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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Exhibit dedicated to Breonna Taylor opens at the speed Art Museum Monday, Apr 19 2021 

By Tate Luckey

A  new exhibit at the Speed Art Museum, called “Promise, Witness, Remembrance,” reflects on the life of Breonna Taylor and the resulting protests around Louisville and the world. Taylor was killed in her home by Louisville Metro police officers in March of last year.

The exhibit features work curated by Allison Glenn, a contemporary art curator, and seeks to explore the nation’s “reflection on the promise, witness, and remembrance of too many black lives lost to gun violence.”

The section “Promise” explores the ideologies of the US, while “Witness” addresses the moments and finally, “Remembrance,” which reflects on the legacies of those affected.

The exhibit is available now until June 6 and is free to U of L students. More information about the exhibit can be found here.

Photos by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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Annual student drag show “PINK!” goes virtual Wednesday, Apr 14 2021 

By Joseph Garcia —

After last year’s performance was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “PINK!” a student-run drag show hosted by U of L’s Engage Lead Serve Board with the help of the LGBT Center, returned this spring for the first time ever as a virtual show. This year’s show was dedicated to Jaison Gardner, co-host of the Strange Fruit podcast and PINK emcee, who was absent this year due to a medical emergency.

Madison Fogle, co-director of ELSB’s Community Peace committee and co-organizer of PINK, said that the show gives students a chance to participate in the university’s Cardinal Core Principles by simply enjoying and supporting one another.

“PINK really showcases that Diversity and Inclusion isn’t just panels and policies, it is entertainment and fun, too,” she said. “It’s also a great way for us to give back to our community.”

Anyone is allowed to perform at PINK, Fogle said “that’s the beauty of the show.” This year Reva Deveraux, JTwoTimes, Leo the King and Ace performed.

Fogle said planning for the spring show began back in October of 2020. She said that COVID safety was a number one priority in designing and planning for the event.

The normally in-person event, went entirely online opting for a livestreamed performance, which was prerecorded. Performers would come in at different times to record their parts and surfaces were frequently sanitized by student workers in-between sets to keep everyone safe, but the digital format presented new challenges that prior years didn’t experience.

“Filming and editing the shows were definitely more difficult than just having the performances,” Fogle said. Her and co-organizer, Eli Cooper put in over 60 hours with filming and editing alone for three weeks prior to the livestream. “It all paid off tonight watching the show come together though,” she said.

It’s traditional that at drag shows you support the queens and kings by tipping, and that was still an integral part of the event as performers Cashapp and Venmo accounts would be on screen if people wished to support them.

Audiences could also show support by donating to the LGBT Center. Donated money goes toward funding LGBT+ scholarships and LGBT+ student organizations on campus.

Missed the show? Check out the full 40-minute performance on ELSB’s YouTube channel here.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L opens Kentucky’s largest drive through vaccination site to public Monday, Apr 12 2021 

By Joseph Garcia —

University of Louisville Health has opened the state’s largest drive through COVID-19 vaccination site at Cardinal Stadium’s Purple lot today, April 12 to all current students and anyone above the age of 16.

Former university Provost Beth Boehm sent an email to staff and students about the opening toward the end of March.

“This high-volume, drive through vaccination site will have 24 lanes to accommodate the thousands of vaccination U of L Health plans to administer each day,” Boehm said in the March 31 email.

Due to vaccine supply, individuals are not able to chose which vaccine they want to get. The vaccine is also free of cost.

To schedule an appointment for vaccination, sign up through U of L Health’s website. For any questions about the vaccine, more information is available on U of L Health’s FAQ page.

Photos by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

Men’s tennis sweep No. 38 Middle Tennessee in second matchup of the season Friday, Apr 2 2021 

By Riley Vance —

Men’s tennis upset No. 38 Middle Tennessee on Thursday with a 4-0 sweep at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. The Cards played the Blue Raiders earlier in the season at Middle Tennessee and faced a tough loss.

To start off doubles, Louisville secured wins on courts one and two.

Senior Tin Chen and junior Sergio Hernandez took down Tom Moonen and Chris Edge (MTSU) with an easy 6-1 win.

No. 60 junior Fabien Salle and sophomore Matthew Fung breezed by with a 6-2 win over No. 77 Pavel Motl and Stijn Slump to clinch the doubles point for the Cards.

The match on court three was left unfinished. Junior Alex Wesbrooks and freshman Kyle Tang were tied at 4-4 with Francisco Rocha and Max Rauch (MTSU).

Louisville kicked off singles with junior Josh Howard-Tripp defeating Middle Tennessee’s Edge 6-4, 6-4.

Advancing the score to 3-0, No. 56 Hernandez took over court two with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Moonen (MTSU).

Salle was able to overcome Slump (MTSU) in a third set (6-1, 3-6, 6-3) to clinch the match for Louisville.

Matches on courts one, five and six were left unfinished.

Chen won his first set 6-4 against No. 37 Rocha (MTSU) and was down 3-5 in the second set.

Fung won his first set 7-6 and was tied at 3-3 against Motl (MTSU) in the second set.

Junior David Mizrahi won his first set 7-5 and was tied at 5-5 against Rauch (MTSU) in the second set.

The Cards face Notre Dame for the second time this season on Saturday, April 3 at 1 p.m. at the Courtney Tennis Center in South Bend, Indiana.


Final Scores:


  1. Tin Chen (LOU) vs. #37 Francisco Rocha (MTSU) 6-4, 3-5, unfinished
  2. #56 Sergio Hernandez (LOU) def. Tom Moonen (MTSU) 6-4, 6-4
  3. Fabien Salle (LOU) def. Stijn Slump (MTSU) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
  4. Josh Howard-Tripp (LOU) def. Chris Edge (MTSU) 6-4, 6-4
  5. Matthew Fung (LOU) vs. Pavel Motl (MTSU) 7-6 (4-0), 3-3, unfinished
  6. David Mizrahi (LOU) vs. Max Rauch (MTSU) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished

Order of Finish: 4, 2, 3


  1. #60 Fabien Salle/Matthew Fung (LOU) def. #77 Pavel Motl/Stijn Slump (MTSU) 6-2
  2. Tin Chen/Sergio Hernandez (LOU) def. Tom Moonen/Chris Edge (MTSU) 6-1
  3. Alex Wesbrooks/Kyle Tang (LOU) vs. Francisco Rocha/Max Rauch (MTSU) 4-4, unfinished

Order of Finish: 2, 1


Photo Courtesy of Taris Smith // GoCards

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Men’s tennis secures 4-1 win against Florida State Monday, Mar 29 2021 

By Riley Vance —

Men’s tennis (7-7, 2-5) defeated Florida State (6-12, 1-7) 4-1 on March 28 at the Scott Speicher Memorial Tennis Center in Tallahassee, Florida.

Florida State had a strong start to the match as they secured wins on courts two and three to clinch the doubles point.

FSU’s Andreja Petrovic and Chase Wood took down juniors Alex Wesbrooks and Josh Howard-Tripp 6-4.

To tie the score, No. 70 sophomore Matthew Fung and junior Fabien Salle defeated No. 72 Alex Knaff and Sebastian Arcila (FSU).

On court two, junior Sergio Hernandez and senior Tin Chen fell 7-5 to Loris Pourroy and Marcus Walters (FSU).

The Cards bounced back and won four straight matches in singles.

Chen took over court one with a 6-3, 6-4 win over FSU’s Knaff.

Fung tallied another point for the cards with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Walters (FSU).

Junior David Mizrahi defeated Petrovic (FSU) in a third set (6-2, 0-6, 7-5) to bring the overall score to 3-0.

The match was clinched on court two as Salle won a hard-fought match against FSU’s Pourroy (4-6, 6-4, 6-4).

Matches on courts three and four were left unfinished.

No. 63 Hernandez won his first set 7-5 and was down 5-6 in the second set, and Howard-Tripp split sets and was tied in the third set.

The Cards host Middle Tennessee Thursday, April 1 at 2 p.m. at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.


Final Scores:


  1. Tin Chen (LOU) def. Alex Knaff (FSU) 6-3, 6-4
  2. Fabien Salle (LOU) def. Loris Pourroy (FSU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
  3. #63 Sergio Hernandez (LOU) vs. Richard Thongoana (FSU) unfinished, 7-5, 5-6
  4. Josh Howard-Tripp (LOU) vs. Sebastian Arcila (FSU) unfinished, 4-6, 6-4, 1-1
  5. Matthew Fung (LOU) def. Marcus Walters (FSU) 6-4, 6-3
  6. David Mizrahi (LOU) def. Andreja Petrovic (FSU) 6-2, 0-6, 7-5

Order of Finish: 1, 5, 6, 2


  1. #70 Matthew Fung/Fabien Salle (LOU) def. #72 Alex Knaff/Sebastian Arcila (FSU) 6-4
  2. #62 Loris Pourroy/Marcus Walters (FSU) def. Sergio Hernandez/Tin Chen (LOU) 7-5
  3. Andreja Petrovic/Chase Wood (FSU) def. Josh Howard-Tripp/Alex Wesbrooks (LOU)

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2


Photo Courtesy of GoCards

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Black veterans group partner with U of L alumni to respect deceased veterans Wednesday, Mar 24 2021 

By Tate Luckey —

Located along 40th Street and Hale Avenue, Greenwood Cemetery is where hundreds of Black military veterans are buried, but it is one of the many historic African American cemeteries across the nation that have been neglected. In an effort to both give back to the community and honor the veterans, Nakia Strickland and Lance West, as well as the National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS), Region VI spearheaded the “Eagles to Rest Project” which is focused on restoring the Greenwood Cemetery.

The project teamed up with the University of Louisville’s Alumni Center, the Office of Community Engagement along with the Cultural Center in an effort to promote the project and get more students and alumni involved with the project.

It became clear by visiting the cemetery how much restoration was needed. Headstones were tilted and dirty, trash lined outer walls; not at all respectful for the sacrifices the veterans had made.

“The goal of the project is to provide the veterans with dignity, care and respect in death that they had been denied in life,” Strickland said. Taking place every Saturday morning from February through March, as well as one weekend in late April, volunteers can register and help clean. 

The pandemic, fortunately, hasn’t put a damper on turnout.

“It’s been greater than we could have ever expected. We were unsure of what to expect regarding attendees but, our expectations were surpassed by everyone who showed up to volunteer,” West said. Volunteers wear facemasks and are spread out amongst the grounds. Any who come are encouraged to bring their own supplies, too.

Shedrick Jones Sr., who is the Region VI commander of the NABVETS, brought the project to Louisville.

“The spiritual part of it and the respect that goes with a cemetery, all of that has to be taught,” he said in an interview with WLKY. According to Strickland and West, there is still more work to do in the 19-acre cemetery, including clearing out branches and removing debris from headstones.

The last weekends to join and help are March 27 and April 24 from 8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. at Greenwood Cemetery.

If you’d like to register, you can do so here. If you’d like to learn more about NABVETS, you can click here.

Photos by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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Malik Williams ready for his fifth year with the Cards Wednesday, Mar 24 2021 

By Hannah Walker —

After having multiple injuries this season, forward/center senior Malik Williams announced in a media interview, his decision to stay on Louisville’s men’s basketball team for a fifth year.

Williams has had problems with his right foot throughout most of his time playing college basketball. He started getting injuries during the 2019 season, and he hasn’t seemed to be able to recover since. During the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, Williams had surgery on his right foot and had to miss 15 games.

After recovering from the surgery to his foot, Williams made the decision to play in the Duke game. He seemed to be strong and scoring just as well as he had prior to the injury. However, he had another injury to his ankle during the middle of the game while landing on a Duke player’s foot.

Doctors estimated that he would be sidelined for another 4-6 weeks after his second injury. Now, he is getting ready to start practice again for the 2021-2022 season.

“My right ankle is doing fine. On the injury with my left ankle, I went in to get a scope and some shaving done to the bone,” Williams said in an interview March 24. “Now I am just ready to start strengthening my foot to get back out [on the court].”

Williams went on to talk about how it was a rough season for him. He felt as if he was letting down a lot of his teammates for not being able to play like he has in the past.

He also said that he felt as if he had let himself down. These reasons are why he wants to stay with Louisville for another year before going pro.

“You come into college basketball wanting to be a future one-and-done, and then end up turning into a fifth-year player. That’s not easy for anyone to cope with,” he said. “I think it was just about exploring my options. That’s all it really was.”

Williams said he looks forward to being able to bring next year’s freshman to the NCAA championship during the 2021-2022 season. He also hopes to have a good season next year, so he can prove to the pro-level teams that he can play without having consistent injuries.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Boulton // U of L Athletics 

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Women’s tennis defeated 6-1 by No. 35 Miami Tuesday, Mar 23 2021 

By Riley Vance —

The women’s tennis team (6-8, 3-6) traveled to Florida to face Miami University, but returned with a 6-1 loss to the Hurricanes (8-5, 5-3).

In doubles, Miami took over courts one and three.

Daevenia Achong and Florencia Urrutia (UM) defeated junior Dina Chaika and senior Chelsea Sawyer 6-2.

On court one, sophomore Andrea Di Palma and junior Rhea Verma fell 6-4 to Miami’s E. Perez-Somarriba and Isabella Pfennig.

Louisville secured a win on court two as senior Raven Neely and sophomore Tatiana Simova took down Diana Khodan and Maya Tahan (UM) 6-4.

Miami took the lead heading into singles.

The match on court one concluded first as senior Nikolina Jovic retired in the second set.

To give Miami a three-point lead, Verma fell 6-0, 6-1 to Khodan (UM).

Miami’s No. 87 Achong clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Neely.

Tahan (MU) defeated Chaika 6-2, 6-4 on court six to tally another point for the Hurricanes.

Sawyer put the Cards on the scoreboard with a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3) win over Urrutia (UM).

To finish the match, Isabella Pfennig (UM) defeated Andrea Di Palma (LOU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-4) in a hard-fought match.

The Cards host Xavier on Friday, March 26 at 12 p.m. at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.


Final Scores:


  1. #2 E. Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. Nikolina Jovic (LOU) 6-1, 3-1, retired
  2. Isabella Pfennig (UM) def. Andrea Di Palma (LOU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-4)
  3. #87 Daevenia Achong (UM) def. Raven Neely (LOU) 6-4, 6-3
  4. Chelsea Sawyer (LOU) def. Florencia Urrutia (UM) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3)
  5. Diana Khodan (UM) def. Rhea Verma (LOU) 6-0, 6-1
  6. Maya Tahan (UM) def. Dina Chaika (LOU) 6-2, 6-4

Order of Finish: 1, 5, 3, 6, 4, 2


  1. E. Perez-Somarriba/Isabella Pfennig (UM) def. Andrea Di Palma/Rhea Verma (LOU) 6-4
  2. Raven Neely/Tatiana Simova (LOU) def. Diana Khodan/Maya Tahan (UM) 6-4
  3. Daevenia Achong/Florencia Urrutia (UM) def. Dina Chaika/Chelsea Sawyer (LOU) 6-2

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2

Photo Courtesy of GoCards

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No. 6 Florida State prevails 4-1 over women’s tennis Tuesday, Mar 23 2021 

By Riley Vance —

The Cards (6-8, 3-6) traveled to Florida State University on Friday, March 19 and suffered a 4-1 loss against the No.6-ranked Seminoles (12-3, 7-2).

FSU secured the doubles point after taking over courts two and three.

On court three, Petra Hule and Giulia Pairone (FSU) outlasted senior Chelsea Sawyer and junior Dina Chaika with a 6-0 win.

The point was clinched when sophomore Tatiana Simova and senior Raven Neely fell 6-3 to Andrea Garcia and Nandini Das (FSU).

FSU’s Victoria Allen and Emmanuelle Salas were up 5-4 against junior Rhea Verma and sophomore Andrea DiPalma, but their match was left unfinished.

In singles, Neely secured the Cards their only point of the match as her opponent Anna Arkadianou (FSU) retired. Neely won her first set 6-3 and was up 1-0 in the second.

FSU bounced back with wins on courts one, four and six.

On court six, Garcia (FSU) defeated junior Jelena Vujanic 6-1, 6-3.

Bringing to overall score to 3-1, FSU’s Das secured a 6-3, 6-3 win over Sawyer.

To clinch the match, Pairone (FSU) defeated senior Nikolina Jovic 6-3, 6-4 on court one.

Matches on courts two and five were left unfinished.

Di Palma lost her first set 6-4 and was down 4-2 in the second against Salas (FSU), and Verma lost her first set 7-5 against Allen (FSU) and was up 4-1 in the second.


Final Scores:


  1. Giulia Pairone (FS) def. Nikolina Jovic (LOU) 6-3, 6-4
  2. Emmanuelle Salas (FS) vs. Andrea DiPalma (LOU) 4-6, 4-2, unfinished
  3. Raven Neely (LOU) def. Anna Arkadianou (FS) 6-3, 1-0, retired
  4. Nandini Das (FS) def. Chelsea Sawyer (LOU) 6-3, 6-3
  5. Victoria Allen (FS) vs. Rhea Verma (LOU) 7-5, 1-4, unfinished
  6. Andrea Garcia (FS) def. Jelena Vujanic (LOU) 6-1, 6-3

Order of Finish: 3, 6, 4, 1


  1. Victoria Allen/Emmanuelle Salas (FS) vs. Rhea Verma/Andrea DiPalma (LOU) 5-4, unfinished
  2. Andrea Garcia/Nandini Das (FS) def. Tatiana Simova/Raven Neely (LOU) 6-3
  3. Petra Hule/Giulia Pairone (FS) def. Chelsea Sawyer/Dina Chaika (LOU) 6-0

Order of Finish: 3, 2

Photo Courtesy of GoCards

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