Bringing awareness to ULPD safety tips for students Thursday, Oct 21 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

After a break-in and sexual assault of a female student at The Retreat was reported on October 11, students have been worried of the consequences to their personal safety around campus.

To ease these concerns, please keep in mind the following tips for staying safe on and around U of L campuses.

Never travel alone when in an unfamiliar area or late at night.

When traveling late at night, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times. This is hard to do when walking alone. As such, consider bringing a travel companion with you — a friend, a classmate, a roommate, sibling, etc.

When you travel with others, you double the opportunity to spot any oddities in your area. Both you and your companion can be on the lookout for any weird noises, sights, or suspicious happenings. Please stay off of your phone.

If both of you are traveling to different places, you might want to walk together until one person gets to their destination. Once you know that they’re inside a building or around people that either of you trust, then you can leave. 

And be sure that you communicate with the other person at all times. Text or call the other person to let them know when you arrive. 

If you travel late at night, be sure to stay in well-lit areas. Belknap Campus has a walking trail called the “L Trail.” The L Trail is a long sidewalk path accompanied by streetlights to provide safer, well-lit travel between the SAC, the Quad, Ville Grill, and a few residence halls.

Keep doors and windows closed and locked at all times.

After the incident at The Retreat, U of L administration along with ULPD sent out reminders for students to keep all doors and windows locked when not in use. Before leaving for class, ensure that your doors and windows are closed and locked properly. When you go to bed, do the same thing. 

By keeping your doors and windows locked, you can protect yourself against potential break-ins.

Always have a police number on hand. 

Ensure that you know the numbers of any safety department on and around campus. U of L Chief of Police Gary Lewis that if you “see something, say something.” He urges anyone to use the campus police dispatch number (502) 852-6111 or 911.

If you have to call the dispatch for any reason, provide the dispatcher with your location and state of emergency. Give any details that you can about the emergency or about any possible perpetrators of a crime (if applicable). 

If traveling at night without a companion, call the university escort service to be taken to your destination. The service is free and easy to use. Call the Cardinal Cruiser escort service at 852-6111 to request an escort to anywhere within 4 blocks from Belknap Campus or to parking lots around the Health Sciences Center Campus.

You can also download the RAVE Guardian app to easily reach emergency services, report a tip on a crime, or make friends/emergency services aware of your ETA.

The university provides a variety of resources for students and faculty to be safe while on campus. You have a right to feel safe in public and especially at U of L. Don’t hesitate to utilize any resources necessary.

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

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Colin Powell: The loss of an American hero and a bygone era Tuesday, Oct 19 2021 

By Madelin Shelton–

Early Monday morning, Americans woke to the news that Colin Powell, a four-star general and former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, had passed away from complications of COVID-19.

This loss struck a chord with people across the political spectrum, as Powell was widely respected among Democrats and Republicans alike. This shared bipartisan grief points to a greater truth: America has lost the epitome of a statesman with his passing.

A trailblazer in his field, Powell became the first Black national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State. Prior to these roles, he served in the Army for 35 years, in which he was deployed to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

While these are noteworthy accomplishments on their own, they become even more astounding when you consider from where Powell rose up to these ranks.

Born to Jamaican immigrants in a Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Powell did not come from an elite background like so many of his predecessors and successors. He was not a graduate of an ivy league college, but rather The City College of New York, in which he joined the college’s ROTC program and thus began his military career.

His story is the quintessential American Dream. But don’t take my word for it. “Mine is the story of a black kid of no early promise from an immigrant family of limited means who was raised in the South Bronx,” Powell said in his 1995 autobiography “My American Journey.” He repeatedly framed his story as one characteristic of American success.

In his various roles of soldier, diplomat and adviser, Powell shaped U.S. national security policy for decades, and he did so with stellar leadership skills that demanded respect.

Powell even came to the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center in 2001 as part of the Center’s Distinguished Speakers Series and delivered remarks famously called “The Louisville Address” by diplomats across the globe. It was the first time the United States government laid out a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gary Gregg, PhD, the Director of the McConnell Center, remarked on the exceptional leader Powell was.

The key to his influence was being a patriot, a statesman, a lover of his country and someone who would support the American military outside of the partisan divide,” Gregg said. “I think the other thing about him that’s really important is that as a military man, he understood the cost of using the American military. He would generally be the least hawkish in the room in terms of using military force.”

Gregg pointed to Powell’s own experience as a Vietnam veteran that likely contributed to his hesitancy to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way. Powell genuinely understood the cost of the decisions he was helping to make in U.S. national security. In his decision-making, he was consistently level-headed, straightforward and analytical. He was the exact kind of person you would want in the room when making significant decisions about the military and American force, and the United States is better today because of his service.  

In addition to representing the loss of an extraordinary statesman and national hero, Powell’s death reminds us of a bygone era in American politics: an era where increasing political polarization didn’t infect every facet of American life.

Gregg said that instead of looking at this moment in terms of what we’ve lost, we should look at it in terms of what we’ve gained: a moment to reflect on our current politics. “I think we can look at this as a moment and remind ourselves that not long ago in American history, we had a national leader who could command wide respect in the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, that’s very difficult to find today.”

Powell was able to get people to take off their partisan jerseys in ways that many others could not. He strived to stay above the partisan fray and served this country faithfully as an American soldier and public servant. Perhaps we can use this moment to honor an American hero, emulate his dedication to public service and seek to find more common ground with our fellow Americans.  

Photo Courtesy// The New York Times

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What to decide when you’re undecided Tuesday, Oct 12 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

Every year, hundreds of U of L students declare themselves as “undecided” majors. As a result, many students fall behind or even delay their intended graduation because they can’t meet their flight plan within the traditional 4 years. Here is some insight into how to choose a major when you’re undecided.

First, know your timeline. On the one hand, U of L doesn’t require students to declare a major.

On the other hand, the longer that a student takes to determine their major, the more classes they might have to take beyond the 121 minimum credit hour requirement. The reason for this is because students must earn at least 121 credit hours to graduate, but they also have to fulfill certain course requirements as part of their major’s flight plan. Thus, not every credit meets the flight plan requirements.

However, Daniel Darland, an academic counselor in the Student Success Center, said that a good rule of thumb is to try to choose a major by the halfway point of your student career. Typically, this means declaring a major upon reaching 60 credit hours (traditionally, this would be the end of sophomore year).

Next, brainstorm a list of what you enjoy. What are your hobbies? Do you want to do that for the next few decades? What made you happy in high school?

If you enjoyed science classes in high school and you’re passionate about helping others, consider going into a pre-med track.

If you want to work with kids and you’ve got a background in babysitting, daycare work, or tutoring, consider an education major.

And if you enjoy drafting written work like speeches or marketing copy and you love to write, try communication!

U of L offers around 60 undergraduate degrees and that isn’t even the end. If you know what you want to do in the future but can’t find the right major for you, you can even create your own. U of L’s Individualized Studies program allows students to devise their own major to fit their interests.

When you choose what you want to study, ask yourself why you chose that field. Is it something that you’re interested in and passionate about studying? If not, stop yourself right there.

Are you interested because the career will pay well? If money is a concern for you, consider possible advanced degrees in the field that might get you more money. Look into all financial aid plans. Consider your options.

If you chose the major because your parents expect it of you, then you’ve spotted your obstacle. This takes away your autonomy as a student and instead places your education in the hands of others. Every student deserves to get an education for themselves.

Furthermore, don’t assume that everything you enjoyed in high school will still interest you in college. Think about whether you can or even want to make a career out of a passing interest. 

Finally, reach out to someone when you’re having trouble. Every student has an assigned “Success Team,” which consists of an academic advisor and a student success coordinator, amongst others. The REACH Center offers many services designed to help students achieve academic and personal success; there are tutors, academic coaches, PAL leaders, and more.

But the most important piece of advice for undecided students is the following: “your major doesn’t equal your career.” You’ll likely hear this from any academic advisor or student success coordinator. But it’s absolutely true. No matter what degree you work towards, your career is a result of your effort and experience, not the words written on your diploma.

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

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Kick high school study habits to the curb Tuesday, Oct 5 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

As first-year students transition into college, a lot of students have to learn how to get rid of old study habits from high school. 

Why do so many freshmen start off their first college semester on a low note?

The answer is simple: High school teachers generally don’t require the same level of attention to academics as college professors.

Valerie Strauss, a writer for The Washington Post, wrote that the reason first-year students often struggle upon transitioning into college is that they aren’t familiar with the importance of studying.

Strauss suggests that a big problem with first-year college students’ studying habits is that they don’t know how to approach studying correctly. Where a student might benefit from quizzing themself over the material or questioning the material they read, they might instead only read a chapter out of a textbook or skim through notes.

Another reason students might not utilize the strategies that they need to do well?

Inadequate feelings of “belonging” in college, according to Strauss.

She said that feeling outcast can be a tell that a student is struggling in their first year at college.

“Feeling out of place is usually triggered by a setback freshman year: the student fails a test, for example, or feels he doesn’t have any close friends. Any student would be discouraged, but a student who is the first in his family to attend college, or is a member of minority stereotyped as “not academic” may construe the experience as evidence he’s not college material.”

Geoff Bailey, Executive Director of U of L’s REACH and Testing Services, said that first-year students struggle with adjusting to college study habits for a multitude of reasons.

First, like most of us, first-year students have gotten into certain habits that may have worked in the past (or that they’re simply comfortable with even if they are not the most effective),” said Bailey.

“When they find that a study habit isn’t working as well for a particular class at UofL (e.g., they’re not understanding concepts thoroughly, they’re not earning test scores they want, or they’re having trouble retaining information and recalling it accurately for class or tests), students have to choose whether to keep trying the same approach or be open to new possibilities that will create less stress and improve performance.

“Second, students may know they need to try something different but aren’t necessarily sure where to begin. Third, students sometimes assume that if a strategy works for one class, it should work for all classes. However, the reality is that different courses require different levels of thinking and application.”

Poor study habits can contribute to poor academic performance. First-year students should establish good study habits when they enter college so that they can start their first semester successfully.

Freshmen Madison Oser and Emily Sutter have had differing experiences regarding their own study habits.

Oser, a music therapy major, said that her major doesn’t require her to change many of her study habits from high school. She said that most of the time she could study for tests by reading her notes before class or making flashcards.

On the other hand, Sutter, a social work major, said that her go-to study method is also using flashcards because she believes that it helps her to retain information. She also said that once she got to college, she had to learn to adapt to a fast-paced environment.

U of L offers many resources for students of all grade levels who want to improve their study skills. Bailey recommends that students utilize REACH’s offerings such as tutoring, the Hackademic Workshop series, and academic coaching.

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

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The Louisville Cardinal editors pick favorite fall movies Tuesday, Sep 28 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

Fall has now arrived! With the beginning of the season comes one of the greatest seasonal traditions: watching fall movies. Whether these movies represent the spooky theme of Halloween, or just a mark of the transition to autumn, fall movies are the perfect way to spend the chilly weather indoors.

Take a look at the fall movies that our staff editors picked.

Editor-in-chief Eli Hughes and I chose Disney’s Halloweentown series as our favorite movie(s) of the season.

Hughes said that he recommends Halloweentown because the movie is lighthearted.

“You don’t have to really pay attention or take it too seriously and it’s a good way to start getting in the spooky spirit. It’s also really funny in my opinion,” said Hughes.

I agree. I also think that Halloweentown is the kind of movie that can be watched year-round. Plus, Debbie Reynolds is a legend. I just wish Return to Halloweentown didn’t replace the main actress. That’s probably my only concern with the series.

Features Editor Tate Luckey chose a less spooky but still fall-themed movie. Luckey said that his favorite movie of the season is Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society is a 1989 film starring Robin Williams as a teacher of an all-boys school who aims to teach his students about poetry in unconventional ways.

Luckey said that he chose Dead Poets Society because of its impactful message.

Asst. Editor-in-chief Madelin Shelton and Sports Editor Hannah Walker chose Disney’s Hocus Pocus as their favorite movie of the fall.

Walker said, “I would recommend it because it is a classic that I grew up watching with my family. It is my favorite because it reminds me of being at home with my family during the fall months.”

Anthony Riley, our Photo Editor, chose another unconventional fall movie. 

His movie pick is Mary and the Witch’s Flower. If you like anime films, this one’s for you. The movie is about a young girl who finds a flower that gives her witch powers, but only for one night.

He said that he likes the movie because it has supernatural elements and witchy themes, which makes it a good movie for the season.

Do you agree with any of the movies above? What is your favorite movie of the fall season?

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

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The Proffitt Report | Commentary on drive-by shooting at bus stop Thursday, Sep 23 2021 

Doug Proffitt shares his thoughts on the strength of the mother of Tyree Smith, who was killed in a shooting at a bus stop and gun violence in Louisville.

        

Renting vs. Buying Your First Home: Pros and Cons Monday, Sep 20 2021 

For many Americans, there are at least three things they want to do during their lifetime: go to college, buy their own home, and travel the world. But is it actually better to buy your own home than it is to rent? Given that for decades owning a home has been promoted as the single most important investment anyone can make, this might sound like a strange question to you. In this piece, we’ll cover renting vs. buying to help you decide.

Photo of people with moving boxes

But there are a growing number of people who are not so sure about the value of owning their own home versus renting it. These people advise that if a person really wants to achieve the financial independence they should forgo homeownership and rent instead, says Limehouse Management.

On the other hand, those on the opposing side think this is bad advice and that owning a home remains the best route to achieving financial stability. But, as with most controversies, there is merit to the arguments of both sides; each side is partly right and partly wrong.

At the end of the day, you must decide for yourself between renting vs. buying. To make an informed decision on the issue you must first be aware of the pros and cons of both options.

Pros and Cons of Home Ownership

Pros

Photo of hand holding new house key
  • A long-term investment: A home is an investment. When you buy a home, you are investing in an asset that can grow and put money into your pocket. Moreover, it does this in the long term.
  • Opportunity to build equity: The equity you have in your home grows as the property increases in value. You can also build equity when you improve the appearance and function of the home.
  • Greater privacy and more control: When you live in your own home, you have more control of your environment and the level of interaction you want with neighbors.
  • Customized living space: As a homeowner, you don’t need to consult the opinions of others to style your home; you can design it any way you want.
  • Predictable monthly payments: Fixed mortgage payments mean you know what your housing costs are every month and how long it will take to pay off the mortgage.
  • Stability for your family: Owning your own home means more stability for your family; you can put down roots without worrying about being forced to move.

Cons

Photo of hands holding a little model home
  • High upfront costs: One of the biggest hurdles in the renting vs. buying debate is the upfront costs. In addition to the down payment, you must think of the closing costs associated with buying a home.
  • Unpredictable costs: It is hard to predict the monthly cost of home ownership since it is not unusual to have unexpected problems that will cost you thousands of dollars.
  • Less mobility and freedom: As a homeowner, you can’t just pack up and leave, even if you no longer like a neighborhood or there are better opportunities elsewhere.
  • Maintenance costs: A home will always take money out of your pocket. Buildings have several systems with lots of moving parts; something is bound to go wrong sometime.
  • Lost opportunities: Your home equity takes years to grow. Meanwhile, your capital will be tied up and you cannot take advantage of other more profitable investments.
  • Property values may fall: The neighborhood may decline or there could be a construction boom in the area. Both events will depress your home’s value.

Renting Your First Home

Photo of a new house with new dining room furniture

Pros 

  • Rent payments may be lower: The cost of renting your home may actually be less than the monthly mortgage payments for owning your own home. Then again, in many markets, it’s actually cheaper to buy a home than rent.
  • Predictability: One of the biggest pros of renting is you know what your monthly housing cost is, at least, for the duration of your lease.
  • Zero maintenance costs: Once your rent is paid, you have no obligations to maintain the property. This is the responsibility of the landlord.
  • Flexibility and mobility: You have the freedom to decide where you want to live. You are only tied to the home for the length of your lease. 
  • Low upfront costs: Your costs as a renter are your weekly rent and the security deposit. You don’t need to tie up your money in a property.

Cons

  • You can’t alter the home: As a renter, you are stuck with the design of your home. The landlord will not let you customize the home to your taste.
  • Rent may increase: Although, you are sure of how much rent you will pay for the lease term, your landlord can later raise the rent beyond what you can afford.
  • No future benefits: Your rent payments don’t make any long-term contributions to your wealth. Your history as a renter does not count toward improving your credit score.
  • Less control: If your landlord sells the home you live in, you will be forced to move. This could also happen if the rent in the area becomes too high. 

So, which one is better for you: renting or buying your first home? This is one of those questions where the right answer is that it depends. Only you, based on your current circumstances and future plans, can answer that question fittingly. But if you have additional questions, make sure to take advantage of your local real estate expert.

The post Renting vs. Buying Your First Home: Pros and Cons appeared first on Louisville Homes Blog.

Students embrace a return to normal on campus Thursday, Sep 9 2021 

By Alexia Juarez–

Incoming and current U of L students are starting out the fall semester with in-person classes and activities. This is the first step in returning to a “normal” campus atmosphere since the outbreak over a year ago. 

To support this atmosphere, U of L has laid out several protocols to contain the widespread virus and keep students and university members safe.  

Since Aug. 9, all university members have been required to wear a mask in public and indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. 

Indoor spaces are defined as any space inside a campus building which is not a private room or office. This includes classrooms, academic labs, study, and restroom areas, along with libraries and hallways. This is understandable, due to the rising cases in Kentucky. 

According to the New York Times, Jefferson County’s 7-day average was about 479 cases per day from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6. Given Louisville’s population, it is imperative that students and faculty enforce this policy to contain the virus and return to campus life.  

Unvaccinated university members are required to be tested regularly. There are three required testing periods: Aug. 17 to 27, Sept. 7 to 17, and Oct. 6 to 15.  

This is a big step that U of L has taken in their return to normal — or as normal as it can be. Given that the pandemic has gone on for more than a year and a half, several students had not been on campus since the start of the outbreak. 

Given these announcements, it’s nice to have some hope for incoming and current students to enjoy campus life while balancing the unpredictability of the pandemic. It’s not only a silver lining for students, but for faculty as well. 

Professors will no longer have to struggle in online lectures for the desired student engagement –which is lacking in all online courses — or with the unbearable technical difficulties. These in-person classes bring back the socialization that some may have lost during this pandemic.   

For incoming freshmen, this may seem overwhelming. However, with the end goal in mind — to keep our U of L community safe and to have a normal in person education experience as much as possible — these protocols are the key to keeping the virus under control and ensuring students get the most out of their college experience.  

 

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Players and fans anticipate return to full capacity football games Friday, Sep 3 2021 

By Sam Roof–

Wash your favorite jersey and grab your best koozie because full capacity is back at Cardinal Stadium. 

After their season opener against University of Mississippi in Atlanta, the Louisville Cardinals will begin their preparation to play against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. 

Hopefully, 60,000+ fans will be on their feet ready to cheer on our team in what should be a bounce-back year. 

There’s a buzz going around campus from players and fans alike. This season means a lot to many different individuals. 

For underclassmen, this may be their first opportunity to experience a Division I college football game. 

And for upperclassmen, the return to full capacity means a return to traditions and exhilaration they’ve longed to get back to for well over a year. 

Charlie Young, a U of L senior and lifelong Cardinal football fan shared what he was most looking forward to this season. 

“Getting back in the stadium and getting that Cardinal football atmosphere, being able to enjoy the game from the stands where I can cheer on my team in person and give the cards more of a home field advantage,” said Young.

University of Louisville tight end Isaac Martin also touched on the impact fans have for the players.

“The most exciting thing about this upcoming season is being able to play in packed stadiums and being able to hear the fans. It will definitely help us in tough spots, like in the red zone on offense and the defense on third downs. I can’t wait to have them back!”

This mutual excitement is just what our community needs. The last year and a half has been hard on everyone. But together, we have made strides to get better and closer to our new “normal.” Football has been a beloved tradition for the Louisville community. 

Freshman tight end Dez Melton reflected on what made him decide to leave his home in Arizona to play for U of L.

Melton said, “The fan base was part of the reason why I came because on my official visit, we went to a pizza place before a basketball game and everyone in there gave us a standing ovation. I never had a standing ovation from fans on any of my visits.”

This sport and this city mean something to our players, on and off the field. For some, such as Melton, this is a home away from home. Hopefully this football season can serve as a boost of joy for our tried and tested community. 

The players are excited. The students are excited. We all deserve these good times ahead. 

Let’s all strive to stay safe and enjoy this upcoming season. As freshman wide receiver Bradley West said, “There is nothing like the energy in a full football stadium.”

Photo Courtesy // WLKY News

 

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University of Louisville should offer students free tuition in vaccination prize drawing Monday, Aug 30 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

University of Louisville’s Division of Student Affairs recently announced that vaccinated students have the opportunity to win prizes by enrolling in a contest.

The contest, which will take place in a series of rounds over the fall semester, gives students the chance to win a number of prizes for being vaccinated. Prizes range from a U of L T-shirt or a throw blanket to more expensive items such as daily free Starbucks for 1 year and 4 Blue parking passes for the rest of the fall semester.

But how can we really get students involved? Free tuition for students.

After all, U of L made more than enough money after furloughing staff and raising fees last year that they can afford to put forth free tuition for several students.

According to U of L’s annual budget report for the 2020-21 academic year, U of L operated with a revenue of ~$1.2 billion. In the 2022 fiscal year, U of L plans to operate with a budget of ~$1.3 billion.

Part of this revenue came from raising student tuition, which the university increased by 2% in the 2020-21 academic year at the undergraduate level (with further tuition increases for graduate and professional programs). U of L also raised housing rates by ~2-5% in most complexes, with the most significant change being a 20% increase in Billy Minardi Hall’s 1 bed, 1 bath unit.

In the 2021-22 academic year, housing rates will remain the same as they were the previous year, save for the new housing complex –Belknap Residence Hall– replacing Threlkeld Hall. But with an influx of students on campus this semester, housing can more than make up any revenue lost due to the pandemic in the 2020-21 academic year.

 At approximately $22 million, Student Affairs operates on a budget that is nowhere near the size of the university as a whole.

This is why the university can certainly afford to open up its pockets to allow students the opportunity to win free tuition for a semester should students choose to get vaccinated.

After all, the university has not yet decided to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for students, faculty, or staff. As of an email sent out on August 20, 54% of U of L students are fully vaccinated.

Student Body President Ugonna Okorie said that the SGA is helping Student Affairs come up with ideas for prizes.

“I’m excited to see what prizes will be offered in the future and I think any prizes that [relieves] students from financial pressure would be extremely beneficial, especially with the ongoing pandemic,” said Okorie.

Let’s hope one such prize includes free tuition for students.

 

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