Police investigating two reports of sexual assault connected to off-campus party

The St. Joseph County Police Department is investigating two instances of sexual assault reported last weekend, according to an email from the Saint Mary’s campus safety department.

Phil Bambenek, the College’s director of the campus safety department, said in the email the assaults appear to be connected to at least one student party that occurred Friday night and Saturday morning at University Edge Apartments.

The email said one of the instances of sexual assault occurred when a student was coerced into a sexual act but then did not explicitly consent to any further activity.

The details of the second reported assault are unclear but it appears to be connected to the same University Edge student party, the email said.

Bambenek went on to give more information on what constitutes sexual assault and the definition of consent.

“Anyone initiating any kind of sexual contact with another person must seek consent and not engage in sexual contact unless consent is given,” he wrote. “‘Consent’ means informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance.’”

A person who is incapacitated is unable to give consent, Bambenek added. The email requested any witnesses to contact the police department at (574) 235-9611 to assist in the investigation.


Holy Cross College celebrates Founder’s Day

This Monday marked 56 years since Holy Cross College’s establishment. The College was founded on Sept. 19, 1966 by Holy Cross Brothers whose mission is to be “educators in the faith” to men and women everywhere — especially the poor, afflicted and oppressed.

Michael Griffin, senior vice president and interim provost of Holy Cross College, said that the College was originally founded to train Holy Cross brothers to teach at the high school level.

“At that time, Catholic brothers were really expanding their ministry to teaching,” Griffin said. “If you look around the country at some of the best Catholic high schools, many of them were begun by brothers in the 50s and the 60s.”

Previously, brothers would pursue degrees at institutions like Notre Dame or St. Edward’s University in Texas. Holy Cross was the first of its kind, Griffin said.

“Holy Cross College really provided a foundation where the brothers could live and study together,” he explained. 

In 1968, the College became coeducational just two years after its founding because the brothers saw a chance to expand their mission, Griffin explained.

“The brothers saw that it was not only them who could benefit from the education. So very quickly, before many other colleges, including Notre Dame [that became coeducational in 1972], the brothers decided to open up Holy Cross to women and men to join,” Griffin said. 

When it was founded, Holy Cross College initially offered two-year programs, but over the years, it expanded to become a four-year college. 

Students marked Founder’s Day by wearing their maroon and silver Holy Cross gear to show off their school spirit. The College distributed Holy Cross themed cookies and had food trucks out on the courtyard.

Holy Cross students lined up at food trucks on the quad outside of dorms to celebrate the College’s 56th annual Founder’s Day. / Courtesy of Sara Cole

Sophomore Sara Cole said she thought Founder’s Day was a great way to build Holy Cross camaraderie.

“It’s just a great way for students to hang out and be in community,” Cole said.  

Cole said that she was drawn to Holy Cross because she wanted to pursue the elementary education major that they offer. The program has allowed her to sit in on student teaching sessions since her first year.

“Other schools [with comparable programs] generally only allow students to start practical experience with teaching their senior year,” Cole said. 

Coming from a small high school, Cole said she also appreciated having a small college community where she knows the majority of students. 

Student body president of the College, sophomore Dion Payne-Miller also praised Holy Cross’ tight-knit community.

“I love that the community is so small that you pretty much know everybody from students all the way up to professors, and even administration for that matter,” he said.

Payne-Miller hopes to see more partnerships between Holy Cross, Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.

“Besides clubs … we can work together for our overall community of South Bend and Mishawaka,” Payne-Miller explained. 

Griffin said that Founder’s Day at Holy Cross really highlights the uniqueness of the tri-campus community.

“The Holy Cross, Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s tri-campus … really is one of the only places in the world where you have three colleges founded by each of the three parts of Catholic religious life — priests, sisters and brothers. I often say that 46556 is the most unique zip code in Catholic higher education.”

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Belles soccer drops pair of games on road

The Saint Mary’s Belles traveled to southern Indiana on Friday to face Hanover College in a tough match, ultimately conceding in a 1-0 game against the Panthers. This marked the team’s second loss of the season, putting them at a 0-2-2 overall record. 

The game was even more proof of the offensive struggle the Belles have been facing since the beginning of the season. The defense, however, was on their toes throughout the match, with sophomore goalkeeper Riley Lindsey making 20 saves, the first time in nearly 20 years that an SMC goalkeeper has done so.

Hanover was able to amount 21 shots on goal, while Saint Mary’s was only able to put 3 on goal. After a little over 50 scoreless minutes, Kenna Patterson of the Panthers gave Hanover the winning goal, and the Belles were unable to catch up during the remaining time. 

The Belles stayed in central Indiana over the weekend, facing the DePauw Tigers in Greencastle on Sunday.  The match started off competitively and DePauw tested the Saint Mary’s defensive line throughout the first half, but the Belles successfully kept the ball out of their own goal for the majority of the match. 

In the 85th minute, Saint Mary’s freshman Felicity Matthews scored the first goal of the match, her first collegiate goal, putting the Belles up 1-0. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Tigers scored and tied the game less than a minute later, and quickly scored another goal to end the game 2-1 for a DePauw victory. The second loss of the weekend dropped the Belles’ record to 0-3-2. 

Sunday’s match marked the third this season in which the Belles have scored first but ended up tied or on the losing end.

“I can’t ask for more from the girls on the defensive side, as I believe they are doing an outstanding job, we are getting very unlucky this season with goals conceded,” head coach Farkhod Kurbonov said. “We will keep working on perfecting our shape and game plan.” 

The team has scored three goals total this season, two of which have been scored by senior Jillian Bowen. “Jillian is a fantastic player and the leader of this team on and off the field. [She will be} soon joining the University of Notre Dame for the School of Engineering,” Kurbonov said. “During practices and film sessions, we are working on exploring other areas to score from, also we are happy to have some of our attacking girls back after their injuries this coming week.” 

Saint Mary’s will be hosting their next three matches, starting off against Franklin on Thursday, Sept. 15.


Eating Disorder Awareness Club educates on body image, resources

Editor’s note: This article contains discussions of eating disorders.

The Eating Disorder Awareness Club (EDAC) was founded by Julia O’Grady, a senior at Saint Mary’s College, during the summer of 2021. Since then, the club has expanded to include a Notre Dame chapter led by junior Mollie McKone. The Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame chapters work together, and EDAC represents the tri-campus community. 

McKone explained that the mission of EDAC is to build a community with those afflicted by eating disorders.

The mission of EDAC is “to make a place where people can find resources and find other people who may have struggled in the past and have a community and a network of people they can talk to,” McKone said. 

O’Grady said previously, there was no organization on campus allocated for eating disorders, and she formed the club to be a place for education.

EDAC was formed to “advocate for those who have experienced, are experiencing or may be at risk for experiencing an eating disorder,” she said. “The goal is to educate and break down stigmas that are associated with eating disorders and to promote awareness about the proper way to go about educating about eating disorders.”

MccKone seconded the need to destigmatize eating disorders.

“We saw a need for an organization that advocated [for] and recognized that there needs to be a culture shift on college campuses about the way we look at eating and the way we have discourse about eating and exercising and recognizing that there is a real problem,” McKone said. 

McKone explained that eating disorders are prevalent on college campuses due to people attempting to gain control over their lives during a time of change.

“Unfortunately, food and exercise are really easy things to grasp on to [and control], and a lot of people find themselves in an unhealthy situation,” McKone said. 

EDAC hopes to bring attention to the resources that are available on campus for those who may be struggling with an eating disorder, McKone said.  

“The University Counseling Center (UCC) has a [few] therapists that specialize in eating disorders. But, they were seeing such an influx in cases of not only people who are being diagnosed with eating disorders, but people who are coming back from residential treatment reintegrating into Notre Dame,” McKone said. “The UCC doesn’t have the resources for [this demand].”

O’Grady explained that EDAC hopes to supplement the services offered by UCC with its own events. The club plans to host a mindfulness yoga event to work on developing healthy coping mechanisms. EDAC will also plan weekly trips to the grocery store to provide people with a safe space and extra support while grocery shopping.

Another initiative is the body positive project which is being led by sophomore Bella Henriques, McKone noted.

“[The movement] was started through Stanford research which talks about how food insecurity creates eating habits and how the way we talk about diet culture affects eating disorders,” she explained.

The goal of the project is to train people to run discussion sessions and equip them with the necessary resources to talk about eating and exercising. These sessions will be free for anyone to attend, whether they are a part of the club or not, McKone said. 

In addition, EDAC is looking forward to participating in National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week). NEDAwareness Week takes place the last week of February and is a campaign to educate people about eating disorders and support those affected by eating disorders. 

Last year for NEDAwareness Week, EDAC partnered with Active Minds for “In Our Own Words,” a student-led conversation where students sent in submissions about their experiences with eating disorders and shared their stories. Other events included conversations about body image and a candlelight vigil at the Grotto, McKone explained.

Although EDAC is a relatively new club, they are looking to gain new members and form a Holy Cross chapter, McKone said. Anyone in the tri-campus community is welcome to join the club or attend any of the events. 

O’Grady said the most memorable part of being involved with EDAC has been getting to know people from the tri-campus.

“[I enjoy] getting to know girls at St. Mary’s that I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise. They have been so supportive in my recovery journey,” she said.

EDAC has group meetings every month and more information can be found on EDAC’s Instagram @ed_awareness_club.

Caroline Collins

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College Career Crossings Office provides students networking, career opportunities

The Saint Mary’s Career Crossings Office (CCO) will be holding a variety of events for all students to attend throughout the year. In addition, Career Crossings will also be holding events specifically designed for sophomores, juniors and seniors, respectively.

These different events cater to different needs in each class according to Angie Fitzpatrick, the assistant director of the CCO.  Sophomore Springboard will take place Aug. 31 6 p.m.- 7p.m, and both Junior Jumpstart and Senior Start-Up will occur Aug. 30 from 6 p.m.- 7 p.m.

The specific class events are “in person and actually showing them the tools they have at their fingertips, including their career app, which is where we go for everything, Handshake,” Fitzpatrick said.

CCO additionally gave students copies of the action plan at their first event of the year called “POP on Over to Career Crossings!”

Fitzpatrick said the CCO places an emphasis on important experiences that Saint Mary’s students have through learning. The CCO has been focused on expanding student access to essential workplace values in the past few years, Fitzpatrick highlighted.

“Communication is definitely first and foremost,” she said. “Learning about equity, inclusion… and we here at St. Mary’s, strongly promote that.”

Students have the chance to learn in a variety of different ways at CCO, Fitzpatrick said. One example are “Career Chats,” where students can go if they have a question on their resume or want to participate in a mock interview. Additionally, this year the CCO will also be hosting both in-person and virtual career fairs.

Students can also learn how to use Handshake where jobs and internships are posted. Handshake is a component of some events and one of many resources available to students. 

While most CCO events are tailored towards upperclassmen, the office also has plans to work with the first-years. First, the CCO will be partnering with associate director of student equity Christin Kloski. Additionally, the office will be speaking in first-year classes and doing events in residence halls, Fitzpatrick said.   

“We show them a lot of different things,” Fitzpatrick said. Including, “making sure your resume is up to date with every leadership involvement, clubs, if you [gained] new skills.”

Rose Androwich

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