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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Storming of the Capitol exposes biases of federal government Tuesday, Jan 19 2021 

Catherine Brown–

The riots at the Capitol building on Jan. 6 are inexcusable. But the government needs to answer for its own hypocrisy when hundreds of white protestors can storm their way into a federal building trashing political offices, looting and even killing 5 people, while peaceful Black Lives Matter protests were constantly victim blamed, shot at and even killed for standing up for their right to live.

Sadly, I agree that white supremacists who staged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol based on unfounded conspiracy theories were being treated differently than Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington this past summer,” said University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton.

“It should not matter whether they were Trump supporters or not,” Clayton said. “They were engaged in lawless activity — a mob going after anyone not supporting their attempt to overturn a lawful election.  This country has a history of treating Black and White protesters differently even when the Black protesters are engaged in lawful peaceful protest and the White protesters are engaged in lawlessness.”

It’s clear that there is privilege afforded to the protestors who participated in the recent riot. 

On what he thought of the news when he first heard about it, Clayton said that he was shocked, but not surprised. “President Trump has released racial hatred since he became president and this was predictable as we saw his behavior and that of his supporters at his rallies.”  

“The band of insurgents carried Confederate flags into the U.S. Capitol, Tea Party flags, Trump flags and American flags as they threatened the safety and lives of our elected members of Congress and attacked Capitol Police,” Clayton said. “One of the greatest threats to our democracy today is not from foreign invasion but from domestic terrorism from white supremacists within this country.  Too many in the administration have remained quiet for too long — some have now resigned, though too late.”

Clayton said it is unlikely that Vice President Mike Pence will invoke the 25th amendment, which members of the House across party lines have called for.  And as Clayton predicted, Vice President Mike Pence did not invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump. 

Despite this, President Trump was not let off the hook for the incident on Capitol Hill. As the House moves forward with a second impeachment trial, several media corporations, including Twitter, Facebook, and Google have already suspended or banned Trump from their platforms. “Our democracy is shaken but it will hold,” Clayton said.

This incident will be yet another example of how we continue to fail Black Americans and stifle Black voices. We shouldn’t tolerate this racial bias because it could lead to even more casualties in the future. Don’t accept this incident as yet another American tragedy because of this country’s history in discrimination. 

Use it to make your voice heard against the injustices that prevail.

Photo Courtesy of Tyler Merbler 

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President Bendapudi appoints new vice president for University Advancement Friday, Jul 24 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi announced on July 22 that Jasmine Farrier has been appointed as the vice president for University Advancement. Farrier will begin in this new position on Aug. 1.

The vacant position was left by Bradley Shafer who announced that he would resign in order to move closer to his family.

“In looking to fill the position, I sought someone who would be authentic in telling the UofL story, who would build important relationships with all members of the Cardinal family, and who had established a proven record of delivering positive results,” Bendapudi said. “Dr. Farrier meets and surpasses all these criteria.”

Farrier is a political science graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her Ph.D. in government from the Univesity of Texas at Austin. She has been a part of U of L’s political science faculty since 2002 and became chair of the department in 2018. She believes that her experience as political science chair will guide her in her new role.

“Being POLS chair showed me that our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters want the same thing – across partisan lines, generations, and geography — a vibrant community that knows how to collaborate for our beloved U of L,” Farrier said.

“Our alumni and community partners want to help all U of L students build their resumes as they earn degrees. That’s how we build social capital for every student regardless of background.”

The University Advancement Office is responsible for fundraising, marketing and alumni relations.

Farrier has experience working with alumni because of the Political Science Alumni Council, which she helped establish. “The Council worked to support current students internships in Washington, D.C. and these experiences will propel those students toward future employment opportunities,” she said.

Farrier’s vision for the university is a future where the university supports and nurtures its students who will in turn graduate and become successful alumni who will make it possible to recruit and support more students.

“I also want to help our University grow closer to all economic facets of the city, Commonwealth, and region. Across the US, economic development is often tied to University expansion and a well-educated/high-skilled population,” Farrier said.  “The University of Louisville plays an essential role in the economic success of the city, region and Commonwealth.”

Farrier looks forward to beginning this new position and expressed gratitude towards the university, “This university took a chance on me straight out of graduate school with just a promise of future success. I am motivated by this gratitude every day and eager for this expanded opportunity to give back.”

Photo Courtesy//The University of Louisville

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