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Powering Through the Pandemic: Women's Empowerment Week

Author: Aubree Davis


This may not have been the year that we anticipated, but a global pandemic did not prevent the purple weasels of Pasquerilla West Hall from celebrating its newest signature event---Women’s Empowerment Week (WEW). Renowned for being home to powerful women on campus, there’s no better way for PDub to celebrate Women’s History Month than by supporting each other as well as giving back to St. Margaret’s House in our very own South Bend community.


When I asked Maura Hogaboom, the current president of PDub, why this event is important, she said that “PDub has such a wonderful community in which we always strive to empower one another. We want to be able to share that same sense of support with the broader Notre Dame community. WEW allows us to demonstrate what it means to be powerful women empowering others to be their best selves, especially in taking time to recognize the people in our lives who have empowered us.”

Throughout the week of March 7-14, purple weasels and the entire campus community were given the opportunity to support St. Margaret’s House by buying a Women’s Empowerment Week t-shirt as well as donating menstrual products through the Amazon registry. These were simple yet effective ways to give back and empower others outside of our dorm.


There were also various events, like writing letters to people who have empowered us, attending a virtual brunch with a panel of powerful women speakers, and having a Women’s Empowerment Mass in the Stepan Center.


For letter writing, the official event was held in Duncan Student Center on Thursday, March 11, but materials were put in the PDub lobby for any weasels that couldn’t make the event and still wanted to write a letter before the week came to a close. Every powerful person is not who they are without the influence of another powerful role model, and it’s only fair to recognize and celebrate those who have contributed to the people that we are today.


Pictured: Maggie Eastland '24 in Duncan Student Center

For the annual brunch, unfortunately it couldn’t be held in person because of Covid-19, but the virtual experience was just as fulfilling. We had an amazing panel of powerful women speakers who all have their own unique connection to the Notre Dame community: Rachel Palermo, Nancy Michael, Elly Brenner, Victoria St. Martin, Diane Desierto, and Angelica Healy. They all had incredible stories to tell about the people and events that have shaped their lives and got them to where they are today.


Photo Credit: Ellyn Jarrell from the WEW Brunch on Zoom

Lastly, there was no better way to end Women’s Empowerment Week than with Mass in the Stepan Center. There is nothing more rewarding than people coming together in solidarity and celebration in honor of empowering others. Although Women’s Empowerment Week didn’t look like it has been in the past, it was still important for PDub to host this important event and power through the pandemic.