IU NewsNet 4/18/2019

Mumps cases more than double on campus and norovirus hits hard—just in time for finals.

IU students  studying abroad in France react to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire.

Get ready for a new round of traffic snarls on SR37/I-69 between Indianapolis and Martinsville.

Police discover guns in Read Hall and make arrests.

IUPD swears in a new chief, and our reporter goes through the physical workout with the cadets.

We have the Little 500 highlights and  do a deep dive into an IU archivists dream.

Stay with us for the final team selfie of the semester.

Join anchors Alexandra Rudig, Gabrielle Bailenson and Karina Rubio on sports,(all seniors about to head out into the real world,)for IU NewsNet.


Little 500 Women’s Race 200-Lap Initiative Still in Full Swing


After more than 30 years of women’s Little 500 races, two IU seniors are the first women to initiate a move toward equality. In late November, RideOn and Independent Council cyclists Céline Oberholzer and Hayley Kwasniewski approached the IU Student Foundation administration with an idea, seeking advice on how to move forward. And progress has been made.

For IU senior Céline Oberholzer, equality in the Little 500 goes far beyond just the number of laps.

“If you look at it more in depth, you see that that’s a really aggressive statement that women are exactly half of what men are,” she said. “You go a little bit deeper and you see that coaches aren’t willing to coach women’s teams. You see that sponsors aren’t willing to sponsor women’s teams.”

Along with the petition, Oberholzer and Kwasniewski have created a long-term plan, including a training plan for up-and-coming women’s teams as well as an outline for how a 200-lap race would look in five or 10 years. And the rules change process is just as complex.

After the April race, the women will present their plan to the Riders Council, which is made up of junior and senior riders from various teams across the field. Riders Council will take a vote, and if the proposal passes, it will be sent to the Rules Change Board, consisting of four people in administrative positions. These include the Little 500 chief steward, a Little 500 judge, a member of IU Student Foundation’s board of associates, and an IUSF representative.

Andrea Balzano, the Little 500 race director, said that the Rules Change Board is a very trusted group of individuals, many of whom are former riders. In her own time riding, she never considered initiating a change like this, but she values students as the center of this process.

“This is a student-run organization, and it’s a race done by students for students,” she said. “We want to make sure that the students’ voices are being heard.”

To ensure that student opinions are heard, IUSF released a survey to riders in the field, asking their opinions on the race-length change. Some people worry that the new initiative might trigger a loss in women’s teams discouraged by the prospect of doubling the race length.

Céline Oberholzer says that both sides have the same goal: to protect and support women’s teams.

“Join the movement and tell us how we can make it better,” she said. “We can’t do it alone.”

If the proposal gets approved by the Rules Change Board, the decision is ultimately up to the IUSF director, Tara Vickers.

According to the rules change process, even if the proposal gets denied, students can always bring it to the board again next year. 

“Even if this movement falls through, I think it has laid the groundwork for something to happen in the future,” Oberholzer said. “I hope that just women knowing that there’s people out there who care about them, and want them to race the same distance as the men, and believe in them, I think that’s powerful in and of itself.”