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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University selects finalists for Executive Vice President and University Provost position Monday, Nov 2 2020 

  • By Madelin Shelton —

The University of Louisville has selected finalists for the Executive Vice President and University Provost (EVPUP) position. Each candidate will participate in an open forum and a Q&A open to the campus community.

The candidates will respond to the following prompt for 15 minutes: Why Provost? Why now? Why U of L? How will you define short-term and long-term success as the next EVPUP at the University of Louisville? The forum will then open up to 45 minutes of Q&A.

For those wishing to attend, the forums will be available in-person, via livestream or by watching the recordings afterward. Virtual attendees can participate via Microsoft Teams Live Event.

Those attending in-person will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines. Seating will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

There are four candidates, each with separate dates and times for their open forum. Their identities, resumé and cover letter will be made available on the Search for EVPUP website shortly before their visit.

Candidate one participated in an open forum Mon., Oct. 26. The recording can be found here. Candidate two will have theirs Thurs., Nov. 5 from 10:00 to 11:10 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Student Activities Center (SAC).

Candidate three’s open forum will take place Mon., Nov. 9 from 10:00-11:10 a.m. in rooms 101 and 102 of the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building on the Health Sciences Center (HSC) campus.

Candidate four’s open forum is Thurs., Nov. 12 from 10:00-11:10 a.m. in the Ballroom of the SAC.

Members of the U of L community are invited to fill out the feedback survey for each provost candidate after hearing from them during their campus visit.

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U of L searches for new College of A&S Dean Monday, Nov 2 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has selected five finalists out of a pool of 30 applicants to interview for the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) position.

The candidates will be visiting campus on various dates to interact with College of A&S stakeholders.

Four candidates will have hybrid in-person/virtual visits, while one candidate has opted for an entirely virtual visit.

The candidates’ information will be made public on the A&S Dean Search Website one week prior to their visit. The first candidate, Georita Frierson, visited campus Oct. 29-30. Candidate two will visit Nov. 5-6.

The second candidate, Interim College of Arts & Sciences  Dean David Owen, will interact with A&S stakeholders on Nov. 5-6.

Candidates three, four and five will visit on Nov. 17-18, Nov. 19-20 and Nov. 23-24, respectively.

More information about the search can be found here.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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SGA Elections should be your priority this week Monday, Feb 24 2020 

By Maggie Vancampen —

Student Government Association elections are underway and should be on everyone’s radar.

Even though people question what SGA actually does, it really is quite simple. SGA advocates for students at the administrative level and protects student rights.

Our current Student President Jasper Noble, and every president before him, serves on the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees runs the university and Noble serves as a voice for students in making final decisions on issues such as raising tuition.

The current Academic Vice President Sabrina Collins said her position sits on faculty senate and the executive board of faculty senate, committees regarding the Cardinal Core and implementation committees for President Neeli Bendapudi’s strategic plan.

Collins said Executive Vice President Kayla Payne is designed to run the student senate, promote diversity and works with athletics.

Service Vice President Lydia Burns is on committees that have to do with housing, parking and sustainability Collins said.

These are powerful committees that have student voices. They can make a difference.

However, SGA needs to know what students want. And the best way students can have their voices be heard is by voting.

Voter turnout has been historically low; the 2018-2019 school year election only had a 15 percent response rate with 3, 125 participants. Over 3,800 voted the previous year.

SGA hosted a forum for all candidates Feb. 19 so they could talk about what they wanted to improve within the University of Louisville community.

When this story is published, U of L will be in the midst of voting. Voting will end Feb. 26.

Photo by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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