RAVE Alerts show administrators lack racial sensitivity Thursday, Sep 24 2020 

By Zachary Baker-

Over the past couple weeks, the University of Louisville’s administration has made several mistakes when it comes to racial sensitivity on campus.

From the conflicting language when it came to the Black Lives Matter protests around campus on Aug 25., to the dangerous and irresponsible vague RAVE alert, the university has been failing its students of color. 

On Sept. 10, a RAVE alert went out at 2:20 a.m. warning students about “A Black Male wearing a red hoodie” on the run from the police and possibly on campus. 

In a time where the danger of a Black student to possibly be killed in a misunderstanding by police is high, it seems downright reckless to send out a vague text early in the morning to a student body that is made up of 11% Black students

There are thousands of Black students on campus at a university where the schools colors are red, black and white. Sending out a text which only includes vague descriptors was either completely ignorant of current events or dangerously negligent of the consequences that could come from doing so. 

This is no new issue from the university, problematic RAVE alerts have been around for a while. 

Student Body President Sabrina Collins commented on the incident and who should be held accountable.

“The Sept. 10 RAVE alert is only the most recent incident in a longer history of problematic RAVE communications that put people of color on our campus at risk,” Collins said. “Having served on Top 4 for multiple years, I know this is not the first time SGA has advocated for substantial change in the way safety concerns are communicated with campus.”

Collins said that the university “must back their words up with anti-racist action if we ever hope to come close to the ideal of a ‘premier metropolitan anti-racist university.'”

“The University is correct that we must do better; however, students must keep pushing our administrators and police department to follow through on that promise,” she said.  

It is painfully obvious to the student body that the university can do better to protect them. The danger is not limited to the student body either. People across Louisville have talked about how it seems better to avoid U of L than risk arrest or injury due to the negligent behavior of the administration. Is that the university we want to be? 

Do we want that same message to go to potential incoming students seeking a better life through higher education? 

Dangerous and reckless behavior by the administration in how it communicates is correctable only by the administration itself. U of L needs to do better in both protecting its students of color and by promoting true change and accountability within the system.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Washing your hands won’t cut it: Get your flu shot Tuesday, Sep 22 2020 

By Catherine Brown —

Around this time last year, The Louisville Cardinal published an article persuading students to get their flu shots. Global health standards have changed since then. It’s time to get your flu shot.

The University of Louisville will provide free flu shots to students, faculty and staff starting Sept. 21 on the Health Science Campus. On Sept. 28, free flu shots will be available on Belknap Campus in SAC W116-117. 

Students might be surprised to hear that the university is not mandating flu shots the way they have with COVID-19 tests. U of L Director of Communications John Karman said flu shots are still highly recommended for students, faculty and staff.

According to the Center for Disease Control, vaccines produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies. The immune system often develops sickness-like symptoms such as a fever after receiving a vaccine, but these symptoms are normal and help the body to develop immunity. After these symptoms disappear, the body will remember how to fight that disease in the future should a patient get infected. Those infected shortly before or after the time of the vaccination might still develop the disease as the body has not had enough time to create these memory cells.

But the coronavirus is not the same as the influenza virus or any strain of it. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are still susceptible to the flu. 

U of L provides free flu and cold self-care kits to students. These kits can be found at Campus Health Medical Services, the Health Promotion office, and at designated flu-shot stations.

Even U of L students agree that you need to get your flu shot.  “Flu shots are necessary to get because it’s best to be protected against the disease so you won’t have a chance of getting the virus,” said Destiny Smith, a pre-nursing student.

This year, Smith said because of COVID-19 it is even more important to get a flu shot.

”Students should get the flu shot again because the symptoms are very similar to COVID,” she said. “Getting a flu shot is something that may help prevent the spread of COVID.”

Doctors aren’t just suggesting flu shots for fun. People often think they won’t catch a disease because of their good hygienic habits or a strong immune system, but these things aren’t always enough to protect you. Bacteria and viral infections are everywhere and we carry more of these in our bodies than we assume.

The CDC estimates that a range of about 12,000 to 79,000 flu-related deaths occur every year. COVID-19 deaths total at nearly 200,000 in the United States.

Since the early stages of the pandemic, immunologist expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed concerns that the fall season will help spread the virus. 

“As we get into the fall and do more indoor things, we’re likely to see upticks in COVID-19,” said Fauci. He also advised wearing masks and social distancing, which can help control the spread of the flu.

Nobody wants to shake hands with you when you’re carrying harmful bacteria. Simple hand washing isn’t going to make the flu virus go away. Wear a mask and stay home when you can. Nobody wants to catch your virus.

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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Students can benefit from longer drop/add periods Tuesday, Sep 15 2020 

By Catherine Brown–

The drop/add period for classes only lasts from the first day of the fall semester to the last weekday of that same week. University of Louisville administration should extend this period for students.

This period is too short for students. With such a short time to get to know classes, it can be difficult to know whether a professor is right for the student’s learning needs. Students also have to determine whether the class is even necessary in the first place.

With only a week to drop or add classes, students might not get a full view into how the class is run and how their professor can help them. If given more time, students can actually meet the professor. This way, they can determine if the professor will be accommodating and understanding of each student’s needs. 

Students would also have the opportunity to understand the workload. Many professors have outlined the class schedule in their syllabus. Students, particularly those in general education courses, can benefit from knowing the expectations for the course and deciding if they should swap out. 

For freshmen, this can help to ease them into the college course load.

With only a week to drop or add classes, it’s impossible to judge the class fairly. For a class that meets twice a week for 50 minutes, the total meeting time in that first week would be less than two hours. A class that costs $500 per credit hours and can impact GPA only meets for less than two hours and we’re supposed to determine whether we want to stay in it. Most professors seem to only review the syllabus during the first week, anyway.

After the first week, U of L refunds 0% of course fees.

Sometimes, the time of the class doesn’t fit with the student’s schedule. It’s not fair to punish students who can’t fit a particular class into their schedule. We’re busy with sports, clubs, jobs, religious groups, and our social lives that we already have to plan into our schedules. 

Sure, we sign up for classes in spring/summer. But we can’t guarantee that the classes we signed up for 5 months prior to the start of the semester are the same ones we’re going to stay in. Some students change or add majors and minors. Many join new on-campus or off-campus groups. Others need fewer credit hours.

For students who have to drop a class after this deadline, U of L assigns them with a ‘W’ meaning the student withdrew from the course.

Having one or two ‘W’s on a transcript doesn’t impact a student’s academic record very much and ‘W’s don’t affect GPA. However, if continuous withdraws pile on, it can look bad to future employers or graduate schools. If U of L were to extend the drop/add period even a week more, students could avoid this problem entirely.

The administration needs to take students into account when considering how to help them transition into the new year.

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

 

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Selecting the Right Hot Tub for Your Home Thursday, Sep 10 2020 

No matter the time of year, people are always looking for fun or relaxing things to do. Outdoor activity isn’t only for summer. One popular activity is enjoying an outdoor spa or hot tub. But some find selecting the right hot tub a difficult process. That’s what this article is meant to help!

Photo of a man exercising in a hot tub

Imagine having a hot tub right in your own back yard? It will certainly enhance your ability to enjoy your outdoor spaces. Invite some friends over! Maybe have a date night just you and your special someone? Spending time in your hot tubs will certainly reduce stress.

If you’ve already made the decision to buy, now you need to do some research. Selecting the right hot tub comes down to finding answers to some specific questions.

Let’s dig it!

General Consideration in a Hot Tub

But with so many different types and brands of hot tubs, where does one begin? Here are some basic questions to ask:

  • How much space do you have?
  • What is your budget?
  • How many people do you want to accommodate?
  • Would you prefer hands-on upkeep or a more automatic solution?

Doing your homework before purchasing is the smart way to go. What follows are things to look for when comparing hot to models.

Photo of a family in their hot tub

Things to Consider When Selecting the Right Hot Tub

These are ten things you want to look for when evaluating different hot tubs. Maybe print this off and bring it with you when visiting the store.

  1. Start with overall size. Will it simply fit two people? Or are you looking for it to handle as many as 8? This will help you narrow the field greatly.
  2. Only consider long-lasting materials. The cheapest models are not going to last, especially if there’s not a covering above the hot tub space.
  3. Check the control panel for ease-of-use. Most today are digital in nature.
  4. Think about installation. Is the spot where you want the hot tub to live easy to access? These are large items we’re talking about. The best value hot tubs almost always come with installation included.
  5. Look for a model with an energy-efficient pump. Buying the system is only part of the financial investment. Your electrical bill has a portion dedicated to running your hot tub.
  6. The number of jets is a large reason for the price. If you can try out several models, go for it.
  7. Ask for warranty information. This is huge! The last thing you want is to go through the entire process only to have the hot tub fail in a couple of months.
  8. A few models come with a waterfall feature to make the experience feel more luxurious.
  9. The lights installed inside or outside of the tub should be LED because they last longer and save you money.
  10. Sometimes a model will tout solar power. Depending on where you live, this might help save some of the cost of running the system.

Even if you spend a little extra on it, it will save you a lot of money in time, especially going on holidays, or paying membership fees to the spas, you can have one in your back yard.

Top Brands to Choose from

Believe it or not, there are a large number of manufactures of these spas. Below are four of the main ones available on the market and from specialist stores and the most popular brands of the lot.

  • Jacuzzi Hot Tubs and Spas
  • Hot Spring Spas and Hot Tubs
  • Sundance Spas
  • Cal Spas
  • ThermoSpas Hot Tubs

Take your time and do the research. Experts say that the best time to purchase a hot tub is around the New Year. This could save you some money!

We hope you’re enjoyed this piece. Please share with someone you know who might be looking to purchase a hot tub in their future.

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Fall is near, it’s time to get into the spirit Tuesday, Sep 8 2020 

By Catherine Brown-

With the leaves on tress beginning to fall and cooler weather on its way, what better way to unwind than by embracing the fall spirit?

We’re a week into September. Already, Halloween decorations are hitting the shelf at Kroger and Walmart. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are out at Starbucks. New horror movies are rolling out on our favorite streaming sites.

Here are just a few of the ways we can enjoy the coming of the new season.

 

Catch up on your favorite horror movies.

Start a movie marathon of classic and new movies with a horror theme. Rotten Tomatoes, a movie-rating website, lists the best horror movies of 2020, from “Feedback” to “Host.”

Love zombie apocalypse movies? Netflix has the 2016 South Korean film “Train to Busan,” a story about a man and his daughter who travel cross-country only to find themselves sharing a train with zombies looking to eat anything that they can detect.

Looking for a classic? Netflix also holds the horror classic “Paranormal Activity,” a movie about a couple who think that their house might hold a demon which encourages them to record their house at night.

If you’re not in the mood for terribly scary movies, go for a lighthearted classic. Catch up on those Halloween movies from childhood, like “Hocus Pocus,” “Halloweentown,” or “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” All of these movies can be found on Disney+. These movies bring lots of nostalgia and make you want to re-watch them!

Put on some seasonal music.

The winter holidays are known for their holiday spirit and festive music. But who says Halloween can’t have some of the fun?

If you’re in need of a fall playlist, again, go with the classics.

Think Michael’s Jackson’s “Thriller,” “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett and “This is Halloween” written by Danny Elfman for the Tim Burton movie “The Nightmare before Christmas.” These are the essentials for any good Halloween playlist. Without these songs, you can’t truly be in the Halloween spirit.

Start decorating.

Put out your jack-o-lanterns and spider webs now, folks!

From front yard tombstones to backyard pumpkin lights, everything you need to decorate your house can be found online. Try playing with fall colors and cover your house in orange and purple lights. Use a ghost or tombstone lawn stake–assuming you have a front yard, of course. This will give your house a playful look to it.

Or, stick to a theme. Create a ghostly graveyard effect with tombstones and cobwebs hanging everywhere. Use minimal lighting to come across as more haunting. You can easily turn your house into a haunted house with the right type of lighting and decorations.

Pick up a Halloween mask.

With the Halloween season on the rise, in addition to the pandemic, masks are necessary for celebrating the holiday this year. Some costume shops are already preparing for this.

If you want a cute Halloween design, shop for face masks that have candy corn patterns or tiny spiders. You’ll promote being healthy during the pandemic while also being spooky for the season, a double-win.

Buy your own Hannibal Lector or Jason mask to really catch others’ attention and provide an appropriate scare this Halloween. This way, you can be smart and safe while also showing off your horror side!

Dress for the season.

Does anybody else have a favorite sweater or fall T-shirt?

When the season rolls around, it’s the perfect time to break out the leggings and sweaters. A cozy scarf and a nice pair of boots go perfectly together. Also, turtlenecks are in! 

Unfortunately, while you might have to start packing away those athletic shorts and tank tops, you can still dress for the weather in style. Layer up to add drama to your outfit, or keep it simple and to-the-point. 

Whatever look you choose, be sure to fit it in with the colors of the season and go for some warmer colors, like orange or dark red. You’ll be sure to match the leaves!

 

The post Fall is near, it’s time to get into the spirit appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

U of L has double standards when it comes to protests Thursday, Sep 3 2020 

By Zachary Baker–

This year has been a chaotic year for many of us, but especially so for the African American community. With the many killings of unarmed people by the police, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has been in the national spotlight. Louisville has seen months of protests demanding justice for the killing of Louisville resident Breonna Taylor by the Louisville Metro Police Department. 

One of the protests, held right by Cardinal Stadium on Aug. 25, had an interesting response from the U of L administration which seemed almost hypocritical to their statements of support for the movement. 

When the group of protesters formed sometime after 3 p.m., several emails went out through the university’s RAVE system—normally used to alert students to robberies or other dangers on campus. 

The university sent the emails to alert students to the protests forming. They recommended students and faculty avoid the area. 

“University leadership has been monitoring the news surrounding potential upcoming protests in our city, including a planned demonstration today at 2 p.m.,” President Bendapudi wrote in an email to students Aug. 25.

The emails that followed were to ensure that students were aware of law enforcement presence in the area and that arrests were made—though the protest remained peaceful. The emails came in one after another so that students were frequently updated. There were a total of 4 emails. 

While this may not seem like too much of an issue, it is a strange position to take. They’re telling students to “avoid the area” of a protest against police violence while also defending the position of the protestors. 

But let’s compare this protest to the primarily-white gun march on campus in 2017. The gun march saw students carrying semi-automatic rifles around campus in the wake of several mass shootings across the campus and even the deaths of students around campus from gun violence. 

The university’s approach was to keep young children inside. But they did not warn the campus of any dangers around the event despite the involvement of weapons.

In fact, the campus did not limit the protests too much. Matthew Glowicki, a writer for The Courier-Journal, wrote that people drove by honking or showing support for the march.

Shelby Brown, former Louisville Cardinal Editor-in-Chief said that students were concerned by the march, with several people believing the march was to intimidate students on campus and to show a sense of dominance with the weapons. 

Despite the gun march’s involvement of active weapons and close proximity to campus, it was treated similarly to how we allow religious groups on campus to operate. Compare that reaction to how the university treated the BLM protest by Cardinal Stadium. The university treated it as if it was a danger to students and required immediate police intervention. 

We can’t be sure that this difference is due to the racial differences or the change in the administration since then. But the difference between the public language of the university when promoting racial justice and their language when alerting students to racial protests on campus is concerning.

We can hope that the university considers how the differences in their language affects how the student body trusts them and their actions.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Good intentions lead to reckless results Tuesday, Sep 1 2020 


 By Zachary Baker–

The number of COVID-19 cases in the city of Louisville has been fluctuating in the recent weeks. With schools going back in session, including those that meet in-person, we’re likely to see an increase in cases.

With higher possibilities of an outbreak starting on campus, the student body is looking to the U of L administration for guidance. Instead of proper guidance, the university is changing their policies without warning. This may cause the predicted viral outbreak. 

Before classes began, the administration’s response to the Student Government Association’s letter stated their desire to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal recommendation by not requiring mass testing. 

“We have a robust plan for testing and tracing, and we are urging everyone to get tested. But the CDC specifically states that mandatory testing is not advisable, and multiple lines of evidence demonstrate receiving a negative test encourages risky behavior and has been the direct cause of many outbreaks,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Boehm in a letter to the SGA.

That is a stark difference from an email sent on Aug. 23 that stated within the coming week that testing will be required for all students and faculty. 

This move by the university seems to be with good intentions to protect the student body. But despite efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, their choice of actions may cause a viral outbreak on campus. 

It is important to understand why the federal guidelines said to not require testing: it would encourage negative behaviors within the student body. A group of people who did not want to be tested may receive a negative test and likely decide it is not dangerous to have a party or something similar. 

All it takes is one false negative or someone not yet tested to interact with that group and then you will have people with a “negative test” spreading COVID-19 to many others with negative tests. 

While testing can make us safer, the people most likely to be tested are the ones who wish to also self-isolate afterward. Those who do not want to be tested are likely to not follow the recommended guidelines set forth by the administration. 

Testing has been provided by the university within the first week and the administration has been posting a weekly COVID-19 positive test counter on the U of L website. Until Aug. 25, the counter only listed 53 positive cases.

There are many on-campus who wish to keep themselves and others safe by getting tested, but the university has not been very open about the processes. The positive test counter is not being updated frequently enough to promote confidence in the student body, and the contradictory language by the administration has caused unneeded stress instead. 

“A daily tracker would be invaluable to students who are deciding daily whether it’s safe to go to class in person,” tweeted senior engineering major Emily Walter on Aug. 22.

“We’re still only getting weekly updates, and that’s frankly unacceptable. While I’m thankful our cause count only rose to 90 in the last eight days, it could have been so much worse.”

She added that while she believes U of L is handling safe classroom procedures, they are failing in informing students.

Junior Kirandeep Kaur said that she took a COVID-19 test on Aug. 21, got the results Aug. 22, then was told on Aug. 23 that the mandatory testing protocol would require her to get tested again within the next week.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that the poor communication and the risks proposed by students going out after negative testing are worth it if the testing makes us safer. The issue is that the administration’s sudden change in policy has led to a dangerous testing area set up without realistic prep time. 

Today, students went to receive tests at the Student Activity Center testing area. In that one room, there were dozens of students in non-socially distanced space. If at least one is positive then they risk causing an outbreak at the testing sites.

Three weeks ago, we started classes with the expectation the administration is following CDC guidelines to protect us.

As the weeks went on, many students grew concerned with a lack of updates on positive test results. 

Now, despite any good intentions by the administration, the student body is likely more at risk by these changes. We can only hope that this sudden change will not be the cause of a viral outbreak on campus.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Mental health tips to stay healthy during COVID-19 Tuesday, Aug 25 2020 

By Catherine Brown–

It is often easier to worry about the physical precautions that we should take during the pandemic. Washing your hands, wearing a mask and social distancing in public are clear ways to care for yourself and others. But when it comes to mental health, it might not be as easy to spot the concerns.

As college students, many of us already probably struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Adding on a global pandemic certainly doesn’t make it any better.

Here are some tips for taking care of yourself during a stressful global pandemic:

 

Watch for signs of mental distress.

The CDC suggests ways in which you can identify signs of distress. Some of these signs can include fear or worry about your financial situation, or your or someone else’s health, changes in sleeping patterns and difficulty concentrating. 

Seek professional help if you or a loved one are experiencing any of these signs and they persist for several days leaving you unable to perform your normal responsibilities. The University of Louisville’s Counseling Center is available by phone at 502-852-6585 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Refrain from reading the news too much.

Syndicated news channels spin the news in their favor. Stories about tragedies related to the virus can incite panic and negative emotions. The CDC recommends taking healthy breaks from social media and television reports about the pandemic. 

When you do use social media, be sure to verify your news sources.

Local governments will usually have the most up-to-date information. Don’t read too heavily into the information you see posted on social media. Anyone can post false information on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Don’t fall into the traps of clickbait news. By carefully choosing your sources of news, you can prevent stumbling upon false information that could cause worry.

 

Take time to enjoy activities while socially distancing.

Practice hobbies that can keep you socially distanced, but can still be done with friends. Some hobbies can include reading, writing, drawing or even coding.

U of L Counseling Center Director Aesha Uqdah gave students tips for coping with the pandemic, such as being creative at this time. 

“Engaging in creative activities can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Creating some sort of art or writing can help you process your emotions in a productive way. It can also produce calming effects on your brain and in the body,” Uqdah said.

The Counseling Center is hosting virtual group art therapy sessions on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. starting Sept. 18. 

On Aug. 25, U of L is hosting a virtual RSO Fair for students to become involved in their Louisville community. This is an opportunity for students to look for activities that can let them separate from classwork.

 

Keep in touch with friends and family.

Take time to text, call or video chat your friends and family. Touch base with the people you care most about and let them know that you are alright. This could relieve worries for those of us who become preoccupied with the wellbeing of loved ones.

Take care of yourself physically too.

If you aren’t taking care of yourself physically, chances are your mental health will be affected. Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and keep up a regular sleep schedule. 

U of L’s Belknap campus has plenty of walking trails. With approximately 274 acres of land, the downtown campus is perfect for students looking to get some exercise into their day. Even walking from campus housing and between buildings can improve physical health. Improving physical health will improve mental health.

Make sure you put your health first. It might seem more worthy of your energy to worry about others. However, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t put in your full effort to take care of those around you.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Five months later, social distancing still applies Tuesday, Aug 18 2020 

By Grace Welsh–

There’s no debating that the last five months of our lives have been full of uncertainty and confusion. We are living through events that no one alive has experienced before.

With the start of a new school year and students returning to campus, the temptation to socialize in big groups is strong. However, it is imperative that we limit these gatherings for the sake of our community. 

Earlier this month, an off-campus party was linked to 29 cases of COVID-19 in U of L athletes. Officials in the department have suspended workouts for men and women’s soccer, field hockey, and volleyball for the next week. They have also dismissed the three men’s soccer members that were responsible for organizing the party.

In a press release last Tuesday, U of L’s Athletic Director Vince Tyra said he was disappointed by the athletes actions. 

“It is clear that these student-athletes did not meet the code of conduct of the university or their team,” Tyra said. “Ignoring the safety protocols issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department, is unacceptable and dangerous. Their history of actions are not in alignment with the values of this university and athletics department.” 

A majority of the 29 cases were asymptomatic, but the virus is not something to be messed with. 

The CDC reports that older individuals and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for long-term respiratory, cardiovascular and kidney damage from the virus. So, while you may be fine if you contract the virus, others may not be. 

“Time and time again, it’s shown that transmission is ongoing before we have a grasp of the numbers,” said Erin Welsh, a candidate in disease ecology and host of This Podcast Will Kill You. “This is due to slow testing, transmission before symptoms, and the high numbers of asymptomatic individuals.” 

Because of the high rate of asymptomatic cases, it is impossible to tell who is infected and who is not without a test. Therefore, it is best to keep the parties to an absolute minimum. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear highly encourages gatherings of no more than 10 people. 

A party with just one or two infected individuals can be deadly when the newly infected people go out in the community.

We don’t know how long it will take for things to return back to normal. Until then, it’s important that we do our part to exercise necessary health precautions. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask in public and stay at least six feet apart from others. 

We are all in this together.

Let’s all put in the effort to stay home so we can protect our community and slow the spread. While it is definitely tempting to socialize with everyone you missed over quarantine, that doesn’t mean the virus isn’t still a prevalent part of our lives.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Students are a light to follow in the pursuit for racial and social justice Friday, Jun 5 2020 

By Brandon Cooper–

As University of Louisville administration addresses the racial and social justice issues making headlines, it is critical that they do not forget their greatest resource: students. The administration should focus energy on giving the power to mend injustices to those already in the streets protesting for such.

Student Government Association President Sabrina Collins said “the path forward has to come from students.”

“Our generation has the solutions, it is now up to U of L and universities across the nation to really listen,” Collins said.

As the university moves forward, they must base their actions off of those that are organized, focused and led by students. U of L professor Jason Gainous spoke passionately about the need to emphasize students during conversations relating to racial and social justice issues.

“Our students are the future of our community,” Gainous said. He has attended local protests with his 14-year-old daughter – who was pepper-sprayed and shot at with rubber bullets by police. He said he has seen first-hand the kind of passion and energy young people have and has faith in their ability to lead us through this pursuit for equality.

As a professor of digital politics, Gainous encourages students to continue using social media and other online platforms to organize, seek assistance and share their stories.

Gainous described university actions as a ‘balancing act’ – given the university’s extensive community ties that could be hindered by abrupt action that is not given extensive thought and planning.

At the onset of protests in Louisville over a week ago, actions and voices were faint from the U of L’s administration.

In recent days, Dr. Bendapudi has joined other administrators from the community to speak out against racial injustices. In addition to the administration’s recent statements and public appearances in the community, U of L Health has just announced a nursing scholarship fund in honor of Breonna Taylor. Though both great starting points, real action, policies and innovation must be implemented to enhance equality at the University of Louisville.

Bendapudi’s commitment to a student-centered ‘revolution’ starting right here at U of L is very apparent in her rather consistent communication with university stakeholders. The intricacies of university actions concerning social justice issues further highlight the need for extraordinary student engagement and leadership. When the future leaders of our community and nation speak, it is the responsibility of those currently in such positions to listen and act.

Anthony Taylor, a senior communications major, said he wants to see U of L become much more proactive about social justice going forward, rather than consistently reactive. Taylor believes that U of L has the resources to be on the frontlines of prominent social justice issues that directly impact our communities.

Hanah Jo Thurmond, a recent U of L graduate and attendee of local Black Lives Matter protests, said that the university should reinforce and expand the platforms for people of color to speak out on campus.

How will we, as a Cardinal family, respond to the impacts of these long-endured inequalities?

A critical step moving forward for the university is the implementation of required courses about white privilege and racial diversity for both students and faculty. Such courses could easily be added to the Cardinal Core requirements or implemented as curriculum in the Cardinal Orientation program. For employees, such courses should be added to the current employee orientation practices for all staff and faculty.

We should acknowledge the progress we’ve made thus far while continuing to call for action to implement the changes needed for racial equality and social justice.

U of L’s strength as a research and higher education institute lies in our diversity. With a spotlight on our students, U of L can be a national leader for higher education institutes to follow when addressing issues of inequality.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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