Stay or leave? Students are being left up with that decision Friday, Mar 20 2020 

By Zoe Watkins–

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and other public places are shutting down for safety and health reasons. This includes colleges as well, meaning the University of Louisville is partially closing their doors to students and adapting to help protect students from the virus.

Because of these new changes, many students are left with the decision of either staying on campus to finish out the rest of the semester or traveling back home to complete coursework there.

Among the students who have left campus, sophomore Roni Wolfe is choosing to stay at her house to help reduce the stress.

“I don’t have to leave my room to eat or get anything if I’m home. I have all of that stuff and I’m with my family,” Wolfe said.

She said that because of the decision to switch to online classes and still not knowing what to do until a professor emails with direction, she is a little stressed out and worried. However, she is glad she is home and that everyone is trying not to navigate onto campus where there is a chance of spreading the virus.

In the meantime, Wolfe is spending time with her family while also preparing for online classes.

“I’m mostly just making a list of what my professors want us to do and when so I can keep track and not have to spend all of my free time stressing about it if I forgot something,” she said.

However, there are still students who want to stay on campus in Louisville.

Even though senior Emily Yadon has seen many people packing up and leaving for the rest of the spring semester, she must stay along with the few people who are still on campus.

“Luckily, dining is open, so food is somewhat available at limited hours,” Yadon said. “I’m hoping they won’t close with restaurants being forced to close. If so, I will need to go home since I won’t have a good place to cook and have limited access to food.”

She said it is important to keep practicing isolation and social distancing even if its draining and not enjoyable. Yadon said it is to protect others especially the older generations and people who have underlying health conditions.

Even if it’s not fun having to be inside all day long, there are still many ways to pass the time.

“I’ve been spending time playing board games with a few of friends who are also on campus. That’s pretty entertaining and enjoyable and it doesn’t involve going out where there’s a lot of people,” Yadon said.

However, due to recent changes sent out to students by email, many will have to move out by March 29 unless they sign up to stay on campus.

If the plan is to move out of the dorms, remember to fill out the cancellation form on the housing portal and to fill out the express checkout form and turn them in along with the dorm’s key when leaving for the rest of the semester.

However, if a student is choosing to stay, remember to let housing know you will be staying by signing into the housing portal and requesting to stay on campus by March 27th.

File photo//The Louisville Cardinal

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Gov. Andy Beshear announces actions Kentucky is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Thursday, Mar 19 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

The Office of Gov. Andy Beshear announced in a press release March 16 several steps the state government would be taking to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The steps include postponing the May primary elections and closing restaurants except for carry out, delivery and drive-thru.

The primary elections will now be held June 23. This decision affects the Democratic primary, the Republican primary, local elections and special elections. Beshear made the executive order to postpone elections on recommendation from Secretary of State Michael Adams.

“Postponing the primary was not an easy decision,” said Adams. “But the Republican secretary of state and the Democratic governor agree, and so do county clerks of both parties. And they are our front line election administrators.”

Beshear also released the steps bars and restaurants would be expected to take to minimize person-to-person interaction. According to Beshear’s executive order, restaurants are only permitted to make sales through carry-out, delivery and drive-thru.

Within these guidelines, restaurants are also supposed to ensure that patrons and employees maintain a 6-feet social distance. Bars are also closed and alcohol sales are restricted to carry-out, delivery and drive-thru.

In the press release, Beshear also announced that childcare facilities will be expected to close by March 20. The only exceptions will be for health-care providers and certain employers who offer on-site services.

Government offices are also closed to in-person services, and driver licenses that are close to expiring will be extended another three months to accommodate this.

Beshear has also issued an executive order that will waive the seven day wait period for unemployment and ensure that Kentucky residents who have temporarily lost their jobs due to COVID-19 will be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Beshear also announced that his administration has applied for a Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration. This will help businesses struggling economically because of COVID-19.

“I realize many of the steps I am taking to protect Kentuckians during this COVID-19 emergency are affecting employers and workers financially. Temporarily waiving some of the UI benefit rules during this time is one step I can do to help protect Kentuckians financially,” Beshear said. “I know this is a difficult time but we are going to get through this by working together to help each other.”

More information about COVID-19 can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website and Kentucky’s COVID-19 website. Kentucky residents who need advice regarding COVID-19 can call the state’s hotline at 1.800.722.5725.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Students share their culture’s traditions at the Festival of Languages Tuesday, Mar 17 2020 

By Alex Tompkins —

The University of Louisville hosted the “Festival of Languages: Cultures around the World” event in the Red Barn March 4. The festival is way for students to learn the importance of different cultures around the world. 

Upon entry, the event was already a massive scene: parades of students and faculty, flying paper fish and the aroma of amazing dishes from around the world. The event hosted culturally specific acts on stage such as belly dancing, interactive Tai Chi, Chinese yo-yo and a live band performing Latin American music. 

Multiple booths were set up to represent different cultures and provide facts and fun activities relating to the cultures showcased. There were even pastries and dishes being handed out from each booth to give students a taste of different foods. 

Among the booths were Latin America, Germany and China. Each booth was accompanied by eager student volunteers that were knowledgeable about their booth’s culture.

Germany’s booth was set up much like the others; a tri-fold with facts and a table with treats specific to the culture. Students were taught a German greeting, and upon learning the response, they were rewarded with their choice of treats to choose from, including sweet tea, ginger cookies and chocolate cake.

It was obvious that each student was invested and truly involved in learning the cultures of the booth they worked at or visited. Not only were some students learning about different cultures, but others were teaching them. 

Many wore traditional garb, including festival wear specific to the country’s annual holidays and events. 

Many students were fascinated and pleased with the other booths and the inclusivity the event had to offer. 

“I think the event was important in helping people to understand how language could allow different opportunities and ways to connect with others from different cultures,” said junior Sarah Coffman. “It brings awareness to all of the different languages spoken, even here on campus.”

Photo by Anthony Riley 

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President Neeli Bendapudi announces cancellation of U of L events and remote work plan for faculty and staff Monday, Mar 16 2020 

By Eli Hughes —

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi announced in an email March 14 that all campus events would be canceled or postponed until at least April 5 to help limit the spread of COVID-19. 

She went on to say the university will still be open, but eligible faculty and staff should work remotely.

Bendapudi introduced these measures as a way to keep the campus functioning while prioritizing the safety of the university community.

“In our Cardinal community of care, we cherish, support and are there for one another,” Bendapudi said. 

“Just as our campus community serves as a primary home for so many of our students, it also is an important source of income and the foundation of the livelihoods for so many of our staff and faculty. I take that reality and responsibility seriously. “

Bendapudi has been working with her leadership team to reduce the number of faculty and staff on campus without interfering with the operation of the university. 

Faculty and staff’s ability to work remotely will be decided based on the practicality of their job being done remotely and their access to the proper equipment. There will still be some staff present on campus to help keep the university operational.

These positions include custodians, campus housing staff, library staff, etc. The staff present on the Health Science Campus will be decided based on patient care.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these social distancing efforts for areas where COVID-19 is spreading. The CDC suggests avoiding close contact with groups and people who feel sick. 

More information about COVID-19 and U of L’s response can be found at https://louisville.edu/campushealth/information/coronavirus

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Provost Boehm shares update with faculty amid suspended classes Monday, Mar 16 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

University of Louisville faculty and students are returning from spring break to new territory: online classes. Amid this situation, U of L provost Beth Boehm shared an update and her thoughts on the situation.

Beginning March 18 all classes will be administered remotely, April 5 being the earliest date to return to in-person classes. For many professors, conducting online classes will be uncharted territory.

“I understand that many of you are stressed and worried about teaching remotely; honestly, I would be fearful too if I were teaching this semester,” said Boehm. “But we have an obligation to our students and our accrediting bodies to enable our students to complete their courses remotely.”

With faculty and students worried about the efficacy of these online classes, Boehm wants them to know that it will require patience on both sides.

“In a note to students, I asked that they be patient with their instructors, many of whom are teaching online for the first time,” she said. “Here, I am asking you to also be patient with your students, to be understanding of their anxieties, both about online delivery and the coronavirus itself.”

To reduce the stress of both parties, Boehm reiterated that faculty are being trained to properly administer their online courses to students. They have been working with the Delphi Center staff to ensure the online courses are a success.

In addition, Boehm reminded the faculty how important it is for the university to stay open during times like these.

“We are committed to staying open to help our most vulnerable students have food, shelter, and access to libraries and IT (and some other essential services) while they work to finish the semester,” she said. “Your leadership in modeling healthy social distancing practices, resilience in the face of stress and unfamiliar work conditions, and kindness and compassion according to our Cardinal Principles will help our students stay calm and healthy and will enable them to complete their semester successfully.”

She also urged faculty to provide students without internet access the information to receive a free 60-day period from Spectrum. “To enroll, students should call 1-844-488-8395,” said Boehm. “While we will be sharing this info with students, if you have students who indicate they are without internet access, please give them this information.”

In closing, Boehm said how this will be a stressful and difficult time for everyone. But with that in mind, administration, faculty and students all have to work together to make this transition seamless she said.

“I know we are a resilient institution, and I’m urging us all to call upon our best selves in the days ahead,” said Boehm. “We have a lot of work to do.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Contrasting Opinions: U of L’s reaction to COVID-19 Monday, Mar 16 2020 

By Zachary Baker and Ben Goldberger —

There are few things that will make the entire country stop their busy lives, but the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has accomplished just that. Everything from national sport leagues to small businesses have been shut down in efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Universities across the country have closed down their campuses, some telling students to pack up all their belongings and leave campus for good. The University of Louisville announced on March 11 that Spring Break would be extended to March 17, and classes would be offered online from March 18 to April 5 at the earliest.

Zachary Baker and Ben Goldberger voice their opinions on U of L switching to online classes in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Zachary Baker

Many people have applauded the university’s actions, claiming the threat of the virus is so significant that it would be dangerous not to cancel classes. However, others have expressed concerns about the university’s response. Was moving to distance ed classes the appropriate response to the coronavirus threat?

A proportion of students are worried about the effects that will come from the mandatory change to online classes during this semester, and the anxiety is rational.

To begin, students are concerned that professors are not technologically knowledgeable enough to teach online classes. Across U of L’s campus, students make jokes about times in class when some professors could not open up YouTube videos correctly or even post an assignment on Blackboard without delay. It is almost guaranteed that every student at U of L has had at least one professor who was almost impossible to email.

The anxiety comes directly from personal experience for most students, and while the university is promising training for all professors on online classes, it is clear from previous experiences they are woefully unprepared.

Additionally, this decision will directly affect learning for many students as on-campus classes are a necessity for some. There are several students at U of L who require special accommodations for classes and online classes do not tend to those needs. This does those students a great disservice, especially when considering the age bracket for college students is the least likely to be affected by the coronavirus.

These precautions are being made for a group of people who are the most unlikely to be hurt by this outbreak. This is not saying we should not take these precautions, but that we are taking an unnecessarily excessive jump that will hurt the academic situation of many students.

Students have expressed concerns about their academic standing.

“I’m worried about how online courses will proceed and how grading and credit might be affected,” said sophomore Derrell Myles. These concerns continue to spread throughout the student body, and many are anxious about how the semester will proceed.

Should the university be noticed for taking measures to protect the student body? Absolutely. Was it the most thought out response considering the students’ needs and the abilities of the faculty? After the concerns brought up, this is still uncertain, but some hope the university is prepared for what will be developing over the next couple of weeks.

Ben Goldberger

Some students are angry about the recent closures of college campuses and switches to online courses, labeling it an overreaction to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The reactions by these universities are actually very appropriate decisions to make in response to the coronavirus.

Though switching to online courses and, in some cases, sending students home for the rest of the semester may seem excessive, it is what has to happen to limit the spread of the virus.

After all, anything that is done proactively is seen as excessive, and anything done retrospectively is too late.

There have been multiple studies released that show the importance of social distancing and how it limits the spreading of the coronavirus.

“A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America of the 1918 influenza pandemic provided powerful evidence that cities that implemented interventions early — such as closing churches, schools, theaters and dance halls and forbidding crowding on street cars and banning public gatherings — experienced much lower peaks in the death rates than ones that did not,” said the Washington Post.

While practicing social distancing will not stop the spread of COVID-19 all together, it will decrease it exponentially. This virus will not go away if everyone continues to live their lives as normal. Precautions have to be taken to stop the virus, and one of these precautions is limiting contact with individuals as much as possible.

Another large concern with the switch to online courses is that the professors will not be able to properly facilitate their class online.

While some professors struggle with technology, most have experience with either teaching online or using other forms of technology to facilitate their classes. Every class at the university uses some sort of technological classroom, whether that be Blackboard, TopHat or another software. Even if a professor isn’t skilled at using the software, they still have received training on how to use them and are knowledgeable enough to make it work.

On top of this, the university regularly offers online classes year-round, so they are well prepared to provide online education for all of their students. U of L would not have made this switch if they did not feel confident that their professors will be able to provide a level of education online that is consistent with in-person classes.

This situation is definitely less than ideal and in-person classes would be more beneficial. But with the situation the world is in right now, the decision to switch to remote courses is by far the best decision that the university could make.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Girls run the world with annual International Women’s Day celebration Sunday, Mar 15 2020 

By Maria Dinh —

The Women’s Center, Women 4 Women Student Board and Student Activities Board hosted the 7th annual International Women’s Day celebration March 3 in Strickler Auditorium. 

The event had free food, including decorated heart-shaped cookies, in the lobby which also featured booths from the Americana Community Center and the Women’s Center.

Sidney Garner, president of the Women 4 Women Student Board, started the event by asking the audience which woman in their lives has greatly influenced them. She asked students in the audience, “What does International Women’s Day mean to you?” and “Who was the most influential woman in your life?”

A student answered his grandmother. “Growing up, she took care of me from when I was one to seven years old. I would go [to her house] after school. She immigrated over when my mom was seventeen years old. She’s a very strong woman. She has done all of this by herself without my grandpa.”

SAB Diversity Chairs Taleah Gipson and Sarika Polcum hosted the International Women’s Day performance portion. They started out by dedicating this event to every woman—mothers, sisters, aunts, trans women, women of color, disabled women, gender non-conforming women and all other women across the globe.

Students who attended also had a chance to win a free Women’s Center t-shirt during the intermission in a raffle.

Every performance that night featured women in the community. The first two performances were traditional Indian and Bollywood dances. The women in the Vietnamese Student Association performed a traditional hat dance. 

Gloria Fan, a member of VSA, said, “[The dance] is empowering representing not only women, but our culture.”

The Dazzling Cardettes performed a majorette dance with hip hop elements, and The Cardinal K-Pop Dance Team performed two dances to songs from Mamamoo and Chungha. 

To finish off the event, Flamenco Louisville gave a grand finale to this empowering event. 

As Women’s History Month continues, visit the Women’s Center at www.lousiville.edu/womenscenter for more information.

Photo by Maria Dinh // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L transitions from Tapingo to GrubHub Sunday, Mar 8 2020 

By Madelin Shelton–

University of Louisville students, faculty and staff may have noticed a recent switch from mobile food-ordering app Tapingo to its competitor, Grubhub. 

Grubhub recently acquired Tapingo for $150 million and hoped to combine Tapingo’s presence on over 150 college campuses with Grubhub’s restaurant marketplace and delivery capabilities to increase convenience for students. 

Tapingo’s technology allowed the app to integrate with campus meal plans and other systems to allow college students to order meals ahead of time and avoid lines.

 Grubhub, on the other hand, has been available to college students but not through meal plans or campus-owned restaurants. The partnership between the two companies allows for a greater number of food options and convenience to students. 

U of L is among the campuses which have been affected by this transition, and students can order meals ahead of time at most on-campus locations through the Grubhub app. The app can also be synced up to students’ meal plans to utilize meal swipes and flex points.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr//The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L should keep restaurants open on weekends Sunday, Mar 8 2020 

By Ben Goldberger —

The University of Louisville’s roots are as a commuter school, but the administration has tried to shift the narrative to a more traditional university feel. 

New academic buildings, successful athletic programs and large scholarships make U of L attractive to out-of-state students. 

Despite these factors, there are still strong tendencies that make the school feel like a commuter school, especially to out-of-state students who are on campus all the time.

Probably the biggest factor that causes this feeling is the lack of on-campus food options during the weekend.

During the week, all 15 restaurants on the Belknap campus are open, giving students a relatively diverse menu of options to choose from. On Fridays, four of those restaurants close down at 2 p.m., and six others close an hour later.

With the cafe in the Student Recreation Center closed all day Fridays, that only leaves students with four restaurants to choose from for dinner. 

This may still seem like a lot of options, but having to choose from the same four restaurants can become very repetitive. 

“I know that our campus dining employees are already overworked, but it’s unfair that students who live on campus have such limited options to use their meal plans over the weekend, especially for those in traditional dorms who have to use a plan with very little flex points,” said sophomore Dawson Coovert.

The lack of open restaurants during the weekends encourages students to spend their time off campus, indirectly discouraging them from feeling the campus presence that the administration is trying to move toward.

“I guess it’s affected campus culture by making campus basically dead on the weekends because the only people on campus are the people who have to be there,” Coovert said.

This is especially limiting to students who do not have a car. While there are restaurants open underneath the Cardinal Towne Apartments, students cannot use the money on their meal plan to pay for that food. 

If the university is going to charge students thousands of dollars for a required meal plan, they should give the students an opportunity to actually use it on the weekends. 

Unless the student goes in and changes their meal plan before the semester, they are assigned the All Access Plan which is $2,032.

If an average meal is assumed to be $7, the students are paying for three meals a day, seven days a week for every day of the semester. By closing about 75 percent of their dining options down on the weekends, the university is inhibiting the full use of the meal plans assigned to the students. 

Also, two of the four restaurants that are open on the weekends and on Friday nights are in the SAC, and the other two are next to the University Tower Apartments. These locations are not convenient for a lot of students on campus and limit what options they have for their meals. By opening up more restaurants around campus, it allows students to have easier access to their meals for the day. 

Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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Human waste being used for more eco-friendly options Saturday, Mar 7 2020 

By Delaney Hildreth–

An Ohio State University professor presented their findings about human waste Feb. 26.

The University of Louisville’s department of anthropology hosted professor Nicholas Kawa in Shumaker.

Kawa opened the lecture, “The Other Side of Our Food System: The Use of Human Waste as an Agricultural Resource” with the question, “Is human waste really just waste, or might it be something more?”

He then gave an overview on the history of human waste and how it had once been considered a resource. Farmers would use it as fertilizer and people who collected it could receive valuable items like precious metals, for trade.

But with the rise of new technologies like flush toilets, waste was directed into sewers and waterways.

Instead of being a resource, human waste is now a pollutant.

Now, human waste is being reclaimed. Biosolids, or waste that has been treated and sanitized, can be found as fertilizer and even a source of power as of today. Several cities like Tacoma, Wash., and Milwaukee, Wis., have major biosolid composting programs that keep a lot of waste from polluting the environment.

To spread the good news of biosolids, Kawa and his research team set up a make shift garden on OSU’s campus and created a publication about the topic. As its advantages become more well-known, more areas are investing in reusing human waste.

Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for Sustainabilty Initiative, said Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District has created a fertilizer from biosolids called Louisville Green. Waste that would be taking up space in landfills around the region is now being re-purposed and given back to the earth.

On campus, U of L has been working to be more sustainable through several operations like the campus common gardens and the bikeshare program. Biosolids have yet to be implemented.

“Biosolids aside, U of L does a tremendous amount of composting of other organics (food waste, coffee grounds, yard wastes, animal bedding, etc.) both on and off campus,” Mog said.

 “To my knowledge there haven’t been any conversations about trying to use it on campus,” he said. “If students were to demand an end to chemical fertilizers on campus, I think the administration would listen.”

Photo by Delaney Hildreth//The Louisville Cardinal

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