Vaccines could become mandatory on campus Thursday, Oct 21 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

COVID-19 vaccines might soon be mandatory across campus.  The University of Louisville announced on Oct. 21 that they would be evaluating a vaccine requirement for all federal contractors to determine their next steps.  It could mean all students, faculty and staff at U of L must be vaccinated

“The university was recently informed that the federal government’s requirement for all federal contractors and covered contractors to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate will apply to the university,” the email announcement said. “Because the university has numerous federal contracts that we depend on for our operation, we are seriously evaluating these requirements.”

The email came from Provost Lori Stewart Gonzalez. She said she would inform the campus community once additional information is received. It was also signed by Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation Kevin Gardner, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students Michael Mardis, Human Resources Vice President Mary Miles, Executive Director of Campus Health Services Phillip Bressoud, and Chief Operating Officer Mark Watkins.

The group continues to encourage vaccinations.

They closed the email by thanking those who are working to keep the campus community safe from COVID-19.

“We thank Campus Health Services, the Contact Tracing Team and the Business Operations COVID Support Team for the work they have dedicated toward the university’s COVID-19 response. And we thank you, Cardinal Family, for getting vaccinated not only for yourself and loved ones but also for your fellow Cardinals and the community at large. The vaccines are safe, effective and our best tool for fighting against the pandemic.”

Those interested in getting vaccinated can go to U of L’s COVID-19 protocols page for more information.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L exploring the idea of an outdoor commencement for May 2021 Friday, Feb 26 2021 

By Madelin Shelton —

The University of Louisville is exploring the possibility of holding an outdoor, in-person commencement ceremonies May 7 through May 9 at Cardinal Stadium.

May 2021 graduates and 2020 graduates would be invited to attend, as the 2020 commencement ceremonies were cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Mardis, U of L dean of students and vice provost for student affairs, detailed the university’s desire to consider this option.

“We wanted to have commencement all along. We’ve done surveying and talked with a lot of different students and gotten feedback through SGA representation,” Mardis said. “Having it outdoors would be safer than having it indoors and it would be a bigger venue. Safety is our number one concern, but we have this strong desire to have an in-person ceremony because we know that that’s what students want.”

Stephanie Reibert, U of L’s commencement coordinator, discussed how the university plans to abide by COVID-19 guidelines for such an event.

“We are going to follow all university, state and CDC guidelines for precautions. So, there will be physical distancing at all times amongst the graduates and the guests,” she said. “Although it’s an outdoor event masks are going to be required at all times.”

There will also be hand sanitizing stations, sanitation of the podium, and ongoing discussions of how to handle the entry of people into the stadium so that there will be fewer touch points. Further, Mardis mentioned the likelihood that tickets for the event will be electronic to reduce interactions among staff and guests.

He also stated the importance of staying responsive and flexible with the changing nature of the pandemic. The university plans to make adjustments to commencement plans as the situation changes.

For graduates, the number of guests they can bring with them will likely be restricted. The university has limited capacity on the number of people that can be present at Cardinal Stadium.

“Our goal is to allow a safe number of guests to celebrate each graduate, but that number is still to be determined based on the state of the virus and the guidelines at that time,” Reibert said. “The number of guests allowed per each graduate will also depend on how many graduates will be participating in the ceremonies, which the university is gathering numbers on now.”

The university will come to a final decision about whether to host the outdoor ceremonies, and specific details, sometime in March.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Student removed from campus apartments after accidentally discharging firearm Wednesday, Nov 27 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

A University of Louisville student living in the Cardinal Towne apartments accidentally discharged a firearm Nov. 23, sending the bullet through the above room. No one was injured in this situation, but the student who fired the gun has been removed from Cardinal Towne and is facing disciplinary actions.

Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Boehm sent out a letter to students Nov. 26. “The student who discharged the weapon has been removed from campus housing and is facing disciplinary action as defined by the code of student conduct,” said Boehm. “Our housing office reached out to the affected students, offering them the opportunity to move to other housing, and the Dean of Students’ office and ULPD have engaged with the students to provide additional support.”

U of L Dean of Students Michael Mardis addressed the media Nov. 26 and said the gun was immediately seized from the student in question. He also said that the student wasn’t removed from the housing complex until Nov. 25, even though the incident happened two days before.

There was no RAVE alert sent out for this incident on Nov. 23. “As a reminder, U of L issues RAVE alerts when there is an imminent danger to students, faculty and staff,” said Boehm. “Because ULPD and Campus Housing quickly engaged the situation, there was no further threat to other students.”

Boehm also said in the letter that safety is the university’s top priority. She mentioned U of L’s weapon policy which prohibits deadly weapons on any property owned, leased, operated or controlled by U of L. This policy has been in place since 1996.

While both Boehm and Mardis said that the bullet went into the student’s closet, images from the student in the above room show the bullet was inches from her bed.

Boehm urged students, faculty and staff to call ULPD if they see something that concerns them on campus. She also highlighted the Cardinal Principle, being a “community of care.”

“Our safety is in large part determined by the quality of our response and the strength of the ties between us,” she said.

The student who fired the shot isn’t facing criminal charges, but is facing possible expulsion from U of L.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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