#25 Louisville Looks to Stay Hot Heading into Governor’s Cup Thursday, Nov 24 2022 

By Jason Krell

Less than two months ago, there was doubt surrounding the Louisville football team wondering if head coach Scott Satterfield was still the right guy to lead this team. A 34-33 loss to Boston College didn’t give fans a whole lot of hope that the season could be turned around. With their backs against the wall, the Cards rallied to win 5 of their next 6 games with their only loss coming to #12 Clemson on the road who currently has the nation’s longest home winning streak.

Two of their five wins since the Boston College loss were against ranked opponents; #10 Wake Forest and #24 N.C. State. The Cards’ defense has been nothing short of resilient since their wake-up call. Senior Yasir Abdullah has been the heart and soul of this defense and will likely be a contender for ACC defensive player of the year.

A Showdown in Lexington

The Cardinals now prep for their most anticipated matchup of the season as they travel down I-64 to Lexington to face the Kentucky Wildcats. Since the bye week, the Cats are just 1-3 with their one win being against Missouri. With recent losses to Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Georgia, it is still unsure how they’ll respond given the recent struggles of starting quarterback Will Levis.

The Cardinals open as a 3-point underdog to the unranked Wildcats (which, if this game were played at Cardinal Stadium, I’m sure the numbers would be flipped). Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham aims to return to action this week and snap their 3-game losing streak to Kentucky and solidify themselves as the superior team in the state. A year ago, the Cardinals suffered a brutal loss on their own field to the Wildcats 52-21. Now, with one of the premier defenses in the ACC, the Cards look to keep their momentum going into this game.

Lots on the Line

The biggest key to the game will be Louisville keeping their composure and not getting themselves too worked up, as we saw last year. “I think anytime you get overly emotional in a situation like this, it takes away from the play. We have to worry about us, we have to worry about our guys and play for the ones beside you,” Head Coach Scott Satterfield said in his weekly press conference.

This will be one of the most anticipated rivalry matchups of the year as both teams have lots to prove. For Kentucky, the belief that Will Levis is still worth a top 10 NFL draft pick and the Wildcats are deserving of a spot in the discussion as one of the premier SEC teams. For the Cards- to show the nation that Scott Satterfield has what it takes to be in the upper echelon of coaches in college football and that they’re deserving of a top-tier bowl game.

The annual Governor’s Cup matchup will take place on Saturday, November 26th at 3:30 pm on the SEC Network.

Photo Courtesy // Taris Smith, Louisville Athletics //

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Louisville defense dominates both Demon Deacons and JMU Dukes to secure bowl berth Tuesday, Nov 8 2022 

By Spencer Laws

In what now accounts for a 4-game win streak, the Louisville Cardinals rolled past not only previously No. 10 Wake Forest in a 48-21 win, but now the James Madison Dukes 34-10. Currently sitting at 6-3 for the first time since 2014, this means that Louisville has now secured a bowl game berth with three games left in the season. 

Down Goes Wake…

The third-quarter performance by the Cards on both sides of the ball is something that caught the eyes of a lot of people. 

The Demon Deacons were outscored 35-0 in part due to the defense forcing six turnovers in that quarter alone. Two of those turnovers were returned interceptions by Quincy Riley and Kei’Trel Clark. This is the second week in a row Clark has had a defensive score, making it the first time a Louisville player has had back-to-back defensive scores since A.J. Jacobs in 1974. 

Such a dominating display showed the nation the potential this team has when both sides of the ball come to play. 

The Cards finished with 410 total yards- 211 rushing, and 199 passing. Surprisingly, Wake Forest only finished with eight fewer total yards of offense.

Quarterback Malik Cunningham again used his running ability to add two more touchdowns on the ground. 

Head coach Scott Satterfield and company picked up their first-ranked win, and a big one at that. This is also the first time in the Satterfield era the Cards have won three consecutive ACC games. 

And Down Go the Dukes!

Many considered this game to be a fabled “trap game”, especially coming off the top 10 upset the week prior. At one point this season, the Dukes were 5-0 and ranked in the top 25 nationally.

The Cardinal defense (once again) allowed only 10 points throughout the game, producing (once again) another stellar performance. The team is among the top 10 in the country in sacks, tackles for loss, red zone defense, and interceptions. Additionally, the Cardinals rank among the top 20 scoring defenses.

This is the second game since Pittsburgh this year that quarterback Malik Cunningham has thrown for multiple touchdowns in a single game.

Cunningham connected with tight end Isaac Martin in the first half, then found two of his favorite receivers in junior Tyler Hudson and sophomore Ahmari Huggins-Bruce in the second half for scores.

With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Cunningham began scrambling and picking up yards only to be pulled out of bounds after an altercation broke out as the play ended. He and JMU linebacker Taurus Jones picked up offsetting personal foul penalties. It seems that Cunningham hurt his hand as a result of the play, too.

In a November 8th press conference, Satterfield said “Malik did ding his hand, his non-throwing hand but he’s fine. He’ll be out there practicing this week, and will be out there today.”

The coaching staff is adamant that Cunningham will play Saturday against Clemson.

What Comes Next

Currently, CBS projects Louisville to face Oregon State in the Sun Bowl on Dec 30th. This is the team’s best record through nine games since an 8-1 start in 2016.

The Cardinals face ACC powerhouse Clemson away this Saturday at 3:30 P.M, who slid from 5 to 12 in the week 9 AP Poll. Could Satterfield and crew pick up another ranked win? 

File Photo //Jamie Rhodes – USA TODAY Sports //

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Post Panther pummel, Louisville defense desires to down Demon Deacons Wednesday, Oct 26 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Head coach Scott Satterfield clearly meant it when he said in a previous press conference he would be paying special attention to the defense, as it was the shining star in Louisville football’s 24-10 win against Pittsburgh. The Cardinals pulled off a must-needed win, furthering their chance at a post-season bowl game.

A huge credit towards Saturday’s win includes the Card’s battle for turnovers. The defense had four takeaways compared to Pitt’s one, allowing just 10 points on 32 minutes of possession.

The offense, however, seemed very stagnant at times- only being able to muster up one touchdown in the first half, and compiling a season-low of 312 yards of total offense. 

Senior linebacker Yasir Abdullah had the performance of the game, tallying seven tackles, two tackles for a loss, an interception, and a sack that resulted in a scoop and score. 

It should surprise no one that Abdullah snagged All-ACC Linebacker of the Week honors, too. 

A Dual Threat School?

Something we saw Saturday that we haven’t seen before is somewhat of a revolving door at the quarterback position – second-string Brock Domann logged playing time in three different quarters Saturday.

Head coach Scott Satterfield was questioned about the quarterback situation going forward in his press conference Tuesday, October 25th, saying “I anticipate both guys probably playing throughout the rest of the season. Last week, they both did a great job in practice of getting ready to play mentally, that’s the biggest key, and I think that will happen again this week.”

Not a terrible thing to have two quarterbacks ready for all the game situations we head into more significant games.

Dissecting the Demon Deacons

The Cards are set back at home Saturday, October 30th against No. 10 Wake Forest. 

The Demon Deacons have only lost one game this season- a close overtime loss to Clemson. This is another huge opportunity for head coach Scott Satterfield to show he can keep up with the most efficient offense in the nation.

The Cards have always played the Demon Deacons tightly ever since joining the ACC (they’re currently up all-time 6-3). Card Nation needs to come out and be loud and create a hostile environment for Deacons to play in.

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Cards Can’t Close at BC, 34-33 Wednesday, Oct 5 2022 

By Spencer Laws

One Point Short

This past Saturday, October 1st, Louisville lost what many would consider another easy ACC win. The Cards came into the game 14-point favorites, yet choked one away 34-33.

The loss was a combined effort by the whole team. The defense was lit up in the passing game, giving up 304 yards and three touchdowns in the air. Boston College receiver Zay Flowers recorded five catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, receiving ACC Receiver of the Week awards for his performance. 

Cunningham added to his already impressive rushing touchdowns total by adding three more against BC. His passing game still somewhat struggled, as he put up 19-28 completions with only 186 yards and a touchdown. Cunningham took a big hit midway through the 4th quarter, so junior Brock Domann came to close out the game. He is considered day-to-day.

A special teams miscue came back to bite the Cards as kicker James Turner had an extra point blocked in the second quarter. That kick would be the difference maker in overtime.

What Comes Next

With this result, it feels like the point of no return for Satterfield and the company. Many are up conflicted in the fan community about his coaching staff and play- some are already calling for his firing. One Twitter account even replies to U of L related posts “#BringBrohmHome

However, what good would it do to fire Satterfield mid-way through this season? With the outstanding recruiting class of ‘23 set to hit campus in the spring, how many of those recruits would de-commit with Satterfield’s exit? 

When Heird took the Job last December he came out and stated that he as AD wouldn’t settle for mediocrityCard Nation has their hands up right now as their football team continues to lose games week in and week out. Louisville now has 4 consecutive losses versus Power 5 teams, leaving us among the bottom 5

Meanwhile, you would assume to see some changes from Satterfield in the coming weeks as he attempts to save his job. In an October 4th press conference Satterfield stated that he’s “Got to spend more time helping all the facets of the game, particularly defensively and on special teams.” As for why? “Losing games.”

The Cards are back in action this Saturday, October 8th traveling to Virginia to face off with UVA at noon, on the ACC network.

Photo Courtesy // Taris Smith, Louisville Athletics – GoCards.com //

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September Fall Sports Overview Wednesday, Oct 5 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Volleyball 

Halfway through the regular season, the team is ranked #2 in the country. Coach Busboom Kelly and the team are very much favorites for the regular season title. The team picked up right where it let off following last year’s final four run.

In the month the girls put together a very impressive 8-1 record and produced 4 ranked wins in the process, including a nationally televised, gritty win in Lexington against #13 UK.

The ACC is very much in the hands of the Cardinals, who haven’t dropped a conference game yet.

Men’s Soccer

Louisville men’s soccer had a really good month, as they finished September with a record of 4-2-2, ranking as high as 10th ranked nationally. The team scored a very quality 2-1 win against #8 Pittsburgh at home on Sept. 23rd. The two losses of the month came from two very quality squads, #5 Kentucky and #7 Duke. 

They next take a trip to South Bend, Indiana to face off with ACC foe Notre Dame. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier from there as Syracuse and Clemson take a visit later in the month. They finish off their regular season schedule with ACC Atlantic rival Wake Forest, who holds the top spot in the division currently. 

The team is in a very good spot with a 2-1-1 conference record and third in the Atlantic division. If the team can put some conference results together they will have a shot at an ACC title. 

The men’s soccer team celebrates a win at home.

Women’s Soccer

Women’s soccer faced a very tough schedule in the latter half of September, facing back-to-back top ten ranked ACC opponents. However, at the beginning of the month, the girls pulled out a big result, taking a 3-2 win over #23 ranked Memphis on neutral ground. 

They followed up this result with back-to-back ties, 0-0 against James Madison and Indiana University. On Sept. 17th the team won their ACC opener against Miami at home, recording a shutout on the way to a 1-0 win. 

The team has some work to do after dropping three ACC games in a row. On Oct. 6th Clemson travels to town; both teams need a crucial win to get back on track in ACC play. 

Games left in their schedule include Boston College and Notre Dame at home, and then two road matchups in North Carolina against Duke and NC State. UNC comes to Louisville to close out the regular season.  

The women’s soccer team gets ready for their match.

Field Hockey 

Throwing up an overall record of 9-2 (6-2 record during the month of September), the field hockey team is another team that is putting up a very impressive national campaign. The 2 losses include both of their ACC games, giving them a big hill to climb with the end of the regular season quickly approaching. 

Nevertheless, the squad pulled out great wins against #4th Michigan and #13th Princeton. The team travels next to Winston-Salem to try and get their conference play record back on track with a win.

Other games in their schedule include Liberty University, Duke, and Ball State, followed up with a trip to New York to face off with Syracuse and Cornell. They close out their regular season with Boston College at home. 

The field hockey huddles together before a game.

Cross Country 

The Cross Country team has competed in two meets during the month of September, including the Covered Bridge Open in Boone North Carolina, where the men’s team finished 3rd, and the women’s team finished 6th. 

On September 17th the teams traveled up to Terre Haute, Indiana to run. The men finished 5th and the women finished 8th. 

The teams hosted a meet this past Saturday, October 1st at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park. This is where the NCAA Regional will take place at the end of the month. On October 14th the team will travel to Peoria, Illinois to compete in the Bradley Pink Classic, prepping before the ACC championship on October 28th in Charlottesville.

The men’s Cross Country team prepares for a meet.

Photo Courtesy // GoCards.com //

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Previewing the 2022 Soccer Seasons Wednesday, Aug 31 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Ferguson-Dayes Enters 23rd season, Looking for Energy Boost from Newcomers

With the women’s soccer team finishing 2021 with a 7-7-2 regular season and a 3-6-1 conference record, Karen Ferguson-Dayes looks to bring in lots of experience with her players in the 2022 season.

Ferguson-Dayes and her staff have brought in 15 new players to the program this year. The leadership roles will be heavily pressed on graduate students Sarah Hernandez and Massie Whitsett.

Hernandez comes into the season with 67 games started and seven goals scored during her career here at Louisville as a defender. As a midfielder, Whitsett comes into the season with 59 games started and 15 goals during her career. 

The Cards are up for a challenge, as they face one of the tougher schedules in the country; eight out of their sixteen regular season opponents come into the season already ranked. 

Despite the challenge, Louisville is off to a respectable start this season, as they have found themselves with a 2-1 record three games in. They opened the season with a commanding 3-0 home win against the University of Chicago, Illinois. After taking a tough 2-1 loss to Xavier University, the Cards rebounded back with a strong defensive performance on the road against Northern Kentucky, holding them to a shutout  1-0 win. 

The Cardinals travel to Harrisonburg, VA on Thursday, Sept. 1st to square off with the University of Memphis at 7:00 p.m. EST. They will then follow that match up by playing James Madison University this Sunday, Sept. 4th at 1:00 p.m. EST. The James Madison game with be streamed on ESPN+. 

 

The women’s soccer team huddles before a match. 

 

9 Starters Return to Key Up a Postseason Run 

After capturing the Atlantic Division title and finishing the year with a record of 10-7-1, head coach John Michael Hayden tees off his fourth season this year as the men’s soccer head coach. 

The team returns nine starters from last year, including All-ACC forward Aboubcar Camara. Camara, who clocked in 19 goals and three assists in his career so far, was a big contributor to one of the best scoring offensives in the country last year, helping Cards average over two goals a game last year. 

He, along with rest of the returning players, are back likely with a chip on their shoulder due to their heartbreaking end last season. After losing 0-3 to Notre Dame’s penalty kicks in the ACC Championship, they then fell out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Bowling Green State in an 0-1 loss.  

In contrast, the Cards have opened this season with an impressive 3-1 win at home against a No. 10 Saint Louis, followed up with a 3-0 win over cross town opponent Bellarmine to improve to 2-0 on the season. 

The Cardinals will host Seattle University on Friday, Sept. 2nd at 7:30 p.m. EST on the ACC Network. They then follow up by taking a trip down the road to Lexington on Tuesday, Sept. 6th at 7:30 p.m. EST to face off with in-state rival Kentucky, on the SEC Network. 

The men’s soccer team in a huddle.

 

File Photo // GoCards.com //

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Louisville Football looks to ride recruiting momentum into season Sunday, Aug 28 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Louisville football comes into this season riding quite a bit of momentum from the offseason recruiting cycle. However, head coach Scott Satterfield and company have some work to do before the season gets into full swing. Last season the Cards finished with a losing record of 6-7. They lost their final two games. 

First up on Offense

Redshirt Senior Malik Cunningham is back. A lot of analysts have Cunningham as a dark horse in the Heisman conversation if he can put it all together. Cunningham threw for just under 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns, with only six interceptions, along with rushing for more than 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2021 alone.

On top of Cunningham’s return, Louisville has a deep running back crew that will be able to share the carries in different situations. Jalen Mitchell, a redshirt sophomore, and Trevion Cooley, a sophomore, both give needed experience to the Cardinals, who add Tennesee transfer Tiyon Evans, a junior, and redshirt sophomore Jawhar Jordan, who arrives from Syracuse.

Louisville also has a high level of experience on the offensive line to block for backs, protecting Cunningham with a clean pocket. Preseason All-American Senior Caleb Chandler leads the offensive line.

With the loss of deep-ball threat Tyler Harrel to the transfer portal this offseason, the Cards added transfers Tyler Hudson and Dee Wiggins, who Satterfield has praised in camp. Amari Huggins-Bruce looks to build upon his performance as a slot receiver last year. Also returning is leading receiver Marshon Ford from last year.

Next up, the Defense

On the defensive side of the ball, Louisville looks to patch up issues from last season. In the final two games of the season, the defense gave up a combined total of 83 points, including a 52-point beat down from rival Kentucky.

The defense has worked to fix those lackluster performances this off-season, including the announcement that Wesley McGriff will co-coordinate the defense with Bryan Brown to provide another voice. 

On top of new leadership, the transfer portal has once again helped to change the faces of Louisville’s defense heading into this season.

Senior transfer Jermayne Lole looks to help anchor the defensive line by providing needed pressure to opposing quarterbacks. In addition, Yaya Diaby and Ashton Gillote return to work on the outside of Lole to complete the front three. 

To finish off the front seven, the linebackers will consist of senior Yasir Abdullah, opposite of redshirt freshmen Ben Perry. Monty Montgomery looks to return after his season ended three games in with an ACL tear. Lastly, Ole Miss transfer senior Momo Sanogo is another interior linebacker to watch for. 

The secondary has an interesting mix of players with experience. Kei’Trel Clark, a redshirt junior, is the top cornerback, twice receiving All-ACC honors. Sophomore Josh Minkins fills in the strong safety role, with Ballard High grad joining Georgia Southern transfer Kendrick Duncan, who’s set to start at the free safety position. Lastly, senior Chandler Jones will line up opposite of Clark in the other cornerback position. 

The Cards open on the road against Syracuse at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. You can view their schedule here.

File Photo // GoCards.com //

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Comfort Items You Didn’t Know You Needed Thursday, May 6 2021 

By Jacob Maslow–Branded Content

Everyone deserves to be comfortable, so treat yourself to these luxuriously comfortable items this year. When life feels like a drag, sometimes you need a bit of a pick-me-up, whether it’s from a high-quality seat cushion, a lovely essential oil diffuser, or a super comfy sweatshirt blanket. 

A High-Quality Seat Cushion 

A good seat cushion can make all the difference in someone’s life. If you have lower back pain, pain in your tailbone, or pressure in your hips, hamstrings, or legs, then you might want to consider investing in a comfortable seat cushion. 

You don’t have to break the bank to be able to sit comfortably at work, at home, or in the car. If your current chairs aren’t doing it for you, a good seat cushion will cost you less than $100. There are some great ones on the market in the $30 to $60 range that will change your life. 

The Best Essential Oil Diffuser 

If you experience headaches, anxiety, or trouble sleeping, an essential oil diffuser is the product for you. You can diffuse so many different scents that will help you with many other ailments. 

There are so many different options when it comes to oil diffusers. You can choose between different patterns, wood grains, and even more expensive materials like porcelain. There’s an essential oil diffuser to fit the vibe of any aesthetic. 

You can also get diffusers with settings for the length of diffusing time and diffusers that have LED lights to give your room a little more ambiance. 

A Nice Humidifier 

A humidifier can step up the comfort levels in your home, especially around the wintertime. If you’re experiencing dry skin, dull hair, irritated nasal passages, trouble sleeping, and other symptoms, you may want to invest in a humidifier for your home. 

Having a humidifier can be life-changing, offering you ultimate comfort. No matter your budget, there’s a humidifier that fits your needs, whether you’re looking to humidify a large or small space. 

A humidifier from Everlasting Comfort is a great option, allowing for optimal humidification throughout one’s home as well as the ability to use essential oils within your humidifier for extra comfort. 

A Comfy Blanket Hoodie

Are you still uncomfortable? What about a comfortable hooded sweatshirt that’s made out of blanket material? If your apartment is cold, or you’re just looking to relax in a blanket puddle, the Comfy is an excellent option. It comes in various colors and will keep you feeling warm and relaxed throughout the winter (and in the summer, if you’re a homebody who likes to live with their thermostat as cold as possible). 

The Comfy comes in multiple patterns and options, made with lighter blankets as well as sherpa lining. You can get them for your whole family, that way you can watch movies in style and comfort. 

Treat Yourself to Comfort

Comfort is such an essential part of life. You need to remember to treat yourself every once and a while. Whether you get your favorite meal, watch your favorite movie, or listen to your favorite song, your comfort is essential. 

Comfort also makes great gifts, so if you’re looking to give someone the gift of comfort, maybe you should try out one of these items. Better yet, buy one for yourself and a friend so that you can relax in comfort together. 

Comfort goes beyond this list, as there are so many other options you could choose from, including fluffy slippers, a nice robe, or even your favorite bottle of wine. Give yourself comfort by allowing yourself to enjoy your favorite things while snuggled up in a nice blanket. You deserve it.

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Maslow // Cosmic Press

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Why Shiba Inus Are Great Dogs For Families Thursday, May 6 2021 

By Jacob Maslow–Branded Content

Ever since the “Doge MEME” hit the went internet viral in 2010, everyone wants a doge of their own. These adorable dogs have hit the world by storm. They are so cute, and when you see them, you want to give them a smush and call them the best boy or girl. :)

More About The Shiba Inus Breed

Shiba Inus were initially bred in Japan. They were bred to assist hunters in the mountains of Japan. That is why they are of a smaller size and very agile. The average life span of this breed is 12 to 15 years. A full-grown Shina Inus may weigh up to 24 lbs. 

The most common coloring of a Shiba Inus is red sesame. However, they can also have Black & Tan, Black Sesame, Cream, Red, or Sesame coloring. They are born with floppy ears that will start to stand straight up as they age. They have a short double coat so that they will shed twice a year heavily.

What Make the Shiba Inus The Best Boy or Girl

Shiba Inus are brilliant and can learn to understand you; when they are very young, they start to associate a particular word with feeding, walking, going to bed, and any other thing they will often do. They will begin to associate that word with that activity. It will become so bad you will have to spell out the word if you do not want to do the associated activity.

The Shiba Inus is a very loyal, faithful, confident, and fearless pup. They will charm you and every other person they meet.  This breed can be stubborn. This means you will need to be patient and start training the day you get your pup home. Be strict but never punish your pup physically. 

Shiba Inus are very intelligent and curious. This makes them a great family dog because they will always be excited about new family adventures and want to play all the time. They need plenty of enrichment toys to keep their brains busy. They will love toys that challenge them.

The Perfect Dog for Summer

Shiba Inus loves activity; they are very agile dogs. If you have a very active lifestyle, this is an excellent dog for you. This doge was made for hiking and camping and will love going everywhere you go. They will need regular exercise to release their energy, and taking them along on a family hike is a perfect way to tire them out. 

If you introduce this breed to water early, they will learn to love swimming, and you can take them to play with your family all year round. This breed is very playful and will be the perfect addition to all your family’s summer adventures this summer. Make sure to pack plenty of water for your doge and the rest of your family when you take these summer outings. 

It’s Time to Bring Home Your Very Own Doge

Now that you know how perfect the Shiba Inus breed is, add one to your family. Remember to start training from day one and make sure they have a crate to spend time in when no one can supervise them. Be patient while training them because they are known to be stubborn.

If you are patient and you and your family build a bond with your Shiba Inus pup, they will be the best dog you have ever known. They are intelligent, loyal, and curious dogs that make a perfect addition to any family. Start the search for your doge today, and you will be on a hike with them in no time.

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Maslow // Cosmic Press

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Theatre students walk out of rehearsal to protest treatment from department faculty Monday, Apr 26 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

The Theatre Arts Undergraduate Student Union held an open meeting with theatre faculty on April 22 to discuss issues within the department, which have led to the formation of the union and a walkout from rehearsal of their show Hashtag on April 16.

The walkout included undergraduate performers and crew including stage management, acting, lights, costumes and scene design.

“This is a demonstration of undergraduate student impact on the U of L theatre department. We acknowledge that this is an inconvenience for many involved in this technical process, and that’s the point we’re trying to make,” the members of the union said in a flyer that was left behind in the theatre building and distributed during the walkout.

“We encourage you to go back and try to work. Who is missing? Who is needed in this space that has disappeared.”

One of the issues these students spoke out about includes the culture of burnout they claim is fostered by the department.

“Undergrad students in this department have just felt totally not supported and exploited. Everyone gets burnt out. I know people who finish their degree and never want to do theatre again,” said Loren Moody, senior theatre major.

Aiden Stivers, a senior theater major, said the issues are especially prominent during tech week.

“I think it’s important to note that specifically tech week has been literally hell week for a lot of undergraduates,” Stivers said. “Especially undergraduates in the technical departments, because we are often put in leadership roles that we don’t get a lot of training for or we don’t feel secure in and we are left to kind of scramble around and figure out how to do it.”

Students also reported a lack of communication in the department and said that was something they hoped to change.

“We’ve taken steps to start that, but this walkout is really intended to remind them that we haven’t forgotten about the issues and problems that we’ve had in the past that many students have suffered through and also to remind them of the weight we hold in this department, so that they take us seriously and they know that fixing our issues is of utmost importance,” Colton Bachinkski, a sophomore theatre major said.

Other issues mentioned on the student union’s list of grievances include a lack of acting opportunities for undergraduates, a history of faculty misgendering transgender students, lack of response to sexual assault and sexual harassment claims, and a lack of preparing students for their professional careers.

Nefertiti Burton, chair of the Department of Theater Arts, said she supported the students decision to form a student union but was confused by the decision to walk out after a time had already been set to meet and talk about these concerns.

“The students had immediately accepted and confirmed the meeting,  so I was totally confused as to why they would take this action after scheduling the meeting,” Burton said. “This was especially troubling since this predominantly white group of students chose to walk out of the tech process on an African American Theatre Program production that was developed by students to address the anti-black and social justice movements dominating our nation’s attention at this moment.”

Miranda Cisneros, the technical production manager for the department, said she fully supports the students’ decision to form a union, but disagreed with the timing of the walkout for the same reasons. She also added the play centers around racial injustice and policing so she believed that the show deserved everyone’s full attention.

“The majority of the undergraduate student union is comprised of white students and I think that was a big oversight for them to walk out,” she said.

According to Burton, at the meeting on April 22, students apologized for walking out during an AATP production and clarified their intentions.

“They explained that it was meant to illustrate how important undergrads are to the department, and they apologized for taking that action on an AATP show,” she said.

“They stated that they had not considered what kind of message the walkout of a predominantly white group of students might send and the impact it could have on many in the department. The students also stated several times that many of their grievances were related to circumstances that are in the past and they have already seen progress. They expressed appreciation for the faculty and staff and our efforts to make change.”

Following the meeting, Hunter Dischley, a junior theater major, said she had mixed feelings about the response they received. “They seemed receptive to all of our goals and all that, but they also didn’t remember some of the stuff we had told them previously.”

Cisneros believes that the theatre department has been moving forward with the unions concerns in mind since the formation of the union and that they will continue to move forward. “As a recent alum of this department, I would say that the amount of change that I have seen in the department since I graduated is revolutionary,” Cisneros said.

Burton said she and the rest of the faculty and staff plan to reflect on what was discussed at the meeting and move forward to address the student’s concerns.

“I learned a great deal from the students,” she said. “And I recognize that there is a lot more that faculty can do to uplift the importance and value of undergraduate labor in our productions. The students identified issues in the curriculum and course scheduling that I will consider carefully and adjust where possible. They also spoke to issues of climate and culture in the department relative to transgender students that I will take immediate action to address.”

“I am grateful that the students are eager to collaborate with faculty and staff to make the Theatre Arts department a better place to learn and work, and I foresee positive change in 2021-2022.”

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

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