by Jacquelyn Kelley ’17
When will we learn?
It was only two years ago that a former Editor-in-Chief of The Cowl, Mason Sciotti ’15, wrote a column condemning aggressive and destructive behavior at off-campus parties. At the time, he was addressing the serious injury of Providence Police Officer Michael Clary, who was struck in the head by a 1.5L vodka bottle while Providence College students celebrated our hockey team’s first National Championship win. Clary’s injury required 20 stitches.
And here I am, only two years later, composing a column that addresses the same topic, because apparently we did not learn our lesson the first time. According to Jack Leyden’s Safety Advisory, another bottle was thrown “in the direction of the police” over the weekend, this time striking a PC student who also required medical attention.
Yet PC students question the local media’s negative portrayal of our social activities as if we do no wrong. Carelessly throwing bottles is wrong. Overcrowding our off-campus houses with several hundred students is wrong, just as slamming the door in a police officer’s face when he or she tries to take control of the situation is wrong. Nevertheless, all of these incidents took place over the weekend, so I can’t help but think that the local media’s portrayal of PC students as rowdy and disrespectful is right. But it doesn’t have to be.
St. Patrick’s Day weekend only marked the beginning of a spring season full of celebrations. Once warmer weather settles in, students will inevitably take to the streets in beach or golf attire, but the harm we too often inflict on others is entirely avoidable. It’s possible to enjoy a nice day or commemorate a sports victory without blocking intersections, without trashing our neighborhoods, without throwing bottles, and without disrespecting the law enforcement officials who are sent to keep us safe.
All I ask is that we learn from last weekend’s mistakes with hope that there won’t be another column addressing this topic again.