Saint Mary’s offers new religion course titled Queer Theology

During the 2021-22 academic year, professors Jessica Coblentz and Daniel Horan O.F.M proposed a new course to the Saint Mary’s College curriculum committee, entitled Queer Theology. The course Queer Theology, co-taught by Professors Coblentz and Horan, started its first half, Queer Theology I, this semester at Saint Mary’s, and will continue next semester with Queer Theology II. Coblentz and Horan spoke on the circumstances of its creation, emphasizing its intentionality to address a call for discussion within the Saint Mary’s community. 

“The unique thing about how this course came to be is that we were very intentional about being in conversation with students because the class was inspired by students’ desires to learn more about this,” Coblenz explained. “We were really intentional about asking them, ‘What do you want to study?’ ‘What are the questions that you have that aren’t being answered in other classes that you’re taking or in some of the extracurricular opportunities here at the College?”

To the same accord, Horan recalled his moment of recognition of a need for a course such as this.

“We had a campus event, and in the Q&A session, it became clear that students were very interested in perspectives of Christian theology that aligned with and arose from the experiences of those who identify as LGBTQ+,” Horan said. 

Horan further spoke on the attitude of the student body.

“There was a hunger, there was an interest, there was a desire to learn more about the work that’s being done around this topic,” Horan said. 

Coblentz, having taught a “Queer theology” course previous to her time at Saint Mary’s, expressed interest and determination toward the formation of the curriculum.

“We did our best, as experts in Christian theology, to sort of find opportunities to introduce students to ideas in academic theology that connect with their own organic interest,” Coblentz said.

She described some of what the course aims to cover as a whole.

“We’re exploring in the class how insights from Queer theory, sort of challenge and expand certain ideas in traditional Christian theology and also we’re looking at how ideas in Christian theology can challenge, expand and help reimagine different issues in Queer theory,” Coblenz explained.

As well as the content of the course, Horan shared another main element considered in the brainstorming phase, the importance of accessibility to the course. “A course like this had not been offered at Saint Mary’s or in the tri-campus community, at least to our knowledge, so we really had a chance to think from scratch, what would a course like this look like?” Horan continued. 

 “How could we make it a course that was accessible and available to the greatest sort of number of students who are interested in taking it, recognizing that students have very full plates,” he said. 

The structure of the course is unique in the aspect that each semester is worth one and a half credits. Aimed to accommodate those who have an interest in taking this class but may have a full schedule or minimal room, the course is offered on Wednesday evenings. It is a year-long course available to students to take one semester or the other or both in combination to get the equivalent of a regular course in credits.

“We wanted to do something a bit innovative even in the offering of the course, and that’s where the one and a half credit per semester kind of, part one part two structure came in,” Horan said. 

Horan discussed the importance this course plays within the Saint Mary’s and tri-campus communities.

“I think it is important because there is, first of all, an important area of this field of study that doesn’t or hasn’t traditionally, in the tri-campus area, received much attention in a formal academic sense. I think the second reason is that it’s important because these are pressing questions of our time, right?” Horan said. 

Horan continued and addressed the specific relevance the course plays within the setting of a Catholic college.

“So, at a Catholic college, our mission, our vision for education is rooted in that quest for deeper knowledge about the human person, about the world, about God, about what we see and what’s more than what we see. And so, in that regard, something like Queer theology fits in very comfortably and ideally.” Horan said. “The intersection of dialogue is a big part of what this course is about.”

Coblentz also dived into the conversations within the class that have been sparked since its start this semester.

“But I think what we’re exploring and Queer theology are some ways of bringing Christianity to bear on our lives that are often overlooked, that often aren’t introduced to students, and I think that weather students end up agreeing or disagreeing with the authors we read in class I think it’s often really productive and fruitful and exciting to reconsider whether faith has something to offer in this regard. Something to offer that maybe we haven’t thought about before,” Coblentz said. 

Her overall passion for this course and its contents stems from the meaning she hopes others will find in it.

“This dialogue where we’re challenging ourselves to grow in understanding to expand our horizons to rethink things that some of us have taken for granted, that’s what all theology classes on our campus aim to do,” Coblentz said. 

Contact Cora Haddad at


From the Archives: An early history of parietals at Notre Dame — Part 1

Parietals continue to be a consistently controversial topic at Notre Dame, almost universally igniting the ire of the student body. While this policy may seem to be an eternal annoyance, in fact parietals as we know them date only to the late 1960s and are intertwined with the process of coeducation at Notre Dame, now in its 50th year.

In this two-part series, From the Archives will explore the early history of parietals. In this first installment, we uncover the University administration’s initial opposition to parietal hours, their subsequent change in heart and the promises and pitfalls that arose when parietals were first implemented.

Hesburgh’s “emphatic” opposition to parietals

Nov. 9, 1967 | Observer Staff | April 1, 1968 | Observer Staff | Researched by Avery Polking

Though the social structure of Notre Dame is defined by many things, perhaps one of the most concrete influences on daily life — and the most adverse to students — is parietal hours. While its vast unpopularity among students is well documented, less known is that University administration was initially against them as well.

A November 1967 Observer headline announced, “Hesburgh Emphatic: No Parietal Hour.” The article examined the implications of a comment then-University President Fr. Theodore Hesburgh made in which he effectively called parietal hours pointless, commenting that he “[has] no stomach for laws which don’t mean anything.”

“I’m sure that parietal hours will not be allowed,” Hesburgh declared.

University president Fr. Theodore Hesburgh was initially “emphatic” in his opposition to parietals. Observer archives, April 1, 1968.

The Observer expanded on Hesburgh’s stance, reporting that “The University’s reason for not allowing girls in the dormitory stems mostly from the social repercussions of entertaining a girl in a bedroom and the disruption such a practice would initiate in a mens’ dorm which is interpreted by many university officials as a men’s club.”

Hesburgh valued a community in which men and women could work together without the burden of time restrictions, calling this dynamic a “tension modulated by love.”

But not long after in April 1968, Hesburgh showed signs of a softening stance by reinstating four students who had been suspended by James Riehle, dean of students, for an unspecified parietal violation.

Hesburgh acknowledged that there was “moral ambiguity” present in current restrictions and that he was “in the process of outlining a program” he hoped would clarify matters.

Parietals were ultimately approved by the Board of Trustees a year later. However, the contentious conditions under which parietal hours were first debated surely reflects their controversial nature, still evident today.

Parietals approved

March 18, 1969 | Observer Staff | March 28, 1969 | Ted Price | Researched by Lilyann Gardner

Parietals are perhaps an outdated practice in the opinion of many present-day Notre Dame students, but their initial approval was likely considered a win in the eyes of the entirely male student population of 1969. 

Despite Father Hesburgh’s ostensibly “emphatic” opposition to parietals, in March 1969 the Board of Trustees approved the expansion of female visitation hours from just 11 weekends per year to every weekend, with the expectation that certain changes would have to be made to residence halls.

“The Executive Committee ratified the Student Life Council’s proposals for a reorganization of the residence hall governments, including a written constitution, a hall president, a hall legislative council, and a hall judicial board,” The Observer reported. 

The Student Life Council and Board of Trustees made it clear that should any hall fail to make the necessary changes, they would not be granted the privilege of expanded visitation rights. 

Parietals, although approved by administrative powers, were entirely experimental and relied on student cooperation. However, disgruntlement about these mandatory changes was not an issue. 

After parietals were approved in March 1969, an Observer caption said that “No longer will St. Mary’s girls or hometown honies [sic] be forced to sit on the grass for entertainment. Instead, when the new parietal hours go into effect, they can sit on the chair in your room from 5 to 12 Friday.” Observer archives, March 18, 1969.

Roughly a week later, six out of the 12 residence halls were approved to implement the new parietal rules. These halls included Badin, Carroll, Keenan, Lyons, Pangborn and Zahm with the other six following after minor changes in their hall constitutions were made. 

These residence halls moved forward with detailed weekend visitation hours that share similarities and differences with the parietal hours instituted after the move to co-education. 

“The legislation passed by the SLC and approved by the trustees permits women visitation hours in the residence halls for a total of no more than twenty-four hours from 5 p.m. Friday through 11 p.m. Sunday. However, no hall’s may extend beyond 1 a.m. any day nor begin earlier than 1 p.m. any day but Friday,” Ted Price (‘71) wrote. 

Violations of parietals were expected, but the Board of Trustees believed that the additional hall councils and authority figures would help maintain a certain level of maturity and morality in the campus community. 

Whether or not parietals are a necessary good or a necessary evil is up for debate today, but at the time of their approval parietals seemed to be a positive step toward creating a more inclusive campus community

Early parietal problems: sign-ins and citations

Oct. 1, 1969 | Observer Staff | Nov. 6, 1969 | Don Ruane | Researched by Cade Czarnecki

Though approval of parietals was met with enthusiasm, their implementation quickly led to a proliferation of student complaints.

The parietal policy, as it initially existed, required visitors to sign both in and out on a sheet in the entrance of the hall they were visiting, denoting the time of both arrival and departure.

A hall member was required to sit next to the sign-in book and ensure that all visitors adhered to the policy. The consensus among the student body was that the sign-in process was a ridiculous and unnecessarily tedious requirement.

As evidence of the absurdity of the requirement, an Observer article shared that “hall presidents [asked] each of their halls to enforce the sign-in procedure [on the] weekend to the letter and to make fathers visiting their sons sign in their wives and small daughters.”

The grievances did not stop there. Others writing in The Observer opined that the sign-in process served no real purpose: “No one…ever stated what the [sign-in] list was to be used for — whether to check as to if the women had left at the sign-out hour or what.”

Parietal violations began to occur almost as soon the policy was enacted — some due to ignorance and others due to protest.

Transgressing halls were often reported by rectors of other dorms. In fact, the Hall Life Board conducted an investigation into seven halls known to be repeat parietal offenders: Holy Cross, Dillon, Walsh, Alumni, Flanner, Carroll and Morrissey.

The implementation of parietals was characterized by widespread complaints and frequent violations. Observer archives, Nov. 6, 1969

The Hall Life Board threatened these halls with the suspension parietals as a whole if they did not clean up their acts. The board also promised a follow up investigation to ensure the appropriate changes in conduct were made in these recurrently offending halls.

While some saw the actions of the Hall Life Board to be oppressive, executive coordinator Ron Mastriana defended its investigation, saying, “The purpose of the Hall Life Board is to help the halls along and to make sure that everything is working as it should.”

While Mastriana’s comments undoubtedly soured some students even further on the Hall Life Board, there was a general belief that the Hall Presidents Council would actively work to help revise the parietals system in a way agreeable to all parties involved.

Contact Spencer Kelly at

Avery Polking at

Lilyann Gardner at

Cade Czarnecki at


Tri-Campus Thursday: ‘Latinx Heritage month’ events celebrate diversity within the community

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to celebrate the cultures of Americans whose ancestors hail from Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain and Central and South America.

In 1968, the country observed Hispanic Heritage Week and by 1988, the week was expanded to a 30-day period. The independence days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile all fall in the first week of Hispanic Heritage month.

The Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame is hosting nine events to mark the month. Some of these events are more academic while others focus on highlighting influential Latinx alumni from the University. 

First-year student Angela Olvera attended professor Luis Fraga’s “Latinos and the Reshaping of American Politics” lecture last Thursday. 

“I’m from Texas, and Texas has the worst cases of voter suppression in the country and racial gerrymandering. Hearing about how the Latino population is close to 40% of the country, and yet only like 15% of us vote was interesting,” Olvera said. “It just goes to show how it’s an invisible demographic … the way professor Fraga talks so passionately about it makes me want to get out there and register everyone to vote.”

Olvera also attended the transformative Latina leadership lecture this past Monday with Dorene C. Dominguez, a Notre Dame alumna who is the CEO of Vanir, a construction management and real estate company.

“She talked a lot about impostor syndrome … because she was a first-generation student like I am … and I think it’s really important to just hear success stories about people who share your background and ethnicity,” Olvera said. “I love that they interviewed her … because there’s still so much machismo and sexism that goes on in the Latino community.”

The Institute for Latino Studies is also co-sponsoring events organized by other academic departments for example, the talk by California State senator Monique Limón last week and a lecture by Nathan Henne, an expert in Mayan culture, scheduled Oct. 10, which is Indigenous Peoples Day. 

One of these events is a discussion of the book “Crossing Waters” by Marisel Moreno, Rev. John A. O’Brien associate professor. The book talks about the dynamics of undocumented migration between the Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico.

Moreno, who teaches Latinx literature and culture in the department of Romance Languages and Literatures, says that the term “Hispanic Heritage Month” is problematic. “The label Hispanic was originally imposed by the U.S. government on a very heterogeneous population to refer to all people of Latin American backgrounds,” Moreno said. “Hispanic is derived from Hispania, which was a Roman region that coincides with what today is Spain. So [the term] Hispanic privileges European ancestry … and the Spanish language.”

Moreno emphasized the linguistic diversity of the Latinx community where people in Haiti speak French, Brazilians speak Portuguese and several other Latinx people speak indigenous languages. 

“I call it Latinx Heritage Month and even that label is problematic. This is inspired by the hashtag ‘Latinidad is Cancelled’ that comes from Afro and indigenous people who would be labeled Latinx but don’t see themselves represented in the … label, because it erases Blackness,” Moreno said. 

Nicholas Crookston, a senior who is co-president of the Latinx Student Alliance (LSA) will be moderating “Latinx Identidades” next Thursday, a panel to shed more light on the diversity within the community. 

“Students and faculty are going to share their stories and knowledge on the complexity … of what we mean by Latino, Latina [and] Latinx,” Crookston said. “We hope to discuss the nuances of all experiences within our community including Afro Latinos, LGBTQ+ Latinos and first generation Latinos.”

“The panel is important because it’ll build cultural proficiency and people’s ease and understanding using the term, so they don’t feel weird about it,” Paloma Garcia-Lopez, associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies said. “We spent a lot of time in the media talking about the undocumented or recent immigrants, which really make up 15% of all Latinos in the US, so 85% are U.S. born.”

The panel is designed for audiences who might not have a lot of experience in Latinx communities.

“We’re trying to help increase the understanding of Latino communities in the U.S. for everybody at Notre Dame … and share some basics about US history that aren’t taught in high school,” Garcia-Lopez said.

The Institute for Latino Studies also collaborates with the Hispanic Alumni of Notre Dame (HAND) for an event each year. 

Students who view the alumni presentations can make appointments for one on one mentorship with them.

“This is a way of exposing them to people who have done pretty creative things with their degrees … there’s boards to serve, community organizations to support and philanthropic efforts,” Garcia-Lopez said. 

At Saint Mary’s, Latinx Heritage month celebrations have largely been spearheaded by students. Jackie Junco, a senior who serves as president of La Fuerza, the College’s club for Latinx students, said that the club held a photo-op event where students could celebrate the diversity of the Latinx community by taking photos with different flags of Latin American and Caribbean countries. La Fuerza also hosted a karaoke night in honor of the month along with their regular volunteering in the west side of South Bend. 

“La Fuerza and our diversity clubs are … the main sources that help support students of color [at Saint Mary’s],” Junco said. “I think implementing some more institutional support and club funding is necessary.” 

In light of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico, senior Ashlley Castillo, co-president of LSA at Notre Dame also talked about the need for more institutional support. 

“We know that there are other instances where the University has stepped up for other communities, and I feel like they’re not as responsive for the Latino community. Perhaps they can have a prayer service … at least or offer resources at the UCC to students from Puerto Rico who have had this traumatic experience before with Hurricane Maria a few years prior,” Castillo said. 

Moreno and Garcia-Lopez both cited hiring more Latinx faculty members as a first step to building a community that is more supportive of Latinx students. 

Crookston hopes that Latinx Heritage Month events on campus will help build more unity between students of all backgrounds.

“LSA events have always been open for all to attend,” he said. “We want this to be an invitation for the wider community to celebrate with us this month and year round.”


SMC votes hosts ‘Rock the Vote’

Editor’s Note: Crystal Ramirez is a former Associate News Editor for The Observer.

SMC Votes hosted ‘Rock the Vote’, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Belle’s Backyard. The event featured voting resources, treats and live entertainment. Bellacapella and the Pearl performed while attendees requested region specific voting information and voted for the Most Popular Dog on Campus.

Saint Mary’s students relax and chat during the “Rock the Vote’ event on Wednesday September 21.

Rock the vote was an event created “to increase voter engagement and celebrate democracy,” SMC Votes co-coordinator Libbey Detcher said. The live music, furry friends, and numerous resources fostered a welcoming environment for people to come and get information on voter registration and requesting absentee ballots. 

“[Rock the Vote is] a positive way to bring people together. I feel like a lot of people in our generation are passive, but if you want change you’re going to have to actively work for it and voting is one way you can do that,” sophomore McKenzie McDaniel said. 

SMC Votes is an initiative under the Office for the Common Good. “[SMC Votes helps students with] registering to vote, requesting absentee ballots or making some kind of voting plan,” Detcher explained. 

Founded in 2018, SMC Votes has worked diligently to improve the civic engagement of the student body. “SMC Votes started in 2018 after we realized our voter registration and voter participation rates were really below national averages,” Director of the Office for the Common Good Rebekah Go recounted. 

With an issue at hand, Go and the Office of the Common Good immediately took action under the new initiative. “We started making concerted efforts to get students engaged in the process [by] helping them register and figure out how to vote, which is complicated because absentee ballot wielding is not streamlined at all,” Go said. 

Since 2018, SMC Votes has made “significant strides” in increasing voter registration and participation with around a “30% increase” according to Go. The ultimate goal is to reach 100% of eligible voter participation at the college. 

“We’re trying to get students excited about the electoral process and this fall’s midterm elections,” Go said as she reminded students that “their voice matters”. The two clubs featured at the event, the Saint Mary’s College Democrats and the Saint Mary’s College Political Science Club, provide students with a way to get involved with the field of politics in addition to exercising their right to vote. 

“We are an official chapter of the statewide College Democrats of Indiana and we are here to represent and get more engagement. [As] a brand new club here at Saint Mary’s [we are] looking to build community and are excited for the semester,” President of the Saint Mary’s College Democrats Crystal Ramirez detailed. 

SMC Votes plans to host numerous events throughout the year including mobile voting, constitution day and educational events in the spring. “We are planning on hosting debate watches for district two on Oct. 4, and it’s just for students to come if they want to watch the debate, do their homework, de-stress, chill out, or whatever they want,” SMC Votes co-coordinator Jeanett Ochoa said.

Students should contact the Office for the Common Good at or stop by the Student Center for more information on voting and getting registered to vote.

“Everybody just wants their voice to be heard and I think voting is one way that everyone can come together for some kind of common cause,” Detcher said.


Belles lose 2-0 battle to Anderson

Following a hard-fought 2-2 tie to Lake Forest last Saturday, the Belles Soccer team of Saint Mary’s took the field on Wednesday against the Anderson Ravens. The Belles were looking to notch their first win of the season against a Ravens team fresh off a 5-0 win vs. Asbury and a 2-2 tie to Huntington.

The first half began with the teams conservatively feeling each other out. Possession was evenly split amongst the sides, with no teams being able to convert their respective scoring chances. Sophomore forward Mary Kaczynski played a beautiful ball in the 10th minute that went unconverted by sophomore midfielder Grace Barresi. Kaczynski would go on to miss a key chance of her own just a minute later, with her one-time shot going just wide of the net. Senior forward Jillian Bowen and junior forward Katilyn Day provided vital roles, contributing to the flurry of first-half Belle chances.

The Belles continued to swing balls into the box with regularity, missing scoring chances by just inches. The first 45 minutes ended scoreless thanks to several key saves by sophomore goalkeeper Kara Stacey and stout backline work. Junior midfielder Lindsey Adent was crucial in preventing a Ravens goal as well.

The second half would begin to turn the tide of momentum back towards the Ravens, though. They tested Stacey in net and began to find holes in a valiant Belles defense. Saint Mary’s remained level for the first 30 minutes of the half.

They would finally break, however, in the 76th minute, with the Ravens exploiting an exhausted back line. Anderson would double their lead only three minutes later, riding their newfound adrenaline to overwhelm the Belles. Despite dangerous shots and brilliant flashes of play from Barresi and Kaczynski, the Belles were denied the back of the net.

The Belles finished with 11 shots, six on goal, compared to Anderson’s 16 total shots and seven on net. Anderson would also record more corner kicks. A 2-0 margin in the second half in that department showing how they were able to control possession as the game progressed.  Kaczynski had a fantastic game for the Belles, recording four shots. Stacey made five beautiful saves in the net as well.

The Belles return to action this Sunday at Oberlin at 3 p.m. They hope to record a big win before conference play begins.


Morgan’s Message club advocates for student athletes

Editor’s Note: This story includes mentions of suicide and mental health conditions.

Students at Saint Mary’s are hoping to foster a more open and honest community through one of its new clubs, Morgan’s Message. Founded by the friends and family of Morgan Rodgers, a women’s lacrosse player at Duke University who died by suicide in 2019, the nonprofit organization has spread across various college campuses with the goal of ending the stigma around mental health. 

Erin Dotson, the president of Morgan’s Message and a senior on the Saint Mary’s lacrosse team, said she has spent much of her time trying to grow the club and promoting the importance of engaging in conversations about mental health throughout the campus community.

“After a close friend of mine had passed away from mental health not too long ago, it really pushed me to want to do this,” Dotson said.

Dotson said it is important to let people know that it is “OK not to be OK,” and there are resources out there to help people who are struggling.

Other Saint Mary’s students are also working toward the goal of destigmatizing mental health. Junior Anne Goralczyk serves as a campus captain for The Hidden Opponent, an organization founded by former USC volleyball player Victoria Garrick that provides mental health resources for athletes.

Goralczyk said she is excited about a new campaign Morgan’s Message is about to launch at the College.

“We’re so excited about a campaign where we will choose an athlete from each of the eight teams here at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “We will take a photo of them on their respective fields, then they come up with an impact statement about mental health and we post the photos around campus. It’s an easy way to spread awareness and encourage conversation.”

In addition to the Dotson and Goralczyk’s efforts, several other Saint Mary’s student-athletes have publicly expressed a desire to uplift the campus by informing students of healthy outlets when dealing with mental health struggles. 

One of these students is Izzi Linus, vice president of Morgan’s Message and a Saint Mary’s soccer player.

“I hope to spread awareness around campus and hopefully the tri-campus community,” Linus said. “There have been so many instances in the past year with athletes taking their own lives, and I hope to spread awareness and reach as many people as possible.”

Sophomore Valentina Rubio is the secretary of Morgan’s Message and a member of the lacrosse team. She has also worked to try to make the new club a place where students can feel comfortable expressing their feelings toward peers about their own personal struggles.

“I would like Morgan’s Message to be an option for everyone,” Rubio said. “If you do a sport or don’t do a sport, just to be able to spread more awareness and have it be more student to student rather than student to adult. It’s important so that we can grow in community and confide in one another.”

Contact Moira at


Belles unable to obtain first win of season

The Saint Mary’s soccer team played two home matches over the weekend. Although they opened the weekend with a 3-0 loss to Franklin, the Belles were able to salvage the weekend with a 2-2 tie to Lake Forest. The Belles, 0-4-3, are approaching the mid-way point of the season looking for their first win of the year.

Despite the score against the Grizzlies, the Belles were able to hold the ball for a good portion of the first half. The first shot was only seven minutes into the game, by sophomore midfielder Izzi Linus.

There would be two shots on goal for the Belles, by sophomore midfielder Grace Barresi and sophomore forward Mary Kaczynski, before Franklin would have a chance. In the first half alone, there would be ten Saint Mary’s shots to Franklin’s one. And, by the end of the first half, the score was still tied 0-0. 

Quickly into the second half, however, Grizzly Jaiden Baker found the back of the net, and kickstarted the momentum needed for a Franklin win. Again in the second half, the Belles outshot the Grizzlies eight to seven. But, the shots do not matter unless they can make their way past the goalie and into the net and the Belles failed to execute on this front. Franklin was able to add another goal to the score in the 65th minute. 

While the Belles fought to at least earn a point, the clock ticked down. With less than three minutes to go, Franklin scored again, securing their 3-0 victory over the Belles. 

Only two days later, on Sept. 15, the Belles were back at home facing Lake Forest. Unlike in their battle against the Grizzlies, the Belles did not hold the momentum in the first half against the Bears. Although Saint Mary’s ultimately had the first couple shots, Lake Forest would answer back almost immediately. For a majority of the first half, possession was switched frequently between the two teams. This was until Lake Forest’s Anna Hoffman scored off of an assist from Caitlin Mulcahy. Now with a 1-0 lead, the Bears did not allow another shot from the Belles for the remainder of the half. 

The second half opened up with a shot from the Bears, and a save from sophomore goalkeeper Kara Stacey. Stacey totalled four saves in the first half, and two in the second. For a majority of the second half, the Belles and the Bears went back and forth. It wasn’t until the 79th minute that another Lake Forest player Paityn Tabor scored. Unlike Thursday’s game, however, the Belles were not willing to let them keep their lead. 

Only two minutes later, freshman midfielder Felicity Matthews found the back of the net assisted by Barresi. The Belles were inspired by their last goal, and less than two minutes after their first, junior forward Kaitlyn Day tied the score. However, there ultimately was not enough time for the Belles to score again, and they were left with another tie on their record.

The Belles look to turn their luck as they finish off a series of home games on Wednesday against Anderson. The two teams will face off with the match starting at 7 p.m.

Contact Olivia at


Saint Mary’s, local community to participate in suicide prevention walk

As a part of Suicide Prevention Month, the South Bend community is passionate to show support through the Out of the Darkness walking event taking place this Saturday. 

The Out of the Darkness walk is a national initiative put out by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The foundation hosts these walks across the country and this year, St. Joseph County is hosting one of these walks in Howard Park. 

Director of the office for student involvement and advocacy Liz Baumann discussed the importance of this walk and why it can connect well with students from the tri-campus community. 

“Mental health is something that’s important for all of us and especially important for college students. There are numerous statistics out there on how prevalent suicidal ideation is for college students… being able to expand our suicide prevention efforts and education and advocacy is something I’m very passionate about and excited to be doing with this walk,” Baumann said. 

Through promoting this walk, Baumann said she wishes to continue advocacy for mental health awareness within South Bend with help from the tri-campus community. 

“From here I hope this event is kind of a jumping-off point for us with expanding our programming for mental health and suicide prevention. I think this walk is an awesome effort and I’m really excited about it, but I don’t want it to end here,” Baumann said.

Through normalizing mental health struggles, it can become difficult to identify when to reach out for help. There’s a blurred line between what is categorized as a normal obstacle and what is categorized as a tell-tale sign that something is wrong. 

Baumann discussed this idea further, saying she believes it is something to be recognized and to be more of a priority in our day-to-day lives. 

“In normalizing mental health, I also want to help others see the importance of reaching out for help and that although a lot of experiences are normal, it’s normal to feel homesick. It’s normal to be stressed about academics. It’s also not necessarily normal to be having suicidal thoughts,” she said. “And so, helping people recognize the signs in themselves and each other and therefore helping each other and themselves get help is really, really important. “ 

Self-care is incredibly important for students to partake in but as well as being honest with yourself as to what works best for you in times of destressing. 

Baumann discussed further this concept of how not everyone can find relaxation through “traditional methods” such as bubble baths and exercising but rather through their own personal self-care journey. 

“Making sure that you’re honest with yourself about what self-care looks like for you, and making a commitment to carve out time for that, I think is really important, especially with college students,” she said. 

Registration for the event takes place at 9 a.m. and at 10 a.m., then the walk will proceed until 1 p.m. 

Saint Mary’s students can access transportation from the student center at 9:30 a.m. 

Editor’s note: For mental health and wellness resources, view The Observer’s Editorial of numbers to know here.


Updates to the Saint Mary’s Health and Counseling Center announced

In an email received on June 21, 2022,  the Saint Mary’s College Student Affairs Office announced that the Timely Care virtual health system would be discontinued for student use at Saint Mary’s effective July 1, 2022. 

The Timely Care virtual health system was originally implemented for student use in the Fall of 2020 as a campus-wide resource during the Covid-19 pandemic. The virtual health system was able to connect students to licensed professionals, ensuring they had access to doctors and mental health services without having to visit in person during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through the virtual health system, students were able to access medical resources from a smartphone or other device at any time of day or night and from any location. This virtual health service was provided free of charge and did not require medical insurance for doctor visits. 

According to a press release on the Saint Mary’s College website, the Timely Care virtual health system was brought about through “a joint effort between the Student Government Association, Blue Mantle, and the Office of Student Affairs” in order to offset the in-person counseling services Saint Mary’s College had to offer during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 In a publicized statement at the time, previous interim vice president of Student Affairs and current dean of students Gloria Jenkins said, “Because issues can arise 24/7, finding a support system that they [the students] could reach out to anytime was very important for the welfare of our students.”

Jenkins continued, “Yes, students have the opportunity to visit our Health and Counseling Center, but only during normal business hours. We had been interested in supplementing their care, and SMC Care is a great service to do just that.” 

With the virtual health system now no longer available, the Health and Counseling Center has been working to create updates. 

In a statement given upon request, the director of the Health and Counseling Center Sarah Granger stated, “We are pleased to announce that we have doubled our counseling staff and continue to collaborate with various campus departments to provide support on weekends and after hours.” 

Currently, confidential resources on campus include the Saint Mary’s College Campus Ministry department and the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO), an office at Saint Mary’s College aimed at providing help and services to students who have faced sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking, as well as providing learning services to prevent future violence in the tri-campus area. 

In addition, non-confidential resources include Saint Mary’s College Campus Safety, Residence Life staff members, and first-year peer mentors. Sara Granger also discussed how the Health and Counseling Center had been working to prepare these resources for the new school year.  

“In preparation for the academic year, we met with peer mentors, student leaders, and RAs to provide resources, both on and off-campus, and tools to help support students. We will continue to conduct outreach and share available resources throughout the semester,” Sarah Granger stated. 

According to the Saint Mary’s College Health and Counseling website, their office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but is closed for national holidays. If students are in need of an appointment for counseling or health-related services, they are encouraged to schedule an appointment by contacting the Health and Counseling Office at 574-284-4805. 

Other off-campus resources include the National Crisis Text Line, 741741 (for texting only), the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 800-656-HOPE (4673), and the LGBTQ+ Hotline, 866-488-7386.

Liz Schutter

Contact Liz at


Period Project provides students with free menstrual products

In the Saint Mary’s College public bathrooms there are baskets on the counter filled with period products. This is what is known as the Period Project around campus. 

Liz Baumann the Director of Student Involvement and Advocacy at Saint Mary’s College explained what the Period Project is exactly, “The Period Project has the mission of increasing access to period products while also decreasing the stigma and increasing education.”

The Period Project has a variety of goals, and many have already been accomplished. “Our initial goal has been to have free period products in at least one bathroom in every building on campus,” Baumann said. 

One of the boxes of free menstrual products supplied around Saint Mary’s campus.

However, the baskets on the counters are not the only way to access free period products. Baumann further explained, “In addition to that, we have full boxes of products in the Mother Pauline Pantry, so if students need more than just one product they can access that for free as well.” 

Increasing education about periods is another important goal for the Period Project. “On the other side of things, we have created programming to increase education and decrease the stigma,” Baumann said. 

The Student Body President Angela Martinez Camacho explains how the Student Government Association is involved with the Period Project, “Liz Baumann and Christin Kloski, both leaders of the Period Project, reached out to SGA and asked for partnership and sponsorship alongside hosting the period party.” 

In addition to hosting fun events like the period party, there will also be more education-focused events. “Throughout the year we’ll have additional events, bringing in experts in the field to talk about periods and menstrual cycles and related issues,” Baumann said. 

The Period Project has been helpful for many students across campus. Martinez Camacho expressed how she found the Period Project helpful, “Number one, I’ve heard quite a few stories of how students on campus were in moments of ‘oh my gosh I need a pad, tampon etcetera’ and the baskets from the Period Project have helped them in those moments.”

Baumann discussed why she thinks the Period Project is important for the Saint Mary’s community. “I think it’s important for everyone to have access to these products but especially in a space that is primarily women, primarily menstruators.”

One of the main things about the Period Project is how you can easily access these products. “Through administration and student government,  we can help to make someone else’s life a little bit easier. I think that’s the overall goal,” Martinez Camacho emphasized. 

However, the Period Project is still continuing to grow across campus. Bauman addresses different ways for the Period Project to keep growing, “Right now we are running only on donations. And we know that those can run out. So creating space in the Saint Mary’s budget to fund a project like the Period Project, I think is really important.”

The Saint Mary’s Period Project gets a variety of donations. “There are some alumnae that found out about the project and wanted to donate so that’s really exciting. All our funders are listed on the website; so I urge people to go there and see who they can thank,” Baumann said. 

Martinez Camacho conveys the message to always take period products if you ever need one. “We will always make sure that we give students, faculty, and staff accessibility to what we are promoting, and what we are giving to you all. So take it when you need it.” 

Baumann expressed her thoughts about periods, “I guess just the final thought is periods aren’t weird, periods aren’t gross, periods are normal and we should be able to talk about them openly. and that includes providing products openly.”

Krystyna Sowa

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