57 students file for upcoming Student Government Association elections Thursday, Feb 2 2023 

By Joe Wilson 

As of February 1st, the University of Louisville has published the full list of students campaigning for Student Government Association (SGA) offices. The election will be held from February 27th – March 2nd, 2023 via your student email.

The full list of candidates, posted on the university’s website, includes students running for the Top 4 — that is, Student Body President, Executive Vice President, Academic Vice President, Services Vice President — and the Student Senate.

The Top 4

The Executive Branch of the SGA is made up of four officers: Student Body President, Executive Vice President, Academic Vice President and Services Vice President. Dubbed the “Top 4” of SGA, the members of the Executive Cabinet are tasked with implementing policies passed by the Student Senate.

Three students have filed to run for Student Body President. The president sits on the Board of Trustees and serves as a liaison to the university’s administration. The following students are vying for the positions:

  • Paighton Brooks (2022-2023 SGA Deputy Chief of Staff)
  • Liam Gallagher  (2022-2023 President of the College of Arts and Sciences) 
  • Katie Hayden (2022-2023 Executive Vice President)

The Executive Vice President is the second-highest post in the executive branch. Serving as the President of the Student Senate, this officer keeps records of the Executive Branch and helps organize Student Senate meetings. These students are competing for this position:

  • Angel (Nkechinyere) Okorie (2022-2023 ELSB Equality and Justice Committee Co-director)
  • Daniel Ngongo (2022-2023 Student Senators for the College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Bryson Sebastian (2022-2023 Academic Vice President)

The Academic Vice President acts as the chief officer who implements academic policy passed by the Student Senate. Additionally, the Academic Vice President sits on the Faculty Senate. Two students are running for Academic Vice President:

  • Sawyer Depp (2022-2023 SGA Chief of Staff)
  • Caroline Thomas (2022-2023 President of the College of Business)

Finally, the Services Vice President administers all service policies passed by the Student Senate. This officer also sits on the Staff Senate. Running unopposed, one student has filed their candidacy for Services Vice President:

  • Alex Reynolds (2022-2023 Services Vice President)

College President and Vice President

The following students are campaigning to serve as their respective college’s President.

  • Rebekah Flowers, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Alexis Mowen, College of Business
  • Cooper Yancey, College of Business
  • Katie Caruthers, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • Madison Roy, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • Griffin Gould, Speed School of Engineering
  • Stephanie Lawson, School of Music
  • Lexy Crockett, Kent School of Social Work
  • Parker Anderson, School of Nursing
  • Valencia Brown, School of Nursing
  • Sean Ryan Pendergest, College of Education and Human Development

These students are running to serve as their college’s Vice President:

  • Kaleb Speed, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Miles Parker, College of Business
  • Yelena Bagdasaryan, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • Amelia Coomes, Speed School of Engineering
  • Kayla Lancaster, Speed School of Engineering
  • Bethany Faris Whitley, School of Music

Student Senate

Twenty-three students filed to run for the Student Senate, representing the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, and the School of Public Health and Information Sciences:

  • Macon Adkins, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dakota Allen, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Grant Avis, College of Arts and Sciences
  • John Davies, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Addison Dierig, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Shelby Disney, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Daniel Fagan, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jeremy Faulhaber, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Anna Hernandez, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Eric Miracle, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Morrigan McIntosh, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Colin McQuarrie, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Daniel Pica, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Andrew Roberts, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Donald Seibert, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jacob Stallons, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mikaella Tanales, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Spencer Adkins, College of Business
  • Donovan Marcum, College of Business
  • Dorrah Martin, College of Business
  • Ryan Leigeb, College of Business
  • Ankita Kashyab, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • Jayden Rogers, School of Nursing

For more updates on the 2023 election, you can click here. To learn more about the SGA as a whole, you can visit their site here.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal //

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SGA Helps Students Destress for Finals with Puppies Wednesday, Dec 7 2022 

By Hevin Ramsey–

To help students destress before and during finals week, SGA brought puppies to be held and played with in the Ekstrom library. Students could hold, play tug-o-war, or watch the playful puppies sleep and play to keep their minds stress-free as they begin to finish their finals.

Photos by Hevin Ramsey//The Louisville Cardinal

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ISA Hosts Annual Diwali Cultural Show “Jalsa” Sunday, Nov 13 2022 

By Hevin Ramsey–

The Indian Student Association hosted a night of entertainment in the SAC Ballroom on Saturday to celebrate Diwali through the cultural show, ‘Jalsa.’ After a greeting and appreciation video from the Governor Andy Beshear, the show included a comedic Louisville-based compilation video performed by the student organizers and performances by Cardinal Bhangra, Derby City Dhoom, and many more. The Jalsa event also presented a fashion show which integrated traditional Indian clothing with a diverse array of student models from different cultures.

 

Photos By Hevin Ramsey//The Louisville Cardinal

 

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Services VP Alex Reynolds details upcoming SGA initiatives, encourages transparency Tuesday, Nov 1 2022 

By Joe Wilson

Alex Reynolds, U of L’s Services Vice President

Few actually get to see the work of the Student Government Association’s Top 4 beyond those big banners that drape the SAC. In September, we talked with Executive President Dorian Brown and Vice President Katie Hayden about their outlook at the beginning of the semester but this week, Services Vice President Alex Reynolds sat down with The Louisville Cardinal to talk about both his role and the upcoming initiatives in the Student Government Association.

“I aim to act as a megaphone for students, where I’m able to share their perspectives to the administrators, and they’ll actually listen,” he said. Reynolds explained that the student government can’t work well without input from students, so his main focuses concern the issues of campus housing, dining, and security.

Help with Leases and Lunches

Reynolds could recount multiple stories of students who struggled with financial hardships and strict housing leases, so he’s worked to reform housing agreements.

Reynolds successfully advocated for a subleasing option for students and greater leniency for those with financial difficulties. Previously, students would face thousands of dollars in cancellation fees and red tape if they decided to cancel just five days after they chose their room, as per housing policy. “Students in difficult financial situations can generally get out of their lease easier, so that’s really huge. But we’ve worked to make it so students who take on a lease and end up not wanting it can sublease now,” he said,

Additionally, Reynolds explained he wants to see changes to U of L’s dining options to give students more choice quality.

“Students want options that are healthy, fast, and also efficient—no long wait lines or anything like that,” he said. 

In particular, Reynolds said he wants to see changes to The MarketPlace. When it was announced on August 8th that The MarketPlace reduced its hours to 10 A.M. to 5 P.M., Reynolds recognized that that further limits flexibility for students. He added the new model for the Marketplace resembles “a second Ville Grille”, which may not appeal to most students.

Addressing Slow Transportation

The free campus transportation service, “Cardinal Cruiser” is popular among students, but there are currently only a few cars in service, contributing to inconsistent wait times. Reynolds explained the University of Kentucky partners with rideshare service Uber to provide students with free rides on the weekends, and he’s advocating for U of L to create a similar supplementary program with the Cruisers.

“We’re having conversations with ride-sharing services like Lyft, but the main thing we’re just trying to see is what we can do to improve overall transportation on campus, the efficiency of those transportation services, and student safety,” he said, stressing that those conversations are still in the early stages.

The Top 4

By nature of being one of the Top 4 officers, Reynolds spends a lot of time with the other executives—Student Body President Dorian Brown, Executive Vice President Katie Hayden, and Academic Vice President Bryson Sebastian.

“We’re like best friends, really. This is probably the most driven group of people that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “People are in here, in this office way past midnight usually. Just getting work done honestly. We have a lot of fun together.”

He described that all 4 agree to provide full transparency and consistency as SGA executive officers. “Usually, when students walk by the SGA office, it’ll be pitch black. Closed. Inconsistent hours. But now,” he said, “students can just walk in, ask questions. They can give their inputs.” Their office, located on the third floor of the SAC, is open from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Monday through Friday. Anyone who has any questions or needs supplies, he said, is encouraged to visit. 

Reynolds-a junior Political Science major-currently has no plans to run for an SGA position next year, saying that nothing is concrete.

“I’ve just been so focused on what I’m doing. But, it would be really tough to leave SGA in my senior year because I just care so much about it. I feel like there’s more work to be done.”

If you’d like to learn more about the Top 4 you can click here. To see updates on the U of L Student Government, you can follow them on Instagram by clicking here.

File Photo // U of L SGA //

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U of L Police Department and SGA Promote Campus Safety at Cookout Thursday, Oct 13 2022 

By Joe Wilson and Tate Luckey —

Burgers from the ULPD cookout on October 12th.

On Oct. 12, the University of Louisville Police Department (ULPD) partnered with the Student Government Association (SGA) to host a cookout outside the Bingham Humanities Building to promote campus safety.

“With campus safety being a big focus of our administration this year, and with it being a big priority on students’ lists overall, we thought an event like this to give students a chance to really meet ULPD officers, get to know them on a personal level—make it so they’re not just the figment behind the blue and red lights, make to where they’re actual people on campus that care about our students,” Academic Vice President Bryson Sebastian said. 

With an array of hot dogs, hamburgers, snacks, and desserts, ULPD officers greeted students, staff, and faculty. Fliers containing information such as the latest crime reports and campus safety resources were handed out to educate the community.

During the cookout, Chief of Police Steven Green sat down with The Louisville Cardinal to talk about ULPD’s partnership with SGA and the most pressing security concerns on campus.

Students and staff wait to receive food during the ULPD cookout.

ULPD K-9 Unit available for students to hug.

The biggest emphasis was the importance of ULPD’s partnership with SGA. “We’re here for the safety of the students, faculty, and staff, and reaching out to them [SGA], they’re just a conduit for our message and putting that message out. It’s just been a great relationship so far,” he said. Green noted the collaboration between ULPD and SGA is the closest he has seen in the 11 years he has worked for ULPD.

When asked about his concerns in terms of campus safety, Green said: “Theft is always a problem here, bicycle theft, and things like that.” Green, however, also expressed optimism about the direction of campus safety. “I’m pretty happy with where we’re at, to be honest with you. I think we’re in a very safe community right now compared to what’s going on around us.” 

File Photos // The Louisville Cardinal //

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Brown and Hayden, rest of Top 4 hope to Revitalize Student Community Sunday, Sep 4 2022 

By Joe Wilson —

Excitement, community, and potential. These are just some of the words that the the top 4 officers of the Student Government Association (SGA) use to describe the upcoming school year.

Earlier this week, Dorian Brown and Katie Hayden spoke with The Louisville Cardinal about their new roles as SGA’s Student Body President and Executive Vice President, respectively. 

Prior to Their Positions

Both Brown and Hayden were elected to their posts in Spring 2022, after a tumultuous election cycle that involved months-long lawsuits and a run-off election. Reflecting on the election, Brown recalls being caught off guard by the contentious end of the campaign. “When it got deeper into the process, it kind of fueled my fire to want to be a person that can make changes in the future so that this situation doesn’t happen again in the upcoming years,” he said.

Speaking about the election, Hayden adds, “It was really hard. I would say there are a lot of different factors playing into the election. At the end of the day, we were very happy that it turned out how it did.”

What’s in Store For The Top 4

Shifting the conversation away from the past, both Brown and Hayden expressed optimism about the future on campus, including a wish to revitalize U of L’s student community after the university decided to ease most of its COVID-19 restrictions from the previous two years. In August, the university announced it would no longer require students, faculty, and staff to wear masks indoors. 

Hayden noted the improvement in student morale after the mask policy change. “It’s kind of funny, because you see people around campus that you’ve known for years, and they look completely different because you’ve been looking at them under a mask, so we’re excited to get a lot more face-to-face interaction this year.”

Ultimately, Hayden explains, the changes to the mask policy were made in consideration of public health guidelines and students’ mental health. “We talked about a lot of different factors that played into it, whether the mental health aspect of wearing a mask, the depression rates,” she explained.

Brown adds that the university continues to monitor COVID-19 cases on campus and will update the masking policy as needed. “We’re still going to track the COVID positive rates and base our next decisions on those.” Above all, Brown emphasized his goal to give students a typical college experience.

Looking Towards a Safer Future

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown and Hayden see campus security as a top priority in their administration. Hayden explains, “We’ve been working very closely with U of L PD to ensure we’re being extremely transparent in our measures. The university has put a lot of money into safety measures across the board.”

Reflecting on the other challenges the U of L community faces, Brown remains hopeful for the future. “We don’t know what’s in store for this year, but we have a lot of potential to have one of the best years the university has seen so far.”

To learn more about the SGA, you can do so here. You can follow them on Instagram here.

File Photo // U of L SGA //

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Brown and Sebastian win SGA run-off elections Wednesday, Apr 27 2022 

By Joe Wilson —

Dorian Brown and Bryson Sebastian have won their races for president and academic vice president in the Student Government Association (SGA) run-off elections.

According to unofficial results obtained by The Louisville Cardinal, the race for student body president ended with Brown in first with 1,166 votes to Sydney Finley’s 716, creating a margin of 500 votes.

The results for academic vice president are much slimmer. Those show Sebastian coming in first with 908 votes to Kendall Tubbs’ 897, creating a margin of just 11 votes.

The unofficial results also contain the overall turn-out rate for the latest run-off election. Out of the 20,115 students who were eligible to vote, only 1,908 students submitted ballots. This creates a turn-out rate of 9.47 percent.

The results were scheduled to be announced on April 26, but SGA has yet to release the run-off results on its website or social media pages.

According to the SGA website, candidates will have until April 28 to file lawsuits to challenge the results.

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SGA holds run-off elections following student backlash Saturday, Apr 23 2022 

By Joe Wilson — 

Run-off elections for Student Government Association (SGA) have begun. Voting opened April 21 at 12 a.m. and will run through April 24 at 12 a.m. The ballot was sent to all students via email. 

On the ballot, students will be able to vote for candidates running for student body president and academic vice president. 

The election for student body president will be between candidates Sydney Finley and Dorian Brown. The run-off comes weeks after the SGA Supreme Court handed down a controversial decision that changed the unofficial results of the election. In the first round of voting, which took place March 7-9, the unofficial results showed Brown in first with 844 votes and Finley in second with 791 votes. However, after post-election lawsuits that alleged campaign rule violations, the Court implemented a three percent vote sanction per alleged violation that reduced Brown’s vote total to 421 and Finley’s to 670. The Court did not change its initial decision, but chose to move the election to a run-off following the significant backlash from the student body. 

The run-off for academic vice president will be between candidates Bryson Sebastian and Kendall Tubbs. In the first round of voting, Sebastian came in first with 579 votes and Tubbs came in second with 535 votes. With neither candidate receiving the 40 percent plurality threshold mandated by the SGA General Election Rules, the race automatically moved to a run-off.

There was also a run-off planned for the position of executive vice president that was set to be between Katie Hayden and Valerie Tran. However, Tran has since announced that she did not want the position, leaving Hayden as the next executive vice president. 

After the unofficial results are tallied on April 25, campaigns will have until April 28 to file any lawsuits regarding the election results.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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SGA Supreme Court hands down controversial election decision Sunday, Apr 10 2022 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The SGA Supreme Court will soon announce the results of the election-related hearings surrounding the Top 4 elections. The Court’s decision, which has not been made public but has been obtained by The Louisville Cardinal, overturned the unofficial results for student body president and declared that the elections for executive vice president and academic vice president will move to run-off elections.

SGA elections originally took place March 7-9, but lawsuits filed claiming election violations against various candidates delayed the announcement of official results overseen by the SGA Supreme Court.

The unofficial results for the race of student body president had Dorian Brown in first place with 844 votes, Sydney Finley in second place with 791 votes and Afi Tagnedji in third place with 380 votes. The Court’s opinion in response to the hearings, and the coinciding subtraction of votes based on the merit of the election violations, changed the vote totals to the following: Finley with 670 votes, Brown with 421 votes and Tagnedji with 380 votes. This means that despite the original vote totals, Finley has been declared student body president-elect by the SGA Supreme Court.

For executive vice president, Katie Hayden finished first with 856 votes, Valerie Tran finished second with 497 votes, Paighton Brooks finished third with 460 votes and Makayla Streater finished fourth with 162 votes. The Court’s opinion changed these vote totals to Tran with 497 votes, Hayden with 441 votes, Brooks with 341 votes and Streater with 162 votes. No candidate in the executive vice president race achieved a plurality of 40 percent based on these new vote totals. Therefore, in accordance with Section 10.1.1 of the SGA Constitution, the race automatically must move forward to a run-off election between Tran and Hayden. The date, time and manner of run-off elections are for the SGA Supreme Court to decide.

The academic vice president race finished with Bryson Sebastian in first with 579 votes, Kendall Tubbs in second with 535 votes, Julia Mattingly in third with 521 votes and Lucas Threlfall in fourth place with 340 votes. With no candidate achieving a 40 percent plurality, the election for this position will also move to a run-off election between Sebastian and Tubbs.

Only the election for services vice president was won decisively, with Alex Reynolds finishing in first place with 1,052 votes and Ruby Young finishing in second place with 893 votes.

On March 21, plaintiffs Finley and Brooks, who ran together on a ticket, filed a violation notification form with the SGA Supreme Court alleging six election violations against Brown and Hayden, who also ran together on one ticket. In response to this lawsuit, Brown/Hayden countered with 15 alleged election violations committed by Finley/Brooks. The SGA Supreme Court then held private election-related hearings to evaluate the claims of both the plaintiffs and respondents. The only people present in the hearings were the Supreme Court justices, the plaintiffs and their counsel, the defendants and their counsel and witnesses.

The Court dismissed four out of six claims alleged by the Finley/Brooks campaign. According to the opinion issued by the court, “The Court has found that the Brown/Hayden slate violated SGAGER Chapter 203.3c seven times over the course of the campaign by posting seven different Instagram posts that included students with official positions within the University giving endorsements that must remain personal.”

SGAGER stands for SGA General Election Rules.

Endorsements from any university entity, department or affiliate are strictly prohibited for SGA candidates. Chapter 203.3 declares that SGA candidates are responsible for all online posts endorsing their candidacy, giving merit to this alleged claim in the Court’s eyes.

The Court dismissed 13 out of 15 counterclaims brought forth by the Brown/Hayden ticket. As for the remaining counterclaims brought forth by Brown/Hayden, “The Court finds that the Finley/Brooks campaign violated SGAGER Chapter 203.3b twice when two official University department Instagram pages engaged in supportive measures on the Finley/Brooks campaign Instagram account.”

In response, the Court implemented a 3 percent vote sanction per violation for both the plaintiffs and the respondents. SGAGER Chapter 602 allows the Court to “determine the form, manner, and severity of any sanction in its sole discretion.” For the Top 4 positions, this is conducted by subtracting from the total number of votes cast in the candidate’s race. The 3 percent number is not prescribed in the SGAGER but was decided upon by this Court in this specific lawsuit. “This percentage was deliberated on between the Justices as being a fair and equitable penalty,” the Court said in its opinion.

The Court’s decision resulted in a total of 423 votes deducted from Brown’s total and 415 votes from Hayden’s total. This sanction also reduced Finley’s vote total by 121 votes and Brooks’ vote total by 119 votes.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal 

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2022 SGA candidates outline their hopes for the future of U of L Thursday, Mar 10 2022 

By The Louisville Cardinal Staff — 

The 2022 Student Government Association (SGA) elections have begun at U of L. Among the universally electable positions are the “Top 4,” consisting of president, executive vice president, academic vice president and services vice president.

Below is a profile for the president and executive vice president candidates.

Dorian Brown (left) and Katie Hayden (right)

Dorian Brown and Katie Hayden

Dorian Brown, a Phi Kappa Tau member and Metro College student, has partnered with Katie Hayden, who is a Neuroscience and Political Science major, and a member of ULEAD, raiseRED and the Chi Omega Sorority.

Their platform includes increased campus safety and accountability, increased advocacy for students and diversity of thought on campus.

When asked why students should vote for her ticket, Hayden said, “Our campaign is a campaign of action, and we are committed to making change on this campus. I know that historically everybody who runs has
their own platform, and they don’t always get carried out in the end, but Dorian and I are committed to making change on this campus, and our campaign slogan is “On Day One.” So, we are committed to everything that we stand for and we are committed to listening to your opinion and advocating for you, not only as a student, but also as an individual.”

Sydney Finley and Paighton Brooks

Sydney Finley (left) and Paighton Brooks (right)

Unfinished Business” is the tagline of the campaign run by junior Political Science and English double major Sydney Finley and sophomore Political Science and Criminal Justice major Paighton Brooks. Finley currently serves as the current executive vice president for SGA, the vice president of the Black and Brown Honors Society and vice president of Judicial Affairs for the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Brooks is a Woodford R. Porter and McConnell Scholar who has served as director of operations for the SGA executive Vice President and is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Their platform focuses on three main points: Progress, Accountability, and Dedication. They want SGA to be more transformative and inclusive of the student body, want to hold both the university and SGA accountable by increasing their transparency and want to continue more dedicated efforts to achieve making U of L a “premier anti-racist” institution.

“We have been able to cover so much ground this year, and we look forward to continuing to make positive and effective change for our campus community. As your next SGA President and Executive Vice President, we commit to ensuring that the UofL SGA is an organization for ALL students,” they stated on their Instagram page.

Valerie Tran (left) and Afi Tagnedji (right)

Afi Tagnedji and Valerie Tran

Endorsed by former  executive vice president Lexi Raikes, Afi Tagnedji and Valerie Tran aim to use their positions of president and executive vice president to empower the student body.

Their platform includes expanding student emergency funds and need-based aid, increased institutionalization of student engagement and expanding mental health services. They plan to make SGA more accessible through increased communication gateways, implementing better safety standards on campus and expanding the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

“I’ve known Afi for three years now, and I can say that she is nothing short of the diligent, perceptive, and attentive Student Body President we deserve,” Bioengineering major Sarah Lee stated in an endorsement.

The candidates for service vice president include Ruby Young and Alex Reynolds. The candidates for axademic vice president include Bryson Sebastian, Lucas Threlfall, Julia Mattingly and Kendall Tubbs.

Students also have the ability to vote for college-specific candidates, including college president, vice president and senator. Elections end March 10 and ballots can be found in your U of L email.

File Photos // Instagram (afiandval2022, brownhayden2022, and finleybrooks4sga) // 

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