an awesome community development effort spearheaded by PC students.

Photo from Providence Journal: 9/01/13

Welcome Aboard, Matthew Smith!

Friarside Chats is pleased to welcome Matthew Henry Smith to our team of regular contributors. Matthew is a Providence, Rhode Island native, and is a member of the class of 2016. We are excited to listen to and share his perspective and opinions as we continue our dialogue. We are confident that readers will find his writing enjoyable as well as thought-provoking. His insightful perspective is just one more reason to stay Friarside.

You can learn more about Matthew and read his posts on his page.