Students share their grief over reduced dining hours Thursday, Feb 25 2021 

By Grace Welsh–

University of Louisville is under scrutiny by the student body as a result of abrupt changes to the hours of several dining locations for the remainder of the spring semester. 

Louie’s Corner, Einstein Bros. Bagels and the Chick-fil-A at HSC Commons will be closed for the remainder of the semester, while most other locations are available for limited hours during the weekday, and closed on the weekends. 

The announcement was posted on U of L Dining’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and on physical flyers hung at various locations around campus. 

Students and parents were not hesitant to voice their opinions in the comment section of the Instagram post and on a Change.org petition asking for compensation for U of L students for the new limited dining hours. 

Hayleigh Walker, a sophomore pre-med Spanish major who started the petition with freshman Sydney Webb, said, “As soon as I saw the new posted dining hours I knew this was the wrong move, so I messaged @uofldining on Instagram wanting an explanation.” 

She said that their response seemed performative and looked scripted, so after posting to the university’s Facebook Campus social page, she took the initiative to create the petition. The petition now has over 1,700 signatures.

After word caught on, students shared the petition on a myriad of social platforms and flocked to the comment section to tell U of L’s dining services how they felt. 

On the original post, junior Rachel Barrsaid, “Why can you take away our dining options but still require us to buy a full meal plan?? We have to eat, and not just between 10-2. This is not at all ok.” 

Sophomore Savannah Quach agreed and said, “It’s clear that U of L does not care for its students or dining staff, only profits and their own convenience.”

Others left short and sweet comments, such as freshman social work major Cakki Holm, who asked, “Are we not allowed to eat on the weekends?” 

Sophomore Stephanie Price, a SPAD major, said, “U of L’s just kickin’ us while we’re already down.” 

Students and parents also left a multitude of comments on the Change.org petition, discussing their concerns over the drastic decision. 

Junior mechanical engineering major Jordan Campbell said, “Being required to buy a meal plan then having a very small time selection for the food I can buy with the meal plan is wrong.” 

One anonymous U of L parent said, “As a parent I am outraged!!! This is no way to treat these students.” 

Other students discussed the harm this would have on vegetarians and students with dietary restrictions, who won’t have as many options throughout the week.

All U of L students living on-campus or studying full-time are required to buy a meal plan each semester, the cheapest being $300 for commuters and $1,745 for those living in traditional dorms.

Just days after the announcement, U of L sent an email to its students reminding them that their flex points and meal swipes will expire at the end of spring semester finals. Freshmen are especially affected by these changes, as most first-year dorms lack kitchens.

U of L Dining Services responded to the abundance of criticism by sending an email to the student body, justifying their decision by saying there was a “39% reduction in students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic” and urging students to fill out this survey

It is unclear yet if any changes will be made since the backlash.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Students share their grief over reduced dining hours appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Stay home: Traveling over spring break is a risk you shouldn’t take Tuesday, Feb 23 2021 

By Zachary Baker–

It seems insane to imagine that we are nearing the one-year anniversary of when this pandemic began, for many of us it feels as if time just stopped. 

So many of us feel as though the only way that we know time is passing is because deadlines for assignments get closer and closer. It may feel like we all need a vacation, a trip to the beach, or to Las Vegas for a night on the town. It may be tempting with classes online and spring break coming up soon. 

But don’t fall to temptation. Rather, stay strong, stay home and stay safe over the next couple of months.

According to data reported by The New York Times, the 7-day average for new cases of COVID-19 within Jefferson County have been declining since early January.

In February, the rate of new cases dipped below 1,000 on 3 separate days. For a brief period, Jefferson County was considered an “orange county” as the incidence rate dropped to less than 25 cases per 100,000 individuals.

At the time of this article’s publication Jefferson County is back to being a red county.

With vaccinations coming, and many people that we know already receiving them, it may seem as if this is almost all over and we can return to normal. However, being near the end doesn’t mean that the threat of the pandemic is over yet. 

“The benefits of travel simply aren’t worth the risks, yet,” said Scott LaJoie, an associate professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at U of L. “By spring break, too few people will be fully vaccinated, there are new strains of SARS-COV-2 trying to get established, and we could end up giving the pandemic new life if we stop doing what we know works.” 

The threat that a new strain could go around before we are ready to stop our current one is very real, and it is a situation that we see happening in other parts of the world. 

At the same time, you want to go out and do something fun to get away from the same old routine you find yourself caught in. But you do not have to travel in order to get away from our routines. You can find fun at home under current protections. 

One option is to travel to one of the nature trails or parks within the county and get a breath of fresh air and exercise. Another is to have small get-togethers with friends on Zoom for some much-needed social time. 

“With mass vaccinations underway, the end of the pandemic is finally coming into view. We have the tools to keep ourselves and others safe. It is up to us not to stumble at the finish line,” said Ryan Combs, an assistant U of L professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences.

We are close to winning against this disease, and while it may be awhile before things feel normal again, we shouldn’t risk our lives and the lives of others for an attempt to get away from it all. 

Stay home, stay in Louisville, stay safe and let’s beat this thing.

Graphic by Andrew Campbell // The Louisville Cardinal 

The post Stay home: Traveling over spring break is a risk you shouldn’t take appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Now is the time to apply for internships Friday, Feb 19 2021 

By Riley Vance–

Once you enter the second half of your undergraduate career, the pressure to find an internship is on. Is dedicating your time to an internship worth it? 

First and foremost, why should you even consider applying for an internship? 

Internships can help you decide what you like and what you dislike — and you can apply for another one if the first one didn’t suit you. 

“Students can use the experience to ‘test-drive’ an industry or field they might be interested in,” said Stuart Esrock, a University of Louisville communications professor and internship director for the department. 

“They can also network with professionals; that is crucial since about 70% of college students find their first entry level job via a networking contact. But most important, students gain vital, real-world experience that most employers require for entry-level hires.”

So, what’s next? Where do you look for internship opportunities, and how do you apply?

U of L offers a number of resources to students to look for internships at zero expense.

The first place to look would be either your academic department’s website or Handshake

“But students should also initiate their own initiative and research and proactive efforts, including networking with everyone you know to let them know what you are interested in to see if they can connect you,” Esrock said. 

Students can also attend the Student Internship Panel virtually on Feb. 18 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. or the Faculty/Staff Internship Panel on Feb. 25 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 

The Student Internship Panel will give students a chance to hear from fellow students about their personal internship experience and how they got those opportunities. 

The Faculty/Staff Internship Panel will provide students with information about internships for academic credit. Students can expect to hear from Dr. Esrock himself along with Paige Hincker Erhart, Career Counselor at the Ulmer Career Management Center. 

Esrock and Erhart will be joined by Jason Gainous, a U of L political science professor and director of the Kentucky General Assembly Internship Program, and Lora Haynes, director of internships and service learning for the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. 

Students should register via Handshake if they wish to attend either panel.

The University Career Center has also prepared an informative video on internships that can be viewed at any time for those who can’t attend the virtual panels. 

Yes, internships do provide valuable experience and networking opportunities that could lead to a postgraduate career, and now you have all the resources you need to find one. 

Get those cover letters and resumes ready and apply to an internship.

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

 

The post Now is the time to apply for internships appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Valentine’s Day looks a little bit different for singles this year Sunday, Feb 14 2021 

By Riley Vance–

As the first Valentine’s Day of the pandemic approaches, many single students may feel relief that they won’t be the only ones at home by themselves this year. 

For some, Valentine’s Day is full of chocolate, flowers, and cards from their loved ones. For others, it’s a dreadful day that comes once a year and couldn’t pass by faster. 

The anxiety or fear of missing out (FOMO) on fun events is a real phenomenon that most people have probably experienced from time to time—especially college students. 

Lalin Anik, assistant professor of business administration at the University of Virginia, analyzed the ways in which FOMO has continued through the pandemic.

“We wanted to see what might happen to FOMO during this time of COVID-19, when people are stuck at home, largely unable to travel, attend large gatherings or do many of the things we would normally do for fun.

“FOMO in the pandemic stems from the difficulty of catching up with all of the things being offered online, far more than we can be a part of or watch all at once,” said Anik.

In the pandemic, this means missing out on social gatherings via Zoom, conversations over social media or other online activities that might only be available for a short time.

This feeling of missing out can definitely be stronger on Valentine’s Day if you’re sitting at home binge-watching rom-coms like a hopeless romantic while simultaneously scrolling past couples posting pictures of their significant others sitting across the table from them at a fancy restaurant. 

This year, however, is a completely different scenario. 

Yes, there will still be a million Boomerangs of people clinking their glasses of wine or champagne together to celebrate their everlasting love for each other. 

There will also be a number of people laying low this year as well, which some people may find comfort in. 

Abby Ebersold, a senior communications major, is spending her night doing just that. 

“I’m just spending my Valentine’s Day at home with my roommates. We’re going to watch movies, make dinner, and bake a fun dessert. There’s definitely no shame in having a low-key Valentine’s Day especially during the pandemic,” said Ebersold.

We all fall prey to blaming the pandemic for being lazy, unproductive, or anti-social. Now, you can blame the pandemic for spending your Valentine’s Day by yourself. You don’t even have to feel bad about it, because you’re technically doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re kind of saving lives.

So, this year for Valentine’s Day, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, watch your favorite movies, buy yourself some chocolate and flowers, and have an awesome night in by yourself. Take pride in knowing that you’re not contributing to the widespread transmission of the coronavirus.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Valentine’s Day looks a little bit different for singles this year appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Online classes are not worth full tuition Friday, Feb 12 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

Online classes may be convenient for many of us, but it doesn’t provide students with the same educational experiences as in-person classes. To charge the same tuition for hybrid and remote classes is ridiculous.

“I definitely think the cost of online classes seems expensive. And you know, it used to be they charged more for online courses, which is crazy,” said Liam Spencer, a senior computer information systems major. “I actually like online classes for the most part. It is very convenient for me, so overall it has worked pretty well for me. But I can definitely see how some students would prefer in person and benefit from that more.”

According to a recent article in the New York Times, students at Columbia University have gone on a protest against the university’s tuition policy for the spring semester. Students disagree with the school charging regular tuition rates–including additional housing and dining fees–when classes are mostly online. Students have asked for a minimum of 10 percent reduction in total fees.

In July 2020, The Louisville Cardinal reported that U of L would raise tuition rates by 2 percent to makeup for negative budget impacts.

So not only are U of L students not receiving any tuition remission, they are being asked to pay more than they were in the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Since the pandemic started, businesses across the country have closed, including companies that U of L students work at. Not all students can continue to earn income and pay off tuition like they might have before COVID-19.

The university recommends students check in with the Student Financial Aid Office (SFAO) if they need assistance with tuition. The SFAO offers certain scholarships and loans for eligible students. But some students say that’s not enough.

“We aren’t using the classrooms as much, the library has been out of commission for a while now, we can’t enjoy the amenities that are included in the tuition. There are online schools whose tuition costs less for these reasons, so it doesn’t make sense as to how Louisville can justify why they aren’t lowering their tuition to match those online schools,” said Lindsey Wright, a senior studying communications.

When classes are remote, students don’t get the same valuable face-to-face interactions with classmates. This makes it hard to make connections with peers or network with professors.

Networking with others is important for students about to enter the job market.

Debra Feldman, a member of Columbia’s Career Coaches Network, said that whenever you aren’t actively networking, “you are missing out on opportunities and actually making it easier for competitors to grab the position that could be yours.”

But online classes hinder students from meeting their professors in the traditional way, which means professors probably won’t get the chance to communicate as closely with students. That could hurt your chances of having professors be references for future jobs and careers.

It’s not fair for any school to ask students to pay the same rates as they charged for the last academic year.

And as a U of L student, you shouldn’t have to tolerate it, either.

Graphic by Andrew Campbell // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Online classes are not worth full tuition appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Zilculator Review Wednesday, Feb 10 2021 

There’s a new tool in the world of analysis—Zilculator: Real Estate Analysis. In an already crowded space, what makes us think this one will be any different? Let’s check it out!

What makes Zilculator unique is the fact that it focuses on real estate professionals, namely on real estate agents and realtors. While most websites or Automated Valuation Method (AVM) can be wildly inaccurate due to their lack of onsite, professional expertise, this tool allows for additional factors to be added to the analysis.

Screen shot of the Zilculator.com website

One interesting feature is that registered users will be able to list investment properties on their own websites via a plugin. You have the ability to can compare two or more investment properties for your buyers, and build customized reports.

Also, you can assist investor clients by creating profiles for them to search for and access properties that meet their criteria.

Advantages

  • Ease of use: Zilculator’s design is very user-friendly. The learning curve is very small and there’s no need to watch long tutorial videos.
  • MLS loader: Simply input the property MLS # and load all of the photos, descriptions, and numbers from your MLS to analyze properties with Zilculator’s algorithm.
  • Listings management: Users can add property photos of their own, or you can pull them from Zillow, Google’s Street View, or MLS as mentioned above. Zilculator is integrated with Zillow’s Zestimate, so you’ll be able to see the rental estimates and do CMAs.

Disadvantages

  • Price: The cost is more expensive than some of the competition. You get what you pay for, though. There are three plans, ranging from $13.60/month up to $23.20/month. These are primarily based on the number of saved properties. The top-of-the-line plan allows for unlimited properties.
  • Mobile: Zilculator currently doesn’t have a mobile or tablet app. The only way to use Zilculator on a mobile device is through a browser. However, the company is regularly adding all-new features, so a mobile app may be on the horizon.

There’s a lot to like with Zilculator. Its ability to work on investment properties via revenue streams is a great feature for investors. If you are a full-time real estate professional looking to separate yourself from your competition, give Zilculator a look. You might be glad you did!

The post Zilculator Review appeared first on Louisville Homes Blog.

Students and faculty react to Biden’s first week in office Thursday, Jan 28 2021 

By Riley Vance–

After less than one full week in office, the newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has made numerous changes, including 33 executive actions.  

When asked about Biden’s swift actions during his short time in office, students and instructors on the University of Louisville’s campus had differing opinions. 

U of L College Republicans Chairman Isaac Oettle voiced some concern about the policies Biden has enacted. 

“I was encouraged by President Biden’s call for unity in his inaugural address at noon,” said Oettle recalling Biden’s inauguration. “Although the words began to ring hollow by 3 p.m. when he cancelled production of the Keystone XL pipeline and the media reported that he intends to send an immigration bill to Congress that would provide blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants without even an offer for increased border security in exchange. President Biden’s administration also placed a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling, breaking his campaign pledge to not ban fracking.”

Among Biden’s executive actions are those that relate to the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as increased manufacturing and quicker delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, tests, and Personal Protective Equipment as well as a mask mandate on federal property. 

Biden has also made strides to mend environmental issues by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Although the economy is typically not the main priority of many Democrats, after only a few days in office Biden has posted on Instagram claiming to extend a moratorium on evictions and student loan relief.

U of L Young Democrats Treasurer Julia Mattingly supports Biden, but she also expresses her concern about his use of executive orders.

“As much as I support the vast majority of President Biden’s executive orders, such as re-committing the U.S. to the World Health Organization, rejoining the Paris climate accord, and reversing the Muslim travel ban, I also believe it is wrong for him to legislate simply by pen and paper,” said Mattingly.

“If he plans to hold true to the promises he made on the campaign trail and genuinely unite this country, he must work with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to ensure his legislative priorities. It is important that we as Democrats hold President Biden accountable in the same way we did the former President Trump, and discourage President Biden from being overly reliant on executive action.”

Biden has also made it clear that he cares about fixing racial and gender inequalities in America. 

Since he has taken office, Biden has repealed the transgender military ban allowing transgender men and women to serve in the U.S. military. He has also reversed former President Trump’s policy that did not allow transgender athletes to participate in sports as their identified gender. Biden appointed Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health—the first openly transgender federal official. 

Additionally, he has launched a federal initiative to advance racial equity nationwide by reallocating resources. 

U of L Political Communications professor Bill Brantley thinks Biden’s transition will come with many obstacles. 

“President Biden needs to reframe the policy debates with the new unity perspective,” said Brantley. 

“President Trump framed his policies in an “us versus them” perspective because he didn’t see the need to reach out to the Congressional Democrats. Establishing a new framing perspective is always difficult against an entrenched narrative frame.” 

There is no denying that President Biden is ready to start taking action on promises he made during his campaign, however, it seems that most believe his largest obstacle is uniting the country after a messy election. 

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Students and faculty react to Biden’s first week in office appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

The pandemic isn’t over. Please stop going out to bars and restaurants Wednesday, Jan 20 2021 

By Riley Vance–

Young people—college students, in particular—have received a bad reputation regarding their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This reputation didn’t come unearned, however. College students need to exhibit more maturity and stay in to protect the people around them while the world battles this pandemic.

As vaccines are rolling out across the U.S., we are nearing a hopeful close to the chapter that is the COVID-19 pandemic. While this is great news, it seems that it couldn’t come sooner with recent chatter about students heading out to bars despite the pandemic. 

Last week, Student Body President Sabrina Collins posted pictures outside of the Granville Pub, a sports bar located on S. 3rd Street. The Jan. 14 pictures show students neither social distancing or wearing masks waiting to enter the bar were uploaded on Twitter. These pictures sparked a trend of calling people out and holding members of the U of L community responsible. 

“I cannot overemphasize how important it is for students to continue to take this pandemic seriously and socialize safely,” said Collins. “We know that going to bars and seeing large crowds of people are unnecessarily dangerous behavior. Just because we can see the light at the end of the tunnel (i.e., vaccines) doesn’t mean we can act like it’s already here. The fact of the matter is that people are dying of COVID every day and going to bars just isn’t worth it.” 

According to the U of L COVID-19 Dashboard, the university experienced a peak in cases in December with a 4.54% positivity rate—the second highest positivity rate since U of L started offering testing for students in August 2020. This number will more than likely only continue to rise as students return to campus after the break. 

Not only is the positivity rate for U of L increasing, but the positivity rate for Kentucky is a whopping 11.74% according to the Department of Public Health and Wellness. 

The data provided by the DPHW also shows that 18.4% of cases in Kentucky are seen in people between the ages of 20-29. This means that 20-29 year olds represent nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 cases, making them the age group with the highest rate of  cases in the state

If the pictures on social media of college students going out are not enough, this data should be very telling of what is truly going on. The university and U of L community need to hold students that are making reckless and irresponsible decisions more accountable. It is not cool to put the lives of others at risk.

Photo by Anthony Riley//The Louisville Cardinal

The post The pandemic isn’t over. Please stop going out to bars and restaurants appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Storming of the Capitol exposes biases of federal government Tuesday, Jan 19 2021 

Catherine Brown–

The riots at the Capitol building on Jan. 6 are inexcusable. But the government needs to answer for its own hypocrisy when hundreds of white protestors can storm their way into a federal building trashing political offices, looting and even killing 5 people, while peaceful Black Lives Matter protests were constantly victim blamed, shot at and even killed for standing up for their right to live.

Sadly, I agree that white supremacists who staged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol based on unfounded conspiracy theories were being treated differently than Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington this past summer,” said University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton.

“It should not matter whether they were Trump supporters or not,” Clayton said. “They were engaged in lawless activity — a mob going after anyone not supporting their attempt to overturn a lawful election.  This country has a history of treating Black and White protesters differently even when the Black protesters are engaged in lawful peaceful protest and the White protesters are engaged in lawlessness.”

It’s clear that there is privilege afforded to the protestors who participated in the recent riot. 

On what he thought of the news when he first heard about it, Clayton said that he was shocked, but not surprised. “President Trump has released racial hatred since he became president and this was predictable as we saw his behavior and that of his supporters at his rallies.”  

“The band of insurgents carried Confederate flags into the U.S. Capitol, Tea Party flags, Trump flags and American flags as they threatened the safety and lives of our elected members of Congress and attacked Capitol Police,” Clayton said. “One of the greatest threats to our democracy today is not from foreign invasion but from domestic terrorism from white supremacists within this country.  Too many in the administration have remained quiet for too long — some have now resigned, though too late.”

Clayton said it is unlikely that Vice President Mike Pence will invoke the 25th amendment, which members of the House across party lines have called for.  And as Clayton predicted, Vice President Mike Pence did not invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump. 

Despite this, President Trump was not let off the hook for the incident on Capitol Hill. As the House moves forward with a second impeachment trial, several media corporations, including Twitter, Facebook, and Google have already suspended or banned Trump from their platforms. “Our democracy is shaken but it will hold,” Clayton said.

This incident will be yet another example of how we continue to fail Black Americans and stifle Black voices. We shouldn’t tolerate this racial bias because it could lead to even more casualties in the future. Don’t accept this incident as yet another American tragedy because of this country’s history in discrimination. 

Use it to make your voice heard against the injustices that prevail.

Photo Courtesy of Tyler Merbler 

The post Storming of the Capitol exposes biases of federal government appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

COVID could have been over by now if we held ourselves accountable Wednesday, Jan 13 2021 

Catherine Brown–

In just a few weeks, it’ll mark the one year anniversary since the WHO declared COVID-19 a global health emergency and only a few months out from being declared a pandemic. If we took collective responsibility to be safe, we probably could’ve ended this months ago.

It’s safe to say that when the pandemic started, nobody had a clue that it would last as long as it has. As we approach the ‘1 year’ mark, maybe we should reflect on what we could’ve done right to prevent this.

First, lack of mask wearing. Unfortunately, wearing masks has become a political hot topic since they were first mandated in public places. 

Patrick Van Kessel and Dennis Quinn, researchers for the Pew Research Center, found that Democrats and Republicans have been divided on masks for different reasons.

For Democrats, the major drawbacks for mask-wearing included the concern that other people were not wearing their masks. 

For Republicans, the concern is that they’re unnecessary and don’t actually work.

Political skepticism alone has created so much of a divide on handling COVID-19.

U of L requires that students wear masks on campus and in public spaces. 

But that also leaves certain areas on campus susceptible to spread coronavirus. Dining areas, the library and housing are all at risk for spreading the virus as students often take their masks off in indoor areas, often within close proximity. 

And it’s no secret by now that there have been parties held near campus resulting in multiple positive cases

Traveling has also been a huge issue. Within the last year there have been several major holidays in which traveling is common, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Many U of L students have taken advantage of the university’s holiday breaks. While the main campus hasn’t been nearly as crowded in the last semester, many students are, in fact, coming back to campus after traveling. We see that after these breaks, there are always spikes in COVID-19 cases that appear on the university’s testing dashboard.

During these breaks, vacation hotspots like Florida or South Carolina were still busy with tourists. 

Those that continue to travel for leisure or other non-business reasons are blatantly disregarding the suggestions of numerous state governors. 

Because of this, the virus has reached so many more people and now we all have to face the consequences by continuing to quarantine, work through online classes and follow strict guidelines in public as well as within the university.

In the meantime, if you plan to return to campus at any point during the semester, particularly after recently after winter break, you need to get a COVID-19 test.

We could’ve slowed the spread of coronavirus months ago if we’d all done our part and enforced the safety precautions like wearing a mask, keeping socially distant and not traveling unless absolutely necessary. If you’ve traveled anywhere with a high volume of COVID-19 cases, please be responsible and do not return to campus until you have quarantined and been tested. 

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

The post COVID could have been over by now if we held ourselves accountable appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Next Page »