U of L United Nations Association recognized for mock diplomatic efforts Wednesday, Dec 1 2021 

By Tate Luckey —

The U of L chapter of the United National Association travels regionally to participate in model sessions, often bringing home lots of award hardware. The club is sponsored by political science professor Tricia Gray.

The chapter, both U of L’s and Louisville Metro’s, works together toward the common goals of inspiring, motivating and sharing the mission of the United Nations. This is done through in-person events, ranging from Model UN conferences to speakers for UN Days and leadership training for students.

The chapter president is sophomore political science major Alex Reynolds. He said the U of L chapter is more student-advocacy focused.  “Our club for right now seems more Model UN [based], but we’re going to start transitioning to more advocacy stuff, and even a model EU. It’s kind of in limbo right now.”

The Louisville Metro Chapter is primarily more service, education and leadership-focused. An event Gray described included the U of L chapter partnering with UNA Women to plan for International Women’s Day and Women’s Her-story Month in March.

Will VanHandorf, Luke Threlfall, Tristan Black, and Luka Johnson all showing their awards at the 42nd UIndy ICIP.

The main draw for most students is playing the role of certain countries and advocating for those issues. The group recently returned from the 42nd International Consortium of International Studies hosted at the University of Indianapolis, where they represented Vietnam, Tunisia, India and France. Louisville placed first and also won plenty of awards. Tristan Black won Best Delegate (Council 3), Luke Threlfall won Second Best Delegate and Best Diplomat (Council 2), Will VanHandorf won Best Diplomat (Council 3) and Luka Johnson won Best in Character (Council 1.)

“The Model United Nations conferences are fantastic! I have so many anecdotes, like the woman who came rushing over to me afterward to say that we HAVE to do the national level!” Gray said, stressing it as a bonding experience that gives students a taste of real diplomacy and the difficulty achieving it.

You’d be hard-pressed to find any student in the club who doesn’t have a broad interest in foreign policy; of the six students on the officer board, five are political science majors and all plan on entering the legislative world.  “I think you can just be creative with it. There’s an endless amount of issues you can find and try and solve and take different perspectives on. It’s not one narrow area, you can go from local to international; I think that’s kinda what drew me to get involved in the UN,” Reynolds said.

Fun fact: two students from U of L’s first and second Model UN teams are both now working in the U.S. Foreign Service.

If you’d like to find out more, you can do so here on their Instagram page and here at Engage.

File Photos // @uofluna on Instagram // 

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Is College Still Worth It? Friday, Oct 22 2021 

By Jacob Maslow–Branded Content

There’s no doubt that the world has changed drastically in the past couple of years. We’ve changed how we socialize, how we shop, and how we work. But what about school? In an age where the future seems hazy, it can be hard to know whether college is still worth the effort. The answer? Yes, it is. Getting a college degree gives you the tools to navigate an uncertain world — plus so much more. Here are the top five reasons to go to school.

Still Financially Possible

These days, there are more ways than ever before to afford college tuition. One of the better options is to have your parents take out a Private Parent Loan. With this option, your parents will work with a private lender to settle on an amount that can help cover your tuition. This can ease the financial burden while you focus on your studies. Keep in mind that you must be enrolled in school full time. Private lenders also have greater flexibility compared to governmental lenders, so you and your parents both can rest assured that you will have many, many repayment options down the line.

Gives You Unprecedented Opportunities

While some may see going to school now as scary, right now is one of the most rewarding times to get a college education. Researchers worldwide are studying new trends and insights as they occur, and you can learn straight from the source. Gaining this insight can change how you see the world, too. In addition, these insights can further help you during job interviews and training.

Best Way to Learn New Skills

As the world changes, so do the skills needed for new jobs. Many people will be at a disadvantage by not having the education that you will. Learning the right skills will give you a competitive advantage when you apply to work and can lead to a job with a better salary. And you can go for an advanced degree in the future to increase your earnings further.

Provides You with Security

While the world may look like it’s getting better, there’s always the possibility that things could get worse. The world could see another wave of job losses that can affect graduates and non-graduates alike. But, since you’ll have a college degree, you’re armed with a better chance of securing another job. You can also adapt the skills you learn to online jobs and not just physical jobs.

It’s Fun

Yes, college does look different compared to just a few years back. But the college environment is still fun and exciting. As many campuses resume normal operations, so do get-togethers, events, and club outings. You can revisit fun things you thought you were too old to do and experience them in a new light. It’s a better time than ever to meet new people and bond over your shared experience. You can continue to gain new perspectives and grow as an individual. In the end, that’s one of the most rewarding aspects of the college experience.

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Maslow//Cosmic Press

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A&S freezes spending amid $1.6 million budget shortfall Sunday, Mar 14 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Owen announced to A&S faculty on March 9 that a temporary spending freeze would take effect from now until June 30. This decision comes after A&S reported a budget shortfall of more than $1.6 million for the current fiscal year due to low enrollment this year.

“Enrollments in A&S fell below budgeted targets in the fall and spring semesters, and we are now projecting a revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year of $1,684,991, while expenditures are trending as budgeted,” Owen said in the email announcement. “I ask for your help to close this gap between revenues and expenditures.”

He went on to say that this shortfall can be addressed by increasing revenues through higher enrollment in late-start spring semester classes and summer classes, as well as by reducing expenditures through general funds spending freeze.

When The Cardinal reached out to Owen for comment he said this spending freeze will only affect non-essential expenditures.

“The spending freeze will not affect students or impact our academic mission. Its purpose is to reduce spending on expenses that are not immediately essential to our academic and research missions and that can be held off until next year,” Owen said.

Owen also said that the spending freeze was only one piece of the plan to address the budget shortfall, “We are striving to increase enrollments by offering more late-start spring courses than in the past and offering a wide-range of summer courses. We had previously set aside a portion of the budget for possible revenue shortfalls, and those funds will be used. Lastly, we will apply some of the funds carried over from last year to close this budget deficit.”

The underlying cause of this decrease in enrollment that led to the shortfall is not certain at this time but Owen attributes many of the problems to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The budget shortfall is due to lower than expected enrollments in A&S, which I expect has multiple causes. Part of this is due to some students choosing to step away from their studies because of the many additional financial, personal, and emotional stresses created by the pandemic, and some may be because some students prefer in-person learning,” Owen said.

In the email, Owen laid out specific guidelines for what expenses the spending freeze would affect:

  • This applies only to general fund accounts.
  • Recurring expenses, expenses already incurred and all invoices received will need to be paid.
  • Does not impact current faculty tenure-line or term searches. Requests for staff hires will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • This will not affect any spending from research grants, RIF accounts and start-up funds.
  • This will not affect spending from endowments and current use gift accounts.
  • For all other general fund expenses, you should work with your UBM-I to request pre-approval.

Owen believes that this spending freeze can help the department address the financial problems it’s facing while still maintaining its academic mission.

“A&S faculty have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible online learning experiences possible during this past year,” Owen said. “Arts & Sciences degrees provide an exceptional value in the 21st century. By learning how to learn, A&S graduates are well-prepared for highly dynamic and unpredictable career paths, and A&S graduates have the knowledge and skills to tackle many of the challenges our communities face.”

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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