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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Uncertainty hangs over remaining campus students and resources Monday, Mar 23 2020 

By Joseph Garcia —

The Cardinal’s Assistant Editor-in-Chief gives an update on campus life amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uncertainty hangs over empty walkways and seas of upright chairs. Any other day, a look at an almost empty Ekstrom library and you’d think University of Louisville students were away celebrating some long awaited break.

A week before Spring Break, no one would have predicted U of L President Neeli Bendapudi would make the decision to move classes online until the end of the semester and postpone Spring Commencement.

As the world around us hastily comes to a halt, so does life on U of L’s campuses. While a majority of students are holed up in the apartments or with family preparing for online classes, a few still remain working in “essential” university services like dining or the Campus Store. However as more and more places shut their doors and students are moved out of campus housing, worry continues to grow.

Amber Hurst, a gap year student working at the Campus Bookstore, has been working at the store for five years.

“Things have definitely slowed down a lot, it’s kind of hard to keep being productive,” Hurst said. She said with the state things are in, she’s worried about job security.

Hurst had picked up another job but after working only two weeks, she was told her job would potentially close due to the virus.

“I needed some extra money,” Hurst said. “And now with the Bookstore’s status, I’m a little bit worried.”

Across campus, the Ekstrom Starbucks has noticed a similar drop in traffic. Senior shift manager Davy Adams said they are getting a fair amount of customers in a given hour.

“It depends on the day too,” they said.

Policy changes because of the virus are also evident across U of L’s campus. Restaurants have removed all dine-in seating encouraging customers to continue practicing social distancing. Cleaning has also had an overhaul.

“We have to wipe down all surfaces every 20 minutes. Anything that we are touching with our hands we have to wipe down,” Adams said. They wish though that face masks could be provided for extra precaution. “A few people that work for Campus Dining have them, but they bring them from home,” Adams said.

Adams admitted they don’t feel particularly safe being back, even despite the lack of students. This was a common sentiment among many of the remaining student workers.

“I’m here because I have to make money,” they said. “I don’t want to say that I’m petrified to work here, I feel like we’re doing the best we can do. But as a working class person, what are you gonna do? You gotta work, you gotta make money.”

Even with the closures, and students being told March 18 to leave campus housing, there were still some resources available for students.

Kathy Meyer, assistant director of student leadership, said the Cardinal Cupboard, U of L’s first food pantry, will remain open during the campus closure as long as the SAC remains open. The pantry can be found in room W314.

“In the event that the Cardinal Cupboard must close, we recommend those in need of food search the Dare to Care distribution webpage for a list of mobile pantries and stationary pantries,” Meyer said.

Meyer also suggested students finding themselves in financial emergencies during this time apply for the Louis and Louise W. Wisser Bornwasser Emergency Fund. The fund’s goal is to “assist University of Louisville students who encounter an unforeseen emergency or catastrophic event,” said the Dean of Student’s website.

Photo by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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