Positive COVID-19 cases at U of L surpass 500 as Fall Break nears Wednesday, Sep 30 2020 

By Joseph Garcia — 

The University of Louisville is now reporting more than 500 positive cases of COVID-19.

Out of 27,398 total tests administered, 511 have come back positive. The cumulative positivity rate, as of Sept. 30, is 1.87%.

U of L has yet to release any more information regarding positive cases on campus.

Despite this, U of L has told the state that the university currently has 68 students with still active cases, while 43 students have recovered from the virus.

Cases have been on a steady rise since the week following Labor Day weekend. That week, from Sept. 7 to Sept. 13, the positivity rate was at 1.45%. Since then, the rate has increased drastically.

The seven-day rolling average has also seen a big increase. Out of an average of 467 tests a day, 18 are coming back positive. The average positivity rate is at its highest at 4.49%.

University officials worry that Fall Break could be another point in which the COVID-19 cases spike again.

“Fall Break is a time when some students may want to take a break from your studies by visiting family or taking a short vacation. We are encouraging students to stay on campus or in the area and participate in the Planned Fall Break activities,” university admin told students in a Sept. 25 email. “However, if you do travel, it presents a greater opportunity to be exposed or to expose others to COVID-19.”

They have extended free  COVID-19 testing until Oct. 23, and are requiring students to get tested once they return from break.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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COVID-19 cases spike at the University of Louisville Friday, Sep 25 2020 

By Joseph Garcia — 

This week positive COVID-19 cases at the University of Louisville have reached 468. This is out of almost 26,000 total tests administered. This week also saw the highest spike in the positivity rate for one week, which is 5.09%.

Of those 468 positive tests, Associate Athletic Director Kenny Klein said the athletics department makes up for 105 cases.

“Since student-athletes began returning to campus for voluntary activities on June 2, a total of 4,547 tests have been administered with 105 positive test results,” Klein said. “Over the past week, the University of Louisville Athletics’ COVID-19 testing program has administered 1,003 tests to student-athletes, coaches and staff with seven positive tests from that group.”

Neither Klein or U of L’s Director of Communications John Karman could provide any more information about the number of positive cases.

The Cardinal was able to find on Kentucky’s COVID-19 dashboard and resource guide, U of L reported 58 active cases and 12 recovered cases among students as of Sept. 25. The number of active cases this time last week was only at 3. Karman could not confirm if there were more cases or not.

As cases continue to rise, university officials are blaming Labor Day weekend for the recent spike.

“Unfortunately, following the Labor Day holiday, we have seen a slight uptick in cases,” university officials said in an email to students. “Some members of our community are experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, which can be an early indicator of COVID-19.”

Because of this, U of L has extended its free testing services to students, faculty and staff.

Starting Sept. 28 COVID-19 testing will be available at these locations, Monday through Friday:

  • University Club Ballroom // 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. (Open 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.)
  • Cardinal Stadium Purple “A” Lot // 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m.
  • Student Recreation Center // 8 a.m. to Noon and 1-5 p.m.
  • Abell Administration Building (HSC) // 7-11 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m. (Open 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.)

The university also seems concerned that another spike may occur after Fall Break.

U of L is “encouraging” students, faculty and staff  to get tested prior to the start of break, which is from Oct. 3-5.

Once the semester resumes though, testing will again be mandatory for all individuals who frequent campus. This round of mandatory testing will end on Oct. 23, however Karman said “testing will remain available through the end of the semester.”

No disciplinary action has come yet to those who did not test during the first mandatory testing period. However, while U of L has opted out of disciplinary action at the moment, officials said in the email they are in the process of identifying those individuals and asking them to get tested.

The university has created a new webform for students, faculty and staff to take to help the university identify who is and isn’t on campus. That form can be completed here.

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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Campus responds to Breonna Taylor charges Wednesday, Sep 23 2020 

By Joseph Garcia — 

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced a Jefferson County Grand Jury would charge only one officer, former LMPD detective Brett Hankison, with wanton endangerment in the case of Breonna Taylor’s murder.

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi called the announcement “a reminder that we must recommit to pursuing racial justice and pushing for changes in law enforcement, our legal system, public policy and our educational curricula.”

Taylor was killed March 13 when three LMPD officers entered her home with a “no-knock” warrant. When the police came through the door, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a one round at police after asking who was there and receiving no response. The officers returned more than two dozen shots. Taylor’s death certificate says she was shot five times, however today, Cameron said she was actually struck six times.

Hankison is the only one of the three officers indicted. He is charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing into neighbor’s apartments, not for the death of Taylor.

A wanton endangerment charge is a class D felony, it comes with a penalty of one to five years.

“While I am pleased that the grand jury has acknowledged the unlawful actions of this police officer and that he will be tried for the unnecessary violence he caused that night,” Bendapudi told students, faculty and staff.  “I am disappointed that our justice system allows these atrocities to occur all too often with relatively little consequence.”

Bendapudi said the attorney general’s announcement does not change the fact that Taylor was killed in her home.

“It does not fix a system that allowed that to happen,” she said, citing a Harvard study which found that Black people are three times more likely on average than white people to be killed during a police interaction.

U of L’s Student Government Association Top 4 said they too are disappointed that Taylor will “not receive the justice she so deserved.”

“For many of our students, waiting for this announcement has been an incredibly emotional time,” SGA said in a statement on social media. “These results will be very difficult to handle, especially for our Black students.”

The university is offering resources for students, faculty and staff to heal during this time.

Faculty and staff may use the Employee Assistance Program to receive counseling services. While U of L’s Counseling Center is offering virtual and personal counseling sessions for students, which SGA said is free to students as part of the $50 insurance fee billed at the start of the year.

“As long as you have not voided this fee on ULink, your visit to the Counseling Center will be covered,” they said.

Some professors have already begun listening to what their student’s are feeling and have canceled their classes.

“I want to respond to the needs of my students,” Siobhan Smith-Jones said after cancelling her 4 o’clock Mass Communications course.

Smith-Jones said she would have continued with class had the students wanted to, pushing down her own feelings of hurt.

“Because I am hurt, I know many of my students are too,” she said. “They are also confused, disappointed and disgusted. They want to protest or protect themselves and their families.”

“I’m here to help, not hinder,” Smith-Jones said.

She also added that the ramifications of this decision will impact Louisville, and therefore U of L, for years to come.

“Our students will have a hand in making the changes needed to our socio-political systems,” she said. “They have a perspective that no one else has; this is their city.”

“So in that,” she said. “Canceling class is a small thing.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Positive COVID cases reach 385, testing extended until end of semester Monday, Sep 21 2020 

By Joseph Garcia —

The University of Louisville’s total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now at 385, out of a total of 24,092 administered tests. U of L’s cumulative positivity rate is still slowly rising as well, currently it is at 1.60% as of Sept. 21.

U of L Director of Communications John Karman was unable to confirm how many of these cases are still active.

“The data that the university is making available to the public is reported on U of L’s COVID website,” he said.

However, the Cardinal was able to find a report by the Kentucky Public Health office, that said U of L has three active COVID-19 cases among students as of Sept. 19.

Karman could not confirm these three cases or if there are anymore active cases on campus.

“I’ve provided all of the information that is available to me,” he said.

He did tell the Cardinal that free testing for all on-campus individuals is extended until the end of the semester. More information on testing locations and where to register for tests has not been released yet.

Students, faculty and staff who frequent campus are required by the Student Code of Conduct and Redbook to get tested for COVID-19. Those who do not get tested may face disciplinary action.

Although, Karman said no action has been taken yet on individuals who have not been tested.

“While the university has the ability to discipline students, faculty and staff who have not been tested,” he said. “It has chosen, to this point, not to do so.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L still unsure number of active COVID cases, reports 372 total positive Friday, Sep 18 2020 

By Joseph Garcia —

In the latest update by the University of Louisville on Sept. 18, positive COVID-19 cases at the university are now at 372. Of those, 98 are within the athletics department Associate Athletic Director Kenny Klein told the Cardinal. The current positivity rate is at 1.58%, however this has slowly been rising over the past few weeks.

The 7-day rolling average positivity rate has reached the highest it’s been to-date at 3.27%.

This week alone saw a spike in positivity at 2.7% out of 1,558 tests, 42 of which came back positive. This is the first time the rate for one week has been above 2% since the first week of testing.

It should be noted, however, that because the number of administered tests has decreased over the past few weeks, this may potentially skew the rolling average and positivity rate to look as though it is increasing.

When asked if he knew the number of still active cases at U of L, Director of Communications John Karman said he still did not have that information. He also did not have any information pertaining to the number of individuals tested within the campus community’s population.

“The testing data that the university is releasing is all included on the COVID dashboard,” Karman said. “U of L is currently not releasing information about active cases, no. of individual people tested, etc.”

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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School of Music duo share acoustic folk sound online Friday, Sep 18 2020 


By Tate Luckey —

One University of Louisville duo is bringing authenticity to their music in hopes of connecting with listeners. 

Murphy Lamb and Andrew Chapman, both U of L School of Music seniors, started their band, The Brothers’ Mother, around the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, the self-described acoustic folk duo have cultivated a debut EP, Oasis, and multiple live streamed performances.

The pair, whose influences range from bluegrass and country groups like Tony Rice and Nickel Creek, to old school contemporary christian singers like Rich Mullins, have an authentic, folk sound that includes acoustic guitar, delicate harmonies and lush piano tones. 

“We have a real simple, ‘stripped down’ vibe,” Lamb said.

Lamb and Chapman know too that if there’s a time where authenticity is needed, it’s now.

“We wouldn’t exist if the pandemic didn’t happen,” Chapman said. The roommates-turned-musicians recorded all their songs on nothing more than a USB mic in their apartment. 

“We had been playing music for a while, but didn’t start writing until the pandemic,” Chapman said. 

They collaborate on both ends of the songwriting spectrum, meaning both can come to each other with ideas or lyrics.

Like a modern-day Lennon/McCartney, if Chapman comes to Lamb, he usually has a lyric or concept he needs to flesh out. If Lamb comes to Chapman, he almost always has some sort of chord progression or musical idea. 

The recording process itself is where both share a mix of excitement and nervousness.

“It was actually pretty convenient because of the limitedness [of the setup], but also super challenging because we hadn’t done it before or had had a time limit,” Lamb said.

Their 5 song EP, Oasis, is about getting to know someone and their feelings. An underlying theme present in their songs is a fostering of familial connection with the listener.

“‘Making it is not a goal of mine or Andrew’s,” Lamb said when asked about their future careers as musicians. “We’re just hanging out and writing songs.”

Chapman agreed, saying his biggest goal is to make the type of music people will love. His favorite song from Oasis is “Feeling Known.”

“To me, the whole idea is about a connection through music,” Chapman said.

Oasis is available on all streaming platforms. The band recently performed live in the Red Barn as part of  SAB Concert Committee’s  “SAB Live!”  You can catch the recap of that performance on Youtube here. Interested in keeping up with The Brothers’ Mother? Follow them at @thebrothersmother on social media.

Photo Courtesy // The Brothers’ Mother

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Students come to grips with campus life during a pandemic Friday, Sep 18 2020 

By Gabriel Howard —

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the nation, schools have had to come up with new and creative ways to provide a safe and engaging learning environment. And while the inclusion of online courses has been a welcome addition, how have things been for those who still have classes in-person?

Dealing with the pandemic has been a challenge for the university. Moving most classes online has helped ease the stress of delivering classes to the students.

However, roughly 30% of the students enrolled are still having to go to in-person classes during the fall semester.

Diana Romero, a freshman, shared that her experience on campus this fall is much different than when she visited last year.

“When I toured here this time last year the campus seemed vibrant and full of life. I was excited to experience all of the things you would expect in your freshman year,” Romero said. “Things feel different now that classes have finally started. All of the things I wanted to do are simply impossible in the current climate. The campus itself feels quiet and is completely different from what I expected.”

Romero also felt that her experience with in-person classes is much different from what she expected. She commends professors for making it as welcoming as possible, but still feels a little weird going to in-person classes amidst a global pandemic.

The required COVID-19 testing she and her classmates have participated in has eased nerves slightly.

Her experience is something a lot of students can relate to. Most have opted for an entirely online schedule to minimize the risk that coming to campus and potentially being exposed to COVID-19 presents.

In a normal fall semester, campus is usually packed, however, it now feels like it is finals week 24/7. Food lines are small and the classrooms are even smaller. And with the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, this will unfortunately be our new norm for the foreseeable future.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Andy Warhol exhibit gives look into pop artist’s influences Monday, Sep 14 2020 

By Kyla Thomas  —

An art exhibit on pop artist Andy Warhol is on display at the Speed Art Museum until Nov. 29–and it’s free for University of Louisville students. 

Warhol is best known for his work designing the Campbell’s soup logo and his pop art of Marilyn Monroe. “Andy Warhol: Revelation” highlights a new side of Warhol’s career, focusing more on his religious pieces and the story behind not only the art, but how the art correlates to Warhol himself.

The exhibit opens with a biography of Warhol, which talks about his sexuality as a gay man and how he managed to balance that part of himself while growing up in a religious community. Plaques at the museum said that “he made a point of regularly popping into his local parish to pray even if it was only for five or ten minutes.” Although he was deeply involved in a religion that condemned his sexuality, Warhol remained openly gay, and was a fixture in New York’s Queer underground. 

Many of Warhol’s pieces on display lie in this balance too, such as his recreation of Raphael Madonna. Warhol would take religious works of art and recreate it in his own unique style, he did this with “The Last Supper,” and a portrait of Jesus as well. 


SEE: Photo Gallery of the “Andy Warhol: Revelation” exhibit by Cardinal photo editor Anthony Riley. 


Through his art he showed two sides of his identity that came together to create the person he was, and through those pieces he showed that you can be both. 

Brady Alexander, a senior English major, said he enjoyed Warhol’s embracing of contradictions within his own identity.

“I love how [the art] highlighted that you have the ability to be both, you can still be true to yourself without having to give up something that gives you faith that things can be better,” Alexander said.

The exhibit doesn’t just focus on Warhol’s personal life, it also showed his love for women. Throughout the exhibit you can find portraits of women who he saw as powerful, such his mother and Jackie Kennedy. One photo shows a mother breastfeeding, as Warhol wanted to show how women not only gave birth to everything, but they nurture everything as well.

“I took my boyfriend here as a date, because we both liked [Warhol’s] pop art that we would periodically see,” Victoria Johnson, a political science major, said. “After going through the exhibit, we saw a different side of an artist that we loved but didn’t truly know the history behind. Now that we know, it’s like we love his art even more.” 

The “Andy Warhol: Revelation” exhibit will remain at the Speed Art Museum until Nov. 29. Due to COVID-19, hours are limited to only Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. More information and tickets reservations can be made on the Speed Art Museum’s website

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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Photo Gallery: “Andy Warhol: Revelation” exhibit at the Speed Art Museum Monday, Sep 14 2020 

 

 

 

Photos by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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Positive COVID-19 cases at U of L rise above 300 Friday, Sep 11 2020 

By Joseph Garcia — 

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases at the University of Louisville has risen to 315 as of Sept. 11. This is out of 21,097 total tests administered, making the cumulative positivity rate 1.49%.

U of L’s Athletics department makes up 93 of those positive cases according to Associate Athletic Director Kenny Klein.

When asked what number of these positive cases are currently active, U of L Director of Communications John Karman said that he did not have any more information beyond what is posted on the dashboard.

Previously Karman told the Cardinal that U of L had 40 beds available for isolating individuals positive with COVID-19. At this time, Karman said that the university is “not near capacity,” but did not provide a statistic as to what capacity of those beds were filled.

Compared to other universities, U of L is doing well in terms of preventing the spread of the virus.

Phillip Bressoud, executive director of campus health, said in a U of L News release on Sept. 1 that there were many factors that went into U of L’s early success. Including U of L’s contact tracing efforts, limiting of large gatherings on and off campus, and the university community’s adherence to protocols laid out by the university and state.

However, the university’s testing dashboard is bare of information compared to these other universities.

The University of Kentucky’s dashboard includes breakdowns of cases by university population (students/faculty/staff), how many cases are still active and to what capacity their isolation spaces are filled.

When asked if there was a reason U of L wasn’t being as transparent with this information as other universities have, Karman said that “U of L is providing information consistent with the governor’s office.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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