U of L United Nations Association recognized for mock diplomatic efforts Wednesday, Dec 1 2021 

By Tate Luckey —

The U of L chapter of the United National Association travels regionally to participate in model sessions, often bringing home lots of award hardware. The club is sponsored by political science professor Tricia Gray.

The chapter, both U of L’s and Louisville Metro’s, works together toward the common goals of inspiring, motivating and sharing the mission of the United Nations. This is done through in-person events, ranging from Model UN conferences to speakers for UN Days and leadership training for students.

The chapter president is sophomore political science major Alex Reynolds. He said the U of L chapter is more student-advocacy focused.  “Our club for right now seems more Model UN [based], but we’re going to start transitioning to more advocacy stuff, and even a model EU. It’s kind of in limbo right now.”

The Louisville Metro Chapter is primarily more service, education and leadership-focused. An event Gray described included the U of L chapter partnering with UNA Women to plan for International Women’s Day and Women’s Her-story Month in March.

Will VanHandorf, Luke Threlfall, Tristan Black, and Luka Johnson all showing their awards at the 42nd UIndy ICIP.

The main draw for most students is playing the role of certain countries and advocating for those issues. The group recently returned from the 42nd International Consortium of International Studies hosted at the University of Indianapolis, where they represented Vietnam, Tunisia, India and France. Louisville placed first and also won plenty of awards. Tristan Black won Best Delegate (Council 3), Luke Threlfall won Second Best Delegate and Best Diplomat (Council 2), Will VanHandorf won Best Diplomat (Council 3) and Luka Johnson won Best in Character (Council 1.)

“The Model United Nations conferences are fantastic! I have so many anecdotes, like the woman who came rushing over to me afterward to say that we HAVE to do the national level!” Gray said, stressing it as a bonding experience that gives students a taste of real diplomacy and the difficulty achieving it.

You’d be hard-pressed to find any student in the club who doesn’t have a broad interest in foreign policy; of the six students on the officer board, five are political science majors and all plan on entering the legislative world.  “I think you can just be creative with it. There’s an endless amount of issues you can find and try and solve and take different perspectives on. It’s not one narrow area, you can go from local to international; I think that’s kinda what drew me to get involved in the UN,” Reynolds said.

Fun fact: two students from U of L’s first and second Model UN teams are both now working in the U.S. Foreign Service.

If you’d like to find out more, you can do so here on their Instagram page and here at Engage.

File Photos // @uofluna on Instagram // 

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Exposure Club captures passion for student photography Monday, Nov 22 2021 

By Tate Luckey —

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then the University of Louisville Exposure club is developing a whole slew of authors.

Photo from Iggy Wirasakti, _iggs__ on Instagram

Photo from Iggy Wirasakti, _iggs__ on Instagram

The Exposure Club, currently run by U of L juniors Claudia Scheiderich and Iggy Wirasakti, started again in September 2021 after a short hiatus. Talk to any of the members and you can hear their passion for the beauty of photography; Iggy, for example, specializes in wildlife photography (specifically snakes). “[Snakes] are extremely misunderstood creatures,” he explained, “so I want to help people overcome this fear by showing them how incredible they are through my pictures.”

Claudia’s influence is more familial. “My aunt (no relation by blood) is a photographer, and my dad is a graphic designer. I also took lots of classes in high school that helped a lot.”

Photo from Zane Graham, @art_vandelay90 on Instagram

Photo from Zane Graham, @art_vandelay90 on Instagram

Sophomore Zane Graham developed his interest in photography as a younger teen. After receiving a used Olympus PEN camera for Christmas at 15 years old, he took to exploring his own backyard and capturing photos of the wooded areas around it.

Ernesto Fonesca, though only a freshman, is primarily self-taught; he found his niche in 360 photos/video, using its unique angle and lenses to capture fun, dizzying action shots. “A lot of it was through watching virtual tours; from there it was just experimenting,” he said.

Though the club disbanded for a bit in 2020, Scheiderich and Wirasakti aim to bring it back to full strength through various “photo walks” through locations on or near campus, editing workshops where students can learn and collaborate with others and hosting the occasional guest speaker.

If you would like to learn more, you can check out their Instagram here.

File Photos // UofL Exposure Club, @_iggs__ and @art_vandelay90 //

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New University “Free Store” aims to combine convenience with sustainability Thursday, Nov 11 2021 

By Tate Luckey —

Following up from the University of Louisville’s “Sustainability Week,” which featured activities and groups all across campus promoting sustainable practices and workshops, a new pop-up shop is now a permanent addition to campus: The U of L “Free Store.” Open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the SAC (W303C, through the double doors) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., students can go shop around for all kinds of donated clothes, shoes, trinkets and electronics.

The Free Store was started a few years ago by former Zero Waste interns to have a space on campus that helps limit the number of items that end up in landfills and to provide free goods for students and faculty. Interns Rachel Mudd and Jacob Foushee deem Justin Mog, the Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives, a “sustainability guru” in terms of helping them organize the store. 

“‘Zero-waste’ is kind of a strong word,” Mog said when describing the initiative. “Basically our free store student staffers campaign for a reduction in waste and aim to try and stop clothes and other items from ending up in landfills.”

Similar to Goodwill, students can bring in items as donations for others to shop through, and there’s no money exchanged. “As far as screening, things are sorted and checked, but if they’re damaged or dirty we usually take them somewhere else. But we will take pretty much anything, excluding baby to youth clothing,” they said.

And it’s an admittedly small space. But that small space represents a much greater goal.

According to a recent NPR article, donation-based stores like Goodwill threw out around 13 million pounds of waste last year. U of L was recently called Kentucky’s top school for sustainability according to Sierra Magazine, most notably exceeding its 2020 carbon emissions goal by reducing them 35 percent. According to the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), the university has a Zero Waste score of 58.2 percent (other campuses that work with PLAN average around 40-50 percent). The hope is that with better signage/promotion, the Free Store can grow to contribute more to the report and U of L’s overall sustainability efforts.

On the last Tuesday of each month, the Free Store moves to inside the Red Barn for a public “Free Sale.” If you would like to make donations, there is a bin at the bottom of Unitas Tower, tentatively getting relocated to the SAC. 

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal //

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“Los Cardenales” student athlete group aims to embrace Hispanic/Latinx heritage Tuesday, Oct 12 2021 

By Tate Luckey–

For a lot of students at the University of Louisville, some are just a short drive from campus to get back home. Others live a city or state over. For a select group of student-athletes, though, that expands to a whole other country. 

Recently, U of L established the “Los Cardenales”, a group of Latinx and Hispanic students that mainly hail from countries and territories south of the border, in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The group’s sponsor, Monica Negron (who is from Puerto Rico and played lacrosse for the university), emphasized that the group’s goal is to connect with other Hispanic/Latinx student-athletes. They’re the first Hispanic/Latinx athlete group in the ACC.

“It’s all about awareness. The only challenge is that being a student-athlete, their lives are crazy,” she explained. “Whether it’s just them connecting with each other over something they didn’t necessarily know like about the different countries [they’re from], or proposing that the meetings be bilingual or just Spanish or just in English; that’s kinda the beginning of some of the stuff we’re working through,” she said.

The group currently has about 10-20 members, and senior swimmer Santiago Aguilera is in charge of recruitment. “I go out to other teams, introduce myself, and ask if there are any Latino student-athletes with any type of Latino heritage that wants to join, and I recruit them. As Latinos we are taught to love others and be there for others so we are the most loyal friends you can find; we will stand by you and do things others are not willing to do for our friends and family,” he said. 

Strong familial bonds carry a lot of weight in those who have Latinx/Hispanic backgrounds.  “Since we find ourselves around 500 miles (or more) away from our families, we come together on campus to form our own family that we can come to and listen to reggaeton or do some Latinx foods that remind us of home,” junior Argentinian golfer and president Augustina Cisterna said.

“We just share a very strong bond with each other also since our culture is being very affectionate and caring towards each other.” She was part of those who formed the Cardenales last year, after texting Negron asking if a club like this existed on campus.

If students want to be an ally that is an option too- the only full requirement for the Cardenales is that they have to have to be a student-athlete. 

Some upcoming events for the Cardenales include a mentorship program with Newburg Middle school students who share a similar heritage, and joining with the Porter Scholars on their upcoming panel on Colorism (October 15th).  If you’re interested in finding out more, you can do so here

Photo courtesy by // Los Cardenales 

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U of L students reach out to each other anonymously on “Missed Connections” account Wednesday, Oct 6 2021 

By Tate Luckey

Pictured here are some light-hearted screenshots from the “@UofLMissedConnections” Instagram, made by some students who thought it would be really easy to see what people say anonymously. “It makes it interesting for the followers to not know who runs the account and gives us a secret identity that only we know,” they said. The account, which has gained over 1050 followers in the past month, doesn’t have much for juicy follow-ups, though- most DMs are just other users responding to a confession saying that it’s them.

Photos by // @uoflmissedconnections Instagram

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REACH adds new Peer Academic Coaching program Wednesday, Sep 8 2021 

By Tate Luckey–

For students who are struggling with getting a good start to their academic career, or even those who need a quick confidence boost, REACH is the service for them. Not only do they provide tutoring, graduate exam prep, and a whole resource center dedicated to up to 200 level math courses, they also are providing a newer service referred to as Peer Academic Coaching.

According to Dr. Geoff Bailey, Executive Director of REACH and Testing Services, Peer Academic Coaching is designed to help students develop their academic skillsets to achieve their goals.

We help students establish specific, SMART goals and identify challenges that might detract from their academic success as well as help identify resources (U of L services, people, departments) that can support their academic lives,” he said.  The other REACH services, by comparison, are more focused on course content and learning the specific subject matter.

And don’t worry about the service being virtual either. While the pandemic has definitely left a ripple in how educators like him and Mark Woolwine, Assistant Director of Learning Resources, approached REACH as a whole, no student utilizing this service will talk to a coach through a screen.

Students who sign up can meet one of eight different peer coaches in BAB 427.  “Our peer coaches record students’ progress in CardSmart and review information about previous appointments to ensure we’re helping them continue to make progress on topics or developing skills that are critical to our students,” Bailey said.  

Students who are interesting in being a coach can sign up here. The only requirements are to have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a faculty or staff recommendation. If you’d like to sign up for a coaching appointment, you can do so here

Graphic by Eli Hughes // The Louisville Cardinal

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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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U of L students share what it’s like to learn during a pandemic Thursday, Oct 29 2020 

By Gabriel Howard — 

Colleges across the nation are now months into their fall semester. While some have failed to welcomes students back, the University of Louisville is one of many schools that has had a successful reopening.

With a low positivity rate of 1.94%, campus has been a relatively safe place for students to come and learn. And for those who don’t want to come to campus, distance education is a viable option for some.

With this in mind, how have the students felt getting their education in this new look form of university?

Taking a look at students from various majors and schedules, their experiences during this semester seem to all have different trajectories.

Junior business major Tristen Bromagen said he has had an up and down experience up to this point.

“Coming to campus was something I never expected given how last semester ended,” Bromagen said. “I really liked that they opened campus back up. I felt like I might never be back in the classroom.”

But Bromagen said that online learning has been a struggle for him.

“Online classes simply aren’t for me. They don’t feel fully engaging and leave me wishing that I could be in a classroom,” he said.

Such a feeling is something that a lot of students might be able to relate to. While others couldn’t agree less.

With online classes being charged the same as in-person or hybrid courses, a lot of students have decided to steer clear of going to campus. Instead they have opted for online instruction, getting an education from the comfort of their own residence.

Sydney Broadway, a senior of the college of education has had a different experience in the virtual environment.

“Learning my classes online is actually helping me prepare for when I have to teach my own classes online in the future,” Broadway said.

She continued to point out how online learning has been more beneficial than the classroom because she has more resources to learn and gain a better understanding of what she is learning.

“The extra time we have to work and learn in the online courses helps me way more than I expected,” Broadway said. “I’m starting to wish I had always taken classes online.”

No matter the choice, it seems while some students  love having an almost entirely virtual experience, others dread having it stare at the computer screen for hours upon end. It would be safe to say that the experience of virtual learning is a bit of a mixed bag.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Students name their favorite coffee shops across Louisville Tuesday, Oct 27 2020 

By Grace Welsh —

There’s something about the energy of a coffee shop that makes people feel cozy, safe and comfortable. Whether you’re there for a solo study session, a date with an old friend, or just need a little escape from reality, coffee shops are a great place to go.

Visiting local places is a great way to benefit the local economy and strengthen communities. Not surprisingly, Louisville is home to many great locally-owned coffee shops, including Sunergos, Quill’s, Heine Bros.Safai, and Ntaba.

After visiting a few of these local businesses and talking to fellow U of L students, I’ve put together a detailed list of each place and what makes it so special.

Sunergos

The Sunergos located on South Preston Street, located 1 door down from Nord’s Bakery.

Sunergos is loved by many due to the friendly atmosphere and delicious drinks. Junior Micah Ledford said that she loves the warm atmosphere and its close proximity to campus, as it’s located on Preston Street.

“Their iced caramel lattes are my favorite,” she said. Sophomore Jack Kebbell felt the same way.

“They have a lot of variety, it’s fair trade, and I really enjoy studying at the outdoor seating.”

I visited Sunergo’s myself and was not let down. The chai tea latte with oat milk was delicious, and the Halloween decorations in the lobby made me love it even more. They did a great job with following COVID-19 regulations, requiring masks and only allowing 12 visitors in at a time.

Heine Bros.

10 years ago, when my eldest brother began working as a barista at Heine Bros. on Eastern Parkway, my coffee shop obsession began. My favorite drink was the coconut Italian soda, and I loved to color in the coloring books they had. My brother was given AUX chord privileges, and he always played the best music.

Heine Bros. is fair trade and ecologically mindful. For every bag of coffee sold, 2 trees are planted in Northern Peru. Since they opened in 1994, Heine Bros. has donated to hundreds of local volunteer organizations in the city of Louisville.

Quill’s

Quill’s was the first coffee shop I visited since moving onto campus last year. Jasmine tea was my go-to.

While they have a super accessible and student-friendly location right along the Cardtown stip, that location is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. This means that only their Nulu, St. Matthews, and Highlands locations are open. Their 90’s alternative rock music made me feel right at home, and I spent a lot of time in my corner spot typing away on my laptop.

Sophomore Savannah Clarkson is also a fan of Quill’s because “the people are so friendly and they have great tasting food and drinks.” Her favorite drink is their espresso, which she appreciates as a metro college student who needs a pick me up in the mornings.

Safai

Safai, located in the heart of the Highlands, started off in 1998 as a drive-thru kiosk and grew into what it is today. They pride themselves on hand-picking every strain of coffee they sell and making sure it is the best quality possible.

They supply their coffee to hundreds of hotels, and they provide financial security to all farmers and their families. Sophomore Lanie Miller told me that Safai is her favorite local coffee shop because of its convenient parking, outdoor seating, reasonable prices, and lovely artwork.

“I love the chai tea latte and cayenne mocha,” she said. “Since indoor ordering isn’t available right now, it feels much safer too.”

Ntaba Coffee Haus

The inside of Ntaba Coffee Haus.

Ntaba is the only US Based coffee shop that specializes in brewing and serving African coffee.

In fact, they work with each farmer to ensure that their coffee beans are derived from the best African farms. Their mission is to create an authentic setting where people can come together to build relationships, share stories, discuss opportunities, and meet with friends.

They also sell locally made art from Recyclocraftz, a Louisville based art initiative that collaborates with and supports those living in poverty in Zambia. My favorite drink they had there was the refreshing hibiscus tea.

 

Photos by Grace Welsh

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Ashanti Scott speaks about her arrest and Breonna Taylor’s death Friday, Oct 9 2020 

 By Tate Luckey —

3 counts of “wanton endangerment” were the only charges filed in the case of Breonna Taylor’s death that occurred earlier this year on March 13. When a Kentucky grand jury and Attorney General Daniel Cameron confirmed on Sept. 23 that those were in fact the only charges for officer Brett Hankison, a reasonably upset city took to the streets to protest for justice.

The city countered by reimplementing a 9 p.m. curfew from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26, with those not abiding the curfew being taken into police custody. 

Among those arrested on Sept. 24 were University of Louisville McConnell scholar and sophomore Ashanti Scott and her mother, state representative Attica Scott. They were held until Friday morning, along with local activist Shameka Parrish-Wright. 

“We had been driving by one of the marches that happened, and then LMPD cut us off. We got out of the car because we thought we’d be arrested for still being in our car during curfew. We had walked to this church that Rep. Lisa Willner was a part of because they held sanctuary there,” Ashanti Scott said, speaking about the First Unitarian Church, which offered protesters sanctuary that night.

“We were walking towards the front of the library, along Broadway, but to try and avoid confrontation with the police we turned and tried to go around the church. When we came to the back police yelled ‘Surround them! Get on the ground!’ and we were detained.”

According to both her account and Rep. Scott’s Instagram Live footage, they were then held down with zip ties around their hands. 

“One of the others we were detained with asked the officer if they were going to read us our rights. They said no, and so I was never read our charges,” Scott said. “I didn’t even know our charges until later on while in jail. When we finally did know, even the officer that showed Ms. Shameka her charges said ‘this was crazy,’” she said.

Unable to see their bond, they were eventually released at 8:30 a.m. the next day. Their release papers showed that they had a riot 1 felony, unlawful assembly misdemeanor, and failure to disperse misdemeanor.

After Attorney Mike O’Connell and Thomas Wise initially refused to drop said charges, the Scott’s started a #dropthecharges campaign that gathered moderate interest on platforms like Twitter from various U of L groups and local officials/activists.

“I don’t think they’re necessarily being indifferent. I think it’s a strategy by LMPD. My mom has introduced Breonna’s Law (an ordinance banning no-knock warrants unless in the situation of child endangerment), and I think it’s just a way to silence her,” Scott explained.

Scott said she wasn’t surprised by the decision of the Taylor case.

“I feel like just charging him with wanton endangerment, for shooting into the apartments, it was crazy to me that that happened,” she said. “[Hankison] spent less time in jail than what I did. I think the Breonna Taylor case is the most corrupt case we’re seeing involving the murder of an innocent black woman and someone actively trying to cover it up.”

Scott, who went to middle school with Taylor’s sister, explained that she thinks the severity of this case, in particular, is likely caused by Mayor Fischer’s gentrification plan for Taylor’s neighborhood and was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic/support of healthcare heroes. She initially only found out about Taylor’s death from her family’s social media. 

As of Oct. 6, the charges against the Scott’s and Parrish-Wright were dropped by O’Connell due to a “lack of evidence.” And while Ashanti was disappointed by the university’s response to the Breonna Taylor case and the Black Lives Matter movement beyond a few emails, she did have some sage advice for those getting involved.

“This movement involves a lot of young kids who are angry, and justifiably so. We just have to be able to work with them. If you can’t protest, the Kentucky Alliance Against Political Oppression is a great organization to donate to, as well as the Louisville chapter of the Bail Project. There’s also a lot of petitions still circulating.”

Photos Courtesy of Ashanti Scott 

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