U of L Dining hosts “Late Night Breakfast” event in preparation for finals week Tuesday, Dec 6 2022 

By Tate Luckey

It’s BACK! U of L Dining once again served a packed house during their 2022 Late Night Breakfast, sponsored by the SRC and SAC. From 8-10, students came in droves to fill up their plate(s) with donuts, fruit, french toast sticks, bacon, eggs, waffles, chicken tenders, and pancakes. Peanut butter/chocolate and mixed berry smoothies were provided, too.

File Photos // Tate Luckey, The Louisville Cardinal //

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Services VP Alex Reynolds details upcoming SGA initiatives, encourages transparency Tuesday, Nov 1 2022 

By Joe Wilson

Alex Reynolds, U of L’s Services Vice President

Few actually get to see the work of the Student Government Association’s Top 4 beyond those big banners that drape the SAC. In September, we talked with Executive President Dorian Brown and Vice President Katie Hayden about their outlook at the beginning of the semester but this week, Services Vice President Alex Reynolds sat down with The Louisville Cardinal to talk about both his role and the upcoming initiatives in the Student Government Association.

“I aim to act as a megaphone for students, where I’m able to share their perspectives to the administrators, and they’ll actually listen,” he said. Reynolds explained that the student government can’t work well without input from students, so his main focuses concern the issues of campus housing, dining, and security.

Help with Leases and Lunches

Reynolds could recount multiple stories of students who struggled with financial hardships and strict housing leases, so he’s worked to reform housing agreements.

Reynolds successfully advocated for a subleasing option for students and greater leniency for those with financial difficulties. Previously, students would face thousands of dollars in cancellation fees and red tape if they decided to cancel just five days after they chose their room, as per housing policy. “Students in difficult financial situations can generally get out of their lease easier, so that’s really huge. But we’ve worked to make it so students who take on a lease and end up not wanting it can sublease now,” he said,

Additionally, Reynolds explained he wants to see changes to U of L’s dining options to give students more choice quality.

“Students want options that are healthy, fast, and also efficient—no long wait lines or anything like that,” he said. 

In particular, Reynolds said he wants to see changes to The MarketPlace. When it was announced on August 8th that The MarketPlace reduced its hours to 10 A.M. to 5 P.M., Reynolds recognized that that further limits flexibility for students. He added the new model for the Marketplace resembles “a second Ville Grille”, which may not appeal to most students.

Addressing Slow Transportation

The free campus transportation service, “Cardinal Cruiser” is popular among students, but there are currently only a few cars in service, contributing to inconsistent wait times. Reynolds explained the University of Kentucky partners with rideshare service Uber to provide students with free rides on the weekends, and he’s advocating for U of L to create a similar supplementary program with the Cruisers.

“We’re having conversations with ride-sharing services like Lyft, but the main thing we’re just trying to see is what we can do to improve overall transportation on campus, the efficiency of those transportation services, and student safety,” he said, stressing that those conversations are still in the early stages.

The Top 4

By nature of being one of the Top 4 officers, Reynolds spends a lot of time with the other executives—Student Body President Dorian Brown, Executive Vice President Katie Hayden, and Academic Vice President Bryson Sebastian.

“We’re like best friends, really. This is probably the most driven group of people that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “People are in here, in this office way past midnight usually. Just getting work done honestly. We have a lot of fun together.”

He described that all 4 agree to provide full transparency and consistency as SGA executive officers. “Usually, when students walk by the SGA office, it’ll be pitch black. Closed. Inconsistent hours. But now,” he said, “students can just walk in, ask questions. They can give their inputs.” Their office, located on the third floor of the SAC, is open from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Monday through Friday. Anyone who has any questions or needs supplies, he said, is encouraged to visit. 

Reynolds-a junior Political Science major-currently has no plans to run for an SGA position next year, saying that nothing is concrete.

“I’ve just been so focused on what I’m doing. But, it would be really tough to leave SGA in my senior year because I just care so much about it. I feel like there’s more work to be done.”

If you’d like to learn more about the Top 4 you can click here. To see updates on the U of L Student Government, you can follow them on Instagram by clicking here.

File Photo // U of L SGA //

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University Dining Addresses Panda Express closure, shortened MarketPlace hours Sunday, Oct 23 2022 

By Tate Luckey

After being shut down for nearly a month, the University of Louisville Dining Services announced they are set to reopen Panda Express before the end of the semester.

What Happened to Panda?

The restaurant recently had to shut down due to issues with the fire suppression system according to Lisa Ennis, the director of Auxiliaries and Asset Management.

It had not been serviced in years and that was not under my watch. These issues could have potentially caused a fire. I made the decision to shut down [Panda] as soon as I was made aware. We will have to order food and the supply chain may be our only obstacle to overcome. I assure you, we have the safety of the campus as our number one priority,” she stated. 

During the time of the shutdown, Nathan’s Taqueria sent their food truck to serve as a fun alternative for students during lunch hours. Their menu included options for street tacos and nachos that students could purchase for flex points, Monday through Thursday.

Still Insufficient

Even with the reopening of Panda Express, this still doesn’t fully solve the student body’s issues with more dining options and later hours. Among the restaurants on the Belknap campus, only Twisted Taco, Wendy’s, Starbucks, and Eiffel Pizza are open past 8. The Health Science Campus has even fewer options, with students only being able to order Chick-fil-A and Starbucks via Grub Hub. For those in 8+ hour clinical, options can get pretty mundane.

“There are some other options nearby like food trucks and Panera, but those are not affiliated with U of L so they don’t take Flex or Swipes. The hours are also fairly limited for each option- Starbucks closes at 2:45, yet my latest class is until 3:50,” HSC senior Kaycie Carpenter said.

Services Vice President Alex Reynolds and other members of the U of L SGA have been pushing for longer restaurant hours, and have made progress in advocating for more local, health-oriented options that will hopefully debut on campus in the future. Superfood smoothie company Lueberry took the place of Cardinal Nutrition in the SRC over the summer, and dining services have been keen on showcasing both the talents of their staff through events like “Battle of the Chefs” and local vendors through “Farm to Table.”

An example of the food offered at the MarketPlace.

The MarketPlace

It was students’ low foot traffic and lack of interest, though, that led to the SAC MarketPlace’s hours being shortened from 8 PM to 5 PM. “We averaged 10 people eating at the MarketPlace after 5 pm. It is not sustainable to keep it open through the evening. Students are eating in other places,” Ennis said. 

Dining services had previously announced on August 8th that the MarketPlace was changing its format from a normal meal swipe exchange per restaurant station to a more “residential, one-swipe-to-go” option, similar to a buffet. Many students on social media were apprehensive about the change, noting that The Greenery, which replaced the popular EverGrains, just didn’t have the same appeal.

Quality speaks more than quantity, in this case. If you have the chance to go during normal, busier hours the variety of food gives you plenty of things to fill up your plate. However, since most of the food tends to sit in those wide chafing dishes, some of the meat and vegetables can get pretty dry if not routinely replaced.

Students care about where their money goes, and so the communication between dining and its vendors has to reflect that. If you’d like to learn more about U of L dining and its services, you can do so here

Wings, cornbread, fried plantains, and a brownie from the MarketPlace.

File Photos // The Louisville Cardinal //

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Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Louisville Burger Week Wednesday, Jun 15 2022 

If you download the new app and check in at four or more locations you will be entered to win $250 in gift cards as well as an ultimate grill out.

        

Structural changes U of L needs to implement Thursday, Feb 10 2022 

By Catherine Brown –

There’s a lot to be said about the improvements that U of L could make to facilitate learning and an improved student life. Here are a few changes that the university should make to better student and employee experiences.

1. Roll dining credits over

One of the most frustrating aspects of the university is the policies it implements that wastes students’ money. In particular, its policy of expiring meal swipes at the end of each semester and flex points after spring finals.

With meal plans ranging from $300 to nearly $2200 per semester, meal plans are an expense on which students ultimately lose money. 

Meal swipes are frustrating because of the limited number of food options classified as such. On average, meal swipes equal $10 worth of food. However, some meal swipe options at restaurants like Einstein Bros. Bagel aren’t worth anywhere near that amount. Meal swipes are a waste of money.

And for students who choose or need to stay on campus during the summer, flex points are necessary. Despite a limited selection of restaurants open, students should be able to use all of the credits for which they paid.

With the university’s $1 billion budget for the 2021-22 academic year, U of L can afford to roll meal swipes over from the fall to the spring semester and roll flex points from spring to summer. 

2. Diversify dining options

The university needs to expand dining options. If U of L cared about student health and satisfaction, then U of L Dining would offer a better array of dining locations. 

Overall, dining options are largely unhealthy. Many of the on-campus dining options offer fried, fatty and greasy foods. Only a few restaurants on campus offer relatively nutritious foods, like Subway, Ever Grains, and occasionally, The Ville Grill.

With McAlister’s leaving campus, students deserve better. Many students are calling for McAlister’s replacement to have a similar atmosphere, like Panera Bread.

What students need is a new dining option that fits their budget and delivers fresh, nutritious food.

3. Eradicate the on-campus housing policy

It came as a shock last year when the university announced that second-year students would be required to live in campus housing. Students who had already made alternative plans had to cancel. First-years had to anticipate another year of poor dorm conditions. Commuter students had to figure out what this requirement meant for them.

With the university’s large budget, U of L can afford to let students reside either on or off campus. Not living on campus doesn’t mean that students won’t still provide valuable revenue that U of L needs.

The university can still make money charging students for a dining plan. However, students should have free rein over which dining plan fits their lifestyle.

U of L should ultimately let students — particularly first- and second-year students — choose whether they reside in on-campus/affiliated housing.

What changes do you want to see U of L bring?

Photo Courtesy // University of Louisville Campus Housing

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Under this new Kentucky bill, dogs could be allowed inside restaurants Thursday, Jan 27 2022 

It would amend the United States Food Code and allow businesses to apply for designation as a "dog-friendly" establishment.

        

“SuperChefs Express” provides fun, creative dining options Wednesday, Jan 19 2022 

By Tate Luckey —

The “SuperChefs” logo

Local Louisville icon Darnell Ferguson, aka SuperChef, has opened “SuperChef’s Express” as a cornerstone of the SAC Marketplace.

Featuring a fun, diverse menu including vegan options, smoked salmon tacos, and all-day brunch, SuperChefs Express combines local flair with fulfilling meal options. “I hope to show the students fun and creative food cooked to order. The Banana Pudding Granola-Encrusted French Toast is my favorite dish there,” Ferguson said.  

Ferguson attended culinary school in Louisville.  He traveled to Beijing as one of only 22 young chefs to cook in the 2008 Olympics.

The SuperChefs Express Menu

 He has also opened nearly a dozen restaurants. Two are right here in Louisville, SuperChefs and his newest Tha Drippin’ Crab in the West End. 

The Philly Steak egg rolls are an interesting twist on the classic sandwich, housing the steak/onion/pepper pairing in a deliciously crispy egg roll filled with a gooey cheese sauce. Be warned, it’s messy but in a good way! 

Aafreen Shaikk, a sophomore industrial engineering major, tried the wings and waffles dish, saying “I think the wings and waffles were a good balance. [SuperChefs Express] is a lot nicer than some of the other restaurants here on campus. It actually feels like restaurant food rather than the ungodly amount of fast-food here on campus.”

SuperChef’s Express is located in the SAC Marketplace at the Louisville Traveler station.

File Photos // U of L Dining //

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A U of L dining favorite is being threatened Tuesday, Jan 11 2022 

By Catherine Brown–

In an Instagram post on Jan. 9, U of L Dining announced that they are considering replacing the campus’ McAlister’s restaurant. This decision has prompted an outlash by students against the organization.

McAlister’s has been a beloved staple of U of L dining for many years. Students love the fast-casual atmosphere of the establishment, where they can indulge in a mixture of healthy and starchy, hot food brought right to their table. 

The outlash is comparable to the Spring 2021 response against U of L Dining for taking away Einstein Bros. Bagels. At the time, student response was so strong that U of L Dining brought back Einstein Bros. for the rest of the semester, albeit only through Grubhub orders.

Students rejoiced, and Einstein Bros. enjoyed a semester of long lines with students anticipating ordering their favorite coffee, bagel with schmear, or pastry.

McAlister’s deserves the same love — from the chain’s famous sweet tea to the hot macaroni-and-cheese that always seems to sell out before the lunch rush. McAlister’s offers plenty of hot, fresh-tasting food that invites students to actually sit down and enjoy their lunch.

Jacob Forden, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said, “I am very sad about McAlisters because I always ate there and the sweet tea was amazing.”

In response to the backlash, U of L Dining commented, “Hello, McAlister’s is closed. We are evaluating options for this space. In the meantime, our students can go to our Instagram story and answer our poll question about what new dining options they would like to see on campus. There will also be a survey later this semester that will be sent to students.”

Forden said that if McAlister’s were replaced, he would like to see it replaced by Penn Station Subs, Mark’s Feed Store, or a similar fast food restaurant.

Other students suggested replacing McAlister’s with Panera, Cane’s, and, again, Mark’s Feed Store.

If McAlister’s has to go, what restaurant would you like to see in its place?

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Minnesota teen jumps through McDonald’s drive-thru window to save choking customer Monday, Dec 20 2021 

Eden Prairie Police awarded 15-year-old Syndey Raley $100 from their crime fund for her heroic efforts.

        

Thank the dining staff for their work during the pandemic Monday, Mar 8 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

University of Louisville’s dining staff deserve appreciation for the work that they do to feed students, faculty and staff every day. 

On Feb. 17, U of L Dining announced their decision to reduce dining hours across nearly every restaurant on campus. With that decision came the closures of Louie’s Corner, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Chick-fil-A at HSC Commons.

According to U of L Dining, this decision was made regarding lower rates of students on campus due to COVID-19.

Students were not happy with the decision.

Several students replied to the Instagram post with #FreeEinsteinBros and demanded that the university reinstate the chain’s previous operating hours.

Einstein Bros. is a favorite dining option for many students on campus. The chain operates at early hours, which allows students in early morning classes or athletics to grab breakfast before class or practice. Many students depend on Einstein Bros., the Ville Grill, and Chick-fil-A to start their day.

Destiny Smith, a sophomore nursing major, says that Einstein Bros. has been her go-to breakfast spot when she has 8 a.m. classes.

“The staff at Einstein Bros are so nice, genuine, and funny,” said Smith.

U of L partners with Aramark, a corporation that provides food service and facilities. Therefore, U of L food service workers are technically Aramark employees, not U of L employees. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve any less appreciation.

Several students commented on the impact that the change had on dining employees.  

“Not only is this screwing over students but think of the employees whose hours have been drastically cut,” freshman Vito Sabino said. “These are not high paying jobs either. Seems like U of L is willing to live with impacting the quality of life for food service workers just to save a buck.”

“Think of the workers who will be laid off or will have their hours cut. How will they provide for their families,” said sophomore Savannah Quach.

The following week, U of L Dining announced that food trucks would be available Tuesday to Thursday for students to enjoy.

“The decision was made this past week to bring these offerings to campus to aid in our ongoing efforts to improve the student, faculty and staff dining experience,” said U of L Director of Communications John Karman.

While the food trucks did receive decent crowds each day, students demanded that U of L bring back the regular dining hours.

Although students had more diverse dining options to choose from during that week, several original dining options were closed or their hours still reduced. 

Yet, how many dining staff struggled with having their hours reduced or had to worry about being scheduled that week?

U of L Dining has since announced that Einstein Bros. Bagels will open again for Grubhub orders. U of L will cover all transaction fees.

Think about how annoying it is to pay thousands of dollars on a meal plan. Then consider how little of that you can even spend. Finally, think about how little of that money the dining staff will actually see. 

Next time you go out to eat on campus, show your appreciation for the dining staff. If you can, stop and talk to them or give them a compliment. You might make someone’s day.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal 

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