2020 Homecoming King and Queen talk about being crowned Monday, Nov 9 2020 

By Aaliyah Bryant —

Last week at the University of Louisville was Homecoming week, which kicked off on Oct. 19 with events lasting all week long. Throughout the week, U of L students voted for their Homecoming King and Queen online and on Oct. 26, during the homecoming game against Florida State, Chidum Okeke and Kayla Payne were chosen as Homecoming royalty.

Okeke is a Senior public health major with a minor in biology on a pre-med track. He was nominated by the Society of Porter Scholars and said that winning was truly humbling.

“To me, the award is presented to those who embody the traditions, positive attributes and Cardinal values held by our university,” he said. “To be presented with an award of that magnitude, while being cognizant of how small our homecoming alumni pool is, was a truly remarkable experience.”

U of L’s newest queen, Kayla Payne, is a Senior political science major with minors in social change and public health. She was nominated by the Student Government Association, for which she’s been involved since her freshman year.

Payne has served as an Arts and Science Senator, the Student Body Executive Vice President, and currently, the Director of Government Relations. She also volunteers with Nativity Academy’s after school programs and serves on their Associate Board of Directors.

“I love finding new ways to serve the Louisville community and empowering people to participate in things such as elections or filling out their census,” she said. “I’m grateful that my peers have honored me with Homecoming Queen and I hope it’s to recognize my commitment to making U of L the safest, inclusive, equitable place it can be for students that look like me.”

Photo // Society of Porter Scholars 

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Take a break and de-stress at the Healthy Happy Hour Saturday, Jan 25 2020 

By Alex Tompkins —

It’s the beginning of the semester and for most students it can be one of the most stressful parts of the academic year. With it comes adjusting to a new schedule, new classes, new responsibilities and a new year with goals.The University of Louisville’s Porter Scholars hosted the first Healthy Happy Hour at the Cultural Center Jan. 15 to help students adjust.

The three-hour event dedicated itself to promoting ways to de-stress and focus on students’ mental health. 

“We know that college is very stressful for students. In the wintertime, a lot of people battle seasonal depression too, so we wanted to give students different tools and tips for self-care and practicing stress-free habits,” Asya Bell, one of the Porter Scholars hosting Healthy Happy Hour, said.

The event had several stations that included: make-your-own stress balls, sugar scrubs and a vision board for students to write down goals and tips they have for themselves this year. Health Promotions also provided pamphlets students could use to follow de-stressing habits throughout the winter season. 

On top of the seasonal change, many students are already feeling the weight of starting another semester and the stress that comes along with it.

“It’s only the second week of classes, and I’m already going through it,” said senior Shannon Derkson, who wanted to attend the event to give herself some time to de-stress in the midst of her school day. 

What made this event was the low-key, personal environment. Healthy Happy Hour occurred during the day, allowing students to come and go in-between classes.

Bell says this won’t be the last event and to look out for another taking place later this semester and next year.

In the meantime, Bell gave suggestions for students to relax. “Take things one day at a time. Stay organized. In college, we get overwhelmed and tend to procrastinate, and being organized can help prevent some of this stress. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.” 

Photo by Alex Tompkins // The Louisville Cardinal

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Porter Scholars accept donations for homeless at Thanksgiving dinner Monday, Nov 25 2019 

By Jordan Geisler —

The University of Louisville’s Porter Scholars group gathered Nov. 21 to throw their seventh annual Thanksgiving dinner. The group collected winter accessories for the homeless community in Louisville as part of the event.

The Engage Lead Serve Board (ELSB) partnered with the Porter Scholars to serve dinner for a multitude of students both within and outside of the Porter Scholars organization. Leondra Gully, the advisor for the Porter Scholars, has been a part of their annual Thanksgiving dinner since its fruition in 2013, and she’s seen it serve a wide array of people in the community while also having an impact on students.

Gully said, “We can still come together, have fun, and have a social piece, but also incorporate some sort of service in giving back to the community. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be of a certain status, and you don’t have to look a certain way; anybody can benefit from giving back.”

Gully said a big part of starting the Thanksgiving dinner was not only so that people could get together before leaving campus for the holidays, but also so people who weren’t able to travel home for Thanksgiving would have a place to go for a good dinner.

“Some people don’t get to go home for Thanksgiving,” said Jalena Slaton, the vice president of the Porter Scholars. “So this is as close to family as they get, whether it be with the Porter community or just the campus community as a whole.”

Taris Smith, the president of the Porter Scholars and board member of ELSB, worked to get the sock company Bombas to donate 2,000 pairs of socks to help give out to the homeless community. They also received donations from U of L’s School of Dentistry such as toothbrushes and toothpastes to put in care boxes. “Our goal is at least 100 care packages. Every year we try to accommodate more people and do a bigger service aspect,” Smith said.

As far as the dinner itself goes, local restaurants like Boss Hog’s BBQ and Lucretia’s Kitchen served food that included turkey, chicken, dressing, green beans and stuffing.

Donations for the winter accessories drive will continue through December. Goods such as scarves and mittens can be dropped off in bins dispersed around campus.

Photo by Jordan Geisler // The Louisville Cardinal 

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