Freedom of speech should not come before student safety Monday, Feb 10 2020 

By Ben Goldberger —

On Jan. 28, a student distributed anti-LGBT information to an Intro to LGBT Studies class and returned to stalk the class again Jan. 30. After the professor and students all around campus expressed their concerns about the event, the university seemingly dismissed it as a threat.

Ricky Jones, the chairman of the University of Louisville Pan-African Studies program, expressed his concerns regarding the university’s actions on the issue in a tweet Feb. 3.

Jones explained that the U of L council believed there was not much to be done regarding the issue and they do not understand why the students felt threatened in the first place.

When hearing this, one can assume that the university believes this student was just exercising his freedom of speech, therefore this is no issue.

But that is a harmful perspective which sets a dangerous example for their students and everyone around the country.

As a result of the response from U of L, they are telling students that their safety is less important than freedom of speech. They are saying that it is okay to spread hate speech and propaganda as long as they don’t disrupt the operations of the university.

This is fundamentally wrong on many different levels. As a public institution that boasts acceptance of all groups of people, U of L should be embarrassed with how they handled this situation.

Kaila Story, the professor of the course which was attacked, shared her disgust with how the university has treated this issue.

“I am beyond disturbed by the way this incident has been treated by the Dean of Students office. In these terrifying times of school shootings and public displays of violence, I would like to think that a university office would be just as alarmed as me and my students were regarding this issue. Unfortunately, this is not the case,” Story said.

While the university officials are understandably busy and have many issues to deal with every day, this issue should be at the top of their list. Nothing is more important that their students’ safety, yet they are acting as if the feelings of their students comes second to allowing hateful people to spread their opinions.

This issue will not be going away anytime soon, with students across campus protesting against the actions of the university.

“The Dean of students office needs to know that their dismissive attitudes regarding this issue won’t be tolerated by me or my students,” Story said. “Something must be done.”

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Freedom of speech should not come before student safety appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Student removed from campus apartments after accidentally discharging firearm Wednesday, Nov 27 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

A University of Louisville student living in the Cardinal Towne apartments accidentally discharged a firearm Nov. 23, sending the bullet through the above room. No one was injured in this situation, but the student who fired the gun has been removed from Cardinal Towne and is facing disciplinary actions.

Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Boehm sent out a letter to students Nov. 26. “The student who discharged the weapon has been removed from campus housing and is facing disciplinary action as defined by the code of student conduct,” said Boehm. “Our housing office reached out to the affected students, offering them the opportunity to move to other housing, and the Dean of Students’ office and ULPD have engaged with the students to provide additional support.”

U of L Dean of Students Michael Mardis addressed the media Nov. 26 and said the gun was immediately seized from the student in question. He also said that the student wasn’t removed from the housing complex until Nov. 25, even though the incident happened two days before.

There was no RAVE alert sent out for this incident on Nov. 23. “As a reminder, U of L issues RAVE alerts when there is an imminent danger to students, faculty and staff,” said Boehm. “Because ULPD and Campus Housing quickly engaged the situation, there was no further threat to other students.”

Boehm also said in the letter that safety is the university’s top priority. She mentioned U of L’s weapon policy which prohibits deadly weapons on any property owned, leased, operated or controlled by U of L. This policy has been in place since 1996.

While both Boehm and Mardis said that the bullet went into the student’s closet, images from the student in the above room show the bullet was inches from her bed.

Boehm urged students, faculty and staff to call ULPD if they see something that concerns them on campus. She also highlighted the Cardinal Principle, being a “community of care.”

“Our safety is in large part determined by the quality of our response and the strength of the ties between us,” she said.

The student who fired the shot isn’t facing criminal charges, but is facing possible expulsion from U of L.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

The post Student removed from campus apartments after accidentally discharging firearm appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.