SGA Wrapped: 2022 Accomplishments and 2023 Goals Wednesday, Mar 22 2023 

By the Student Government Association

The Student Government Association has taken the campus by storm this school year.

The SGA leadership started out the school year by identifying the focus areas of the yearly initiatives: community, academic support, registered student organizations, diversity, services, and safety; collectively known as C.A.R.D.S.S.

Among the 26 pieces of legislation passed in the Student Senate include the passage of the 2023-2024 SGA operating budget, 2023 Election Rules, and numerous honorary resolutions to honor various individuals and departments that have exhibited exemplary work over the past semester.

Student leadership at the forefront

SGA has taken its role as student leaders very seriously.

Student Body President Dorian Brown sat on the Presidential Search Committee, ultimately selecting Kim Schatzel as our next University President. The entire process included listening tours, selecting top candidates, interviewing finalists, and meeting with numerous departments in the University to discuss increasing student involvement in the decision-making process.

Executive Vice President Katie Hayden, along with the rest of the Top Four and their executive staff, worked with Athletics to co-sponsor an entire week full of events called “Rolling With the Punches.” The week consisted of a food drive for the Cardinal Cupboard, a tailgate in the SAC Marketplace, and bus transportation to and from the YUM! Center for the week’s volleyball, women’s soccer, and field hockey games. The latter half of the week was capped off with the annual SGA Fancyville Debate and the first annual SGA Tailgate for the football game vs. Wake Forest.

Senior Policy Coordinator Lucas Threlfall, the Top 4, and Student Senate all worked together to establish a $5,000 fund within the SGA budget to the PEACC center, for further investments in their Green Dot program and additional resources.

Forging Stronger Partnerships

According to ULPD Chief Steve Green, Services Vice President Alex Reynolds has fostered the strongest relationship seen between ULPD and SGA in over a decade. Reynolds is currently working with ULPD to make the Cardinal Cruiser wheelchair accessible or to provide an equal vehicular accommodation at least. ULPD provides walking escorts for students in wheelchairs, but several students with disabilities and Services VP Reynolds have been advocating for an accessible vehicle option. SGA is also currently working to co-host a self-defense workshop with ULPD on the Health Sciences Campus.

Reynolds worked extensively with ULPD, Physical Plant, and U of L Administration to identify areas of the campus in need of and investing in more security cameras, lighting, and security booths. Services VP Reynolds has also established a free bike lock program, encouraging students to register their bike with the University and prevent theft in return for a free bike lock rental from SGA.

Services VP Reynolds and the Student Senate successfully advocated for a return to the original marketplace design and brought back Evergrains. SVP Reynolds, Residence Hall Association President Grace Beebe, and Engage Lead Serve Board Representative Yelena Bagdasaryan successfully advocated for Meal Plan Waiver policy and committee reforms to include a new waiver category: “Dietary – Medical” – offering greater accommodation for students with medical conditions inhibiting their ability to eat on-campus dining options. Their reforms also cut unnecessary red tape and create automatic notification of dietary appeals to the campus dietician to ease the process, and inclusion of a representative from financial aid to improve committee efficiency and effectiveness, giving students decisions on their appeals quicker.

Services VP Reynolds successfully advocated for housing cancellation policy reform to include a formalized subletting policy for students, fairer standards and leniency for students struggling with financials in the Housing Appeals Committee, and cancellation fee exemption for students facing financial circumstances that would “hinder [their] ability to reside on campus]. Additionally, Services VP Reynolds and Assistant SVP Griffin Gould toured 13 Greek Row houses and suites in an effort to research the state of Greek facilities and advocate for a greater university investment in maintenance and utilities. Together, they created a comprehensive Greek Housing and Suite Facilities report sent to all involved Greek organizations, fraternity and sorority life advisors, and relevant UofL administration. Reynolds and Gould plan to use this in advocating for a common Greek maintenance form and greater facility investments.

Breaking Barriers to Education

SGA began a partnership with the Student Success Center, located inside the Belknap Academic Building, to provide students with access to niche class items at no cost.  Calculators, lab supplies, and iClickers are some of the various supplies that UofL students are able to rent on a semester basis.

In October, they had the ribbon cutting and dedication of the University’s new Center for Engaged Learning. The CEL provides a single point of entry for businesses and organizations seeking students for engaged learning experiences. Engaged learning also helps students increase involvement on campus and develop a sense of belonging, key factors that help increase student retention and persistence to graduation.

Also in October, they had the ribbon cutting and dedication of the University’s new International Center and Passport Place. The International Center fosters a campus culture that is inviting to international students. With a variety of backgrounds on campus, they are diversifying the Cardinal point of view, establishing an enriched classroom experience, and including various cultures in our cumulative college curriculum. The Passport Place offers stateside students assistance with obtaining a passport.

SGA has begun a review process of the UofL compassionate withdrawal process, thanks to the advocacy of Assistant Academic VP Emma McClellan.  They are working with Student Advocate Sam Mckenzie from the Dean of Students Office in order to make the compassionate withdrawal process easier and more efficient for any student that may need it.

Creating Community

The executive staff and Top 4 participated in and collaborated with the other branches of SGA in many of their events for last semester. They participated in the annual Lip Sync Battle and other homecoming events, attended ELSB’s  SOUL and MLK Days of Service, and coordinated with SOAB to plan the SGA x Athletics tailgate.

They collaborated with the School of Medicine to fund a student-led service trip to Hazard, KY following the flood devastation in Eastern Kentucky. Students from the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, and Undergraduate Campus were in attendance, and the School of Law conducted an additional donation drive for EKY.

Project Coordinator Jedidiah Tillman spearheaded the planning and execution of several events held at the planetarium on campus. While not fully open, the planetarium offered special light shows free of charge for students to celebrate various holidays.

Looking Into 2023

The momentum gained in 2022 will not stop any time soon. The Student Government Association is excited to continue progress towards bettering campus for the Cardinal Community through a variety of efforts including hosting a leadership workshop with the PEACC center and expanding partnerships with additional units within the university. To learn more about SGA’s overarching initiatives, visit their website.

The Top 4 releases monthly updates on their website and Instagram to inform students about what has been accomplished to improve transparency and accountability.

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Hayden, Okorie among 2023 SGA election winners Monday, Mar 6 2023 

By Joe Wilson and Tate Luckey

The results of this year’s Student Government Association (SGA) elections have begun to circulate online, marking the end of the campaign season. The Louisville Cardinal obtained the unofficial election results on March 2nd.

The Top 4

Katie Hayden, the current Executive Vice President, has won the race for Student Body President. She earned 973 votes (41.62 percent), avoiding a run-off.

Angel (Nkechinyere) Okorie has been elected Executive Vice President with 979 votes (42.70 percent).

Sawyer Depp will be the next Academic Vice President. He earned 1,230 votes (53.46 percent).

Alex Reynolds, who ran unchallenged, will continue to serve as Services Vice President. He won 2,178 votes (100 percent).

Candidates still have the opportunity to bring forward lawsuits to challenge the results.

Student Senate

The College of Arts and Sciences President and Vice President are set to be Rebekah Flowers and Kai Speed.

The top seven Student Senators are (in order of most to least percent of the vote) Anna Hernandez (10.97%), Mikaella Tanales (10.84%), Eric Miracle (10.55%), Shelby Disney (9.23%), Grant Avis (9.14%), Daniel Fagan (7.63%), Addison Dierig (6.93%), and Colin McQuarrie (6.19%).

The College of Business President and Vice President are Alexis Mowen (who won by 12 votes!) and Miles Parker. The 3 COB Senators are Ryan Leigeb, Dorrah Martin, and Spencer Adkins.

Kyle Cook is set to be the next Vice President of the Graduate Student Council, and Kamille M. Rasche is slated to be the next Graduate Student Council Senator Proxy. All other seats that ran unopposed won.

What’s next for the winners

These are the unofficial election results, and still have to be certified by two-thirds of the SGA Supreme Court By March 24th. Candidates can now bring up lawsuits between now and to challenge any results.

This year’s election received a higher response ratio than the 2022 SGA election, at 12.98%; of the 19,153 surveys sent, 2,498 students voted. We previously covered the Top 4’s responses to student issues here. You can learn more about SGA’s efforts here.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal //

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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 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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Petition for gender inclusivity in new dorm circulates among U of L students Thursday, Mar 11 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

A petition to make the New Residence Hall (NRH2021) gender-inclusive has begun circulating among the student body in response to U of L’s decision to postpone the gender-inclusive setup of the new student living space.

The petition, signed by 911 members of the U of L community and authored by Orvelle Thomas, criticizes the university’s decision.

“Allowing gender-inclusive floors would be a step in the direction of the University fulfilling its promise of maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus,” Thomas wrote in the petition.

Sabrina Collins, Student Government Association (SGA) president, provided a letter from June 2020 that the Top 4 of SGA sent to Campus Housing in support of gender-inclusive housing.

It included a description of what it means to have gender-inclusive housing. “An open housing policy, also known as all-gender housing at other institutions, would allow students to live together regardless of sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or gender expression,” it said.

“This school has consistently been named one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly universities in the South,” Thomas wrote. “But giving in to societal pressures, and maintaining a deliberate anti-LGBTQ+ agenda, does not make the University of Louisville deserving of that award.”

Collins has signed and advocated for the petition. When asked how the petition began, Collins said that there was no official announcement from the university that gender-inclusive housing would be featured in the new dorm.

“However, it was very clear to SGA and other campus-wide partners that this would be the case, as we have been involved in the design process from the very beginning,” she said. According to the petition, the university had decided to postpone this decision, saying that this policy needed a “trial year.” This decision by the university prompted student pushback.

SGA’s June letter also contains the Top 4’s belief in the importance of gender inclusivity in campus housing.

“SGA believes that every student has a right to equitable and accessible living opportunities on our campus,” they said. “Our current residential living system of sex-based assignment (male, female) does not support the members of our growing LGBTQIA community and non-binary community. U of L’s existing, sex-based assignment system has placed an undue labor on this resident population to request housing accommodations and repeatedly justify their gender/sex identity to unfamiliar staff members.”

Thomas Hardy, director of Campus Housing, reiterated the university’s efforts to diversity and inclusion.

“The University of Louisville is recognized as a national leader in its commitment to diversity and inclusion. U of L Campus Housing is determined to support and build on that commitment,” he said.

Hardy also detailed U of L’s recent announcement that the new residence hall is slated to include one gender-inclusive floor. Further, the university plans to include gender-neutral restrooms throughout the residence hall.

“We want to thank the students who have argued passionately about the needs for this accommodation, and we want to assure all our students that their well-being is at the forefront of all we do,” he said.

Photo Courtesy of the University of Louisville

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SGA holds forum to meet this year’s running candidates Monday, Mar 1 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

Candidates for the University of Louisville Student Government Association’s Top 4 positions participated in a forum last week about their platforms. The positions for Top 4 include Student Body President, Executive Vice President, Academic Vice President and Services Vice President.

The SGA election will take place from March 1 to March 3. Ballots will be sent to U of L students through their email.

Student Body President / Executive VP:

Candidates: – Ugonna Okorie (President) and Sydney Finley (EVP)

The candidates for both Student Body President and Executive VP are running unopposed as one ticket.

Okorie focused on her three initiatives of reshaping SGA culture to allow for greater accountability, pushing for progress and anti-racism initiatives.

For reshaping SGA, Okorie wants to begin Senate recaps, monthly updates and regularly updating the SGA website.

She hopes to push for progress by advocating against unnecessary fees and tuition costs and amplify student voices in university administration.

When asked about how she would stand up for students in her role and make sure their values were represented, Okorie detailed her desire to make Senate meetings advertised more openly so that more student voices can be heard during those meetings. She also pointed to a broader desire to get a more diverse set of students involved in SGA as a whole to ensure different perspectives are being heard.

Finley focused on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, emphasizing campus safety and increasing student accessibility to student resources. Findley also detailed her plan to stay in touch with student organizations.

“One of the main things I plan to do should I be elected Executive Vice President is reaching out to different student organizations on campus,” she said. “Specifically, RSOs that represent stakeholders in really important campus issues that are at the forefront of student discussions and making sure that I’m getting information from those students.”

Academic Vice President:

Candidates:  – Alexa Meza

– Jacob Schagene

Meza’s campaign for Academic VP is about questioning current methods of grading, evaluating and teaching and introducing accessible and inclusive methods that help students succeed while at U of L.

Meza also echoed the importance of having adequate faculty representation when asked about how she would work to increase diversity in this area.

“I think that when faculty members look like us and have experiences similar to us, that’s when students really thrive,” she said.

Schagene has centered his campaign on building back trust between students and faculty, and between faculty and the administration that, he believes, has deteriorated in relation to the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m going to fight to make online learning more accessible and also to make online learning less discriminatory,” he said.

Addressing the same question about faculty representation as Meza, Schagene said, “Faculty come and go but it’s not something that we can change overnight in regards to the representation of faculty members,” he said. “I think it’s important that we analyze faculty departments where there’s not been a lot of change in the faculty and how we can help them to better promote the ideas of representation and what positions we could put in place there in order to allow students to have some sort of representation in this area.”

Services Vice President:

Candidates: – Grayson Stinger

– Eli Cooper

The candidates for Services VP are Grayson Stinger and Eli Cooper.

Cooper’s candidacy for SVP is centered around being a voice for divestment and an agent for change in all meetings with the administration. He discussed how his platform of divestment could help the university reach its goal of being anti-racist.

“Specifically, for Services Vice President, as my responsibility as a candidate, I think divestment in all instances of the world, divestment from fossil fuels, divestment from Aramark, divestment from ULPD, everything,” he said. “I think that is one of the biggest impacts we can have to move towards being an anti-racist institution.”

Stinger is focusing his candidacy on student health, student inclusion and student advancement. When asked about the university’s anti-racism initiatives, Stinger echoed the other candidates in saying the university isn’t doing enough and said it was a top-down issue.

“One of the things I want to start if I become elected as Services Vice President is mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all staff and faculty on campus,” he said.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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SGA announces changes to Campus Dining’s operation hours Saturday, Feb 27 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

In response to survey results about the University of Louisville’s decision to cut back campus dining services, U of L’s Student Government Association has announced adjustments made by the university to the dining hours of operation. The university has expanded dining hours for several campus locations, including Subway, the Starbucks at SAC East and more.

  • Effective Friday, Feb. 26, Subway will reopen on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Effective Saturday, Feb. 27, through Saturday, March 27, Starbucks at SAC East will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Effective Monday, March 1, Einstein Bros Bagels will be open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for GrubHub orders only, the location will not be taking orders at the counter.
  • Effective Saturday, April 3, Starbucks at Ekstrom will return to its regular Saturday operating hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Campus Dining will also be covering transaction costs associated with ordering Einstein’s on GrubHub. SGA President Sabrina Collins said that there shouldn’t be any reimbursement process or special step that students would need to take.

“My understanding is that this was done to limit the number of staff needed to keep the location open which in turn limits operational costs,” Collins said. “Decisions about closures were made with data regarding foot traffic and things like that, so Dining must have felt it necessary to limit operational costs at Einsteins through this decision while meeting student demands to bring the location back online.”

U of L Dining originally reduced its hours for some dining locations, even closing some entirely, as a result of a 39% reduction in student, faculty, staff and visitors on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students and parents immediately expressed their frustration once the initial change came out. U of L then asked for survey feedback from members of the U of L community to see what adjustments were desired and needed. The above adjustments were made in response to the survey results.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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SGA Top 4 members give advice for upcoming elections Thursday, Feb 4 2021 

By Tate Luckey —

Among the various organizations and clubs here at the University of Louisville, arguably the most important is the Student Government Association. As stated in their preamble, the SGA serves to be a voice for fellow students on campus and the commonwealth. They are composed of an executive, legislative and judicial branch, as well as having ties to the Student Activities and Engage Lead Serve Board. 

Elections are next month, and with that, campaigns may begin as early as next week, but for an uninformed student, how can they get involved? 

“I’d recommend starting with something small at first like engaging with current student leadership,” Ben Barberie, SGA’s academic vice president, said. “I learned about SGA my freshman year through older friends who served in student government.”

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately get a position, though. Barberie lost his freshman campaign, and current SGA President Sabrina Collins used to be in the Student Senate before her rise.

Most members agree that wherever they end up elected, the ability to be a visionary makes it all worthwhile. 

“My favorite part of SGA is meeting other driven leaders who are passionate about making U of L a better place for students,” Collins said. She and the current SGA administration are undertaking the 2025 Strategic Development Plan, an initiative dedicated to making a difference for the student body. The 17-page document details the 5 key categories for student success that each administration should work toward improving. 

“I love the feeling of hope and optimism that comes with my work and the work of others around me,” Barberie said. “Sometimes the results don’t yield in weeks or even months, but it’s refreshing to think that the impact of your work could help a student 5 or even 10 years down the line.” 

The first step, however, is to campaign for a position. While it can be tough (especially this year due to COVID-19), Barberie says that if you have a good “why” behind your work, it will all be worth it. 

“If you’re committed to making campus a better place, don’t lose sight of that vision – often the best policy initiatives come from a place of passion, care, and creativity,” he said.

Applications for the 2021 election close Feb. 5, with the election itself taking place on March 1-3. You can find out more about candidacy here.

Graphic by Andrew Campbell // The Louisville Cardinal

The post SGA Top 4 members give advice for upcoming elections appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

SGA’s #RealCards campaign highlights student concerns Saturday, Nov 21 2020 

By Tate Luckey —

As the first semester during the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, many may be wondering how the students themselves are feeling. The University of Louisville’s Student Government Association put together an online submission forum they dubbed “#RealCards” to ask U of L students how they were doing this semester.

SGA took inspiration from Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of sociology and medicine at Temple University, who started the #RealCollege campaign, helping refocus higher education on what matters most.

Students have been communicating these struggles with SGA, which has worked to “bridge the gap,” as Sabrina Collins, SGA president, puts it, between students and faculty.

“We wanted to provide an anonymous forum for people to connect with us on what this semester has been like for them. I spoke at length with Interim Dean Owen about this issue and how we can bridge the gap between students and faculty,” Collins said.

The number of anonymous responses surprised Collins. The responses all detail similar, serious problems students on campus are facing.

“It seems like the #RealCards campaign is reminding students that they are not alone in their struggle,” she said.

One major issue students faced this semester was that the workload given was just unreasonable, especially during a global pandemic.

Noah Vanrude, a sophomore music and new media major, said that “My main issue is just not having much time for a break, and some professors have not decreased their workload. Classes I’ve normally been doing great in I’m not doing well in.”

A junior from the College of Education and Human Development painted a more broad picture, saying that “being a college student trying to navigate college during a pandemic, civil rights movement, and global crisis is very, very draining.”

For some students, communication via emails and Zoom meetings can only go so far.

“I wish my professors knew that I can only put in as much effort as they do for online classes,” freshman English major Cassidy Witt explained. “If they don’t care to have synchronous classes, and organized due dates, then I’m not going to feel attached to their class or feel the need to prioritize it.”

And with so many students on campus, many are also concerned with a lack of safety and accountability.

“I wish that my professors knew how reckless students are outside of the classroom with the virus. I feel uncomfortable with my lab partner because I see pictures of where they were over the weekend. I’m doing my part to be smart with COVID, but I’m afraid I’m going to be the person to bring it home through school,” a junior from the College of Nursing responded.

“I know I can be responsible for myself and know that I’m staying safe, but I don’t know if my peers are doing the same and being safe and socially responsible. I’ve seen them being irresponsible so that is hard,” another junior from the College of Arts and Sciences said.

SGA plans to connect with the university administration, including school deans, the faculty senate, and the Student Wellbeing Committee, with a report detailing the common themes in the results and how those might inform policy change for spring.

If you’d like to submit an anonymous response to SGA’s survey, you can do so here. 

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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