Session A: 9AM – 10:30AM

Humanities and Social Sciences. Session A – Oral Presentations, Parlor A, Union

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Location: Parlor A, A. Ray Olpin University Union


Women not Witches
Alexis Spanevello, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor Lyn Bennett, Utah Valley University

SESSION A 9:00-9:15AM
Parlor A, Union

In 1692 the world witnessed one of the most notorious cases of mass hysteria in Colonial America, the Salem Witch Trials. Individuals, mostly women, were accused, prosecuted, and subsequently executed for the charge of witchcraft. Many aspects of the trials have already been heavily researched with a notable idea presenting itself in every case as an indicator of proposed guilt: the threat these women, and some men who associated with them, posed to the patriarchal society of Salem by challenging gender ideology. This research project is a micro study of four women from Salem whose challenge of gender norms resulted in their accusations, prosecutions, and executions. The Puritan society of Salem prescribed a specific set of ideals regarding women and how they should behave. These ideals dictated how women were regarded and respected legally, politically, and socially. Because of this, women who spoke or acted out against the patriarchal system, in which power is primarily held by men, or violated the societal gender ideologies, were targeted with the label of witchcraft. Additionally, an unprecedented amount of hearsay and spectral evidence was widely accepted in late 17th century courts and considered sufficient to prove guilt and issue warrants for execution. Under these ideals women were seen as creators, wives, mothers. A woman’s relationship to nature was considered unique and valuable until this relationship became difficult to control or regulate by men or the community. Under the label of witchcraft, they were seen as destroyers, manipulators, unfit to mother. Now her relationship to nature is seen as unnatural and unholy, raising questions about women’s use of spiritual gifts and magic.  In an attempt to delve deeper into the story of these four women, this study examined eyewitness testimonies given by women against those accused, and a startling pattern of women reinforcing gender norms and male dominance was identified.The contribution of this paper identifies the unique role women play in enforcement of gender ideologies in patriarchal society. It also suggests the need to further examine how other women contribute to the persecution of their own sisters, mothers, and friends. Creating awareness of this comparison is extremely significant in addressing and correcting inequalities women continue to face today.



Police & College: University of Utah Student and Faculty Satisfaction with Campus Police
Ermiya Fanaeian, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor James  Curry, University of Utah

SESSION A 9:20-9:35AM
Parlor A, Union
Social Sciences

The continuous discourse revolving around policing in America has two sides, one suggesting police do not serve to stop gender-based violence, and another side that argues policing is the only way to adequately address gender-based violence. Using the situation of gender-based violence as either a defense or rejection of police. With the events that have occurred here on the University of Utah campus in regard to Lauren McCluskey, a student who was murdered by her male partner after reporting to campus police, policing on the University of Utah’s campus has found itself in the center of such national debate, amongst a population (college students) that faces high levels of gender-based violence (Fisher iii). In this research, we analyze current scholarship on police satisfaction, campus gender-based violence, and police perception differences among racially oppressed people. We created a survey with a line of questioning that allows us insight into the current satisfaction of students and faculty at the University of Utah with their campus police department’s handling of gender-based violence and crises. We utilized recruitment methods that involved outreach initiatives on the part of administrators from all different departments on campus to collect adequately representative data. Data for this research is still currently being collected and will close on December 16th. Complete analyzation of the data will be completed a couple of months prior to the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research and will use a combination of bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis.
Fisher Bonnie, Francis Cullen, and Michael Turner. “The Sexual Victimization of College Women” Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, December 2000,


Alcohol Abuse Among the Diné: Valorizing Native American Traditions within an Evidence-Based Healthcare System
Sofie Linskey, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor Brian Codding, University of Utah

SESSION A 9:40-9:55AM
Parlor A, Union
Social Sciences

Diné on the Navajo Nation experience elevated rates of alcohol-related mental illness, fetal alcohol syndrome, and traffic fatalities. Negative stereotyping of alcohol abuse among Indigenous communities has led many to view these issues as untreatable based largely on racist, colonial beliefs and poorly conducted studies. The belief that Native drinkers metabolize alcohol differently erroneously contributes to suspicions that remission efforts are futile. Consequently, substance abuse issues remain one of the greatest public health concerns on the Navajo Nation. Census data has been implemented into GIS software to visualize the prevalence and frequency of alcohol consumption relative to proximity to behavioral health services. This spatial data coupled with data regarding the application of Evidence-Based Treatment (EBT i.e., healthcare practices supported by scientific evidence) were used to determine if targeting psychological and medicinal aspects of substance abuse aids in combating substance dependency/abuse among Diné. Cultural identity and valorization were also considered to inspire more Indigenous participation. Due to previous failures to provide substantial and effective treatment to Diné people, a continued lack of cultural recognition/identity along with inadequate services promote an environment where alcohol abuse remains at a stable, high prevalence among all ages and genders. While EBT proves effective in decreasing alcohol abuse in this population, disregard for individual patient histories and values leads to less Indigenous participation in remission efforts. Evidence suggests that placing high priority on Native cultural values within an existing EBT system results in greater participation and effectiveness of these programs since patient identities/needs are being addressed appropriately. Balancing patient histories and values with Western medicine within a larger EBT system will prove effective in minimizing alcohol dependence among Diné.



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