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Panelists discuss dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline

In 2010, more than 3 million students were suspended from school. Local leaders who spoke at Notre Dame on Tuesday evening said such disciplinary measures often further entrench the school-to-prison pipeline.

“You can’t understand the American system of mass incarceration without understanding the American education system,” Justin McDevitt, the assistant regional director for alumni and reentry services with Notre Dame Programs for Education in Prison (NDPEP), said.

The Tuesday evening panel discussion focused on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and was moderated by McDevitt. The event was hosted by Student Government and co-sponsored by the Alliance for Catholic Education, the Center for Social Concerns and the Education, Schooling & Society Program.

Fitting within the larger context of Walk the Walk Week, programming that focuses on issues of justice and equity across campus and the country, the discussion centered around actions currently being taken to dismantle the pipeline and how the Notre Dame community can promote active change.

Canneth Lee, a South Bend councilman and pastor, said that “the pipeline refers to the policies and practices that disproportionately affect students of color and that push students of color from school to the criminal justice system.” He also said the pipeline disproportionately affects students with disabilities and students from low-income families. 

Maria McKenna, a professor in both Africana Studies and the Education, Schooling & Society Program, explained that education has been politicized since the beginning of public education in the mid-1800s. She pointed to literacy tests, school segregation and poll taxes, citing them examples of how Black people have been historically excluded from education.

McKenna said that this marginalization continues today.

“We have continued to marginalize, to criminalize and to exclude people of color from the American education system and this is how we ended up with a system of punishment and reward and absolute black-and-white ideas about what is acceptable behavior in schools,” she said.

Kareemah Fowler, the chief financial officer for the South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC), said many students who act out in school are suffering from unresolved trauma and a lack of positive reinforcement at home. 

These students come to school needing more help and support, but the school isn’t able to provide it, she explained.

“We respond with discipline instead of with support because that’s often cheaper and easier in some ways,” McDevitt said. 

As a result of disciplinary policies, McDevitt said students are suspended or sent home, rather than being at school where they can learn and be loved by meaningful mentors and role models.

“We must work to reduce punitive measures, such as suspensions and expulsions, and instead focus on restorative justice practices that help students learn from their mistakes and make amends,” Lee said. 

Fowler discussed the importance of aligning the South Bend school’s strategic plan with policies to dismantle the pipeline. In her position as CFO, she worked to pass a tax referendum to provide students who need extra support and resources. She said she also worked to supply teachers and staff with resources to deal with these issues and learn how to implement restorative justice practices. 

Fowler said schools and families can’t face these issues alone.

“One of the pillars of the strategic plan was community partners because we know that these are systemic issues,” she said. 

Support for communities happens at the local level, McKenna said. That support could take the shape of mentoring a child, volunteering at the polls for local elections or supporting a community racial or social justice group, she added.

“Everyone [has] a role to play in dismantling what we think of as the school-to-prison pipeline,” she said.

Contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu

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Muir Matches Measure provides visual representation of job burnout

There are visual measures to quantify job satisfaction and measure pain, such as the Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale posted in doctors’ offices and hospitals.

However, there were no visual measures to track job burnout, so Notre Dame professor Cindy Muir (Zapata) set out to create a short-term measure to assess employees’ feelings about burnout. 

The Muir Matches Measure is a validated visual measure of job burnout created by Muir and published with Charles Calderwood, a psychology professor at Virginia Tech, and Dorian Boncoeur, an assistant professor for the Mendoza College of Business.

According to Muir, visual measures are powerful because they allow people to quickly assess their feelings.

“The idea for [the measure] hit me as I stared at an image of matches burned at different levels during a presentation,” she said. 

Long surveys are time-consuming, especially for those experiencing job burnout, so Muir wanted to create a quick and regular way to assess burnout by using a visual that is easily recognizable: burning matches. The scale of matches burning down allows people to pinpoint how they are feeling. 

Calderwood explained that job burnout is a challenge that arises from insufficient recovery.

“Recovery is how people keep themselves replenished and occupationally healthy over time,” he said. 

Within burnout literature, the time scale of burnout has progressed to include both feelings over a long time and daily fluctuations.

“You have burnout that is a chronic strain reaction or a longer-term syndrome, but you also see the symptoms of burnout vary from day-to-day in terms of how exhausted you feel or how disconnected from your work you feel,” Calderwood explained. 

The paper published by Muir and her coauthors confirmed that the visual scale of the matches burning down corresponds with existing measures of job burnout. They validated the scale by looking at different instruction sets and ways of defining burnout. 

Calderwood said that, when launching the tool, the group had to grapple with the misalignment between how people refer to burnout in everyday language in comparison to how burnout may be referred to by an academic or defined in a dictionary. 

“‘Burnout’ is something that’s become a term in our everyday language. People say that they’re ‘burned out,’ but they can mean different things by that,” Calderwood said. “The disconnect between the everyday understanding of burnout and how it’s defined academically was a challenge I’m not sure we anticipated when the project started.” 

Licenses to the measure can be purchased by companies and employees, according to Muir.

“It is my hope that companies use [the tool] in their climate surveys to check in on their employees,” Muir said. “They might use it to track trends over time or to see how a large-scale change initiative has impacted their employees.”

Calderwood said the tool will be important for employees in high-stress occupations, including nursing and teaching, which have previously experienced high burnout rates. 

The measure can also be downloaded online for personal use after completing a short survey. Muir said the data collected will be used to gain a better understanding of burnout levels in different industries and occupations, which will be used in future research. 

While the Muir Matches Measure allows people to identify if they are feeling burned out at their job, the next step is taking that information from the visual and learning how to deal with burnout.

“I am now working on how to best advise people to use their self-assessment to make changes that can help reduce their job burnout,” Muir said.

Contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu

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Historian’s new book examines modern Chinese feminism

Historian and Rice University professor Tani Barlow defined an event as “a politically inspired action to establish a newly discovered truth.” Barlow’s most recent book, “In the Event of Women,” characterizes women by the way they enact change, rather than as a group or broad idea. 

At a lecture Wednesday hosted by the Modern Chinese Literature and Culture Working Group, Barlow discussed her latest book which explores opposing views of women during the Cultural Revolution in China led by communist leader Mao Zedong from 1966 to 1976. She related these diverging ideas about the nature of women to the question of women’s roles in modern China. 

While researching and writing, Barlow grappled with what femininity looks like and what happens when the question of femininity becomes political.

“The question is, ‘How would a woman emerge onto the horizon of history?’” Barlow asked. 

In her book, Barlow argues that feminism in general can be understood through China. She explained that a universal truth has to be theorized through another tradition, while calling upon Chinese intellectual history. She examined the intersection between Chinese traditions and modern evolutionary arguments that show how men and women are different but equal. 

“They have equal natural nights, and they must equally thrive for a good society,” Barlow explained. 

Barlow uses philosophy and sociology to show how advertisers in the 20th century pushed a new view of women. In older depictions of women before the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, their physical bodies were rarely depicted, mirroring their exclusion from Chinese society. However, advertisements ranging from fertilizer to beauty products in the 1920s and 1930s began to sexualize women in order to market commodities.

It is important to note the changes in attitudes toward women and depictions of women in media because history manifests itself in the way people communicate, Barlow said.

“When you see depictions of women in everyday life change, it means that expectations are different and images appear as an inspiration or aspiration,” Barlow said. 

She discusses changing ideas about the role of women in the last chapter of her book. During the chapter, Barlow examines the conflict between two powerful women at the apex of Chinese state power, Wang Guangmei and Jiang Qing. Guangmei was the wife of Liu Shaoqi, who served as the president of the People’s Republic of China from 1959 to 1968, and Qing was Mao Zedong’s fourth wife.

These women were at the center of Chinese revolutionary history, she explained.

“They were fighting over the appropriate way for women to behave on the global scale,” Barlow said.

Guangmei was targeted because she represented “bourgeois” values that the Communist Party opposed, according to Barlow. Jiang was punished for wearing provocative clothing, like a pearl necklace, which was deemed “impure.” Both women faced public humiliation and imprisonment for their actions. 

Although women’s material bodies have been politicized and sexualized, Barlow identified the power to influence the narrative of history and the future as a crucial step for liberating women.

Barlow explained that the struggle to identify the role of women and how women should act remains a serious problem today. She discussed how feminist philosophy can be applied to focus on making changes to how people view women, rather than confirming a definition, which would not welcome all people who identify as women. 

Barlow said women are not defined by their bodies. “In the Event of Women” refers to the discoveries of women that are constantly changing and in transition, she said.

“While the truth of sexual reproduction will always be transitive, the event of women is a never fully completed political struggle to establish truth and justice,” she said.

Contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu.

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Mathematician discusses random walk theory at annual Christmas lecture

“Every interesting mathematical concept, if it’s truly deep, has something to say in a variety of applied domains,” said Jordan Ellenberg, a mathematician from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies number theory and algebraic geometry. He has been writing about math concepts for general audiences for over 15 years and his most recent book, “Shape,” is a New York Times bestseller.

Ellenberg delivered the second annual College of Science Christmas lecture on Friday evening in Jordan Hall of Science. The Christmas lecture is modeled after the Royal Institution of Great Britain’s Christmas lectures, which were started almost 200 years ago by scientist Michael Faraday in 1825.

According to Allison Slabaugh, the academic advancement director for the College of Science, “the Christmas lecture was established with the goal of bringing science to the general public and inspiring the community to engage in science.” The Faraday-style lectures demonstrate the scientific concepts they present and are intended to be entertaining and deeply philosophical.

Ellenberg’s lecture focused on the theory of the random walk, also known as the Markov process. In mathematics, a random walk is a random process that describes a path consisting of a succession of random steps within a given space.

According to Ellenberg, the random walk describes a sequence of possible events where the probability of each event depends on the event that happened before the event that will occur next. This stochastic, or random process, occurs because each event is independent of the other and as the sample size increases, the mean gets closer to the average of the entire population.

The phenomenon of the random walk can be observed in many different areas of study, like flipping a coin or fluctuations in stock prices. “The concept of the random walk expanded out into an array of applications,” Ellenberg said, naming finance, physics, biology and mathematics.

Ellenberg invited members of the audience to participate in a game to demonstrate the random walk. Participants were instructed to look at a piece of text like a newspaper or a page from a book. Then, they were asked to locate a bigram or a pair of letters. After the first person called out a pair of letters, the next pair had to start with the second letter of the previous pair. This was repeated until someone ended the word with a space or a period.

This process produced words that resembled and sounded like English, even though they were not actual English words. Ellenberg explained that longer sequences of letters, for example, those that used five letters grouped together as opposed to two letters, would create words that capture more of the English language.

The random walk produces an imitation of the English text which has been applied to artificial language models. Although these computer programs are applied on a much larger scale, “it’s fundamentally doing the same kind of thing taking in a large body of existing English text and trying to figure out what’s likely to come out of it and then auto-generating just the way we all did together,” Ellenberg said.

“A language model [used by artificial intelligence] is not so different from a very simple Markov chain, it’s just much bigger because we have abilities we didn’t have years ago,” Ellenberg continued.

There are limitations to the Markov process and while there are certain things that a Markov process can do, there are also certain kinds of things that a Markov process can’t do. Ellenberg discussed how identifying this boundary is difficult because there is so much about math that is still unknown.

Contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu.

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Here’s what to know if you’re traveling over Thanksgiving break 

Amidst impending finals, projects and assignments, many students make a mad-dash home for Thanksgiving break, arriving just in time for a piece of pumpkin pie before rushing back to campus to spend hours in the library cramming for exams that were briefly forgotten over a turkey dinner. 

Starting Tuesday, students will depart Notre Dame in planes, trains and cars and disperse across the country — along with everyone else on some of the busiest days of holiday travel. 

With such a short time to get to their destinations, each minute spent traveling cuts into time with family and friends, but traffic delays, lines and cancellations are inevitable.

Here’s what to know to help streamline your Thanksgiving travel plans and ensure you don’t miss a minute of the holiday celebration. 

Traffic

Many students utilize rideshare services to get from campus to O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. Royal Zoom offers shuttles from Notre Dame and the Chicago airports. There are also private drivers who are available to drive students to the airport, and students who have cars on campus organize their own rideshares. 

Brandon Arizpe, the owner of Blue & Gold Transportation, said that his company is driving between 300 and 400 students over Thanksgiving. 

Arizpe keeps a record of all of the rides Blue & Gold completes to see how travel times vary from year to year so they know how much time to plan for. According to Arizpe, it usually takes between two to two-and-a-half hours to get to O’Hare, but on Tuesday and Wednesday, it will likely take four hours. 

He explained that traffic getting into Chicago will be especially bad this year due to highway construction near O’Hare and snow on the ground from the past week. 

“With planes having delays every day and the lack of workers, I see Thanksgiving and Christmas being very hectic this year. I think people should plan accordingly and give themselves leeway” to account for extra travel time, Arizpe said. 

Arizpe also said that students trying to get a Uber from campus to the airport during peak travel times will likely see prices surge. In the past, prices have reached $1,600 for an Uber from Notre Dame to O’Hare during Thanksgiving traffic. 

In addition to regularly scheduled rides, Blue & Gold also has an on-call driver available in case of cancellations or if other plans fall through.

“Everybody deserves to get home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We try to attend to as many people as we can,” Arizpe said. 

Security lines 

Julie Curtis, the vice president of marketing and air service development at South Bend International Airport, said travelers should arrive 90 minutes to two hours before their flight.

According to Curtis, it is convenient for students to travel out of South Bend because it is close to campus and a smaller airport than O’Hare or Midway, which makes it easier to navigate during peak travel days, like the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. 

“The airports across the country are going to be busy, so if there are connections and you’re stopping in one of those hubs, those airports will be really busy. The great thing about flying from South Bend is that we are much easier to get in and out of,” Curtis said. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends that travelers arrive at the airport early during Thanksgiving travel. They recommend arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

Students flying out of the Chicago airports should be prepared to expect longer wait times at security. O’Hare’s wait times can be accessed here and Midway’s wait times can be accessed here

Delta removes flights from South Bend to Detroit

Although South Bend is generally less crowded during Thanksgiving, it is a smaller airport with fewer flights, and many flights connect to larger airports, making it difficult to avoid busy national hubs. 

One of South Bend’s most popular routes was Delta Airlines’ South Bend to Detroit flight. However, according to Curtis, beginning Nov. 9 Delta Airlines removed the South Bend to Detroit flight from its schedule. 

The previous direct flight to Detroit now re-routes passengers to other hubs including Atlanta and Minnesota, increasing travel time.

Curtis explained that the flight was removed due to shortages that have been impacting the airline industry.

“There is a pilot shortage going on in the industry, which is impacting airports across the United States in terms of service,” Curtis said.

Since fewer planes are flying, it is more efficient to service larger hubs as opposed to smaller airports like South Bend. 

Due to the airline shortages and lack of workers, Curtis said travelers should expect full or overbooked flights this Thanksgiving.

“There are fewer airplanes that are flying and as a result, all of the planes that are flying are flying much fuller than they historically ever have,” Curtis said.

South Shore Line construction

The South Shore Line is a popular way to travel from South Bend to the heart of Chicago. A one-way ticket from the South Bend Airport to Millennium Station costs $14.25, as opposed to more expensive ride services. However, construction on the South Shore Line has interrupted service and caused delays recently. 

The Double Track Northwest Indiana Project spans over 26 miles on the South Shore Line from Gary to Michigan City. The goal of the project is to install a second mainline track, make safety improvements in Michigan City, expand parking lots and improve platforms at various station stops. 

The project is expected to double South Shore Line ridership and greatly reduce travel times. Currently, the ride from South Bend to Chicago takes about two hours, but the Double Track project aims to reduce travel time to just 90 minutes. 

For the foreseeable future, trains will continue to run on a modified schedule with busing between Carroll Ave. and Gary Metro Center stations on all weekday and weekend trains.

The Double Track project is expected to be finished in 2024, but until then, students traveling on the South Shore Line should expect longer travel times due to the busing.

Contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu.

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Professors research resilient farmlands, housing in coastal areas and cities

The 2015 Paris Agreement set the goal of limiting global warming to below two, but preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

However, a report published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) shows that while countries are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will not be enough to limit a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. 

While countries meet this month to negotiate and discuss the next steps relating to the climate change crisis at COP27, the 27th Conference of Parties hosted by the UNFCCC in Egypt, professors at Notre Dame are also working on climate change initiatives.

Galla Professor of Biological Sciences and director of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative Jennifer Tank’s research focuses on how agriculture impacts stream and freshwater ecosystems and how nutrients and carbon cycle in streams. 

Nutrient runoff from farm fields can be harmful to freshwater ecosystems because the runoff raises the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water, causing algal blooms and low oxygen dead zones, Tank says. This process, known as eutrophication, results in excess algae and plant matter which eventually decompose, releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide which contribute to greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. 

Tank’s research involves working with farmers in the Midwest to implement conservation practices to mitigate and minimize the impact that farming has on freshwater. 

While her research documents ecological outcomes of conservation practices like cover crops and restoring floodplains, Tank said there is another piece to conservation associated with changing farmers’ behaviors and trying to incentivize them to adopt conservation practices. 

Tank further discussed how many farmers are concerned about environmental impacts but their primary concern is their agricultural yield.  

When negotiating with farmers, Tank said she leads with the “unpredictability and extreme events rather than climate change” because farmers know that the weather every year is uncertain, and this negatively impacts their productivity. 

Cover crops are beneficial for the environment, but they are also beneficial for farmers because they increase levels of carbon in soils which increases yields.

“The approach we take is to meet in the area of shared values, rather than trying to push an agenda,” Tank said. 

Co-authors Debra Javeline, associate professor of political science, and Tracy Kijewski-Correa, professor of engineering and global affairs, are also working on research looking at how to incentivize people to make more environmentally-conscious decisions. Their research relates to homeowners living in coastal areas and aims to inform insurers, leaders and policymakers about incentives to motivate homeowners to protect themselves.

“We are working with communities all over the world to try to understand how they are adapting to the acute effects of climate change as manifested in increased storm intensity, sea level rise and other factors in coastal areas,” Correa said. “Not only are we seeing more frequent disasters but every variety of disaster, from massive wildfires to flooding all across the United States and massive hurricanes in the southeast and Atlantic coasts, are driven by climate change.

These disasters result in losses of life and losses of hundreds of billions of dollars a year used to rebuild communities decimated after natural disasters. 

In an email, Javeline said that when a major event happens “we should not reflexively start paying the billions of dollars it costs to rebuild infrastructure in hazardous coastal locations.”

Instead, she suggested that people should consider where “infrastructure dollars are best spent, given climate change and the need to invest wisely in more sustainable locations.”

Correa recommends that policymakers incentivize families to make investments in their homes through a market-based approach that makes it attractive for people to invest in safe homes. Some of these policies include offering discounts on insurance premiums and real estate markets rewarding behaviors by raising the value of homes that adopt protective measures against flooding, strong winds and sea level rise. 

“This resilience benefits the homeowners, who don’t want to be stuck with the financial and emotional toll of losses, and it benefits the insurers who would otherwise have to pay for those losses,” Javeline said via email. 

While Correa and Javeline’s research focuses on coastal areas, professor of engineering and geosciences Harindra Joseph Fernando is investigating how climate change affects urban areas. 

Fernando is working with the Community Research on Climate and Urban Science (CROCUS) laboratory as a co-principal investigator to look at how climate change affects urban areas to build more resilient cities. The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“Our research is focused on developing a quantitative understanding of the symbiosis between cities and their natural surroundings within the holistic climate system” to predict how climate variability will affect people living in urban areas, Fernando said via email. 

Fernando explained that the research will use computer simulations to understand how engineered elements like buildings, roads, pavements and industrial areas will affect the local environment. These models will guide mitigation strategies for environmental degradation.

The impacts of climate change influence a variety of different research topics, ranging from building resilient farmlands to incentivizing homeowners living in coastal areas to make investments in safer housing, to designing cities that can withstand climate change. 

There are many faculty whose work is informed by or impacted by climate change, and it is an interdisciplinary area of study.

“The ways we can think about climate change impacts as well as what we do next are so diverse,” Tank said.

Contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu

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Campus organizations celebrate Dia de los Muertos

On Nov. 1 and 2, the streets of Mexico will brim with celebrations of Dia de los Muertos — literally meaning “Day of the Dead” — with colorful papel picado decorations, giant parade floats, face painting, mariachi bands and traditional dancing. 

Dia de los Muertos originated in Mexico, although it is widely celebrated in the Mexican diaspora globally to commemorate loved ones who have passed away. Nov. 1 honors children who have passed away, while Nov. 2 commemorates adults. The holiday is a joyous celebration rather than one of mourning, according to a talk by Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) faculty fellow Jenny Padilla. 

“The centerpiece of Dia de los Muertos is remembering your loved ones who have passed, remembering the life they lived and sharing your stories with other family members,” Denise Brenes, assistant director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS) said.

Emily Meneses, vice president of the Spanish language choir Coro Primavera, said that during this time, many believe the dead come closer to the living. It is a day to honor friends and family who have passed away, she said. 

The ILS hosted a community gathering Tuesday to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. The event featured traditional Mexican food and a display of altars created by student groups. Padilla spoke at the event about the origins of the holiday and traditions associated with Dia de los Muertos.

She discussed how families create and decorate altars to honor their loved ones who have passed. The altars are set up in homes and cemeteries and contain photographs, flowers and ofrendas — or offerings. 

“The altars are decorated with offerings that are meant to represent the four elements: fire, water, wind and earth,” Padilla said. 

She explained how the different elements are incorporated into the altars. Fire is represented by candles that light the way for the spirits to return to their families. Pitchers of water are placed on the altars to quench the spirits’ thirst. The wind is represented by papel picado — intricately cut papers that help the souls pass through. Earth is represented by traditional foods, like pan de muerto, hot chocolate and tamales. 

Padilla explained that marigolds are the holiday’s iconic flower. The altars are decorated with bright orange and yellow flowers because the fragrance is said to help guide the spirits from their burial place. 

La Catrina, the elegant skull, is another symbol associated with the holiday and it is seen in costumes, face paintings and candy skulls. It originated as a satirical lithograph in the 1910s by Mexican illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada. 

The two-day celebration of Dia de los Muertos aligns with All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls’ Day on Nov. 2,  days of prayer and remembrance observed by Christian denominations. 

Dia de los Muertos was originally an Aztec tradition celebrated during the summer harvest season.

“The origins of Dia de los Muertos date back to the indigenous people of Mexico and Central America and the idea is that death and the dead are to be celebrated and honored rather than mourned,” Padilla said.   

It wasn’t until the 16th century, during the Spanish colonization of Mexico, that the dates of the holiday changed. Brenes explained that after colonization, holidays involving pagan traditions or rituals were incorporated into Catholic celebrations, so today’s celebration of Dia de los Muertos contains an amalgamation of pre-Hispanic traditions and Christian religion.

Meneses discussed the intersection between the two traditions.“We celebrate Dia de los Muertos because we honor the saints, and so from a religious perspective, they can intercede for us and bring us closer to the deceased,” she said.

A holiday that is mistaken as having ties to Dia de los Muertos is Halloween. Padilla clarified that although Halloween and Dia de los Muertos “occur in tandem and [though they] share similar customs like candy, face painting and community gatherings, the two are not related.”

To mark the second day of Dia de los Muertos on Wednesday, Campus Ministry is holding a procession at 7 p.m. from the Cedar Grove Cemetery culminating in a prayer service at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Following the service, there will be a reception in the Coleman-Morse lounge where student clubs including Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro (BFAYO), RitmoND, Coro Primavera and Mariachi ND will be performing. 

Arianna Kelley, diversity council representative of BFAYO, said the group will be performing typical Mexican folkloric dances and painting their faces like skulls. Coro Primavera and Mariachi ND will be leading songs that will be sung during the procession from the cemetery to the Basilica. Coro Primavera will be singing “Un pueblo que camina” — which translates to “a town that walks.” “It’s a really great song to show how a community can move itself and spiritually uplift each other,” Meneses said.

You can contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu

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“Daughters of Our Lady” exhibit presents the evolution of coeducation at Notre Dame

“Daughters of Our Lady: Finding a Place at Notre Dame,” an exhibit that travels through the history of women at Notre Dame, is currently on display at the Hesburgh Libraries.

The timeline takes the viewer through Sr. Mary Lucretia’s experience as the first woman to receive a degree in 1917 to the religious women on campus in the 1950s. Then, it travels to the Saint Mary’s exchange program that began in 1965 to the first cohort of undergraduate women in 1972 — and culminates in 2022, which marks 50 years of coeducation. 

The exhibit was curated by Elizabeth Hogan, Senior Archivist for Photographs and Graphic Materials. It tells the story of the evolution of coeducation and features newspaper clippings, correspondences, articles and other documents from the Notre Dame Archives that record the journey toward coeducation. 

Hogan explained that there were women who came before 1972 who were influential in making way for coeducation.

“Many people don’t know about the origins of coeducation, or maybe they have a vague sense of what was going on before 1972,” Hogan said. “1972 was not the start, it was important but it was not the start.”

1972 marked the first time that women were admitted to Notre Dame as undergraduate students. Hogan said that the switch to coeducation was a result of pressures from the federal government, other institutions and the establishing of Title IX. 

In 1972, there were only 350 female students enrolled at Notre Dame. The year after, there were 735 female students. Notre Dame slowly began to add more female students in the years that followed, but they were limited by the resources available.

“Notre Dame didn’t have the facilities to accommodate all the women and didn’t have the capability to automatically double its size, because that would require more classrooms, more faculty and more administrators,” Hogan said.

Hogan also mentioned that Catholic education has historically been separate by gender.

“It’s not that Holy Cross as a congregation hadn’t educated women, they had just been educated in a different space separate from men,” she said. “Coeducation was a merging of the two.”

The exhibit features pioneering women who have helped shape Notre Dame over the years, including Sr. Suzanne Kelly and Josephine Massyngbaerde Ford, who were the first women on the faculty, and Graciela Olivares, the first female law school graduate. Hogan explained that determining who completed each “first” was difficult because it wasn’t always documented.

“A lot of the firsts actually happened before the first that was recorded,” she said. 

Hogan said the goal of the exhibit is to show how women’s experiences have changed and how women have influenced Notre Dame.

“I tried to not make the exhibit about too many people because there have been a lot of other publications celebrating coeducation and marketing communications talking about a lot of the firsts,” Hogan said. 

Hogan emphasized that the exhibit is only a piece of the history of coeducation and that there is more information and stories to be told about the history of women at Notre Dame.

“This is a very small space and there is a lot more about co-education, so if anyone wants to come and do research they are more than welcome,” Hogan said. 

The exhibit is on display in the Special Collections exhibit space in Hesburgh Library until Dec. 16. On Nov. 4 from 3-4 p.m., there will be a curator-led open house — all are welcome to attend. 

Contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu

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Senate confirms new executive cabinet member, discusses ASL resolution

On Wednesday night the Notre Dame student senate met in Montgomery Auditorium to confirm sophomore Quinn Akerman as the director of national relations and political engagement, discuss hall vacancy elections and American Sign Language (ASL) as a foreign language in undergraduate admissions.

Notre Dame student body president Patrick Lee began the meeting by delivering the State of the Student Union address. Lee discussed how the time between fall break and Christmas break is often the busiest time of the year. He encouraged the senators to continue thinking about what they want to accomplish over break and remind themselves about their commitment and enthusiasm. 

Junior Lane Obringer, director of the Department of Gender Relations-Title IX and Women’s Initiatives, gave an update on the safety after parietals initiative and back-to-school safety. 

She explained that the goal of safety after parietals is for students to not be held responsible for “policy violations in situations where they felt unsafe or discriminated against.” Infographics outlining this initiative have been distributed to hall rectors and posted in all of the dorms. 

After fall break, student government will present a fall version of Take Back the Night. This event will provide students with “a confidential setting to share their experiences with gender and power-based violence on campus, either by speaking in person or via a written proxy,” Obringer said. 

After approving the minutes from last week’s meeting, student body vice president Sofie Stitt moved to general orders.

Lee introduced Akerman, the executive cabinet’s nomination for director of national relations and political engagement. In this role, her duties will include assisting political clubs on campus during midterm elections, working with NDVotes and BridgeND to increase voter registration on campus and organizing events to help students become involved with domestic and global political environments. 

Akerman said one of her goals is to “not only invite South Bend political leaders on campus but also national leaders.” In a unanimous vote, she was confirmed to the position. 

Additionally, the senate passed order SO2223-11, which proposed that hall elections with one candidate running unopposed can be suspended with the candidate declared the winner. 

Jill Maudlin, director of disability advocacy, introduced resolution SS2223-11 calling for Notre Dame undergraduate admissions to recognize ASL as a foreign language that meets the two-year requirement for prospective high school students applying to Notre Dame. 

Maudlin explained that students who take ASL in high school in place of a foreign language can be accepted to Notre Dame if they complete two years’ worth of a foreign language before enrolling.

During questioning, Maudlin said she had not talked to administrators about the proposal yet and was hoping to gain student support before contacting the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CLSC) and undergraduate admissions.  

When the resolution moved to debate, senators were concerned about the ambiguity surrounding the resolution and the lack of a detailed plan. 

“Resolutions are not supposed to be used as a vehicle to get your foot in the door,” Judicial Council president Madison Nemeth said. She suggested that Maudlin talk to administrators first and come up with a more specific plan before bringing the resolution to the senate. 

Nemeth suggested drafting a letter to the University that the senate could pass as one way to approach the issue and try to get more information following conversations with the necessary administrators.

The majority of the senators supported the resolution but wanted more details about the next steps in the process. 

Keough Hall senator Derick Williams supported the resolution. Offering ASL as a foreign language “would provide the equity and inclusion that we seek here at Notre Dame and that’s part of our mission,” Williams said. 

The motion to postpone the resolution failed, but the motion to refer the resolution back to the Department of Disability Advocacy for revisions passed.

The senate held a brief overview of upcoming topics at the end of the meeting. Williams said RecSports will potentially provide free passes as a mental health rejuvenator that will be distributed by the University Counseling Center (UCC).

Sophomore Connor McCloskey gave an update on the dining hall’s plans to add more gluten-free options, and Williams discussed plans to talk with dining hall services about flex point options. 

Contact Caroline at ccolli23@nd.edu

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Notre Dame alum leads startup aimed at offering sustainable food options

After working on agricultural policy issues for then-U.S. Sen. Max Baucus and in the agricultural industry in Zimbabwe, Sara Andrews realized there were more sustainable ways to produce food.

As a result, Andrews — who graduated from Notre Dame in 2001 — founded Bumbleroot, a company that bridges the gap in the food industry between farmers and consumers by using regenerative agricultural practices to help consumers eat healthier while fighting climate change. 

Andrews said she started Bumbleroot because there were not markets in the U.S. for regenerative products.

“I created Bumbleroot as a brand that would rethink the food system and feature regenerative ingredients,” she said.

Her goal was to create a company that provides nutrient-rich food with full supply chain transparency for consumers and producers.  

Bumbleroot uses methods that work with nature rather than against it, Andrews explained.

“Regenerative methods allow us to use good soil methods, do good things for the community and the environment and also create more nutrient-dense food,” she said.

Regenerative methods are processes that include holistic grazing, using cover crops and practices that mimic nature to create better soil health. These types of methods are replacements for harmful practices like the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and factory farming, Andrews said.

Some benefits of regenerative agriculture practices are that “we have more diversity, better soil health and sequester more carbon, which could be a solution to mitigate climate change,” Andrews said.

Approaching food systems in this way helps to create a sense of reciprocity between the environment, agricultural producers and consumers, she said.

“We have more value for our agricultural producers [and] they’re more profitable because they’re spending less money on chemicals and other inputs,” she said of the impact of regenerative practices.

Bumbleroot supports consumers with active lifestyles, Andrews said.

“There is data that shows that food grown with regenerative practices is more nutrient dense than organic or conventional food,” she said.

Bumbleroot’s most popular product is a hydration drink mix that features coconut water sustainably sourced from India and organic baobab from Zimbabwe. Andrews said she thinks this is the healthiest hydration drink because it has natural electrolytes and nutrients.

“It is a better way to hydrate for you and the planet,” she said.

Future products will include an alternative coffee drink and regenerative meat snacks, both of which will be sustainably sourced and produced with regenerative processes. 

Andrews said most of Bumbleroot’s customers are women, but they hope to expand to other markets going forward. 

Andrews said her education at Notre Dame helped her solidify her beliefs about sustainability and environmental responsibility. She said values she adopted at Notre Dame are reflected in Bumbleroot, such as celebrating practices that are best for the planet. 

Bumbleroot’s mission is to “connect the dots between showing that food grown with regenerative methods is more nutrient-dense and that these practices can be a solution to many issues we have in society, from climate change to health, to environmental issues,” Andrews said. “We hope to create the ecosystems that we need [for] more resilient food systems.”

Contact Caroline Collins at ccolli23@nd.edu