Ekstrom Library gets new all-gender bathroom on second floor Wednesday, Jan 29 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville Student Government Association (SGA) announced Jan. 15 a new all-gender bathroom on campus. The bathroom is located on the 24-hour side of the second floor of Ekstrom Library.

“The possibility of a gender neutral bathroom in the library first came to our attention in May of 2019,” said SGA president Jasper Noble. “We [Noble and Sabrina Collins] both met with the Dean of the Library to discuss the possible project, and emphasize our desire for it to be placed in the 24-hour wing.”

Ekstrom isn’t the only place on U of L’s campus to have a bathroom like this. Noble said that newer buildings on campus are being built with this need in mind.

With Ekstrom being a central hub on campus, and one that sees a lot of student traffic, this made it an ideal spot. “For a lot of folks, Ekstrom is the most visited place on campus besides housing,” said Noble. “This is a space where students spend hours at a time, and often end up staying there late. Ensuring that every student feels comfortable in the Library is critical to their success, and going to the bathroom shouldn’t stand in the way of that.”

This new bathroom came to fruition because SGA felt the library needed a more accessible space. Dean of the Libraries, Bob Fox, and Dean of Ekstrom Library, Bruce Keisling, also helped make this project a reality.

“Many groups were advocating on behalf of this renovation, but we worked primarily with Dean Fox, and Dean Keisling,” said Noble. “They both supported the project and were able to provide the funding to make it happen. We are thankful for their support on this important project.”

This bathroom won’t be the last one of its kind either. “If other spaces on campus demonstrate that same need, we would try to make the same progress there,” he said.

Noble also said that SGA is happy to use their position to advocate for a space like this on U of L’s campus.

Photo By Matthew Keck // The Louisville Cardinal

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SGA holds special election to fill senator position Thursday, Nov 28 2019 

By Maggie Vancampen — 

The University of Louisville Student Government Association hosted their second special election of the semester via email Nov. 20. The result has yet to be announced.

SGA President Jasper Noble said this isn’t unheard of. When senators realize they aren’t able to fully commit to the position, they step down, and the college then finds another student willing to fill the vacancy.

“It varies from year to year, some years where I’ve been involved there have been more, and there have been fewer,” he said. “This certainly isn’t an unheard of amount of vacancies that needed new students to serve in the senate.”

Noble said any students are able to run for the senate.

Four students ran this special election. They were Luke Moore, Will Randal, Alex Misalack, Delany Henson.

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Petition demands The Marshall move leasing office trailer Thursday, Sep 26 2019 

By Maggie Vancampen — 

As of 7:45 p.m. on Sept. 26, 1,260 students have signed a new student-run petition calling for the removal of the Marshall leasing trailer from Brandeis Avenue.

Junior mechanical engineering major Ryan Cardwell started the petition. He first mentioned it on an event page that eventually became a spot to discuss the leasing office instead.

Cardwell made the petition to gauge if people care about the office.

He created the petition on opening day of the Marshall leasing office, when the company encouraged students with free merchandise to get them to sign leases.

University of Louisville spokesperson John Karman said the university posted a sign next to the trailer to clarify the Marshall is not university-affiliated housing. He also said he wasn’t aware of the petition.

“Students are free to share it with the city and with the developer of the Marshall,” he said.

Aptitude Developments co-founder Jared Hutter said that when they originally started looking at U of L, they couldn’t find any offices or buildings they could lease. They got creative and decided on the trailer.

“The University of Louisville doesn’t really have a main retail corridor where we could ultimately put a leasing office,” he said.

Hutter said they applied for a street closure permit on a temporary basis to put the trailer on Brandeis Avenue because of a university plan to make the municipal street a park for students. The street is controlled by the city.

When asked about the park plan, Karman said, “There are no formalized plans at this time.”

Hutter said for students who walk, the trailer has no impact. He understands traffic had to be changed though. “If you are driving down Brandeis Avenue, on to campus, where are you going? There is not really any parking over there, they just have to go up one extra block to go around,” he said.

Hutter said he is aware of the petition, but doesn’t think the students have all the facts. “Conversations are great,” he said. “I think it is important that for people to have all the facts out there so they can make informed representation of about what their opinion is going to be.”

Student Government Association President Jasper Noble said he takes issue with how the trailer happened, and how the university did not have the ability to stand up to this decision and could only react.

He’s concerned that students will sign leases with the Marshall and they will assume these leases will be upheld to the same accountability standards that normal university-affiliated housing offers.

“One of the goals is to create a process where U of L can play an active role in decisions that the city makes in and around the university,” he said.

Noble would love to work with the company to move the trailer, and work to find a different location for the leasing office.

“I think they want it to be a successful property, a successful student housing option, I’m just not sure they are aware of the scope of the students discontent with the trailer,” Noble said.

“We are open to having productive conversations with any local group that has an interest in the area. I feel that is our responsibility as we look to be a supportive member of the community for many years to come,” Hutter said.

Hutter’s concern is the expenses.

“What would need to be taken into account in any conversation however is that our team went through the appropriate path to legally obtain a permit and then spent well over $150,000 to build out a leasing office with a scale model apartment to show residents what the experience will be like when they live at the Marshall,” he said.

“To move the office now, there would be a significant expense and my first question would need to be who is paying that expense?”

According to Noble, students aren’t even aware of where the Marshall is. They just know about the trailer.

Hutter said the Marshall is ahead of schedule and will be finished in Spring 2020.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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SGA aims high with 2025 plan Friday, Sep 13 2019 

By Byron Hoskinson —

The University of Louisville Student Government Association has created a five-year master plan tying students more directly to campus and its culture. SGA proposes innovative money-saving programs like textbook checkout and scholarship reform.

The 2025 Strategic Development Plan, crafted by last year’s student government members, extends to May 2025. It seeks to continue the development of a campus community that allows students to thrive in their academic, social and community pursuits, according to the SGA’s website.

Student government president Jasper Noble said the plan refines the Student 2020 plan, a decade-long initiative to tackle student-identified university and campus issues.

“We’re looking at where [the 2020 Plan] was successful, what its shortcomings were, what was overlooked in the previous plan that now needs to be put in the forefront,” Noble said. He said SGA had evaluated the plan to see where they could refine some of the good ideas into more specific goals that they wanted to achieve.

He also said that SGA members looked for issues affecting each student during the months-long process of developing the 2025 plan.

Drawing from previous student surveys, the 2025 Plan identifies five key categories for student success: college affordability and accessibility, student facilities, student services, academic enrichment and retention and student engagement.

“You’re able to look at the body of students we have and identify that there are some key categories that affect everybody. And while they may affect everybody differently, they still have a broad role to play in everybody’s lives,” Noble said. “Everybody works with student facilities, everybody works with student services, everybody has to pay tuition.”

The 2025 Plan is also a vehicle for transforming the role of student government. It calls for SGA to change from an association that evaluates problems annually into one that develops solutions as problems arise.

One of the ways SGA is implementing faster evaluation is by addressing rising tuition at the university. They see it as both a student and social issue, stating that when the costs of college are prohibitive, the community as a whole suffers and that higher education should be seen as an investment by all.

The new plan lays out a framework for reducing educational costs, with its efforts focused on reducing the loss of student scholarship, allowing more meal plan options, reducing student fees, increasing fee transparency and implementing a textbook checkout program.

To mitigate the incidence of lost scholarship, SGA has suggested implementing a probationary period or an opportunity to take summer classes before losing a scholarship.

“Most students would agree that one bad semester shouldn’t determine the viability of someone being able to attend an entire term of college,” Noble said.

In the textbook checkout program, SGA plans to partner with the campus store and university libraries to create a program in which students can checkout and return textbooks throughout the semester.

 

 

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