Category Archives: Features

The Features section caters to everything you need to know about culture on campus and the Louisville community. Here we explore the arts, student events and the latest trends that make U of L unique.

“The Contemporary Art Park:” Lecture series comes to Speed Art Museum

By Jonathan Sieg–

Stop reading this and take a second to look around you. Are you in the SAC, frolicking in all its grey concrete glory? Or a building of red brick? Perhaps you’re waiting for your next class on a bench, soaking in the hazy, “fresh” air of Louisville, under the expansive branches of an aged Tulip tree. Now think about what feelings your environment evokes. Do you feel a stark, gloomy separation from nature in an imposing maze of concrete and bland dry wall? Of course, you may feel the warmth of home as red bricks conjure up sentiments of your parent’s brick fireplace.

On the other hand, the trees offer a unique connection to the landscape and to all living things, as you realize your environment is as alive as you are. As urbanization increases and man-made environments impact more and more people, the need to develop public spaces that prove ascetically pleasing, functional, environmentally conscience, and inspiring become more crucial. The Speed Art Museum is going to bring this significant but often disregarded topic to the forefront of the public eye with their lecture series “The Contemporary Art Park,” in honor of the future Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park and Piazza at the Speed Art Museum.

​The lecture will feature renowned speakers, from a variety of backgrounds, discussing art and its function in public space.  Respected international art museum curator, Marc Pottier, will be the first speaker. Pottier will be discussing the impact and necessity of art parks for initiating interdisciplinary dialogue about the utilization of public spaces. A native of Brazil, Pottier has made significant strides in organizing contemporary artists, as illustrated in his book “Made by Brazilians.”

​Also discussing the integration of art with the public, Liana Brazil will give a lecture which will detail how technology can be incorporated with art to provide a modern, and relevant, experience for a 21st century public. Brazil will be representing an organization, also based out of Brazil, called “SuperUber,” which specializes in the integration technology and media across all design disciplines.

​Lastly, the series will feature Lord William Burlington, a staple name in the Contemporary Art world. An Irish art entrepreneur, Burlington has hosted several lectures and exhibitions in his castle-home, and will provide a European perspective to the topic.

​The lectures will offer an in-depth look into the minds of today’s top designers and illustrate the importance of art and its place in the public sphere. The lectures will be held at the Kentucky Center starting on Feb.12. They will be about 45 minutes long, with a 10 minute Q&A session after. Tickets are free for U of L students. More information can be found on the Speed Museum’s website:

Now, more than ever, having an understanding about public space is vital to a strong, vibrant community. This is a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding about the issue, and what can be done to influence how these public spaces are best utilized.


Attention all Francophiles: French Film Festival returns

By Natalie Moser–

French culture is enriching U of L’s campus once again this year with the return of the French Film Festival. Such a cultural spread is brought to campus with intentions of engaging students–and the general public–in the richness of French culture. With word being spread, and more publicity being gained, last year’s film festival brought roughly 600 patrons to campus to experience the French cinema. Dr. Dalle, a French professor here at U of L, and a chief organizer of the festival, stated that the university receives a grant from French Cultural Services, which funds the festival.

The films selected for the event are drawn from a list, provided by the French organization. Dalle states, “the organization that is responsible for the program is F.A.C.E., the French American Cultural Exchange, which is an organization that is run by the French government.” Selections are chosen from a list of films, provided by FACE. The list offers collections of films that reveal the diversity of French cinema.

A committee at U of L meets to select films from this list that best showcase diversity through different genres and various actors. Dr. Dolle and the committee chose films that will attract a wide audience and expose people to the world of French cinema.

The first taste of this fine French art form could be seen at this year’s film festival, which began with the cinematic wonder: “Polisse.” The film premiered on Feb. 6, and explored the lives and work of the child protection unit of the Parisian police. The film delivered an emotion-packed display of the effects of child abuse, and the eager attempts to combat it. The audience became invested in the film’s somber subject matter through the highly dramatic plot, which captivated viewers’ attention.

A variety of other films can be seen throughout the remainder of the festival at the Floyd Theatre, located on the third floor of the Student Activities Center. Other titles showing during the festival include: “Sister, Monsieur Lazhar,” “The Minister,” and “The Rabbi’s Cat.” To answer your question: yes, these films are all in French; but don’t grumble just yet–all films have English subtitles to help you through.

This is a great opportunity to get the Louisville community, university students, (particularly those studying French), engulfed in the lively French culture. Take this opportunity to get cultured. Films are shown every week: Thursdays at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., Fridays at 2 p.m. All showings offer free admission, and are open to the public. The five-week festival will continue through Mar. 7.



Majors fair helps students find their niche

More than 30 different departments and programs gathered in the SAC on Feb. 11 for the 2014 Majors Fair, attempting to attract undecided or on-the-fence students to their offered majors.

Each booth had a variety of faculty and staff including professors, department chairs, and the departmental advisor. Information was laid about the courses offered, the program itself, internship opportunities, and possible careers for after graduating college.

“They can make contacts with faculty, ask about minors, schedule advising appointments and even declare their majors,” said Meagan West, A&S academic advisor.

With advising appointments coming up for many students, the Majors Fair was very helpful in preparing students to set up their schedules. Whether they already declared a major or where undecided, students were able to gain a lot of new information to get them ready for the upcoming semester and help them make it a successful one.

“We have a small department, which is to our advantage, the classes are relatively small,” said a representative of the French department. “We have a good feeling of community, a sense of belonging, and we have our work exchange program were students who major in French can go work in a business in Montpellier for a month and it’s just an incredible experience.”

While the fair was beneficial to departments, students also gained from the experience.

“I learned a lot about the differences between a Bachelors of Science and Bachelors of Arts in my already solidified major, so I can further know what classes to take,” said psychology and biology double major, James Wood.

A&S Advising, Career Development Center and the Disability Center also had booths for questions regarding anything outside the majors. Students could make appointments, find out information about the resources available, and more importantly how to access those resources.

Students who attended the fair received free lunch and a t-shirt after going around to the booths they were interested in.

The College of A&S is having an event on March 6 in the Red Barn where interested students can enjoy lunch and receive a free t-shirt while connecting with faculty and alumni from their respected majors. More information about other departments is provided in online, in department offices or from an advisor.

Photo by Sasha Perez/The Louisville Cardinal.


RaiseRED generating buzz on campus

By Bev Upton–

More than 600 students will be dancing for 18 hours straight in RaiseRED, U of L’s annual dance marathon. The event will be more than fun; it will raise money for U of L’s pediatric cancer center.

With Kosair Charities and the Trager Family Foundation as this year’s sponsors, RaiseRED hopes to bring in $100,000 in donations.

“We like to say ‘FTK’ or for the kids,” explained RaiseRED marketing director, Cady Gresham. “As a board, we work hard and do the things we do for the kids who can not dance or be a kid because they are battling various diseases.”

Dancers tend to have personal goals of $100, and student participation has doubled since last year’s event.

Freshman Emily Gani met this goal through donations from friends and family. “This project is bigger than anyone could have gotten it on their own,” said Gani. “Not only are we doing a great service within our community, RaiseRED has become a community in itself, and I love it.”

“I hope to exceed my goal if possible because I know how beneficial RaiseRED is to the pediatric cancer center at the U of L Hospital,” said Gina Prosperi, who has been involved for the past three years. “It is so wonderful to see all of campus coming together to make this happen as a team.” 

Last year, the event raised $26,000. The total amount raised this year will not be revealed until the event, which will take place from Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. to March 1 at 12 p.m.

Those involved expressed a feeling of community that this event inspires.

“Being on board this year, I realized that Louisville is just one big, small town,” said Gresham. “The amount of support we have gotten from the community with this event has been overwhelming. Everyone has been willing to pitch in and do whatever we need done.”

“RaiseRED means being the change we want to see in the world,” said Gani.

To register to dance or donate, visit their website at


Valentine’s Day gift ideas

By: Kristen Lotze

Valentine’s Day is this week and you know what that means: time to buy more gifts! If you’re like me, you’ve probably just gotten all your Christmas goodies put away, now it’s time to be creative again and put those shopping skills to the test. Shopping for Valentine’s Day can be a little trickier than Christmas shopping, but fear not; the following is a list of suggestions help you come up with some great gift ideas for your significant other (starting with most expensive to least):

Gifts for Her:

1) Jewelry: I hate to play the stereotype, but guys, women love jewelry. It’s pretty, it’s sparkly, and it shows that you’re invested in your relationship. This gift is popular among couples who have been together for a while, but there’s no set rule on giving the jewels! And jewelry doesn’t have to break the bank in order to have a lasting impact. You can get legit jewelry for fairly cheap, and if you’re going to make the investment, real gold/silver is the way to go.

2) Couples activity: Caution: not for beginners! This suggestion works best for couples who know each other well. Has your girlfriend been nagging you about taking her to the ballet? An art show? Cheesy chick flick? Whatever it is, now is the time to do it. Show her you’ve been listening and can at least feign interest in something she likes. Original/sentimental gifts always resonate more than something store-bought. Just sayin’.

3) Dinner out/meal in: This is a no brainer. Every year, most of the restaurants in the city become a haven for besotted couples out for a nice meal. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with having a nice dinner out to celebrate your relationship. If it’s within your budget, and you’re able to get into your favorite restaurant, a nice meal is always appreciated. If you’re on a budget, consider cooking a meal for your date. It’s cheaper, (probably) healthier, more intimate, and most women love a man who can cook!

4) Flowers: I know, I know; lame, right? Overdone? You might be right, but you would be surprised at how many times I’ve heard girls say they love getting flowers. The tricky part–to avoid the cliche–is to figure out what her favorite flower is. If you can do that, you’re golden. If not, most girls aren’t going to be disappointed if they receive a dozen roses, but I suggest aiming for originality. If you’re not well-versed in botany (and I’m guessing most of you are not), you can always ask the florist for suggestions to help make a unique gift for your valentine.

5) Candy/chocolates/a card: This one is more appropriate for couples who are newly dating/not serious. It’s the equivalent of the elementary school valentine-in-shoebox ritual. It’s not by any means the worst gift idea, (at least you’re doing something), but it’s not guaranteed to cause the recipient to swoon either. Expect more of a polite “thank you” and maybe a friendly hug or kiss on the cheek. Then again, some girls are anti-Valentine’s Day–but still secretly like getting a gift–so something smaller might still have the desired effect.

Gifts for Him:

1) Electronics: Ladies, this is like the male version of jewelry. The newest gadget or Xbox One game is sure to be a big hit. You may not see your boyfriend for a while after you give him said new toy, but think about how happy you’re making him!

2) Activity: Who’s ready for skydiving? Snowboarding? Extreme frisbee golf? It’s been shown that men tend to bond most with the people with whom they share adrenaline-fueled adventures. Look at how they act with their friends–they get into all sorts of debauchery together and it makes them closer. Boys are strange. Nonetheless, finding an activity to enjoy together may not be as hard as you think; Groupon, for example, has plenty of deals to suit just about anyone’s tastes. Another big one to consider: tickets to a sporting event. It’s pretty easy to figure out where your significant others allegiances lie. If you can’t snag some tickets to a live game, consider getting them a sports-themed gift with their favorite team’s insignia on it (clothing, hat, big foam finger, etc.).

3) Food: Enough said. Anything edible will suffice.

4) Card or text: You would be surprised at the effectiveness of something this simple. Most guys don’t expect grand gestures on Valentine’s Day, so a simple text or a funny card will most likely make their day.

The most important thing to remember when shopping is to do your best to be original, and personalize your gift selection to your significant other. Think about their hobbies, likes/dislikes, etc., versus just picking up a $5 stuffed animal at the local gas station in a last minute rush. The more original you are, the more points you score, so brainstorm some ideas and get to shopping! And whatever your gift selection, have a happy Valentine’s Day!


Best chocolates for Valentine’s Day

By Sammie Hill–

Chocolates stand as a staple of Valentine’s Day. Often seen as the ideal gift for women, these treats can also be an excellent gift for men. With such a wide array of options out there, it is sometimes difficult to determine which chocolate is the best gift idea for your significant other. Hopefully this article will help break down the options and help you determine which chocolate to purchase for the special person in your life this Valentine’s Day.


For me, Hershey’s is the classic chocolate. However, for Valentine’s Day, I would suggest getting your significant other something a little different. People can grab a Hershey’s bar any day of the year. Valentine’s Day chocolate should be a little different, at least in my opinion.

If your significant other is a big Hershey’s fan, though, many grocery stores offer giant Hershey kisses for Valentine’s Day, which is a fun gift for any man or woman to receive.


Reese’s is often overlooked in discussions of Valentine’s Day chocolates. However, Reese’s offers heart-shaped candies as well as assorted treats in heart-shaped packages for the holiday. Although this is not strictly chocolate, Reese’s is a different option for Valentine’s Day, and this candy is always a delicious and welcome treat. Any fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combination will love receiving a Reese’s treat for Valentine’s Day.

Russell Stover

Russell Stover offers a wide assortment of chocolates, usually in packages shaped like a heart. How adorable! These chocolates are high quality and a gift sure to be appreciated by any woman—or man—on Valentine’s Day.

However, I am boring and a fan of plain chocolate; thus, the occasional raspberry-filled or coconut-infused chocolate bite is a somewhat unwelcome surprise. If variety is your thing, however, then this is the chocolate brand for you.


Godiva chocolate stands as the best chocolate out there. Hands down. The rich flavor and soft texture combines to produce immensely satisfying chocolate. The high quality of the chocolate is obvious, as it seems to melt in your mouth into a savory explosion of perfection. If you want to impress your lady or make your man feel extra special this Valentine’s Day, splurge on some Godiva chocolate. It’s worth it.

Cheap date ideas around campus

By Sammie Hill–

As college students, paying for expensive dates is not a very attractive option. However, students still want to enjoy a nice time with their date and make a good impression on their object of desire.

Contrary to many people’s conceptions, a date does not have to be expensive to be fun. There are many inexpensive options around campus that provide fun dates without breaking the bank.

Senor Iguanas

This is my new favorite place. From the chips and salsa to their burritos and nachos, Senor Iguanas provides delicious food for inexpensive prices. The laid back atmosphere facilitates easy conversation, and the tables and booths are spaced far enough apart to give each table a little privacy. For those over 21, they serve drinks such as beer and margaritas, and their menu offers a wide array of food options that will not put a dent in your wallet. The only downfall I have experienced there is the tendency to fill up on chips and salsa before my food comes out, because it is simply so delicious.

Thrift shopping

Increasingly popular since Macklemore’s hit song, thrift shopping can be a fun and inexpensive outing for couples. Looking at the goofy items and searching for clothes that fit your style provides cheap entertainment. Making the short trip to Goodwill or Unique Thrift is a low cost way to have some fun with your date. Plus, you might just find some nice clothes for awesome prices and save a lot of money.


For students interested in art or for anyone who appreciates free entertainment, the 21c museum downtown provides a free art gallery open to the public. The unique and mesmerizing art generates a fun experience and can prompt conversation between you and your date. 21c also contains a restaurant; however, that is a more expensive option.

Iroquois Park

A few miles down Southern Parkway, Iroquois Park is a nearby and beautiful location for a date. When the weather warms up, keep this spot in mind for a low-cost date option. In spring, summer and fall, this park offers a lush landscape and spectacular views of the city. Also visible from certain points are U of L’s campus and Papa John’s Stadium. The natural feel of the park serves as a welcome change from city life, and there are several pretty spots to relax and enjoy the company of your date. For those looking for a more active date, the park offers free Frisbee golf and hiking trails.


After the love is gone

By: Regina Deveary

Valentine’s Day is here and new romances will begin to blossom as gifts are exchanged and love is confessed. Unfortunately romance can lead the way for other, more harmful things to blossom as well, sexually transmitted diseases. STD’s can have a damaging effect on your body, as I am sure we all remember learning from our awkward sixth grade health class. It may seem fun to connect with new people and try new things, but these ‘adventures’ should be within reason. Before you decide to bring your date home with you, take some time to consider the repercussions of your actions. Lies and keeping others from the truth is one way STD’s are spread. You may ask for your partner’s sexual history, but most people will not be honest with you, so it is highly important to protect yourself. Simple contraceptives such as condoms are the most common form of protection, but their protection is limited. According to the Center for Disease Control, ages 15-24 make up to 50 percent of new STD’s in America, unfortunately a majority of college students fit within this percentage. If you would like to receive more information on STD’s, types of protection, or even advice, a sufficient resource is Campus Health Promotions. This building is located on Belknap campus in between the SAC and the Houchens Building. Health Promotion offers coaching and workshops to inform you of sexual wellness. They also offer free STD testing to anyone interested. To guarantee protection for yourself and your partner you need to make sure you have been properly educated. For more information on sexual wellness and other services Health Promotion’s offers, visit