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ND, SMC students discuss women’s issues

| Monday, October 13, 2014

Female students from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s gathered in the Stapleton Lounge of Le Mans Hall on Friday to lead a discussion about ending the 42-year division among women of the two schools.

La Fuerza, the Latino Student Alliance (LSA) and the Gender Relations Center (GRC) hosted the event, named UniversiTEA.

20130204, 20141010, Caitlyn Jordan, SMC, UniversiTEACaitlyn Jordan
La Fuerza president Maria Hernandez said UniversiTEA helped connect the schools and promoted a discussion for students “to work together as women and as a community to make the lives of all people on the campuses more successful.”

During the event, many common campus clichés were discussed, including ring by spring and the MRS Degree. In addition to campus stereotypes, the discussion broadened to the topic of women in film, particularly those in telenovelas.

Notre Dame junior Kristal Quispe said she enjoys when women are the main actors in telenovelas.

“We like us [women] to be seen as powerful and having leading roles,” she said.

Saint Mary’s junior Ruby Velasco said film “is seen as a ‘girls show’ if it has more than one female protagonist.”

During the discussion, students concluded there is no time for petty stereotypes and hostility toward girls across the street from each other when feminism is a global issue.

“There is a need for sub degrees of feminism,” Velasco said. “It is not clearly a gender issue; its gender, race and background.”

Notre Dame junior Daniela Nuñez introduced the topic of women embodying characteristics of men to better fit into the work force.

“[Women are] not trying to take away the power of men [but are] just trying to earn some,” she said.

“We will have to act as a community and a society to create change,” Velasco said.

Notre Dame junior Annika Fling said she enjoyed getting to know the Saint Mary’s girls.

“I think the unity of women is so much more important than our silly dividers between campuses,” she said.

Nuñez said she really enjoyed this opportunity to converse about “the issues we face here locally and as women on a macro side.”

“It is important to recognize the negative actions and stereotypes that occur here and take action to discontinue them so that we can really foster a community,” she said.

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