The Meaning Behind the Ink

by Alexa Schmidt

Staff Writer

Tattoos have turned people’s skin into works of art. Within the ink, however, lies a story. In today’s society, tattoos can often be seen as a way to declare one’s interests. But to some, it provides a window into one’s own faith as well. As junior Kelsey Quartulli (interviewed below) puts it, “wanting your body to be a canvas for other people’s work, is spiritual in itself, because it’s a big element of having to trust someone enough to put their work on you. Having that constant reminder of looking at something and getting something different out of it every time you look at it is a peace of mind kind of thing.”

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Shannon Raczynski


Peace Studies and Philosophy Major

What are your tattoos?

I got a shamrock when I was 16, and a lot of people don’t really know what it means, but I grew up in a super Irish Catholic household and it symbolizes the trinity, and Saint Patrick used to teach people about Catholicism. I also have a dove which means a lot of different things too. It shows up in the Bible a lot, like at Jesus’s baptism; it means the Holy Spirit and it also means peace. I have an olive branch which symbolizes peace and that shows up after Noah’s Ark. A dove actually shows up carrying an olive branch.

When did you get them?

I got the shamrock at 16, I got the dove last Christmas, and I got the olive branch a week and a half ago.

Why did you get them?

I’m a peace studies major so the dove and olive branch both mean peace, but I was also always that kid who wrote down things on my hands so I wouldn’t forget, and so when I got old enough to get tattoos, I loved them. The one on my wrist, which is a dove, I got that one there specifically so that if I look down I’ll remember.

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Christopher Mulford


Mechanical Engineering Major

What’s your tattoo?

My tattoo is a cross of my dad who passed away when I was two years old. It’s a form of tombstone cross with a crack down the middle with a halo around it, and a banner with his name on it that says “in loving memory” on it.

Why did you get it?

He passed away when I was very young and I always wanted to do something for him like in a way that only I could. He’s my dad and I wanted to show that I had a really strong connection with him. I mean, I have a lot of family members with tattoos, and I have a bunch of friends with tattoos, so I thought about the idea a little bit and so I thought it was worth doing. It shows that I care, and to me it’s kind of like the ultimate way because it’s painful to get done and you’re willing to go through so much pain for someone.


When did you get it?

I got it a couple weeks after I turned 18.

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Kelsey Quartulli


Peace Studies and Art History Major

History Minor

What are your tattoos?

I have five. The first one says “you cannot live a positive life with a negative mind.” I got it right before I graduated high school, like the day or two before, and this one speaks for itself. I feel like a lot of people struggle with mental health issues like consistently, and especially young people, and so I feel like it was kind of just a mantra to just keep your head up. Just look at things in a different way to gain a different perspective before you act and react to it. Just get your bearing and figure yourself out a little.

My most recent one is the flowers. It’s indicative of different chakras. The dahlia I got because my best friend and I had nicknames for each other and mine was dahlia and it was based on our obsession with this brand called wildfox. They released this promotional story kind of, about these three little fairies and witches, and one of them was named Dahlia. I have three best friends back home and we each were that persona and it was just very fitting. And it stuck and seven years later we still call each other those names.