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Oregon grieves loss

On October 1 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer arrived at Umpqua Community College in Oregon with a deadly mission. An enrolled student, Harper-Mercer entered his writing class armed with multiple handguns and fired a warning shot to attract the attention of everyone in Classroom 15.

During the grueling six minutes between the initial 9-1-1 call and the arrival of the first responders of the Roseburg Police Department, Harper-Mercer opened fire into the room, according to

Professor Lawrence Levine, 67, was the first of Harper-Mercer’s victims. Levine, an assistant professor of English at the college, was shot at point-blank range. Known as Larry among friends, Levine was an avid writer and fisherman.

Harper-Mercer proceeded to shoot eight fellow students in the class. Survivors remember Harper-Mercer asking about his victim’s religion, and promising Christians that they would go to heaven as he shot them.

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Paying the hefty price

On Thursday, September 24, the Senate rejected a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, stirring passionate reactions from both supporters and critics. The debate over funding the organization has been one of today’s most complex and controversial issues.

In my opinion, defunding Planned Parenthood would be an embarrassing step backwards for the country and would come at the price of millions of women’ and families’ health.

I know there are people who vehemently oppose this idea, and I completely respect their opinions. Pro-life supporters act out of respect for life and the unborn, and their voices deserve to be heard.

But their drive to defund Planned Parenthood would result in the silencing of over five million Americans who rely on the services of the organization that has existed for nearly a century.

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PP advocates for women's health

Abortion has become the center of news controversy throughout the past few months, with Planned Parenthood directly at the center of the debate. Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization that provides of numerous services. The organization provides maternal and child health, as well as reproductive health services. Planned Parenthood services include Sexually Transmitted Disease and Sexually Transmitted Infection testing and treatment, women’s health treatment such as contraception services, cancer screening and protection, abortion and a small category of “other,” which includes family planning and adoption referrals.

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Family Weekend

The sound of bingo numbers being called filled the air and intensified the competition between the participants. Laughter and positive energy radiated off of everyone who was participating, and it was clear that those in attendance were enjoying themselves as active members of the Assumption community.

This year, the College’s Family Weekend began on Friday, September 25. Family Weekend is an event that brought hundreds of parents, grandparents and siblings alike onto campus for the duration of the weekend. The Assumption Campus Activities Board had some exciting events prepared to entertain families to give them an idea of what the Assumption community is truly about. The weekend kicked off with bingo, an Assumption tradition. Families gathered into the upstairs level of Hagan Campus Center and by the time the event was ready to begin, every seat in the room was filled with students and their families.

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Gelato brings new students to study abroad program

“Can we go up for seconds?” A nervous sophomore asked her friend as she sat in the Testa atrium, holding her now-empty gelato cup.

The College hosted its third annual gelato tasting, sponsored by the Assumption Rome Campus, on Tuesday, September 22 at 7 p.m. They had three different flavors of gelato, including vanilla, strawberry and lemon. Quite a few students actually slipped out of the event right after grabbing their gelato before the introduction at 7:30 p.m.

The Rome Campus Coordinator and Professor of Italian Richard Bonanno introduced the event. Several students who attended the Rome campus last semester spoke.

One particular student who spoke to the crowd was junior Zach Symkowitz.

“My biggest worry was the financial cost of the trip, but luckily, all of my financial aid carried over and I was able to attend for the same price as a semester at Assumption. Rome and especially Florence truly become your classroom,” remarked Symkowitz.

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Global Warming: Why we need to listen

On Monday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m., students and faculty gathered in the Alden Trust auditorium for a viewing of Merchants of Doubt. The first of a film series titled “Interdisciplinary Film Series: The Struggle for Social Justice” sponsored by Women’s Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies and Latin American Studies exposes big business’s role in manipulating scientific facts to promote profits, even if the consequences are as grave.

Kaitlyn Akers, a senior, introduced the film and explained how the series came to exist. Merchants of Doubt is one of four films that will be shown this semester regarding social justice issues on a macro level as part of her Peace and Conflict Studies capstone.

“The film series came about as Professor Paul Ady and I discussed how to incorporate my other minors, sociology and Women’s Studies, with Peace and Conflict Studies,” said Akers regarding the series.

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We are the voice of the victims

On Thursday, October 1, Peers Advocating Wellness for Students hosted their annual Clothes Line project in Charlie’s. The Clothes Line Project brings to light the notion that all types of assault occur, and that we, the student body, are the ones who can make a difference.

At the event, students had the opportunity to step up and decorate different colored t-shirts for the abuse they endured or in honor of someone they know who suffered. The finished shirts were hung proudly throughout Charlie’s to display and honor the messages they bore.

Each color shirt represented a different type of abuse: blue represented survivors of incest and sexual abuse; purple stood for survivors who were attacked due to sexual orientation; yellow represented those who were battered and abused; red was for those who suffered through rape and sexual assault; white represents those who died due to violence and black represents those who died for political reasons.

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Elegant music brings audience to Chapel

Sunday, September 13 at 2 p.m. marked the first event of Assumption’s HumanArts series for this year, directed by music Dr. Michelle Graveline. Breathtaking musical notes filled the Chapel of the Holy Spirit here at Assumption College, all enjoyed by members of the Worcester Community. The music was that of clarinet and piano duo Julian Milkis and Sima Kustanovich.

“[Julian Milkis is a] true cross over artist and Benny Goodman’s only student,” said the program provided for the audience.

He has performed in many amazing venues all over the world, such as Carnegie Hall, The Great Halls of the Moscow Concervatory in Paris and the National Concert Hall in Taipei. Milkis is also a Canadian citizen who won the Canada Council and Floyd Chalmers awards four years in a row.

“[Kustanovich has] extraordinary intensity and brilliance of her playing,” said the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.

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Police Perspective: Officer Mark William speaks out

When the staff of Le Provocateur approached me about an editorial regarding the recent protests against America’s law enforcement officers, I jumped at the chance. My hope is that you will take what I have to say with an open mind and suppress any biases you may harbor. In return, I will suppress my own inherent bias.

What inherent bias would that be, you may ask? A little about myself: I am probably the same age as a few seniors, perhaps a year or two older. I am a veteran of “Operation Enduring Freedom,” having served in direct combat in Afghanistan. An injury sustained in combat provided me with the opportunity to exit active duty early and enter the reserves. Upon returning home and reporting to my reserve unit, I began the hunt for my first civilian job.

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Convocation Ceremony proves to be a success for college

On Thursday, September 9, President Francesco Cesareo addressed members of the Assumption College community at this year’s Convocation Ceremony, discussing the state of the College. After Cesareo welcomed the audience, Provost Dr. Louise Carroll Keeley introduced the new professors joining the teaching staff this year.

Many other newly hired staff members were introduced and welcomed. One of the most notable was the Director of Academic Support for International Students, Abigail Nolan. Her role will prove critical in assisting the growing number of students enrolling from outside of the United States.

“Our balance sheet remains strong; and…the College community is developing innovative plans to favorably position Assumption in this highly competitive marketplace,” said Cesareo.


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